There’s no shortage of cues that supposedly increase strength in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Some of them are true strength hacks, but plenty of them are hoaxes.
In order to get to the bottom of what works and what doesn't, I asked six experts for their takes. Here's the SparkNotes version:
- For the squat, engage your lats, use the Valsalva maneuver, and descend quickly while maintaining control.
- On bench press, squeeze the bar hard and “pull it apart.” Warm up thoroughly beforehand, but avoid excessive static stretching.
- Before you pull your deadlift, “bend the bar” to create tension. Also experiment with touching your tongue to the roof of your mouth and locking your knees out as soon as the bar passes them.
And here's the link to the full-blown write-up: