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Old 01-09-2007, 09:50 AM   #1
Jay L Swan
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Default low bar back squat form

Hi folks--first time poster here. I used to follow the Crossfit forum quite some time ago, but ended up here for the same reasons that many others have.

I have just started experimenting with the low-bar back squat and have a few questions:

1) How do you keep the bar from slipping down your back as you get further into the set?

2) While the low bar position feels much better on my back and legs, the arm position is painful. Any tips on this?

3) My "gym" does not have a proper power rack, only one of those squat-rack things with the angled bars and multiple pegs. Any tips to avoid amputating my fingers while putting the bar back in the rack?

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:02 AM   #2
Allen Yeh
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1.Not to sound like a smartass, your arms should be holding the bar in place on your back?


2. What do you mean, where is the pain located? Where are you holding the bar? Is it shoulder pain?

3.I think I know what you mean by something like this:
http://www.gymcor.com/squatrack.html
I typicially don't have a problem with those racks, once again where on the bar are you hands? I only ever have a problem when I take a snatch grip width.
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:10 PM   #3
Jay L Swan
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The way I'm doing it, I need to take a wide (snatch grip) hold to prevent the bar from sliding down, but it seems to creep down anyway. The width of the grip causes some pain in my shoulders.
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:43 PM   #4
Steve Shafley
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Jay:

Just from your brief description, I don't think you've got the bar in the right place. I would much rather see you squat with the bar in a stable position, rather than in a spot where it's likely to move.
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Old 01-10-2007, 08:20 PM
Yael Grauer
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Old 01-10-2007, 08:33 PM   #6
Greg Everett
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low in my opinion shouldn't be lower than the bulge of your posterior delts--lower than that and there's nothing for the bar to grab onto, and you might as well be leg pressing. i have a personal bias toward a very high bar back squat, but if you're doing a lower bar placement, really shrug the traps, squeeze the shoulder blades together and take a narrow grip instead of a wide grip--that should create some topography on your upper back to settle the bar into. again, if you're lower than that (like so low you have to take a snatch width grip), i think you're too low.

i guess my question would be why did you decide to start experimenting with such a low bar position? and if it's painful, maybe not a great idea. if you're trying to get more back work, add in some stiff-leg deadlifts or good mornings after you squat instead.
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:50 PM   #7
Mark Joseph Limbaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay L Swan View Post
Hi folks--first time poster here. I used to follow the Crossfit forum quite some time ago, but ended up here for the same reasons that many others have.

I have just started experimenting with the low-bar back squat and have a few questions:

1) How do you keep the bar from slipping down your back as you get further into the set?

2) While the low bar position feels much better on my back and legs, the arm position is painful. Any tips on this?

3) My "gym" does not have a proper power rack, only one of those squat-rack things with the angled bars and multiple pegs. Any tips to avoid amputating my fingers while putting the bar back in the rack?

Thanks!

1. You need to slightly lean forward to keep the bar from slipping
2. Use a widergrip
3. I have to see what your squat rack looks lke
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:41 PM   #8
Jay L Swan
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It appears that my photo isn't showing up for some reason. Here's the raw URL:

http://photos1.blogger.com/x/blogger...jay-lowbar.jpg
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:05 PM   #9
Pierre Auge
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Jay,
Greg is right it was in fact me who prefers the thumbless grip as it reduces the stress on my wrists. It also makes a dump considerably easier as I simply drop my hands and step forward even from a bottom position so I'm not sure where Greg figures one could lose ones arms in the matter but that is neither here nor there.

My cue for you with this position is to take a slightly narrower grip and drive your elbows UP. That upward elbow drive will build that shelf as others have termed it, with your delts. This position is actually very comfortable and rock solid once you've played around with it and figured out your sweet spot.

Greg I have hyperflexible wrists, not particularly strong ones. Any excess loading that I can avoid on them is good stuff I think. Why do I like the low bar back squat so much. Same reason Rip likes it and we have discussed this at length me and him.

The lower position of the bar shortens the lever arm (or moment arm whichever you prefer) on the back, places the impetus on the hip and loads the hamstring and thus posterior chain more completely. It reduces the moment on the knee and thus gives me a break since front squats, cleans and thrusters are far more knee dominant. Frankly I can lift more this way and thats just cool!
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:52 PM   #10
Steve Shafley
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From the pic.

You need to squat down between your legs, not on top of them.

2 tips, from Dan John:

1. Grab a pole. Squat down to rock bottom holding that pole. Squat in between your knees, not on top of them. This is the kind of position you are looking for.

2. Goblet squat. There are pictures of this around. Check them out. If you can't find them, then I can post one. When you squat down, your elbows should be in between your knees. Use them to slightly push your knees out. Rippetoe and Kilgore have a pic of this in Starting Strength too.
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