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  Athletes use their legs in almost all sports. Also, every sport takes explosive power to create dominating speed and agility traits. The most...

  Athletes use their legs in almost all sports. Also, every sport takes explosive power to create dominating speed and agility traits. The most important aspect to true power is overall strength. 

So if you are an athlete who uses your legs and needs to build lower body strength, the squat — and its many variations — is a necessity to have in your training regimen to increase speed and agility. It’s like a muscle car. You can tune it up and have it running like dream, but at that point if you want to increase the speed you have to add some NOS. 

Your speed and agility training is the tune up, your strength is the NOS. The only major problem I see is that many people perform the lift so poorly they end up wasting the lift or even hurting themselves. So here are some basic principals and a progression to help you get the most out of the squat.

First of all, every athlete needs great mobility and range of motion strength. In order to develop this you must focus on going through as full a range of motion as physically possible to create a long powerful movement. In this case you need a lower body power base that can slow you down and redirect you almost instantaneously, or give you long explosively powerful strides to accelerate like a Ferrari. The best way to gain initial mobility and flexibility is to do a movement screen to find out problematic movement patterns, and then infuse corrective exercises and stretches to fix those movement patterns. 

Next, progressive load is key. It is much better to have less weight with a great movement range, than more weight with a minimal and horrible movement range. It’s scary seeing athletes stack the bar with weight just to show off and kill their technique. So make sure to choose the CORRECT weight and not go too heavy. 

Technique is king. In order for anything you do in the weight room to show up on the field or court you must utilize proper technique. This way when you are coached through sport-specific movements in practice or speed & agility training your body is CAPABLE of performing the movement effectively. 

Simple Squat Coaching Principals

1) Feet shoulder width apart and toes slightly pointed out

2) Upper back tight with a firm solid grip on the bar

3) Eyes forward throughout lifting range 

4) Start the lift by pushing the butt back and “sitting”

5) Keep heels flat on the ground at all times

5) Keep the torso upright and do not let your back lean forward 

6) Get as deep as possible and make sure your hips break parallel

7) Press the knees out on the way up like you’re trying to spread the floor apart

8) Breathe out on the way up

Trucks Training Squat Progression

1) Body weight patterning: TEACH the squat before adding an external load

2) DB/KB Goblet wall Squat: Add a light weight while ingraining the proper squat pattern

3) Stick overhead & back squats: Before putting a weighted bar on an athlete we teach bar skills with a wooden stick or PVC pipe

4) BB back/front Squats: After the athlete has shown proper mastery they are ready for a weighted bar to perform the lift

5) Single leg squats: This variation helps athletes increase unilateral (single leg) strength, stability and balance, which is imperative, because rarely are both feet on the ground together at the same time.   


Anthony Trucks was a decorated football player for Antioch High and the University of Oregon before spending time on multiple NFL rosters. His Trucks Training facility has been operating since 2008. Powered By Trucks will run once a month in the magazine and will include additional content at Send your weight training questions to Anthony at


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