How to Do Pause Squat: Muscles Worked & Proper Form

Pause squat exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Pause Squats

Muscles worked in pause squat

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Pause Squat

  1. Place the bar on your upper back, inhale and brace your core slightly, and unrack the bar.
  2. Take two steps back, and adjust your foot position.
  3. Squat as deep as possible with good technique.
  4. Stop in the bottom position, and make a distinct pause.
  5. Stand up again. Exhale on the way up, or exchange air in the top position.
  6. Inhale and repeat for reps.


The pause squat is a variation of the squat where you have added a pause somewhere in the lift. In the description and demonstration above, we have chosen to place the pause in the bottom position, where you turn the movement from descent to ascent.

Pause squat is an exercise that can improve your technique and strength in regular squats. By pausing, you have the time to (consciously or not) feel what position you are the strongest in, and which muscles need to be tensed and which don’t. Insert the pause at the position where you want this effect, but as the bottom position is generally a challenging position in the squat, that is a general good spot to pause in.

>> Return to exercise directory.

Text and graphics from the StrengthLog app.