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Allen Yeh
01-17-2009, 12:04 PM
I know this topic has been done to death but the other day I ran across a post by Glenn over on the Crossfit boards and thought some of the things he said were interesting.

http://board.crossfit.com/showpost.php?p=404418&postcount=93

George Mounce
01-17-2009, 12:31 PM
Seriously there needs to be a wiki of Glenn Pendlay's posts anywhere. They are some of the most informative on the net.

Brian DeGennaro
01-17-2009, 02:05 PM
If you go to the comments section, you can actually find a research paper that has looked into the relationship between hip dominance and knee dominance in both high and low bar squats.

http://www.againfaster.com/articles/greg-everett-olympic-lifting-crossfit-and-catalyst-athletics.html

Derek Weaver
01-17-2009, 04:04 PM
Thanks to both of you for the links. Nice stuff.

Kevin Perry
01-17-2009, 08:38 PM
This is really good information.

Howard Wilcox
01-18-2009, 08:12 AM
Yes it is.

In fact it has pushed me over the edge to spend more time learning the HBBS.

Coming from the LBBS, are there any general recommendations or common form problems I should expect?

I'm pretty flexible (relatively speaking) and can sit in the bottom of a squat pretty well, so reaching depth shouldn't be an issue.


Thanks,

howard

Patrick Yeung
01-18-2009, 10:15 AM
Well, I tried this last night and heres what I noticed.

It was a lot harder and uncomfortable for me. The LB feels so comfortable and natural for me. It felt a lot heavier as well, ended up doing about 20% less weight in my sets. And, I didnt feel any hamstrings at all when I did it right. Not compared to LB at least.

The hardest thing for me thought was keeping my back upright and sitting straight into it instead of back. Any tips on correcting this?

Howard Wilcox
01-18-2009, 10:57 AM
Thanks Patrick,

The discomfort is...discomforting. :D

I guess it is one of familiarity, at least I hope so.

I expect to move less weight for sure, mainly due to it being a new motion, lack of hamstrings, and a longer ROM. I hope I don't take too big of a hit. But if Glenn's post is any indication, I hope the improvements will then transfer over to heavier LBBS numbers.

I also have clients that have shoulder trouble and the LBBS kills them (and they aren't big powerlifters, just regular people), yet I want them to squat. Besides the front squat, having the HBBS would be nice. But I have to learn it first.

Looking forward to more advice/experience on this conversion.

howard

Adam Gagliardi
01-18-2009, 11:24 AM
great posts. thanks

Garrett Smith
01-18-2009, 01:04 PM
I personally use a mixture of things.

I use LB position as HB rubs my shoulder (acromion process) such that it swells and is uncomfortable. I also have a long torso that I don't mind shortening.

I work a lot of "B" squats into my program, which allow the torso to stay upright pretty much regardless of bar placement. I do the same weights on my regular stance BS and my "B" BS.

I can definitely see how learning LB first would hamper later HB learning. I learned HB first.

Liam Dougherty Springer
01-18-2009, 02:48 PM
I am pretty much seconding an earoier post but I am also hving a hard time not throwing my hips back and ending up in a LBBS position except with the weight on my damn neck which is less than desireable but I can tell I really need both the quad strength and ankle flexability needed in order to improve my snatch reception as well as strengthen my FS as I am always wanting to lean forward at higher Intensity sets. So if there are any suggestions out there please help me and the others in this thread out.:(

Allen Yeh
01-18-2009, 05:39 PM
Well, I tried this last night and heres what I noticed.

It was a lot harder and uncomfortable for me. The LB feels so comfortable and natural for me. It felt a lot heavier as well, ended up doing about 20% less weight in my sets. And, I didnt feel any hamstrings at all when I did it right. Not compared to LB at least.

The hardest thing for me thought was keeping my back upright and sitting straight into it instead of back. Any tips on correcting this?

Initiate the squat with your knees, it's counter intuitive to low bar and Crossfit air squats but in the high bar Oly squat. Knees first, you should be sitting down in between your legs rather than on top of them. If you want some more info about sitting between your legs google "Goblet squat and Dan John"

LB will be heavier usually than HB. You should break your squat down to basics and work the lower weights before bringing it back up to your LB weight ranges.

Troy Archie
01-18-2009, 05:51 PM
It is not unusual for it to cause shoulder pain, or wrist pain if the shoulders/arms are too tight to keep the hands and wrist in the right position.

I've been having MAJOR biceps tendonitis with the LBBS and my shoulder has been giving me problems too. The shoulder problem I contribute to bench press grip but I'm sure the squats aren't helping. Anyone else out there with biceps problem?

I also think it's interesting to note, the amount of instructional videos and detailed writting gone into the LBBS whereas I've seen little in regards to the HBBS. Form with the LBBS seems to be an ongoing issue for me and something I'm always working on and trying to maintain while the weights get heavy.

Brian DeGennaro
01-18-2009, 08:19 PM
Troy, I think it's because low-bar tend to require more technique than a high-bar squat. I mean, HB just seems much more natural than LB. When you tell someone to squat, they'll just drop down between their legs. It's a very basic, fundamental position to be in. At a max attempt for a HB squat, you just tell the person to sit down and stand up, it's very simple to coach. You don't have to have someone feel for just below parallel, focus on driving up with their hips, not allowing their knees going too far forward, etcetera. Low-bar is a very unnatural movement I think.

