Are Your Getting the Most Out of Your Squat?

I recently bought the 3rd edition of Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe.  As I read through it I had a light bulb go on when reading the squat section more specifically when he refers to body positioning based on your chosen bar placement, high bar or low bar.  Rip is a huge proponent of the low bar squat (I am as well) however a lot of people find this position extremely uncomfortable so they utilize a high bar, which is perfectly fine.  In order to make your squat efficient as possible however, you need to make sure you are utilizing the proper leverages. Rip does a great job explaining just how to do this and what your body position should look like based on your bar placement.  I decided to take a very little snippet from the book about this subject and talk about it a little more in hopes of helping your squat out.  Please keep in mind this is all referring to a normal free squat with a straight bar, not variations there of (cambered bar, safety squat bar, etc.).

To kind of reiterate the point you can observe the pictures below to get a better feel for body position based on bar placement. For more in depth information I strongly recommend purchasing Starting Strength.

Squat Grip Revisited

I still feel people aren’t grasping the importance of a proper squat set up in regards to the upper body.  The whole movement starts from the upper body so to have that first line of defense be lackluster will undoubtedly make the entire lift suffer.  The goal of the upper body during the squat is to be as tight as possible; engaging every muscle from the scapular retractors all the way to the spinal erectors and everything in between.  I will inform you now that using a grip with a “bent” or “lazy” wrist position will prevent your squat from being all that it could be.  Failing to straighten the wrist during a squat will cause a failure to engage all necessary musculature equaling out to “force leaks” both in the eccentric and concentric portions of the lift.  I have posted the video below before but I figured I would post it again to show people how to use a different type of squat grip in order to overcome mobility problems to achieve a straight writs position.  Check it out again!

Box Squatting is the Greatest

In efforts to conquer my fear of speaking in front of a camera I decided to make today's entry a video post.  We all need to work on our weaknesses and mine happens to be public speaking and speaking on camera; it’s like kryptonite to being able to organize my thoughts. Anyway, practice makes perfect so the following video is talking about why I prefer to use the box squat (as opposed to a squat to box) as my preferred method when teaching proper back squat mechanics. I hope the audio is loud enough; just in case the two main reasons I go into as to why I prefer box squatting is safety and posterior chain strength development.  Enjoy…