Sissy squats for building monster quads

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Sissy squat for monster quads

The sissy squat is anything but a sissy exercise! There is absolutely nothing soft about a Sissy squat. This variation of squat can be more challenging than most other forms of squatting.  If performed correctly, this exercise isolates your quads better than any other barbell or dumbbell exercise. It does this by eliminating most of the involvement of your glutes and hamstrings. Therefore, sissy squats are definitely not for sissies and should not be limited to hotel rooms. You should also incorporate them into your regular workouts at the gym.

Sissy Squat Exercise Instructions – Proper Technique

STARTING POSITION (SETUP):

  • For balance, you’ll need to hold lightly onto two things, both about waist-high (like chairs), on either side of you.
  • Begin in a standing position with a narrow stance. Your feet should not be wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Place your feet in a V position.

sissy squat quadriceps isolation

EXECUTION (MOVEMENT):

  • Descend by breaking at the knees and shifting them forward while leaning the torso back.
  • Bending only at the knees, lower yourself down, leaning back, until your butt touches your heels. You should be up on your toes at this point. If this is too much for you then descend until you reach the desired depth. However, you should squat down at least until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor.
  • Then, using ev­ery muscle from your butt to your calves, again keeping your back and thighs in a straight line, reverse the movement, pushing up until you are standing again.

Additional Tips & Key Points for Sissy Squat

There are some tips that will help you get even more out of this already amazing quadriceps exercise.

  • Always lean your torso backward while bending and moving your knees forward.
  • Slowly descend, allowing your knees to go ahead of your toes.
  • Keep your back very straight without arching it.
  • Try to keep your thighs and glutes tensed throughout the entire range of motion.
  • The key in this exercise is to keep your back and thighs in a straight line throughout the entire movement, not bending at the hips at all.
  • The knees must be really warm before starting this exercise. Ideally, this should NOT be the first thigh exercise of your workout.

Exercise Variations (Modifications)

  • Make it harder! If you can do 15 to 20 reps with relative ease, hold a dumbbell against the chest with your free hand. Most bodybuilders find the weight plate more convenient, but it’s personal preference. You’ll be surprised at the difference five or ten pounds will make. Don’t get carried away with the amount of weight. Save the heavy poundages for your regular squats and leg presses, not for the sissy squats.

sissy squat variations

  • Make it easier! Putting a wedge beneath your heels males sissy squat easier to do. The higher the wedge, the easier the movement will be. Beginners should always start doing this exercise with a wedge. Later, once you are comfortable with the exercise, remove the wedge.

Muscles Involved

  • Primary muscles: Quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedins)
  • Secondary muscles: Rectus abdominis

Sissy squats are similar to hack squats, in that they will add a great sweep to your outer thighs. Although more isolated to quads than regular squats, sissy squats do involve the glutes to some degree.

Replacement Exercises

With all the different types of squats to choose from, you can say goodbye to workout boredom. Try these  squats for every need and fitness level.

Summing up

The sissy squat can be thought of as a bodyweight leg extension because it targets the quadriceps and eliminates hip extensor involvement. Many people find this exercise problematic because it puts considerable pressure on the knee joint, so play it safe and ease your way into this exercise. Descend only to a depth that feels comfortable in the knees and gradually increase the depth over time. Attempt to feel the quadriceps controlling the movement throughout the set. Don’t let the name fool you! This one’s tough.

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