Patrick Yeung
01-18-2009, 08:45 PM
Troy:

It sounds like you may be trying to hold the bar with your arms, especially if youre liking it to a bench press grip. I do not find it similar at all. Squeeze your back together like youre trying to pinch a coin between your scapulas, this is where the bar should rest. Your arms should be in a narrower grip than a HBBS, and should be only pushing forward really, holding the bar on top of your flexed shoulders. I feel it as a stretch in my chest as if I were doing flys.

----

As far as the HBBS feeling more natural, when I first started doing squats (given this was only 6 months ago?) I started this way, as it is natural. But, it really hurt my lower neck and my spine. I think I may be doing them wrong, even still, because once I learned about how to hold a LBBS, I was sold. No pain ever, even with my heaviest weights. And, I was very familiar with body weight squats, and was used to that kind of drop.

But, I will definitely try concentrating on moving my knees first. Power cleans seemed so foreign and impossible. Then, I practiced high pulls and learned to keep my elbows out, and then it all made sense.....

Thanks.

Brian DeGennaro
01-18-2009, 08:53 PM
The placement of the bar in the HB style should be across the shoulders/upper back. However, not held as low down on the posterior deltoids as LB, but it should be held across the muscle. Also, you may have been craning your neck upwards while lifting, which definitely would've given you pain in the neck and spine, because you're ultimately compressing vertebre more than they ought to be. Hyperextension of the vertebre is just as bad as flexion.

Garrett Smith
01-19-2009, 07:23 AM
From Glenn's post:
I also think the HB vs LB controversy has less meaning than has been assigned to it... for example, one certainly can squat with the bar in a low position and still do a pretty upright, deep squat, that as far as body position would satisfy any Olympic lifting coach. One can also do a HB squat and get quite bent over, I have personally proven that many times! Simply changing the position of the bar on the back doesnt magically change a good exercise to a bad one, or vice versa.
Let's keep bar position and squatting technique approaches separate.

Depth of squat is not necessarily dictated by bar placement either. I can also do a "knee-focused" or "hip-focused" BS regardless of bar position.

I choose the low bar position because my shoulder girdle anatomy is such that high bar creates discomfort for me--I do know where to put the bar for HB and when I put it there my right shoulder hurts. I can also feel the bar pressing on my vertebrae as the weights get heavier. Others may not have these issues, but I do and I'll say no thanks to HB based on my own experience. I even used to try that Manta Ray thing to alleviate my discomfort--I now prefer the LB, deep squat, hybrid style.

Troy Archie
01-19-2009, 07:45 AM
Troy:

It sounds like you may be trying to hold the bar with your arms, especially if youre liking it to a bench press grip. I do not find it similar at all. Squeeze your back together like youre trying to pinch a coin between your scapulas, this is where the bar should rest. Your arms should be in a narrower grip than a HBBS, and should be only pushing forward really, holding the bar on top of your flexed shoulders. I feel it as a stretch in my chest as if I were doing flys.


Thanks for the feedback. I know it's probably tough to say for certain, but could this problem arisen from the bar being placed too low?

Matt Lawson
01-19-2009, 10:43 AM
I was working out with my fiancée a few days ago. We were doing LBBS (she’s doing 200# 3x3’s now at 119bw, I’m so proud). One of the guys that works at the gym got on our case for all of the qualities that set a LBBS apart from HBBS as well as saying we were going TO DEEP.
He had never even heard of LBBS, scary thing is: he apparently has his CSCS, CPT, and a BS in human movement science or something of that nature. Happily though, he agreed to read parts of SS, agreed to give them a shot, and agreed that it was a valid lift later.
I do both because I see the benefit of both…and I get bored easily.

Howard Wilcox
01-19-2009, 05:26 PM
I practiced some HBBSs today. I didn't attempt to go heavy as I could have but it does feel like the bar cuts into the traps a little.

Probably I need to pinch those muscles better or something. I imagine LBBSs would have hurt too had I been able to do larger weight from the start but instead my tolerance and capability likely grew at a similar rate.



howard

Brian Lawyer
01-19-2009, 05:52 PM
Just came across this thread. Lot's of good info. I wanted to add my two cents and experience.

I basically had been doing High Bar squats my whole life and never really knew there was a difference until I started frequenting the crossfit forum. For me Hig bar was just a natural place to hold the bar on top of my traps. I could walk around all day with 300lbs sitting across the top of my traps. Torso lean and all that just came natural as a result of simply keeping the weight over the balls of my feet as i squatted.

After learning about a SS low bar squat I started trying low bar just for kicks. It took a little practice getting used to the different bar position and working on some of the other mechanics. In the end, I definitly felt my hammies and glutes tightening up like a spring out of the bottom. The other thing I noticed is you can actually go too low with the low bar squat. At least for me, if I went too deep and missed that sweet spot where the top of my patella is in line with the crease of my hip (i.e. just below parallel) , I lose that spring out of the bottom. This is not necessarily the case with a HBBS because you just kind of hit bottom and come back up on a HBBS or FBS.

Kevin Perry
01-19-2009, 10:24 PM
I went back to HBBS today. It just felt more natural. With the LBS there is more pain in positioning my arms correctly and more hip pain.

Howard Wilcox
01-24-2009, 06:12 PM
Ok, I have a follow-up question for the panel.

With the LBBS, I go back and then down with the hips. It seems to work well since the torso has an angle on it.

But, with the HBBS, I need to keep an upright torso. So, do I still go back and down or will that lead to too much lean? Should I just go straight down or what?

What coaching cues should I say to myself (and ultimately others)?

