DIY Timed Static Contraction Hip Belt Squats

DIY Timed Static Contraction Squat

About thirty seconds into the the exercise I knew the next minute was going to be a very long one. At around forty seconds my legs began shaking. At sixty seconds I was contracting as hard as possible just to keep the chain taut. By seventy the chain was slack and it took everything I had just to stay up. I barely made eighty seconds before my legs failed I could no longer hold myself up. Afterwards, I could barely walk.

Compared to these even the SuperSlow bodyweight squats don’t seem quite so bad.

If you want to try these all you need is a good chin up/dip belt and an inexpensive and easy to construct platform. The platform took me less than fifteen minutes to build and I estimate the total materials cost at around $25. I already had the eye bolt, washers, nuts, and carabiner and spent around $15 on the rest. You could also build one with a hook bolt instead of an eye bolt which would make hooking and unhooking the belt strap or chain easier.

If you have a chin/dip belt with a chain I also suggest buying an extra carabiner so you can adjust the chain to the exact length required for your thighs to be close to parallel.

DIY timed static contraction hip belt squat materialsMaterials:

  • One eight foot piece of 2×12 lumber
  • Six #12 x 2-1/2″ wood screws
  • One 1/4″ hook or eye bolt with a 2-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ thread length
  • Two nuts
  • Two washers
  • Large carabiner (if using eye bolt)

Tools:

  • Saw
  • Drill with 1/4″ and 1/8″ bits
  • Screwdriver (or screwdriver bit)
  • 9/16 wrench and ratchet
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil


Construction

Cut the 2×12 into one 36″ and two 30″ pieces. Many stores will do this for you free of charge, saving you time and making the lumber easier to fit in your vehicle if you are driving a car.

Drill a 1/4″ hole in the center of the 36″ piece.

DIY timed static contraction hip belt squat platform

Line up the 30″ feet so they are centered and flush with the edges of the top piece as shown.

Drill six 1/8″ pilot holes for your screws; four approximately three inches in from the corners and two about eight inches from the ends on center. Fasten with wood screws.

Place a bolt and washer on the hook or eye bolt all the way at the top of the threads and insert through the center hole. Fasten on the other side with the second washer and bolt. The actual thickness of 2×12 lumber is only 1-1/2″ and the wood will compress slightly when the nuts are tightened so 2-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ is long enough.

Performing Timed Static Contraction Hip Belt Squats

Adjust the strap or chain on your belt so when you hook or clip it your thighs are near parallel when your feet are about shoulder width. Position your belt so it is just over your hips and not riding too high on your back.

Start your stopwatch or timer and place it in front of the platform where you can easily see it.

Stand on the platform with your feet approximately shoulder width and center them front-to-back. Squat down and hook or clip your belt.

Attempt to stand, contracting your hip and thigh muscles against the belt as follows:

1-30 seconds: moderate effort

31-60 seconds: almost as hard as you dare

61-90 seconds: as hard as you dare

When instructing subjects in timed static contraction we say “dare” instead of “can” because it although highly unlikely if performed properly it is possible for some subjects to contract hard enough to injure themselves and it’s best to err conservatively with this at first. Considering what we are finding about inroading during TSC with the RenEx iMachines I suspect if TSC hip belt squats are done correctly you will find it hard just to keep the chain taut during the last thirty seconds, so this may be irrelevant.

Update: I talked with Ken Hutchins about this yesterday and he suggested a higher position, around 30 to 40 degrees above parallel. Doing so will be less difficult initially but just as intense towards the end and allows for your hips to be tilted posteriorly or “tucked under” engaging your glutes and hamstrings more.

If your belt has a chain you might want to wrap a towel or other cushion around it where it contacts the thighs or it can dig in uncomfortably. Or click here for a chin up/dip belt with a strap

Other Exercises

The platform can be used for several other TSC exercises in addition to hip belt squats with an extra length of chain and carabiner and the belt and various cable attachments including heel raises (chin/dip belt), arm curls (bar attachment), and lateral raises (split strap handle attachment or two individual handle attachments and extra chain).

Give it a try and share your experience in the comments.

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81 Responses to DIY Timed Static Contraction Hip Belt Squats

  1. james spella September 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    more difficult than super slow squats as you described?? gee drew,i can hardly wait!!!

  2. sheri September 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    cool …I think its a great idea especially for people who will not come to you!!!

