2 Chains & Squatting

Q: Why squat with chains?

A: Improve lifting speed.
When set-up correctly, chains pile up and decrease load as you squat down; when you stand up, weight is reapplied, gradually. The idea behind this action is that the weight is heaviest at the top of the lift and lightest at the bottom. So the goal is to learn to accelerate out of the bottom of a squat to “outrun” the gradual increase in weight. This translates to what we are trying to do as we come to a “sticking point” during a lift.

A: Improve core/trunk stability.
Due to the subtle swaying and stirring motion the chains create, we are forced to use our core and trunk muscles to stabilize and control the bar. This also teaches us to be more focused and maintain body tightness throughout the entirety of the movement, thus improving mental focus. Every step, including the un-racking of the bar, your set-up, the concentric (downward) and eccentric (up) movement of the squat, and final re-racking of the bar, all take additional focus and stability due to the application of chains.

A: Bar Path and Proprioceptive Awareness.
When squatting, we want the bar moving down and up in something that resembles a straight line; and we refer to this as the “bar path.” Chains give us feedback as to what path the bar is taking and where our body is in space all while allowing the lifter to auto-correct because of heightened feedback. One of the more common mistakes during a squat is getting pulled forward or the dropping of the chest. If, and when this was to happen with the application of chains, you’d immediately know because these chains follow along with a pronounced swaying motion (as discussed above). Over time, you’ll learn to correct this, which will give us a more vertical bar path. Optimal bar path leads to an upright torso, which improves positioning that ultimately leads to better performance.

The concept is simple.
And it’s something new, fun and fresh that you can do with your friends. It adds a different stimulus to our training day and keeps things new and exciting. Plus, it looks cool, you look cool, and you feel cool. And we all know the saying: Look good, feel good, play good!

So, grab some chains and give it a try. When we sent out our 2018 survey, the gym asked for three new pieces of equipment: Bikes, additional dumbells, strongman equipment AND chains.

Coach Kevin