Thanks,

howard

Donald Lee
01-24-2009, 10:03 PM
Ok, I have a follow-up question for the panel.

With the LBBS, I go back and then down with the hips. It seems to work well since the torso has an angle on it.

But, with the HBBS, I need to keep an upright torso. So, do I still go back and down or will that lead to too much lean? Should I just go straight down or what?

What coaching cues should I say to myself (and ultimately others)?

Thanks,

howard

Straight down. Try to sit on your ankles. If sitting straight down doesn't work well, you probably need to angle your feet out more or play around with your stance or stretch.

Howard Wilcox
01-25-2009, 10:35 AM
Ok, thanks. Tilting the feet out might help a little...mainly I have to ensure I keep a back arch. With the low-bar this is easy since it is somewhat built-in to the initial movement.


howard

Jason Lin
01-26-2009, 05:12 AM
I just switched from LB to HB a few days ago and am having trouble with the "standing up" part. It feels like I am using way too much "hip drive" on the way up and consequently losing the upright torso.

Anyone else have this problem?

Howard Wilcox
01-26-2009, 07:34 AM
Yep, a little.

That said, most of the videos on this site show that to some degree when weight gets heavy. I don't know if that is good or bad or if it is somewhat inevitable.

howard

Kevin Perry
01-26-2009, 08:25 AM
maybe it has to do with the idea that in the low bar position, an active hip is always cued so your mind tends to focus on getting the hip up as a means to drive the weight where as in the high bar position the weight is supposed to be driven from an upright position that is quad dominant so the focus has to shift.

That just how i've noticed it though

Garrett Smith
01-26-2009, 08:36 AM
Jason,
Your body will revert to its old neuromuscular squatting patterns when the weight gets too heavy for your "new" form.

You likely will need to drop your weight for a while and get the new groove down before squatting your old (heavier) weights.

John Filippini
01-26-2009, 10:24 AM
Two cues for former LBBS people that lose the upright torso coming out of a HBBS:

1 - Keep your chest up - think of reaching or leading with your chest out of the squat.

2 - Lean Back into it. Careful with this one, as it's easy to imagine someone screwing this up - though it works for me and none of my friends I've said it to have had problems. By thinking about leaning back into it, you may keep from letting your hips come out (leaning your torso forward).

I've been waging my own war with this. My oly lifting team is actually going into a heavy squat cycle and my back squats are priority alpha for me. My BS is actually higher than some of the (much) better lifters in the team, because when I get fatigued I still go back to kicking my hips out. So the goal this cycle is to work on correcting my BS form as much as it is to get the weight higher - hopefully with the result of better transfer to my other lifts.

Brian DeGennaro
01-26-2009, 12:38 PM
In a really heavy FS, BS, or OHS, your hips do shoot backwards out of the bottom. They shoot out for a fraction of hte movement and then come back under the feet. There's a great video of weightlifting on youtube that shows this, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. It was a European training hall if I recall.

Brian Lau
01-26-2009, 02:31 PM
In a really heavy FS, BS, or OHS, your hips do shoot backwards out of the bottom. They shoot out for a fraction of hte movement and then come back under the feet. There's a great video of weightlifting on youtube that shows this, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. It was a European training hall if I recall.

Are you thinking of this video of Chakarov squatting?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjfEnUT2A-g

I found this article from CFSF pretty clear as well:

http://sanfranciscocrossfit.blogspot.com/2008/07/front-squat-compromise.html

It's written wrt to the front squat, but it seems to me that it applies pretty well to the high-bar back squat.

Brian DeGennaro
01-26-2009, 03:17 PM
It wasn't Chakarov. Well, he may have been in the vid for part of it, but it was a training hall in Europe and these guys were lifting from jerk boxes for overhead work and squats. They were using the entire bar at times.

Howard Wilcox
01-26-2009, 05:52 PM
Perhaps something off the Unbelievable Bulgarians video?



howard

John Filippini
01-26-2009, 06:57 PM
I agree that at a max effort HBBS, yeah, your hips will shoot out; but in a max effort deadlift, your back probably won't keep a perfect lordotic curve either.

That doesn't mean that you don't still want to avoid it in as much as it's possible to do so.

Kevin Perry
01-26-2009, 07:26 PM
nah in a max DL I doubt your form is going to be the most perfect thing

Jason Lin
01-27-2009, 05:36 AM
I actually have been toying with the idea of just front squatting exclusively for awhile. That should fixed the hip drive "problem", don't you think?

Brian DeGennaro
01-27-2009, 05:44 AM
I like FS over BS, just because you HAVE to do it right. I look forward to heavy FS days, and dread heavy BS days.

John Filippini
01-27-2009, 06:28 AM
Jason and Brian, you are both better men than I. My coach just started us on a squat cycle as of yesterday and I'm dreading the FS days...

Patrick Yeung
01-27-2009, 07:57 AM
I like FS over BS, just because you HAVE to do it right. I look forward to heavy FS days, and dread heavy BS days.

I am gonna try and stick with FS for awhile. I figure itll help me get used to the bottom of a HBBS and be more useful to jumping power. But I hear ya on the form. As soon as my hips start going back too far, changing the angle of my back, the bar just goes.

Still cant get comfortable with the HBBS though. I think changing my foot angle may help though. Too forward would definetly hurt sitting between your feet.

Brian DeGennaro
01-27-2009, 08:42 AM
The thing I noticed that separates HBBS from FS is the balance. With front squats, my strongest lifts have been when I felt the entire ground with my foot, with the weight distributed all around. When I rise out of the bottom I feel myself pushing with my entire foot. With back squats, my strongest lifts are when I keep the weight distributed towards the heel, but the knees still very forward and torso upright (with slight lean). Rising out of the hole I feel my heels pushing into the ground more.

