The Zercher Lift: How It Can Benefit Your Training

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The Zercher squat and it’s variations are one of the less popular variations mainly due to its face value – the barbell sitting in the crook of the elbows definitely won’t gain you many “likes” on social media.

Actually you’ll probably be more likely to have people comment that the lift is dangerous when in reality the discomfort is outweighed by the benefits.

With that said, the Zercher position has a number of benefits if you can get past the bar position and discomfort.

Here’s what you need to know

  • The Zercher position will challenge the anterior core, quadriceps, and traps to a great degree than the classic squat
  • The Zercher position elicits less spinal compression than the classic squat
  • The Zercher position is another tool to add to your arsenal of variation

Here are our top favorites and recommended programming

Anderson Zercher Squat

The Zercher Box Squat

Zercher Split Squat

Landmine Zercher Reverse Lunge + Knee Lift

Zercher Reverse Lunges: 3-4 x 8-10 each

Zercher Yoke Carry (or barbell Carry)

Anderson Zercher Squat With Heel Elevation


We include Zercher variations in all of our individual plans for the main reason that Zercher variations are a great way to spice things up with your training – you’ll likely be surprised how great these feel when you’re performing them (aside from the discomfort), but be ready for your arms to be sore for the next 48 hours.

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