  3. Jason September 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    This was the HARDEST leg workout I have ever done! I was dying at 30 secs

  4. Brian September 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    The last couple days, I did some TSC bi / tri work using JumpStretch bands — it works pretty well. There’s probably a good way to use JumpStretch bands for TSC squats as well…thanks for the article.

    • Drew Baye September 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

      Brian,

      Stretch bands would work for static holds but not for timed static contractions because you need something immovable to contract against. Nylon webbing, chain, or some other unstretchable material would be required.

      The article on timed static contractions will cover the difference between them and static holds and other isometric protocols.

      • Brian September 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

        Got it…thanks for the insight, Drew…btw, I’m a home gym guy & have 3 pairs of KB’s (36, 54, 70 lb’s), a great heavy-duty pull-up stand (TAPS portable p-u system), the aforementioned Jumpstretch bands, etc. The only reason I can see for needing to join a commercial gym would be for the ability to do heavy deadlifts. For all other ‘Big 5′-type movements, I feel pretty good about my KB or bodyweight alternatives (e.g., one-arm pushups, handstand pushups, ring (inverted) rows, wall squats and/or 10/10 squats, TSC squats, single-leg squats, etc.
        I hate to think the only reason to buy a gym membership is the ability to do one exercise: DL’s…?
        My current solution is to do one set of single-leg DL’s with a kettlebell (using a weight where max is approx 6-8 reps), immediately followed by heavy farmer’s walks, immediately followed by double KB deadlifts (i.e., pair of 54 lb KB’s). I can only get approx 8 reps of double KB DL’s if I pre-exhaust in that manner.
        In your opinion, where am I on a scale of 1-10 in approximating the results of heavy barbell DL’s? Is there a TSC approach to the deadlift that approximates the results of TSC squats? (I suppose I could do 10/10 double KB deadlifts w/ either 54 or 70 lb KB’s).

        On the positive side, I feel the current approach is much less likely to result in lower back issues (which have been an annoyance to me in the past), which for a 48-year old is not to be discounted. Thanks for your thoughts. Brian.

        • Drew Baye September 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

          Brian,

          It’s difficult to say exactly what that would translate to in terms of deadlifting weight, but I think TSC deadlifts would be comparable to TSC squats. I would recommend performing them at the approximate mid-range position and being conservative with your effort during the last 30 seconds the first few times until you know how your lower back tolerates them.

          A curling bar cable attachment could be used with the platform for this purpose.

  5. winston September 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Great idea. I was just using the pins in the squat rack to press against, but it felt like I was compressing my spine rather than contracting my quads. This seems like it would light a fire in the hips and quads. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Drew Baye September 4, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      Winston,

      You’re welcome. By loading through the hips instead of the spine you’ll be able to train your quads both harder and more safely.

  6. palo September 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Hi Drew, very informative article.

    Questions:

    1. Is this leg workout done to supplement a regular leg workout or could this be a stand alone leg workout?

    2. One set?

    3. Times per week?

    4. Would it be effective to just hold the position and without pulling anything, contract the same muscles as hard as possible for the same length of time?

    • Drew Baye September 4, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      Palo,

      1. This could be done in place of or alternated with other dynamic leg exercises. 2. Just one set. 3. Depends on individual recovery ability. 4. What you are describing is a static hold, which is also effective but timed static contractions have several advantages which will be discussed in an upcoming article.

  7. Richard Vass September 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    I use an Ironmind Super Squats hip belt. Would you recommend I only attach the front strap to the platform carabiner or the back one – or both?

    • Drew Baye September 4, 2012 at 11:57 am #

      Richard,

      I’ve never used their hip belt so I’m not certain, but I suspect it would work better with both.

  8. Jonas Deffes September 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    Awesome article Drew!

    Really glad to see you blogging more!
    And thanks for sending me a email to check it out..

    I look forward to reading more of your blogs!

    Question, how often should someone include this into their routine?

    Thanks Jonas

    • Drew Baye September 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      Thanks Jonas,

      It depends on the individual. If as I suspect we find TSC effectively translates to substantial, full range strength gains someone might use it every workout. It could also be rotated with other exercises or just done periodically. I plan to use it exclusively for the next six weeks to see what happens.