Jacob Rowell
01-27-2009, 06:13 PM
Just thought I'd throw this in, a little quip/video from the Wilkes clan. Friends of mine, and people I respect greatly.

http://blog.crossfitchesapeake.com/2009/01/26/how-to-squat-like-an-olympic-weightlifter.aspx

The three brothers are great lifters, and their dad, Chris Wilkes is the head coach of Team OBX. (www.overheadandheavy.com).

Nothing terribly new, just adding a little to the conversation.

Brian Lawyer
02-06-2009, 08:33 AM
I have had multiple discussions about my hip flexor soreness with Robert Callahan and as a result I switched to SS low bar Back squats for the past couple months.

What was happening is that my hip flexors were getting real sore, mainly in the days immediately following my workouts. At first I thought this was simply due to the high volume of squats I was doing while training for O'Lifting. But as soon as I switched from High bar to the low bar SS style squat most of my hip flexor soreness went away completely.

This last Sunday I did a set of 315lbs with a high bar position and nice and deep butt to ankles squat, and my hip flexors hurt like hell immediately during the squat. I finished out my 5 reps and then stopped after the first set. So what, if anything, am I doing wrong?

FYI, I have various digital coaching vids of myself. Nothing with HBBS, but several of snatches and C&J's where you can see my OH squat and FS form. Basically my HBBS is similar in form but with bar on back and appropriate torso lean adjustment....

Donald Lee
02-06-2009, 10:54 AM
I have had multiple discussions about my hip flexor soreness with Robert Callahan and as a result I switched to SS low bar Back squats for the past couple months.

What was happening is that my hip flexors were getting real sore, mainly in the days immediately following my workouts. At first I thought this was simply due to the high volume of squats I was doing while training for O'Lifting. But as soon as I switched from High bar to the low bar SS style squat most of my hip flexor soreness went away completely.

This last Sunday I did a set of 315lbs with a high bar position and nice and deep butt to ankles squat, and my hip flexors hurt like hell immediately during the squat. I finished out my 5 reps and then stopped after the first set. So what, if anything, am I doing wrong?

FYI, I have various digital coaching vids of myself. Nothing with HBBS, but several of snatches and C&J's where you can see my OH squat and FS form. Basically my HBBS is similar in form but with bar on back and appropriate torso lean adjustment....

How long have you been ATG squatting? Perhaps you were going too heavy and not allowing proper adaptation?

Brian Lawyer
02-06-2009, 11:08 AM
How long have you been ATG squatting? Perhaps you were going too heavy and not allowing proper adaptation?

You could be right about that. But my SS LBBS's I have been doing 3 sets across of 345lbs to 355lbs over last couple weeks. So I dropped it to 315 for the HBBS. I still completed all 5 reps. I have been doing ATG front squats at around 260 - 275lbs.

By the way, The SS squats I have been doing are not ATG, or more accurately A to Ankle or ATA. On the LBBS I am dropping the crease of my hip below parallel with my patella (knee) which is a "below parallel squat" as defined by Mark Rippatoe. But I am not bottoming out, ATA, on the LBBS squats as I did on HBBS squats.

John Filippini
02-06-2009, 11:12 AM
Can you link to those videos, as well as possibly some of HBBS? It's a little hard to say otherwise. Also, there will be a tendency to work the hip-flexors more in the HBBS than LBBS simply because you're going lower and your hip angle closes more. You also stretch your hamstrings more, making your hip-flexors work more to keep lumbar extension.

Also, and this might be a bit out in left field, but I imagine if you work your ankle flexibility more and push your knees farther forward, you could achieve the same depth with a more upright back angle and more open hips. This would alleviate some of the strain on your hip-flexors, while at the same time giving you a more stable bottom position.

Robert Callahan
02-06-2009, 11:17 AM
This last Sunday I did a set of 315lbs with a high bar position and nice and deep butt to ankles squat, and my hip flexors hurt like hell immediately during the squat. I finished out my 5 reps and then stopped after the first set. So what, if anything, am I doing wrong?

It is interesting that the LB squats fixed the problem :) Have your hip flexors been acting up at all with the FS or cleans or snatches? If you can get a video of your HB Back squats it would be best. If hip flexors are acting up, even with the HB it means your letting your knees slide forward at the bottom. Maybe to get the extra depth you are relaxing a little in the hole and that is contributing to the problem? Either way video would sort this out better.

-Robert

Donald Lee
02-06-2009, 11:43 AM
If hip flexors are acting up, even with the HB it means your letting your knees slide forward at the bottom.

I have no idea why you say that.

Brian Lawyer
02-06-2009, 11:58 AM
Maybe to get the extra depth you are relaxing a little in the hole and that is contributing to the problem?

Robert, What you noted above was the first thing that came to my mind to. I could be relaxing tension in my hams, glutes, quads, in the bottom and with 300lbs+ it's putting a big strain on my hip flexors.

Sorry no HBBS footage yet. Here is the link where you can get a general idea of my front squat form and OHS from review of my Clean and snatches, http://www.cathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3680. WFS.

Sunday was going to be my next squat day and I was going to get some footage. I originally wanted to do LBBS on sunday just because I am doing a SS routine with my friend and I have been making good linear progression with LBBS the past month. Perhaps I will do a set of each style squat and post on here for comparisons.

