The Squat Press is a compound lifting exercise that involves both the Squat and the Push Press performed in a single fluid motion. The Squat Press increases both aerobic and anaerobic strength in shoulders and arms, as well as the major leg muscles, and increases range of motion, flexibility, balance and overall psychomotor skills throughout the entire body. The Squat Press can be performed in a variety of ways depending on the equipment available to you, your individual fitness goals and ability. The common version of this exercise is to utilize two dumbbells, holding one in each hand as the squat movement is performed, but can also include the use of Kettlebells and an Olympic barbell (for the advanced).
For those more advanced, one dumbbell with a significant amount of weight attached to it can be used. Dumbbells are more commonly used with the Squat Press because each side can be moved independently of the other and the body is not held into a forced position as in the case of a barbell. With the dumbbells, the body can make minute adjustments that are needed to keep the overall movement natural, safe, and comfortable as possible. This is the key to preventing injury with this exercise.
Proper Squat Press Technique
When performing a Squat Press with dumbbells, choose two dumbbells that equal approximately ten percent of your body weight. A beginner should begin with a bit less than this and more advanced users may want to choose slightly more. The correct positioning is to begin picking up the dumbbells and standing straight up, while keeping the lumbar spine straight. The movement of the Squat Press should be slow and controlled.
- Put a dumbbell in each hand.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- The dumbbells should be positioned at shoulder height with the palms forward.
- Keep the chest up as you lower your body into a squat position. Bend your knees until the thighs are parallel with the ground.
- As you return to a standing position, push the dumbbells over your head. Keep them in front of the ears. Perform four to five reps of 10 to 15 sets. Don’t rest very long between sets.
Benefits of the Squat Press
Adding this exercise into your squat routine will improve your muscular endurance in your arms, core, hips, and the back. The Squat Press works numerous muscle groups, and it is also is calorically expensive. The muscles of the upper back, known as the latisimus dorsai are also engaged. This exercise is a favorite among many trainers because it is an excellent all-around pressing exercise. Instead of just pressing the weight above your head, the legs are used to drive up and complete the range of motion.
The Squat Press helps to create an increased anabolic stimulus in the body. Using dumbbells will produce much better results than the bar. Dumbbells encourage physical coordination as well as stimulating a wider range of muscle groups. With the free weights, the movements will tend to be more natural, which means injuries are less likely to occur. As you control the movement your body is able to focus and target each muscle group precisely through the entire range of motion. Free weights are known for helping the body produce a larger acute hormone response also.