  9. Nicolas September 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    Great stuff thanks :)

  10. Thomas September 4, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    I cant wait to try this, thanks.

    I’m also looking forward to your writings on TSC as I’ve never considered them as more than just “finishers”. I have a feeling you may have a different opinion.

    • Drew Baye September 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

      Thomas,

      You’re welcome, and TSC is definitely useful as a standalone protocol and not just a finisher.

  11. marklloyd September 4, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    How about a stool an inch or so below position. I wouldn’t want the fear of collapse to keep me from the last possible second of good effort.

    • Drew Baye September 5, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      Mark,

      If you’ve got one that would work. I just lean forward onto my hands when I can no longer hold myself up.

  12. mutt50 September 4, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Study on isometrics @ different joint angles.
    http://www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com/2012/08/21/isometric/

    Turns out TSC may work very well for increasing isokinetik strength.
    I’m not a HIT guy, but I thought this was inteesting.

    • Drew Baye September 5, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      Mutt50,

      Thanks, a couple people e-mailed me this as well. While isokinetic testing tools are highly inaccurate and unreliable the results are interesting, and reflect some of what was found with the MedX knee and lumbar extension testing machines. We’ve been seeing impressive strength increases with the RenEx iMachines and I would like to do my own controlled study with them but don’t have the time for it right now. If the strength gains do turn out to be position specific then we will either need to rotate between a few joint angles or positions for each exercise or alternate TSC with a dynamic protocol.

  13. Craig September 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Holy Thigh Burner, Batman! That is a very cool idea.

    I just bought an Iron Mind hip belt. I find that slow hip belt squats after a 2 minute wall sit are quite demanding, even with modest weight. This looks like it might be an even more effective preexhaust!

  14. Marcelo Diez September 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Dear Drew,

    I am intrigued by the concepts you and the folks over at Renaissance exercise have been putting out.After HITing conventionally for quite a few years a recent checkup with my doctor due to joint pain I was experiencing made me realize that I had to change something and get away from conventional paradigm of exercise(busting out as much reps with as much weight as possible) and I am glad that I stumbled upon you guys(Renx). A question:
    From what I gather from reading Joshua Trentrines views on exercise (Dumpers) he seems violently opposed to conventional Weight-training.Being a student living in Hamburg, Germany I cannot afford going to a Kieser Training facility and have only the university´s gym to fall back on, where I can perform BB deadlifts, squats, benches, rows and chinups along with other isolation movements. I am sorry for perhaps sounding indignant, but the content offered on the Renx site make me worry about injury risk in conventional training, even if done the superslow way and even if dynamic workouts are to be alternated with static workouts so as to reduce the overall wear and tear on the body.
    The Dumpers series gave me the impression that a.) conventional training is bound to cripple me sooner or later no matter what protocol or techniques I employ and b.) that true high intensity training by its nature is impossible to perform the way its intended (singleset paradigm) with conventional tools due to the systemic effect of exercise: Squats, deadlifts and bench presses work so many muscles at once, combined with varying levels of resistance that people routinely end up sabotaging their gains by being forced to jump to consolidation routines way too soon not because they need recovery but from the fact that they are inable to keep ancillary matter (bones, muscles other than the one which are supposed to be targeted by a given exercise) from being overly recruited.
    You seem to assume a different stance compared to other folks at Renx in that you genuinely try to provide guidelines to those who do not live near an Overload facility.
    Renx= “It´s either our way or the highway!!!”
    You= While a Renx-experience is undoubtedly ideal,some principles can be applied to less than ideal circumstances improving them somewhat”

    Do you think that an ideal environment is so beneficial in exercise that it warrants the extra money payed regardless of your goals and lifestyle?
    Above all I do not want to get injured (like in the past).

    • Drew Baye September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      Marcelo,

      People have been getting stronger, leaner, and healthier for decades with conventional weight training, and any strength training program done hard and progressively with a reasonable volume and frequency can produce good results. As long as you use reasonably good form and don’t overtrain you’re not going to wreck yourself either. Most people don’t just want good results, though, and they don’t just want to avoid wrecking themselves; they want the best results possible, as quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible. This is what RenEx is about; refining exercise protocol, equipment, environment, instruction, etc. to optimize this.

