By Tyler Chin
An assistance exercise, as the name suggests, is a movement that, while capable of building muscle all on its own, is particularly valuable for its ability to optimize your performance in other exercises.
Assistance exercises can improve your form in complex movements like the squat, improve your strength and range of motion, and even help to correct muscle imbalances that might be holding you back elsewhere in your lifts and fitness overall.
Related: Squats For A Powerful Lower Body
Watch the video above to see Maillard Howell, a Men’s Health Trainer of the Day and owner of CrossFit Prospect Heights demonstrate the Kang squat, a powerful assistance exercise that combines a traditional back squat with a good morning.
By rolling up the full-body benefits of the squat with the added focus on the hamstrings that comes with the good morning, the Kang squat is a full-body movement if ever there was one, and working it into your program can translate to noticeable gains in exercises including the squat, deadlift, and certainly Olympic lifts
Now, when you set up to try the Kang squat, remember that this isn’t an ego exercise. Start light to first get a feel for the movement, and even then use those weight plates sparingly. Don’t lose sight of the fact that this move is intended to help your other lifts, not steal the spotlight from them.
The good morning portion of the lift will prevent you from adding anywhere near the weight you typically squat, anyway. And the good morning isn’t an exercise you want to tempt fate with, either.