Robert Callahan
02-06-2009, 02:05 PM
I originally wanted to do LBBS on sunday just because I am doing a SS routine with my friend and I have been making good linear progression with LBBS the past month. Perhaps I will do a set of each style squat and post on here for comparisons.

Yeah, just do your normal LBBS then afterward do a few HBBS with moderate weight for videos sake :)


I have no idea why you say that.

Well you hip flexors should not be really engaging regardless of the style of squat because the weight is already pushing you down forcing the closing of the hip angle. You do not need to actively flex the hip at any point of the squat. When the knee travels forward at the bottom of any squat though the hip flexors act as an anchor and are stressed isometrically. This leads to tendinitis of the hip flexors and pain. Does that make sense?

-Robert

Donald Lee
02-06-2009, 02:35 PM
Yeah, just do your normal LBBS then afterward do a few HBBS with moderate weight for videos sake :)




Well you hip flexors should not be really engaging regardless of the style of squat because the weight is already pushing you down forcing the closing of the hip angle. You do not need to actively flex the hip at any point of the squat. When the knee travels forward at the bottom of any squat though the hip flexors act as an anchor and are stressed isometrically. This leads to tendinitis of the hip flexors and pain. Does that make sense?

-Robert

I thought we already had this discussion.

http://performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3476&page=3

Brian Lawyer
02-06-2009, 02:40 PM
I have no idea why you say that.

What I have learned from this thread and my other research and observations, correct me if I am wrong:

HBBS = Knees forward good, sit butt to ankles, not much technique involved.

LBBS = Knees forward bad, sit butt back, don't go ATG but just slightly below parallel to a point where hip crease is just below top of knee (patella), at which point your glutes and hams are wound up like a rubber band, much harder technique to do this right.

Donald Lee
02-06-2009, 02:49 PM
What I have learned from this thread and my other research and observations, correct me if I am wrong:

HBBS = Knees forward good, sit butt to ankles, not much technique involved.

LBBS = Knees forward bad, sit butt back, don't go ATG but just slightly below parallel to a point where hip crease is just below top of knee (patella), at which point your glutes and hams are wound up like a rubber band, much harder technique to do this right.

In the videos of your cleans, you don't go ATG. Also, HB squats are a lot harder on your hip flexors than front squats. My guess is that your body is not used to the stress of an ATG squat.

I don't know if one of the squatting styles requires more or less technique. They're just different.

Robert Callahan
02-06-2009, 03:03 PM
I thought we already had this discussion.

http://performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3476&page=3

exactly so what do you not understand?

Brian Lawyer
02-06-2009, 03:08 PM
In the videos of your cleans, you don't go ATG. You are right. I am going well below parallel but I am not going butt to ankles. So should I be doing this when working Front squats and HBBS. Perhaps that is my problem because when I did the aformentioned set of HBBS squats for my set of 5 x 315 I did truly go ATG. So maybe my body just wasn't accustomed to it. Based on your observation, it would appear I have not truly been going ATG on my front squats because they would look very similar to one of those sets of cleans.

I don't know if one of the squatting styles requires more or less technique. They're just different.
That was just personal opinion. Using High bar rack, and sitting straight down ATG is so much simpler than the SS LBBS.

Robert Callahan
02-06-2009, 03:30 PM
That was just personal opinion. Using High bar rack, and sitting straight down ATG is so much simpler than the SS LBBS.

Perhaps that is the root of the problem? Even on HBBS the knees need to be kept stable at the bottom or you will be adding tension to your hip flexors. A video of your HBBS would probably help figure this out.

Brian Lawyer
02-06-2009, 04:17 PM
Perhaps that is the root of the problem? Even on HBBS the knees need to be kept stable at the bottom or you will be adding tension to your hip flexors. A video of your HBBS would probably help figure this out.

Robert, We'll see what I can do this weekend. I think you will be quite pleased with my SS LBBS. I have perfected those. I did a 3 x 5 x 350 yesterday. So this Sunday my goal will be 3 x 5 x 355. I will probably cut it to two sets of 5 then do a third set of HBBS around 300 to 315 for Digital coaching purposes. Those are lbs not Kilos, FYI.

If I get the video I will start a separate DC thread since this thread and give you guys the link since this thread is getting quite lengthy.

Gavin Harrison
02-06-2009, 09:18 PM
I've played around with more deep, upright body weight squats, even kettlebell front squats and overhead squats. They seem to irritate my knees. Any ideas?

Donald Lee
02-07-2009, 12:24 PM
I've played around with more deep, upright body weight squats, even kettlebell front squats and overhead squats. They seem to irritate my knees. Any ideas?

Have you tried toeing out more? If you can sit comfortably at the bottom, and it's not a flexibility issue with your ankles/calves, glutes, hamstrings, etc., you could try purchasing some knee sleeves.

Dave Van Skike
02-07-2009, 12:50 PM
I've played around with more deep, upright body weight squats, even kettlebell front squats and overhead squats. They seem to irritate my knees. Any ideas?

don't do stuff that irritates your knees. LBBS,HBBS,ATG,FSQBS....these are all cute acronyms for various ways to squat, moslty they mean nothing in real life.... what everyone needs to concentrate on is...squatting. correct for your body.

whether you hold the bar high or low, you go to limits of your ROM or you catch the bounce at something just below parallel does not matter one wit.

squat deep and comfortably for your morphology. at first this may mean the sitting way back and allowing forward torso inclination in order to "feel" the squat correctly and engage the ass and not the knees....like a box squat without a box. work this in way that suits you and then start pushing your capabilities with other bar positions or front squats or whatever...