      While some of the specifics of what RenEx does and writes about might seem irrelevant to people training in regular gyms, at home, with more conventional machines, barbells, bodyweight, etc. the general principles are universal. This is why despite working at a facility with an ideal environment and equipment I continue to train at home most of the time with free weights and bodyweight and occasionally even work out at other local gyms. It is necessary to best answer the questions, address the concerns, and solve the kind of problems most people have with training.

      The ideal environment helps, but whether it warrants the cost depends on an individual’s values and budget. It might not be optimal, but if you apply the same principles with whatever equipment and in whatever environment you train your risk of injury will be very low.

  15. John tatore September 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Drew

    Do you ever employ TSC Wrist Extension and TSC Wrist Flexion with yourself or clients?

    Thanks
    John

    • Drew Baye September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

      John,

      No, and considering the effect of gripping during pulling movements on the forearms I doubt it would be necessary for most people. For someone in a sport where hand and wrist strength is a major factor or who wants maximum forearm development it would be good to include.

  16. George Sheehan September 6, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    Nice article, Drew. I began using an Ironmind Hip Belt in 2007. Since we have many projects on the farm, we have scaffolding here. I straddle pipes in the scaffolding, which allows my weight stack room on descents. My routine is as follows:
    1. snatch grip deadlifts
    2. hip belt squats (rest/pause fashion)
    3. dumbell shrugs (positive failure/static contraction until the grip gives out)
    That’s the routine, and it works well. I’m happy that I purchased their hip belt. Thanks, Drew.

    • Drew Baye September 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

      George,

      I’ve used their chin up/dip belt and like it better than mine with the chain. I’ve never used their hip belt, though. I might pick one up to test with the TSC squat platform.

  17. John tatore September 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Drew

    How about TSC Heel Raises … ever try them …. I have the half pipe under my SSS Leg press for heel raises and have to watch many clients not keep their legs slightly bent as they near the contracted position (not enough fall off for many who use this exercise). I was wondering if TSC would be better for them to use?

    Thanks
    John

    • Drew Baye September 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

      John,

      I did TSC heel raise using the TSC squat platform and it worked very well but haven’t done this with the SSS leg press. If people are doing that despite constant correction you might want to try it. We’ve been substituting TSC for the dynamic protocol on a lot of exercises for “motor morons” with good results.

  18. Brian F September 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Hi Drew,

    Re Belt squat; Also check out the “Spud” belt squat, I am impressed with the heavy duty construction and versatility of it

    • Drew Baye September 8, 2012 at 7:34 am #

      Brian,

      Thanks, I will check that out.

  19. Steven Sashen September 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I have a 1-Rep Gym (it’s an isometric “lifting” machine)… I just put the bar at the bottom, wrapped the chain of my belt around it and pulled. Aside from wanting to shoot myself after 30 seconds, I can see how much force I’m applying to the bar during each phase.

    • Drew Baye September 10, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      Winston,

      The bottom of a free-weight overhead press will always be harder than the top due to the difference in leverage over the ROM. If you want to perform a TSC overhead press I recommend doing it seated on a bench with back support and keeping your abs tight and back flat, and using a position close to the start to maximize the lever against the shoulders and minimize the load on your spine.

  20. Winston September 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    I’m going to build one this week, and use it for calves for a while to test it. I’m wondering if this would help strengthen weak points in an exercise. I’m fairly week in the bottom position of the standing overhead press (from chin level to the top of my head), if I hooked up a pipe and chain to each side would performing this protocol help me overcome that weak point?

  21. Steven Turner September 8, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Hi Drew,

    TSC no weight on the back, nice and safe extreme high level of effort/intensity.

    I was going to ask you this question when you do your article on TSC you may answer in that article. With TSC contraction at the micro level do the TSC engage/force all the myosin heads to cross bridge to the actin filaments. Where with concentric contractions/eccentric contraction you might have/require a less number of “cross bridge cycle”. Effectively than your not engaging a greater part/section of the muscle. I know that when I use TSC I feel the contraction along a wider and deeper area of the muscle. Hope that makes sense.

    Thanks

    • Drew Baye September 10, 2012 at 11:56 am #

      Steven,

      While the degree of muscle shortening and myofibril overlap and cross-bridging has an effect on how much force the muscles can produce unless you are near the extremes of the range of motion of the muscles being worked I don’t think it’s an issue. There are other, more important concerns.

