Thread: squat woes
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:15 AM   #29
Donald Lee
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 620

Originally Posted by Stacey Greenway View Post
Aimee, remember I said: "I think the most important thing is to look at the individual...." That includes looking at what the individual's goals are. If the individual's goals are to eventually specialize in the Olympic lifts, then eventually I would have them switch over to High Bar squats, as they will better approximate the front squat position, while still allowing that lifter to lift more weight that with the front squat, thus getting him or her stronger. And looking at the individual means, as I alluded to, choosing a version of the squat that best targets whatever that individual needs specifically at that time, whether it is to make the transition to Olympic lifting or to just plain get stronger. To that extent, and for the purposes of teaching a beginner, utilizing the low-bar back squat is usually my default choice; however, if the low-bar back squat does not fit that individual, for whatever reason that might be, I'm fully comfortable making the switch to high-bar in that case. I'm capable of thinking for myself and weighing the arguments of each side and seeing that there are good reasons for Olympic lifting coaches to use high bar squats and Rip and his beginners to utilize low-bar squats, etc.

As for my particular case, I was originally just fishing about to see whether anyone else had experienced similar problems and whether everyone thought my way of programming the front squats and high-bar squats together in an alternating fashion was a worthwhile approach, or whether I was just wasting my time with the high-bar squats, given the relative proportions of my levers (legs relatively longer in proportion to my upper body), in which case I should have just focused entirely on front squats.

But lastly, I do have to disagree that low-bar squats don't get the quads stronger: they might not have been the best choice for me, given my individual situation, but that's not to say that they don't have a place in a person's training at a given place and time, otherwise. Low-bar squatting does not = shooting the hips.

To conclude, I've always recognized that, once I've developed a sufficient base of strength and then begun to transition into Olympic lifting (as has been my plan for quite some time), I should make the transition to high-bar squatting, eventually. It just looks like I'm going to have to make that transition sooner than I thought, given my peculiar situation.
Your situation is not peculiar. Low-bar squats do not transfer as well to high-bar squats as you would think. You generally don't get deep enough. You develop bad motor patterns, etc.

It's all up to you though.
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