Jefferson Squats are an old school exercise used by top bodybuilders to develop quads and glutes. Kai Greene is a huge advocate of this exercise, and that tells you a lot about it!

To quote Kai from an interview with flex online;

“It’s an old movement—you don’t see many people do it anymore, but I think it’s excellent because it works your lower body in a unique way.

To do it, take a wide stance and hold the bar between your legs with one hand in front of your body and one hand behind it. Keep your glutes tensed while you squat down 
in the bucket (below parallel). Use smaller plates on the bar, no more than 25s, so you can get down deep enough. The key is to force your knees out—when you do that, it activates your glutes so you keep them under continuous contraction throughout the set. The better I became at doing Jeffersons, the more proficient I got at squatting. I learned how to activate my qlutes, hams, and quads better. Doing Jeffersons then the adduction machine one after the other has been crucial to my glute and hip-flexor development. Jefferson squats—that’s one of my secrets I’m giving away for free.”

How to perform Jefferson Squats

  1. Place a barbell between your legs so it is perpendicular to your feet.
  2. Grasp the barbell with one hand in front of you and one hand behind you with an overhand grip.
  3. Press upwards and lift the weight off of the ground by extending your legs while keeping your back straight and maintaining an equal distribution of weight on your forefoot and heel.
  4. Once you are standing, pause for a moment then slowly lower the weight by bending forward at the knee and allowing your hips to bend back as if you are sitting down (squatting). You should descend until your knee is bent at a ninety (90) degree angle and your quadriceps and hamstrings are parallel to the floor.

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Categories: Training