Meet the BLK BOX Squat Ramp
Introducing the BLK BOX Squat Ramp. Designed and manufactured in BLK BOX HQ to help athletes strengthen their quads and take their training to the next level.
What is the BLK BOX Squat Ramp?
The BLK BOX Squat Ramp is the perfect platform to help increase your weight load whilst simultaneously easing the pressure on your joints. Manufactured from start to finish in Belfast, the Squat Ramp is made using locally sourced laser-cut mild steel and finished in our signature anti-scratch black powder coat. The ramp sits at a 16° incline, elevating the athletes heels to an inclined position during the squat. The Squat Ramp is extremely durable and will not flex or move, no matter the load. The grip tape placed on the ramp provides a non-slip surface, helping keep the feet firmly planted, reassuring you throughout the lift. The ergonomically designed handles on either side of the ramp allow it to be moved easily throughout your facility and stored easily.
Why use a squat ramp?
While there are plenty of squat variations that will shake up your squats, elevating your heels is one you'll definitely want to try. Raising your heels during a squat decreases the range of motion at the hip and improves range of motion at the knee. This will allow athletes to squat deeper and recruit more muscle fibres in the quads. The ball of the foot also makes greater contact with the floor, again helping to recruit more muscle fibres and strengthen the quads. Athletes can lift heavier loads in this position as the range of motion is improved and less pressure is being placed on the joints. For those focusing on strengthening their quads, improving mobility and looking after their knee health, this is a movement not to be overlooked.
What are the benefits of using the BLK BOX Squat Ramp?
There are numerous benefits of using our Squat Ramp, including the ability to sit deeper into a squat and gain overall leg strength. It is also particularly useful for athletes training with an injury or those in recovery training programmes.
The BLK BOX Squat Ramp is also a great tool for athletes that suffer from tightness or are prone to cramping in their calves and feet, as the heel being elevated under tension will strengthen the areas, reducing the risk of injury.
What movements can be done on the BLK BOX Squat Ramp?
The BLK BOX Squat Ramp can be used in a variety of training programmes, not just for improving traditional squats. The BLK BOX Squat Ramp can be used for recovery and is a great tool for injury prevention. We believe it is better to prevent injuries before they occur and the Squat Ramp will help you do just that.
One movement to incorporate injury prevention using an elevated heel is the Cyclist Squat. This is an exercise favoured among weightlifters and powerlifters due to the benefits in relation to knee health. The movement targets the Vastus Medialis (otherwise known as the VMO), one of the four muscles in the quads. This can become weakened over time under tension, and adding the Squat Ramp will help target this muscle safely and effectively.
How to perform the Cyclist Squat
One of the most efficient ways to target the VMO is to narrow the stance and elevate the heels. Place feet on the Squat Ramp, ensuring there is only a 4-5-inch gap between the insides of the shoes. Start the movement by pushing the knees forward and over the toes, while maintaining a vertical torso. The goal is to completely close off the knee joint by squatting until the hamstrings completely cover the calves.
There are many ways you can load this movement. The hands-free cyclist squat is the first step in the squatting progression in professional athletes. Other options include a barbell overhead squat, a barbell back squat and a dumbbell goblet squat, which can be performed using the BLK BOX Belfast Bar, BLK BOX Dumbbells and BLK BOX Kettlebells.
The goal of the cyclist squat is to overload the VMO, and any forward lean displaces the force from the VMO into the lower back and glutes. This means you have to go significantly lighter than you would in a traditional squat to keep a vertical torso. Leave your ego at the door and focus on technique. Feel the 'mind-muscle' connection with your VMO as you perform the movement and over time you will see a serious difference in both your numbers on the squat rack and your confidence in taking your lifts to that next level.