Zercher Squats: The Beginner’s Guide

Article written by Megan Gallagher

I’ve been playing around with Zercher squats a lot lately and I put together a tutorial showing how to setup and some tips and tricks I use. Here’s the video

Mostly people are curious about what would possess someone to attempt these so here’s my favorite reasons to zercher:

Force an upright posture

  1. The weight is loaded towards the front, so you’re forced to maintain an upright position

  2. Because of this, zerchers can be useful for those who are recovering, working around a back injury, or suffer with wrist mobility and can’t front squat

Core Work

  1. The movement and placement of the load works your core like no other. If you notice your front squats taxing your core, multiply that by like 5.

Utilize during a deload

  1. You can give your spine a break on de-loading weeks to allow recovery time

  2. Nearly the entire load will be on your hips, quads, glutes and calves so the variation is a nice break on the back

Zercher if you compete in strongman

  1. The zercher has a great carryover in strongman movements like Atlas, Africa stone carry, yoke


  1. Yes it is painful in the crook of your elbow. This is not an exercise for babies. I like to use a bar pad, but if I were training for strongman, I wouldn’t. I’m not ashamed to use a bar pad, especially for zerchers. Another option is working with an axle bar.

Hope this guide and video helps with anyone interested in working in some zerchers. They are really fun, and make you look cool on the internet and IRL.

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