You can do squats in many variations and with many weights. Find out what benefits earthquake and bamboo bar squats offer.
The flexibility of the earthquake or bamboo bar makes the squat movement work a variety of stabilizing muscles more.
More specifically your inner thighs, outer thighs, core muscles, and ankle muscles have to work harder and will likely experience more strengthening.
In turn, this could reduce your injury risk in a variety of movements.
A potential downside of the bounciness of the bar is that you will likely be able to squat a lot less weight.
This could mean that earthquake and bamboo bar squats are not challenging enough for your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves to grow and strengthen.
Additionally, approaching earthquake bars suboptimally could even lead to injuries.
How to do an earthquake bar squat
As you can expect, this exercise requires you to have a good earthquake or bamboo bar and compatible weights. Additionally, you likely need a squat rack to get the loaded bar to the right height.
Lastly, you may want a box squat box, safety bars, spotters, or multiple of the above to play it safe. Especially if you are new to earthquake bars, the unexpected instability could make you fall down.
Once you have these things, take the following steps to do a bamboo bar back squat:
- Find a squat rack and rack the bamboo bar at about chest height. Add the desired amount of weight. If there are any safety bars adjust them to the right height.
- Stand under the bamboo bar, push your shoulders up so that the bamboo bar rests on your upper back, and hold it there with your hands.
- Unrack the bamboo bar and take a few steps back so that you have enough room for the next steps. Stand up straight with your feet more or less shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly lower your body as far as comfortable by folding your legs. Keep your spine straight and your knees above your feet throughout the movement.
- Raise your body again in a controlled motion until your legs are slightly less than stretched.
- Rerack the bamboo bar after you are done with your set.
For most people, it is a good idea to keep their movements slow. This makes it easier to stay balanced and works your muscles harder.
You typically don’t do earthquake and bamboo bar squats with the heaviest weights but you can still increase the resistance you use over time.
This can help you keep the exercise challenging.
Earthquake bar squat muscles worked
The main muscles you work with earthquake and bamboo bar squats are still your quadriceps (front thighs), glutes (butt), hamstrings (back thighs), and calves.
On top of that, the bounciness of the bar and weights works your inner thighs, outer thighs, core muscles, and ankle muscles more than a regular barbell back squat.
It is worth mentioning that the instability of earthquake and bamboo bars should also make it so you are able to lift less weight.
This is relevant because it could mean that you are not able to use enough resistance to grow the main muscles (your quadriceps) with earthquake and bamboo bar squats.
On the other hand, your stabilizing muscles (inner thighs, outer thighs, etc.) likely have to work a lot more than usual. This could be enough to grow and strengthen these muscles.
Whether earthquake and bamboo bar exercises like squats are a good choice or not depends on things like your training goals.
Benefits of earthquake bar squats
Even if they are not the best for bigger quadriceps, earthquake and bamboo bar squats can still be helpful. A few of the benefits they offer include:
- Can reduce injury risk: The extra stabilization muscle training you get from earthquake and bamboo bar squats can reduce your injury risk.
- Balance & coordination: Earthquake and bamboo bar squats can be challenging in terms of balance and coordination. By doing this exercise in safe ways, you could improve these fitness components.
- Adds variety: To get the benefits of exercise you have to stay consistent. If you find earthquake and bamboo bar squats fun, adding them to your workouts every once in a while could improve your consistency.
- May reduce or prevent back pain: Having strong core muscles can reduce or prevent back pain. That means earthquake and bamboo bar squats could help with this to some extent.
It is true that earthquake and bamboo bar squats are not the only way to get these benefits. Even so, it is still nice to know that adding this exercise can be useful in these ways.
It is important to note that some people will find earthquake and bamboo bar squats uncomfortable in their knees, back, ankles, and hips.
This applies to more standard weighted squats too but the extra bouncing from earthquake and bamboo bars could magnify the effects.
People who are sensitive in the areas above like want to start with very light weights in their earthquake and bamboo bar squats and potentially start with other movements.
Besides that, you also want to keep in mind that earthquake and bamboo bar squats are extra challenging in terms of balance.
Safety bars and/or spotters may not be an unnecessary luxury.
Is the bamboo bar squat a good exercise?
Earthquake and bamboo bar squats can be a good exercise to prevent and recover from injuries, improve balance and coordination, and add some variety to your workouts
The benefits of earthquake and bamboo bars mostly come from working a variety of stabilization muscles a lot more than in other squat variations.
On the other hand, it is likely still smart to do weighted squats and other leg exercises with more stable equipment.
These tend to be more helpful for working your leg muscles enough to see growth and strength progress.
Besides that, earthquake and bamboo bars also require an extra investment. Whether you want to make this investment depends on details like your budget and goals.