Gavin Harrison
02-07-2009, 12:56 PM
don't do stuff that irritates your knees. LBBS,HBBS,ATG,FSQBS....these are all cute acronyms for various ways to squat, moslty they mean nothing in real life.... what everyone needs to concentrate on is...squatting. correct for your body.

whether you hold the bar high or low, you go to limits of your ROM or you catch the bounce at something just below parallel does not matter one wit.

squat deep and comfortably for your morphology. at first this may mean the sitting way back and allowing forward torso inclination in order to "feel" the squat correctly and engage the ass and not the knees....like a box squat without a box. work this in way that suits you and then start pushing your capabilities with other bar positions or front squats or whatever...

Actually, I've always done (Barbell) LBBS with a more inclined torso, but recently I've been working out in my house with my kettlebell, so I've been playing around with squats with that. Trying to go pretty deep / upright. I actually UN-irritated my knees by doing wide inclined torso, sitting back far, body weight box squats..

Might try the toes more out thing, though.

Troy Archie
02-07-2009, 01:30 PM
Quck question:
Which way do you want to push your knees on HBBS? Outwards or inwards? It's out on LB but what about HB?

Donald Lee
02-07-2009, 02:10 PM
Quck question:
Which way do you want to push your knees on HBBS? Outwards or inwards? It's out on LB but what about HB?

Your knees should track over your feet.

Dave Van Skike
02-07-2009, 03:46 PM
Actually, I've always done (Barbell) LBBS with a more inclined torso, but recently I've been working out in my house with my kettlebell, so I've been playing around with squats with that. Trying to go pretty deep / upright. I actually UN-irritated my knees by doing wide inclined torso, sitting back far, body weight box squats..

Might try the toes more out thing, though.

Do you have long legs and shorter back, is you dead lift more than a 100 pounds heavier than your squat?

Garrett Smith
02-07-2009, 05:37 PM
Maybe you could try a low-bar, "landing stance", full-depth squat. That's what I do--but I do it because of two reasons: 1) the high bar position perfectly irritates my acromion process on the right side, and 2) I have a really long torso.

Let Senor Van Skike help you out.

Oh yeah--if it hurts, don't do it, or figure out how not to make it hurt. I know you're trying to figure it out--but if you don't get there, do what doesn't hurt.

If you're full-depth front squatting, I don't think your style of BS will affect you negatively, unless you're aiming to be a champion OLer.

Gavin Harrison
02-07-2009, 11:21 PM
Do you have long legs and shorter back, is you dead lift more than a 100 pounds heavier than your squat?

First, thanks everyone for the advice.

Dave,

Yes, I think so. I'm about 6' tall, my brother is ~6'2-6'3... my hips sit about 1-2 inches higher than his do. Not sure about the exact numbers for squats and deads, haven't done them weighted in a few months, but my dead lift has always been at least 60 pounds heavier than my squat.

Thanks again.

Brian Lawyer
02-08-2009, 12:15 PM
Sorry guys no video today of my squat workout. I got video of one set of my buddies Low Bar SS squats and then some trainer at the Globo came over and told me no filming allowed. We will be working out at a different facility this next Friday so I will still try to get some LBBS and HBBS video for comparison.

It sucks because I did a nice squat workout. I did 2 x 5 x 355lbs of LBS SS style. Then I cut the weight to 295lbs and did 5 reps of HBBS and some how I had no hip flexor pain this week. Maybe the hip flexor pain I noted last week on HBBS was a warmup thing. But I also tried to consciencly hold tension in the bottom position where as last week I think I was relaxing at the bottom to drop really low which may have wreaked havoc on my hip flexors.

Another side note, my buddy said he didn't think I was going much deeper on the HBBS than my LBBS, but my proprioception was telling me I was going deeper Ass to Ankles as opposed to my LBBS where I try to catch the "bounce" just below parallel.....

Aaron Gainer
02-08-2009, 03:13 PM
Big thing is to not relax near the bottom. I assume this is where your having problems going past parallel trying to get the extra depth. Hold the tension throughout and use the stretch reflex when your at your limit!!!!

John Filippini
02-08-2009, 04:46 PM
Agreed, it doesn't sound good to be "relaxing" at the bottom of any type of squat. There should still be a bounce at the bottom of a high bar squat, it should just be a lot lower (flexibility pending of course).

Brian Lawyer
03-02-2009, 01:45 PM
Hey guys,
If any of you all are still around following this discussion you may be interested in adding your .02 cents to this thread I started on the Athletes Performance or Core Performance forum. I've got some 20 something year old kid trying to tell me toes forward parallel squatting is the greatest thing ever because the Athlete's performance trainer told him so. This is the thread at Core performance, http://talk.coreperformance.com/message/1385#1385, WFS.

Gavin Harrison
03-02-2009, 02:47 PM
Hey guys,
If any of you all are still around following this discussion you may be interested in adding your .02 cents to this thread I started on the Athletes Performance or Core Performance forum. I've got some 20 something year old kid trying to tell me toes forward parallel squatting is the greatest thing ever because the Athlete's performance trainer told him so. This is the thread at Core performance, http://talk.coreperformance.com/message/1385#1385, WFS.

This is pretty much the way louie simmons says to squat. Very wide, toes straight ahead or slightly out. He says this makes the descent harder, but allows you to use the hips more effectively for the ascent.

glennpendlay
03-02-2009, 04:06 PM
True, most people will be a little stronger with the feet pointed straight ahead, just makes you tighter if your taking a medium or wide stance. A lot of powerlifters do this.

