1 1/4 Back Squat
The 1 ¼ back squat is used for strengthening the lowest range of motion in the squat, or specifically to target VMO and/or glute strength.
Back squat with control all the way into the bottom. Without bouncing, and intentionally focusing on leg and glute tension, stand to just under parallel, return to the bottom, and then stand completely. You should feel continuous tension and control throughout the motion.
Alternatively the partial recovery can be taken up to parallel or to the lifter’s sticking point if slightly higher to more specifically address that weakness.
Finally, the one and a quarter squat can be performed with the bounce as a way to train the timing and condition the joints for the clean. However, this is generally more appropriate for the front squat than back squat.
The 1¼ squat is used to strengthen the bottommost part of the squat to aid in proper recovery position in the squat, clean or snatch. It can also be used specifically to train VMO and glute activation and strength.
Typically the 1¼ squat will be performed at moderate to moderately heavy weights—it’s not an appropriate exercise to take to maximal effort. If the positions are not correct, it’s not effective. Sets of 2-5 reps are most common. Usually this would be done one day each week as a supplement to normal back and/or front squats other days of the week, or even done as warm-up sets for normal squats that follow.
The 1¼ squat can be performed at a slow tempo throughout to maximize strength work, or it can be done with speed as a way to train the elasticity of the bounce in the squat or clean.