  22. Thomas September 10, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Drew,

    I built it and gave it a whirl. Holy cow!! Ouch! I have to say, 20 sec per effort level was enough for me. I tried it on a client this morning and only had her do 15 sec. per level. She hobbled to her car. Great addition to the exercise repertoire. Thanks!

    • Drew Baye September 10, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      Thomas,

      You’re welcome. Deadlifts using a bar attachment set to approximately knee height also work well on the platform.

  23. John Beynor September 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Hi Drew,

    On my last bodyweight workout using the metronome site for the first time, I found out I have been performing the exercises twice as long(20/20/10 static), as you recommended(10/10/5 static). No wonder I could only perform one rep for the longest time. More recently I’ve been up to two. I never focused on the count, but on how my body felt because of a chronic inflammatory problem. Is this too long of a time?

    Is it ok to apply tsc to the leg extension? The gym at the college I work at, that I can workout for free doesn’t have a leg extension, but has a seated leg curl that I tried to use as a isometric leg extension. Thanks.

    • Drew Baye September 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

      John,

      With the exception of musicians most people have a difficult time estimating an accurate cadence at first. A metronome helps.

      If you use the leg curl for leg extensions pin the weight to perform the exercise in the mid range position, knees flexed around 45 degrees.

  24. David Sears September 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Drew,

    I’ve wondered about the 90 second TUL recommendation. Is this Ken Hutchins’ opinion or are there other sources that back that up? John Little has gotten some good results with less TUL than that and I’ve never seen anyone other than Jay Schroeder recommend times that long. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, you said they’re making good strength gains at RenEx with their static machines, so they may be on to something. My main concern is the level of fatigue. I have always made better gains using methods that limit fatigue such as rest/pause. Some of John Little’s methods that elicit more inroad and higher levels of fatigue like the one rep method “done in one” or whatever they called it and the max pyramid left me bonked for days. If Doug McGuff was correct in his writings on signature TUL then it would seem there should be a signature TUL for statics as well and not everyone would do equally as well on a 90 second static. If the goal is sequential recruitment then it would seem that it would vary based on a person’s fiber types.

    Thanks,

    David

    • Drew Baye September 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      David,

      The reason for using 90 seconds is to ensure adequate time for a deep enough level of fatigue that the muscles are not capable of producing a potentially harmful level of force during the last phase.

      While optimal rep range or set duration varies a bit between individuals the effective range appears to be pretty broad. I prefer to err high with most people for safety reasons. As for recruitment, regardless of your fiber type make up or fatigue response if you contract hard enough for any reasonable period of time you’re going to recruit everything in the targeted muscles.

      Ultimately it comes down to two things: effectively stimulating physical improvements and avoiding injury. This can be done with a shorter TUL or lower reps as long as you are strict with your form.

  25. Steven Turner September 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Hi Drew,

    Thanks for the response above.

  26. Vanner September 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    I havn’t been here in awhile, and it just so happens I’ve been revisting isomentric training when lo and behold you posted this artical – great timing.

    Drew, what do you think of yielding isometrics whereby you hold a relatively heavy weight (hip belt squat with load, or leg press) for ~60 to 90 secs until failure?

    • Drew Baye September 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

      Vanner,

      Yeilding isometrics like Mike Mentzer’s static holds and John Little’s static contraction and max contraction protocols are very effective but timed static contractions are just as effective while safer and more practical. There is no need for one or more helpers to lift the weight for you with TSC and no worries about exceeding the resistance provided by a machine and no worries about dropping anything. The only downside of TSC is lack of feedback unless you are using equipment like the RenEx iMachines or other devices with load cells or scales. I’ll be covering this in an article on TSC soon.

      • Vanner September 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

        I can definetly see were you’re going here. I do like the protocol. But i also need some feedback for purely psychological reasons. Since i cannot (or will not) pay out a ton of money for a static contractin machine, i find the yielding protocol gives me the feedback i need. I never have the weight lifted more than a few inches off the ground or rack, and by using 60-90 sec, i find that i don’t need rediculous loads.

        Did you ever do the flexed arm hang in school as a phys. ed. test? Static hold chin up with eyes maintained at the bar for as long as you can; its just torture!

        • Drew Baye September 12, 2012 at 9:12 am #

          Vanner,

          I will be discussing the use of the power rack for this as well as other low-tech methods in the TSC article.

          We never performed the flexed arm hang, just regular pull ups. We did perform wall squats, however, and the girls performed the flexed hang but with their chin over the bar.