John Filippini
03-03-2009, 06:49 AM
Feet wide with toes straight ahead might be "stronger", but it sounds like a recipe for really awful torque on the knees and other joints, doesn't it? Doesn't sound like a healthy idea in the long run.

Forgive me if they explained it further, I didn't actually go through the link, though probably will later tonight.

Brian Lawyer
03-03-2009, 08:19 AM
For those that don't want to go over the link I'll summarize here was the argument for Toes forward parallel foot position. It is more of an argument for sport specificity then an argument against toes out deep squats. The below trainer is saying this is squat stance is more beneficial for athletes (soccer, football, etc.)

Quote from Craig, Athletes Performance trainer, "There are multiple foot positions for squatting and the correct position depends on your training goal. From an athlete standpoint we will always want a parallel foot stance with the toes pointed forward. This position reflects the movement demands in most sporting events. An athlete would never cut by pointing their toe out and for the same reason we will not squat athletes’ with a toe out position. If you are a power lifter a toe out position is optimal for maximum strength. This position will open the hips, decrease the demand for closed chain ankle dorsiflexion, and increase the recruitment of the adductor region. This externally rotated position will allow an individual to lift the greatest load. If you are not an athlete or a power lifter the correct foot position will be as close to parallel as possible. Note that if a person has a structural alignment issue then slightly externally rotated may actually be neutral for them. If it is a functional problem (i.e. tightness, shortness, or mobility) then we may need to start them externally rotated, and with corrective exercises move them back to a neutral position. The common dominator is that the knee should always track over the second toe."

Garrett Smith
03-03-2009, 09:58 AM
How much turnout is necessary for the least damaging hip movement and knee tracking is competely dependent on the chosen stance width.

A full squat movement is actually rarely duplicated in non-OL or PL or SM sporting events, so trying to reflect the movement demands of a sporting event with a relatively narrow, feet parallel stance sounds ineffective to me.

If anything, a "B" squat (http://www.ironsports.tv/bsquat.html) stance more closely replicates actual sporting activity and movements. Staggered stance, rear foot utilizing the ball of the foot rather than mainly the heel for the vertical drive.

The use of the word "always" reeks of inflexible thinking.

Dave Van Skike
03-03-2009, 03:20 PM
I seriously cannot picture how this foot position transfers for athletes. but whatever....

I'm a believer that strength is the main quality that "transfers" from one sport to another. Squatting, Pressing and Pulling large loads is how you get strong, if you do that much you're probably fine. anything more specific is usually a rat's nest.... and the way you do it is not the way I do it and nobody should really care..(unless you're getting coached or paying for the advice, in which case, do what your told and don't worry about it)


FWIW, the SM guys I see usually do narrow stance, high bar full squats and front squats and wide stance box squats, big hip flare and toed out. that seems to cover it.

I'm a fan of the b squat as well but if you try to explain it most people just zone out or scoff.

Gant Grimes
03-03-2009, 03:36 PM
http://www.websmileys.com/sm/violent/sterb015.gif

Garrett Smith
03-03-2009, 04:31 PM
I seriously cannot picture how this foot position transfers for athletes. but whatever....
Which one are you referring to?
I'm a believer that strength is the main quality that "transfers" from one sport to another. Squatting, Pressing and Pulling large loads is how you get strong, if you do that much you're probably fine. anything more specific is usually a rat's nest.... and the way you do it is not the way I do it and nobody should really care..(unless you're getting coached or paying for the advice, in which case, do what your told and don't worry about it)
Agreed.
FWIW, the SM guys I see usually do narrow stance, high bar full squats and front squats and wide stance box squats, big hip flare and toed out. that seems to cover it.
Sounds like a solid approach to me!
I'm a fan of the b squat as well but if you try to explain it most people just zone out or scoff.
Some people like the idea, then they back off or forget about it. I've seen BS form improve from a couple sets of "B" squats with no other intervention. It really allows many people a much more upright spine during the squat as it particularly removes restricted dorsiflexion from being an issue. I'm nearly as strong in my "B" squats as I am in my back squats, same as Bryce says he was.

Dave Van Skike
03-03-2009, 04:46 PM
I don't get the feet straight ahead style for footyballz

Frankly I don't get most jigggery pokerery trying to make foot position match some totally other random thing, regardless.

Brian DeGennaro
03-03-2009, 04:55 PM
The feet don't point straight ahead when you cut or when you are running. Ideally they would but as soon as the foot touches the ground there is a degree of external rotation while running. And I've never found somebody who cuts in the gym who leaves footprints that aren't externally rotated t some degree. The footprints I see left in the ground are always pointed out like \ / or / \ when put next to one another rather than | |. It's quite hard (if not impossible) to conform to the ideal mechanical model.

Kevin Perry
03-03-2009, 06:23 PM
aren't injuries more likely to happen if the feet are pointed straight forward? My feet point outwards naturally when squating and this feels much more natural and comfortable but with feet forward I feel like I'm going to kill my knees.

Garrett Smith
03-03-2009, 09:22 PM
When I was a baseball catcher for 10+ years, I don't ever remember having my feet pointed straight ahead.

It also makes sense to me to be cutting on a slightly turned out front foot, for two reasons.

One, a straight-ahead (parallel) cutting foot is then placing a huge medial-to-lateral shear force across the knee.

