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Old 03-19-2009, 03:53 PM   #21
Brian Lawyer
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Woops, I didn't mean to hijack the thread. I actually never read what the topic of the original post was or I did several weeks ago and forgot by now. Accept my apologies.

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Originally Posted by Kevin Perry View Post
uh oh, here we go girls and boys lets keep this back on topic and not descend into the depths of LBBS vs. HBBS....
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My BS meter is ticking....

This thread is about to descend into debate about function, the nature of elephants and perceived by the blind and the possible number of angels on the head of a pin.

DVS exit stage right....


Stacey. You've done some nice squatting anyhow you do it and continued good luck.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:05 AM   #22
Daniel Olmstead
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I don't want to hijack, but wanted to let you know I'm watching this thread like a hawk because I have exactly the same problem. Don't let it die!

I've been following the advice from the Squat Rx video that deals with GM'ing out of the hole and doing Goblet Squats and Good Morning Squats as assistance exercises. I also found Kelly Starrett's midline stabilization series on the CrossFit Journal to be extremely helpful. I'm also thinking that more air squats nose-to-wall might help. I haven't solved the issue, but I think it is getting better.

Since I started with SS, I've never even really given HBBS a fair shake, and now I'm thinking maybe I should. My front squat is also terrible, but since I have to use such a lighter weight for that, I always feel like I'm not getting a good CNS hit for strength development.

Stacey, please share any insights or breakthroughs you gain about this, I'd love to hear them.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:10 AM   #23
Stacey Greenway
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Post Clarification

First off, Iím glad to see this thread has sparked so much dialogue and interest.

Secondly, I should reiterate the particulars of my situation once more, as I think weíve all lost sight of some of them since my original post.

To begin with, my being posterior-chain dominant is rooted in several factors, probably the least of which is the fact that Iíve been low-bar squatting. My quads have always felt relatively weak, and this was only exacerbated by the practice of martial arts, both karate and iaido (traditional Japanese swordsmanship), wherein lots of time is spent by practitioners in what is known as a horse stance (this is essentially a sumo squat stance). I practiced karate and iaido for six years, three hours a day for six days out of the week.

When I first began actual squatting several years ago, I was taught to lean way back on my heels, sticking my butt back to the point of near imbalance. I did this until I up to a few years back, at which point I became frustrated and began self-educating myself through the work of guys like Glenn Pendlay and Mark Rippetoe, both of whom I admire for their experience and intellect, and also through the Crossfit website. Iíve since purchased Mr. Everettís book on Olympic lifting, and I was impressed with him as well. I believe that everyoneís education in lifting should begin with the works of the three abovementioned fellas. Together, they truly have brought lifting into the 21st century.

To make matters worse, my deadlift has continued to improve and strengthen, while Iíve experienced setback after setback with my squat, which has resulted in my posterior chain becoming stronger still.

So you see, it isnít just one factor that has contributed to my particular problem, but many. Just for the record, I think you can low-bar squats just fine without developing any real imbalances, especially if you invest in some decent squat shoes, since theyíll get you more into your quads anyway, because Iíve taught many of my clients to squat this way and none of them have developed raging imbalances (no shooting hips, or the like).

I think the most important thing is to look at the individual, whether its using Starting Strength or some other program, and make decisions for exercise selection based on that personís strengths and weaknesses. For instance, one of my clients absolutely could not use his posterior chain to squat at all when doing high-bar (he was always relaxing his hamstrings at the bottom), so I switched him over to low-bar, and now he MUST lean over more and use more of his posterior chain.

My two cents,
Stacey

P.S. Donít let my name fool you--Iím actually a dude, guys!
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:01 PM   #24
Aimee Anaya Everett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lawyer View Post
Aimee is gracing us with her hot sports opinions on low bar back squats. Awesome! I'm just kidding.

For real, the more I learn about squatting, I am finding the LBBS are not as functional as some would think. I don't think it is Rippatoes fault. He originally wrote the book for getting skinny high school kids and other begginers to pack on some strength. I had read somewhere that the SS LBBS is basically a modified "Good Morning" lift. I find that to be somewhat true.

I have also read that Rip himself admits his LBBS does nothing for standing up out of the "hole" in Olympic lifting, something that requires quadriceps. I believe Rip was noting that the transfer of LBBS strength to Olympic lifting is that it primarily benefits the first pull.
Very good response, and I agree.
They are simply not as functional as some people believe. There is, in my opinion, a reason Rip's fantastic book is called "starting strength". It is for BEGINNERS. In the long run, people who only LBBS try to snatch and clean "goodmorning" style. It simply does not transfer over. Period. It may work for a while, merely because the athlete is strong enough to muscle the snatch or clean, but once they get beyond that point, they have nowhere to go. Am I biased? absolutely! Do I have reason? Yes. Do we need to strengthen our pull? yes... so we do pulls. The LBBS does not prepare you to receive heavy loads in the snatch and the clean, because you are not strong with an upright position, and your quads won't be nearly as strong as they will be from doing HBBS.
Stacey, you say your quads have always been weak. If you start HBBS'ing, that would strengthen your quads. LBBS does not target the quads. Also, no disrespect towards Rip, because he is a very smart dude, at WHAT HE DOES. which is teaching BEGINNER powerlifters. Not weightlifters. There is a huge difference here. But you should not be looking to him for advice in O'lifting or getting strong for o'lifting. Glen Pendlay? Absolutely! Mike Burgener, heck ya! Greg? Yes. Go to Rip for starting strength for the power lifter. Please don't mistake my post here as a Rip bash. Because it isn't. I really like the guy, and I think he teaches what he teaches very well. however, there is a huge misconception out there that he is the go-to guy for o'lifting strength. I am sorry, but I strongly disagree with your statement: "I think you can low-bar squats just fine without developing any real imbalances, especially if you invest in some decent squat shoes, since theyíll get you more into your quads anyway, because Iíve taught many of my clients to squat this way and none of them have developed raging imbalances (no shooting hips, or the like)".
If you are never going to perform the O'Lifts, or are not worried about increasing your strength for the O'Lifts, then yes... LBBS away, it is a good way to get starting strength. But, if you want to improve your lifts, and get stronger for them, then you need to drop the LBBS and stick to the HBBS.
I am not trying to put you down here, please don't mistake my post. These are only my opinions. I advise everyone to learn both ways, and then decide for themselves what they think is better. Every single person I know who has switched over sees DRASTIC improvements in their lifts and their strength. Read this article: The Low Bar Back Squat for Weightlifters
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:13 PM   #25
Kevin Perry
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Very Informative post Aimee
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:42 PM   #26
Daniel Olmstead
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Very eye-opening, thanks Aimee.

Since I can barely squat my bodyweight, I think I still qualify as a "beginner" and am going to stick with the LBBS for the rest of my current cycle (9 more weeks). I think the limiting factor on my Oly lifts is still mostly technique, so I have some room to improve there before quad strength kills them for me. But after this cycle, I'm thinking I should shelve LBBS in favor of HBBS and Front-squats.
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:45 PM   #27
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horses for courses...

outside of this rarefied world of Olympic lifting, if you ask the average Powerlifter, SM competitor, HG'er or TF athlete, to explain the the important elements of back squatting, they would tell you to put the bar on your back and squat all the way down.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:56 PM   #28
Stacey Greenway
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Smile Furthermore...

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.
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:15 AM   #29
Donald Lee
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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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Old 03-22-2009, 10:42 AM   #30
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stacey. you might want to close your own thread before it gets any worse.
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