  27. John Beynor September 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Drew,

    Would you keep the TUL of 90 sec. when applying TSC as a pre-exhaust? And instead of always applying a TSC wall sit as a pre-exhaust for legs, could you apply sometimes, a TSC leg curl and calf raise before doing SuperSlow bodyweight squat? Thanks.

    • Drew Baye September 12, 2012 at 9:24 am #

      John,

      Yes, I would. Keep in mind the first thirty seconds is only performed at a moderate effort to inroad the muscles somewhat to make the last sixty seconds of the exercise safer, otherwise you would be contracting at or near a maximum effort right from the start. It’s the last sixty seconds where you are working the hardest.

      Like repetition ranges during normal dynamic sets there are a broad range of durations that are effective, but you don’t just want to stimulate improvement, you also want to avoid injury.

  28. David Sears September 12, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    I experimented with TSC using straps on a pulldown. I lifted the weight into position slowly and carefully in about 10 seconds and then held it steady until failure which took over a minute. The pulldown I’m using is a very low friction device. It seems to me that there wouldn’t be much difference between doing that and what the RenEx machines are doing. The weight stack in front of my eyes serves as an analog feedback device. As long as it’s motionless my force output is steady and when I can no longer hold it there it indicates that it’s time to terminate the set. I can’t see any essential difference between that and monitoring with a load cell and an LCD monitor.

    Thanks,

    David

    • Drew Baye September 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      David,

      There are several important differences between static holds and timed static contractions. I’m working on the TSC article today and will be addressing those.

  29. Steven Sashen September 12, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    I love the idea of TSC, and love this exercise with that protocol… but I’d REALLY love something that provided more glute (or glute/ham) activation. No matter how much I change the knee angle and/or tuck my hips, I don’t get the glute/ham work that I focus on as a sprinter.

    • Drew Baye September 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      Steven,

      Try TSC hip abduction (seated, legs together, attempting to abduct against a thick belt or strap around the thighs just above the knees) immediately followed by a TSC stiff-leg deadlift with the bar at knee height. I tested this on the platform using a straight bar cable attachment and it worked well.

      • Vanner September 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

        Have you ever tried a Hip Thrust with a belt or padded load on the top of the hips? Push and contract the glutes & hamstrings by driving the hips up, and not over arch the lower back (flat back).

        • Drew Baye September 14, 2012 at 9:38 am #

          Vanner,

          No, and I don’t recommend them. If a person doesn’t have access to a good trunk extension machine a stiff-legged deadlift is a much better choice for working the glutes and hamstrings.

          • Will September 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

            Drew,

            Do you mind sharing your concerns about the hip thrusts? I’ve tried them a few times and didn’t find them all that great, but I didn’t see a big problem with them. Also, I’ve seen you recommend Stiff Legged Dead Lifts a number of times. It’s my understanding that many folks advise against using this movement and recommend Romanian Dead Lifts instead (more limited range of motion, maintaining the lordotic curve in the back, etc.). Thus, my question: how do you perform your stiff legged dead lifts?

            • Drew Baye September 17, 2012 at 8:56 am #

              Will,

              As you become stronger and require more resistance getting the weight in place becomes awkward. As for stiff-legged versus Romanian deadlifts, a large range of motion is not necessary but it is not harmful to allow the spine to flex slightly towards the start either provided you are using a controlled speed of movement and performing smooth turnarounds. At one point I was doing full-range stiff-legged deadlifts at a moderately slow speed with 315 pounds and had no problems.

          • Vanner September 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

            Hey Drew,

            I did try out the hip thrust, and it seemed to target the glutes and hams well without impacting my lower back (which is a concern of mine when performing any type of deadlift).

            Do you not recommend them due to an inherent risk of performance, or is there another reason that I should be concerned about? Last thing I want to do is incur any injuries.

            • Drew Baye September 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

              Vanner,

              Assuming you don’t have any existing problems for which deadlifting would be contraindicated they are safe if performed correctly and in slow, strict form.

              There are several things I don’t like about hip thrusts, but the biggest is the awkwardness of getting into and out of position for it. Unless you’re doing them with 135 pounds and can easily roll the bar up onto your hips it can be awkward to do so, and if you are that’s a lot of weight to set on your iliac crest. Additionally, if you slip or if the bench you’re using moves while you are doing the exercise you risk potentially serious injury.