Two, by slightly externally turning out the front/planted foot, that also allows the knee to stay over the foot, minimizing stress and maximizing safety of the knee during the deceleration.

Anyway, the only athletes I can think of that the feet parallel position is really beneficial for are skiers.

Jeff Hendrix
03-25-2009, 09:22 AM
First, thanks everyone for the advice.

Dave,

Yes, I think so. I'm about 6' tall, my brother is ~6'2-6'3... my hips sit about 1-2 inches higher than his do. Not sure about the exact numbers for squats and deads, haven't done them weighted in a few months, but my dead lift has always been at least 60 pounds heavier than my squat.

Thanks again.

Could someone please elaborate on this problem some more? I have almost exactly the same build and my deadlift is almost 100 lbs. more than my squat.

I just began mixing in HBBSs within the last week and am having soreness accumulate just above my patellas. I noticed it while I was squatting and notice it now (the next day). It hurt a little this morning stepping into and out of the shower when I bent my legs, for instance. Is this something that can be worked out over time somehow, or should I stick with LBBS? FWIW, I have not had trouble like this with LBBSs, front squats, overhead squats, or the squat portion of the clean. As a non-competitive wannabe OLer, I'm wondering if learning the high bar position at the possible expense of my knees would be worth it if I can do all of the other above-mentioned types of squats with no real problem. Can I still get the necessary quad development for these lifts without HBBSs?

Edit: If this is of any help, my knees feel better now than they did this morning.

Dave Van Skike
03-25-2009, 11:19 AM
Could someone please elaborate on this problem some more? I have almost exactly the same build and my deadlift is almost 100 lbs. more than my squat.

I just began mixing in HBBSs within the last week and am having soreness accumulate just above my patellas. I noticed it while I was squatting and notice it now (the next day). It hurt a little this morning stepping into and out of the shower when I bent my legs, for instance. Is this something that can be worked out over time somehow, or should I stick with LBBS? FWIW, I have not had trouble like this with LBBSs, front squats, overhead squats, or the squat portion of the clean. As a non-competitive wannabe OLer, I'm wondering if learning the high bar position at the possible expense of my knees would be worth it if I can do all of the other above-mentioned types of squats with no real problem. Can I still get the necessary quad development for these lifts without HBBSs?

Edit: If this is of any help, my knees feel better now than they did this morning.


I'm torn between never using the term high bar back squat ever again and the desire to evangelize about not 'f'ing up your knees. I really feel for people with knee problems or potential knee problems.

Front squats and deep back squats should not have to hurt your knees AT ALL. I've got zero cartilage under my kneecaps and have had a couple surgeries to relocate them. Thus my knees are extermely tricky and slight mistakes in squat form will leave me limping for a week. That said, I used squats to rehab over a period of 5 years.

I went from not being able to walk down a set of stairs in 2003 to squatting up to 3 days a week. I did this with bw squats usign a pole for balance (stripper squats) then goblet squats with a week kettlebell, then front squats and then progressing to a medium stance back squat. Now I'm pretty joe average squatter, but I can do it pain free as often as I like.

So WRT to form, my prejudices are pretty well laid out. I don't olympic lift and don't have any basis to disagree with what accomplished oly lifters do. that said, I think for 99 percent of people out there, there is a way to squat that will allow you to develop strength and will work consistently for you. Squats that irritate your knees are squats done wrong. If you find that a particular way of doing them is messing with your knees, stop doing that.


here's a crosspost from P and B that I think is a good summation.

I think the following procedure is a pretty good way of determining a good bottom position for whatever style of squat you use. In other words, the idea is to find a bottom position that has your knees far enough forward so your quads can help out, but hips far enough back that your hammies/glutes can also provide a lot of power. This will vary with style of squat (high bar, low bar), as well as width of stance, degree of toe flare, etc. To make things easy, use whatever stance you normally use/prefer.

Instead of thinking about sitting back or keeping your weight on your heels, try simply descending while keeping a sense of your weight being evenly distributed on your feet (i.e. combined center of gravity over midfoot). In other words, simply balance and go all the way down, keeping an arch in your back and your knees tracking over your toes. Do this at first without weight, then try an empty bar, and go from there.

Go all the way down, feeling balanced, and sit in the bottom position like this. Hang out for a few seconds, get a sense of your balance at the bottom. Wiggling your toes can help establish that your weight is, in fact, evenly balanced, versus having shifted to the front/balls of your feet.

Now stand up (preferrably driving the hips straight up, though without GMing the weight). Repeat this a few times, getting a sense of what that bottom position feels like being evenly balanced. Give your brain a way of identifying this feeling by hanging out there a bit, and when you squat for realz, simply return to that spot.

I had the epiphany at some point that this is all Rippetoe was getting at in his humongous squat chapter. All these cues are simply a way of getting you + barbell evenly balanced at the bottom of a squat (CCOG over midfoot), given a few other qualifiers (back arched, knees out). If you are truly balanced, the rest will largely take care of itself - knees forward enough and hips back enough relative to whatever style of squat you're doing (low bar, high bar, etc).



I really like this summary and I think there is monsterous amounts of value in finding a way that works and doing it that way until you are strong.....really, actually strong. 2.5xBW or so. The distinction between HBBS and LBBS and at the other BS is not as important as getting strong with the lift.

here's a squat of great beauty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0yJDpqU99g

it's deep enough, the bar is on his back and it's 580x4. this is a back squat.

Oh yeah, on teh DL/Squat thing, I think this is pretty common unless you've got sick geometry for squatting and really short arms that make DL' hard.