THE SKATER SQUAT PROGRESSION LADDER

This is a simple move, but a deceptively tough progression ladder. We use it -- like the Platform Pistols -- because you can get a serious leg training stimulus but with hardly any equipment and with a short learning curve. Master this ladder and your thighs and arse may well be the talk of the office.

LET'S TALK ABOUT IT...

I’ve trained hundreds of people using Skater Squats, and I've found that there is huge variation between individuals on how well and quickly they can do these on the first few goes, however cut through the beginner stage and the bottom line — as always — holds true: if you’re a really good athlete, you will be able to perform impressive Skater Squats; if you're not, you won't.

If you’re not a good athlete, work hard to improve at these and you’ll get better performance and better shape as a consequence. So if you are no good at these at first… tough shit! You can’t be good at everything straight away, where’s the fun in that? Work to become a fundamentally better athlete and eventually you’ll be flying up this progression ladder.

TO MASTER THE SKATER SQUAT PROGRESSION LADDER -- you don't need loads of exercises, you just need to practice diligently and consistently on The Strength Sessions Programme. Work on whichever single-leg squat we are doing this month, and if you can, do your Kettlebell Swings too. Your form will improve and you'll be able to climb the ladder. If you hit a road block, it may be time to work on your mechanics and mobility. Get checked or get in touch if you need help.

THE LADDER OVERVIEW

With the Skater Squat Progression Ladder -- kind of like the Kettlebell Swing -- we have one simple move that you have to master, then we adjust the difficulty.

Unlike the kettlebell swing though, we use three different styles of reps (cheating, strict and loaded), and then vary range of motion to find the right difficulty level for you. Let's go through them...

FILTHY CHEATING REPS

CRITERIA: 

–> Landing must be controlled (if there wasn’t a mat, you must be able to claim with a straight face that you would have been unharmed).
–> Back foot must never touch the mat at the bottom of the move
–> There must be a ‘Dead Start’ at the bottom of every rep

In the first style of repetition, you are encouraged to use your arms, and use a big hip hinge to intiate (‘cheat’) the move. Once you get the hang of it, you move to the stricter rep styles. This I find great to help people get used to, and build confidence in the move (plus it’s fun). I also find the cheat helps to build confidence in your abilities as you get used to a new increased range of motion.

By using ‘cheating reps’ as well as strict and loaded reps we can proivide a more varied stimulus, and also ensure that there are loads of ‘rungs’ on this progression ladder so that you should never get stuck for too long on any one single progression.

STRICT REPS

THESE ARE THE CRITERIA:

–> Hands must be across chest
–> Landing must be controlled (if there wasn’t a mat, you must be able to claim with a straight face that you would have been unharmed).
–> Back foot must never touch the mat at the bottom of the move
–> There must be a ‘Dead Start’ at the bottom of every rep

Once you’ve mastered a certain range of motion using cheat reps, we ramp up the difficulty a tad and ask you to both stop the use of arms to generate momentum and to reduce the amount of hip hinge you use. This makes it more difficult and let's you get used to a better body position for adding weight...

LOADED REPS

CRITERIA:

–> Excessive hip-hinge is forbidden, subtle hip-hinge tolerable
–> Choice of weight style allowed, but must be 20% of bodyweight
–> Weight can be held by sides or goblet style/man-handled, BUT must not move down one once in relation to your body on the drive up (otherwise you’re not really lifting it).
–> There must be a ‘Dead Start’ at the bottom of every rep

The third and hardest style of rep, the form must be the same as the strict reps above, but now you hold (or wear) a weight equivalent to 20% of your bodyweight. That will make these a very serious strength test for all but the elite athletes out there.

THE 5 RANGES OF MOTION

TO HIGH PLATFORM - Platform must be no higher than mid-shin height

TO LOW PLATFORM -- Platform criteria: platform must be no higher than foot height

TO THE FLOOR -- You must be able to perform with only a thin gym mat

FROM LOW PLATFORM -- Platform criteria: platform must be no lower than foot height

FROM HIGH PLATFORM -- Platform criteria: platform must be no lower than mid-shin height

It should be possible to scale these all the way from an absolutely beginner-friendly level to an absolutely bloody difficult level just by adjusting the range of motion. For most people, every centimeter of added range of motion will make a BIG difference to the difficulty of the move. This should be good news to you though! I know you want to get to the top of the ladder quickly, but don’t forget we want it to be hard enough that your body has to adapt! That takes time. These ladders are designed to keep you busy for years remember. For most people, building the strength to perform these from a high step will take a lot of practice.

THE ACTUAL PROGRESSION LADDER

It’s too difficult to define exactly which progressions are harder than which on this ladder — different individuals will find different challenges at the various levels. So, to keep things simple, I’ve decided to order the progressions by step height and then by style of rep. If you get stuck through, experiment a bit as you may find you’re better adding range of motion rather than changing your rep style.

PROGRESSION 1 — CHEATING REPS TO HIGH PLATFORM

PROGRESSION 2 — STRICT REPS TO HIGH PLATFORM

PROGRESSION 3 — LOADED REPS TO HIGH PLATFORM

PROGRESSION 4 — CHEATING REPS TO LOW PLATFORM

PROGRESSION 5 — STRICT REPS TO LOW PLATFORM

PROGRESSION 6 — LOADED REPS TO LOW PLATFORM

PROGRESSION 7 — CHEATING REPS ON THE FLOOR

PROGRESSION 8 — STRICT REPS ON THE FLOOR

PROGRESSION 9 — LOADED ON THE FLOOR

PROGRESSION 10 — CHEATING REPS FROM LOW PLATFORM

PROGRESSION 11 — STRICT REPS FROM LOW PLATFORM

PROGRESSION 12 — LOADED REPS FROM LOW PLATFORM

PROGRESSION 13 — CHEATING REPS FROM HIGH PLATFORM

PROGRESSION 14 — STRICT REPS FROM HIGH PLATFORM

PROGRESSION 15 — LOADED REPS FROM HIGH PLATFORM

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