  30. Ondrej September 13, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    I’m also curious whether you’re going to post new articles on your Twitter or you don’t consider it an active”channel”. I find it generally a better option than email subscription as I can gather all my interests in one feed.

    • Drew Baye September 14, 2012 at 9:39 am #

      Ondrej,

      I rarely follow or post to Twitter but need to do so.

  31. Brian September 17, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    Hi Drew,

    I built the platform & gave it try. My quads were on fire by the 25 sec mark. The last 30 seconds I was basically in survival mode to keep the chain somewhat taught. I collapsed at the end. I then did flyes, pullovers, lateral raise, & arm curls & triceps extension in TSC manner. Total workout time 21 mins, which included a 2-3 min rest after the squats. I was toast. I think I will be alternating this with my gym workout from now on.

  32. Clive Andrews September 18, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    Is it accurate to say that the hamstrings are less active the deeper you descend?

    • Drew Baye September 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Clive,

      No. They’re working pretty hard at both the lower (parallel) and higher position (45 degrees of knee flexion). It is actually easier at first using the higher position because the lever the muscles are working against is smaller .

  33. Fabio September 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Hi Drew,
    I will not be training upper body for a while due to a shoulder dislocation. At the same time I want to keep training legs and glutes. Is TSC squats good for glutes too? Any suggestion is appreciated.

    Thank you
    Fabio

    • Drew Baye September 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

      Fabio,

      Yes, TSC squats effectively work the glutes along with the hamstrings and quadriceps. I hope your shoulder recovers quickly!

  34. BrianG October 6, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Do you think a TSC workout requires less recovery since it lacks an eccentric component?

    • Drew Baye October 6, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      Brian,

      It would depend on the individual and how intensely they are doing them. It might turn out less recovery is required with pure TSC workouts, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone performing feedback TSC with equipment like the RenEx iMachines or similar devices required more.

      • BrianO October 22, 2012 at 11:55 am #

        Drew,
        As someone who has been doing a TSC workout now for the last month & a half, I can now say that it takes me a full 3 days afterwards to recover enough from TSC to do my regular gym HIT workout. I tried to do leg press just 2 days after the TSC squats, & my legs were still not ready. I’m finding that my legs are responding especially well to TSC (I also do toe raises on the platform). My current rotation is now a)HIT workout at gym followed by 4 days off, then b)TSC workout at home followed by 3 days off. It’s working well & very encouraging results!

  35. Brian November 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Drew,
    Do you have any suggestion for best arm position for doing a TSC arm curl? Would something close to fully contracted be better than 90 degrees? Just curious…

    • Drew Baye November 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      Brian,

      I recommend a 90 degree angle when performing arm curls and triceps extensions

  36. John M November 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    If a person set this piece of equipment toward the back of the UXS-15 so as to use the UXS-15’s roller for balance, he would be able to better focus on the contraction. It would be cool if the UXS-15 had a bolt-on matching steel TSC squat plate as an optional addition. A 4″ wide x 1/4″ thick strip of steel with a carabiner attachment point should not get in the way of other exercises, would be held down by the heels, and would add TSC squats/deadlifts/shrugs/curls/pushups/dips/pullups to the UXS-15’s arsenal.

    -JohnV474

    • Drew Baye November 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      John,

      It was considered for the redesign of the UXS but would have gotten in the way of other exercises. We have some other things planned for next year which will enable all of those.

  37. daryl December 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    hi drew, the platform looks like a winner to me, gonna play n adapt it and see if i can get a whole body workout with it! Thanx for sharing. Daryl

    • Drew Baye December 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

      Daryl,

      You’re welcome. With a length of chain and a few basic attachments and carabiners you can do a full body TSC workout with it.

  38. RJ January 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    I just built the platform yesterday and just did a set at about 30 degrees above parallel. Legs started shaking at 40 seconds and just held till 60 seconds. Great workout never felt anything like it.

  39. marklloyd February 24, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    I’ve found seated positions that allow me to contract my glutes & quads w/full force, yet not move, without restrains.

    • Drew Baye March 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      Mark,

      This may be possible with deliberate antagonistic co-contraction for some people with good motor control, but a TSC hip belt squat platform is a practical way for anyone to perform a static squat with maximum effort relatively safely.

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