What’s the best way to do paused squats?

“Adding a pause or tempo is a great way to change up your workout while doing a main lift such as a squat,” says Meg Furstoss, M.S., NSCA-C.S.C.S., co-founder of Precision Sports Performance in East Hanover, NJ. With this exercise, you’ll lower down slowly in a count of five, come to a complete stop for one count at the bottom, then drive through your feet to press back to standing position.

Set up for a tempo or pause squat the same way you would for a traditional back, front, or goblet squat, says Furstoss. However, since you’re creating more time under tension, you’ll need to adjust your set-to-rep ratio and weight accordingly. A pause squat is typically more challenging than a traditional version, so your rep count should be lower when using the same weight, she notes.

As with all new exercises, start conservatively and progress accordingly.