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Matt Thomas
09-08-2008, 02:59 PM
I started to follow the front page WOD here a couple of weeks ago and so far I'm lovin it. Quick question though. I like alot of what Louie Simmons has to say, especially on the box squat and the reasoning behind it. Would it be okay to replace back squats with box squats whenever they are prescribed? It seems like the benefits of the box squat would transfer well into the other things worked in the WOD. Just currious if anyone more knowledgable than me had any good reasons why not to do this. Thank you for your time.

Jesse Woody
09-08-2008, 05:28 PM
Well, the squats as used in the WOD are there to help strengthen the recovery of the clean and snatch, so they have a pretty specific purpose. Box-squats, if done correctly, are more for strengthening the hamstring/glute and working starting strength, which could definitely have some carry-over, but would probably help more on your first pull and your deadlifts, not necessarily the squat that you'd be hitting during the classic lifts.

If perhaps hamstring and glute strength, as well as "coming out of the hole" especially when you lose momentum, is your main weakness, they could be of use, and perhaps they differ enough technically from the high-bar Olympic squat that they wouldn't have too much negative carry-over. I don't know about using them instead of squats, but maybe throwing them in as technique work, like the tall snatch/clean etc., and using speed sets to specifically work the explosiveness of those muscles might be of use...but then you're getting into perhaps making everything more complicated than it has to be.

Any other thoughts from the more-knowledgeable around here? I got some great gains in my low-bar squats doing a WSB approach to the Crossfit Total for the month and a half before switching to the WOD here, and perhaps that (along with the good-mornings, Dimmel Deadlifts, SLDL's, Glute-Ham raises) helped form a good base of strength for the improvements in my pulls. One thing I know for sure, "building the lifts" from different movements tends to lead to workouts that are entirely too long for me, so I'm welcoming the simplicity of forgoing so much variety :p But maybe that's just me!

Matt Thomas
09-08-2008, 05:41 PM
Yeah, more hamstring strength and strength out of the hole were why I thought they might be a good idea. There are a lot of front squats programmed into the WOD as well. Perhaps that could be enough to work on the clean recovery aspect of squatting and both of these lifts could exist in the same program?

Greg Everett
09-08-2008, 07:52 PM
You can play with them, but I wouldn't replace back squats wholesale with them. If you're concerned about strength out of the bottom position with no momentum, pause at the bottom of your squats in one session a week.

The box squat is way too dissimilar to the clean/fs to really help - same reason I don't like the low-bar BS for oly lifters. You're basically strengthening something you're not going to be using, so what's the point. If you need more PC work, DLs and pulls are a lot more productive.

Dave Van Skike
09-09-2008, 11:26 AM
Box-squats, if done correctly, are more for strengthening the hamstring/glute and working starting strength, which could definitely have some carry-over, but would probably help more on your first pull and your deadlifts, not necessarily the squat that you'd be hitting during the classic lifts.



what he said....


If you are a ultra close stance squatter (high bar Oly style) you might find wide stance to a low box helps strengthen your hips and hams but It won't replace regular back squats. just like pulling sumo might help you conventional deadlift...or it might be a waste of time....

the only athletes I know that have essentially replaced back squats with box squats are:

1) Pl lifters who squat in double ply gear

2) field athletes who don't compete in stregnth sports but who do a LOT of single leg work.


3) strongman and heavy athletics competitors who do a ton of front squatting.......

among all of those groups, I'll bet 90% of the folks in them would still benefit from some amount of back squatting from time to time, whether it be high rep, low reps, speed squats or even ultra wide stance PL squats...

Arden Cogar Jr.
09-09-2008, 02:07 PM
I tend to box squat if I'm feeling "achy in the knee" if that makes any sense? I've always felt that box squatting really gets you to focus on getting your shins perpedicular to floor, which, for me, took a lot of stress off my knees.

Others have commented very well on this.

All the best,
Arden

Matt Thomas
09-10-2008, 08:26 PM
Thanks for all the feedback guys. Really appreciate it.

David Tieu
09-10-2008, 10:20 PM
am i right in assuming that you guys are discussing low bar, pl style box squats? if so what do people think about oly style box squats?

Greg Everett
09-11-2008, 12:42 PM
am i right in assuming that you guys are discussing low bar, pl style box squats? if so what do people think about oly style box squats?

Not necessarily low-bar, but yes, hip-centric PL-style squat. If you're doing an oly squat, I see no need to use a box - if you want to work from a dead stop, just do pause squats. For most people, fitting a box in there is impossible anyway (it would have to be about the size of a rubik's cube).