Home   |   Contact   |   Help

Get Our Newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter to get training tips and stay up to date on Catalyst Athletics, and get a FREE issue of the Performance Menu journal.

Go Back   Catalyst Athletics Forums > Training > Olympic Weightlifting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-09-2007, 09:50 AM   #1
Jay L Swan
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Durango CO
Posts: 21
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!
Jay L Swan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2007, 04:02 AM   #2
Allen Yeh
Senior Member
 
Allen Yeh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 4,245
Default

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.
Allen Yeh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2007, 07:10 PM   #3
Jay L Swan
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Durango CO
Posts: 21
Default

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.
Jay L Swan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2007, 07:43 PM   #4
Steve Shafley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,285
Default

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.
Steve Shafley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2007, 08:20 PM
Yael Grauer
This message has been deleted by Yael Grauer.
Old 01-10-2007, 08:33 PM   #5
Greg Everett
Administrator
 
Greg Everett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,738
Default

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.
__________________
Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches

"Without a doubt the best book on the market about Olympic-style weightlifting." - Mike Burgener, USAW Senior International Coach

American Weightlifting: The Documentary
Catalyst Athletics
Performance Menu Journal
Greg Everett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2007, 09:34 PM   #6
Chris Goodrich
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 17
Default

Rippetoe has a good clear description in Starting Strength which I found useful. Crib notes version as follows:

Create a shelf on your upper back (superman chest and fully retracted scapulae). This should bear all the weight of the bar, your arms are just pressing the bar into your back to keep it on the shelf. Grip width will vary based on comfort and flexibility, but your forearms should be generally perpendicular to the bar (snatch grip sounds to wide to achieve this unless you have a funky build). Use a thumbless grip on the bar and keep your wrists locked and aligned with your forearms, not pronated. Instead of thinking about holding the bar up with your arms focus on rotating your elbows back and up, this will drive the bar into your back and keep it firmly on the shelf.

I don't have the book in front of me so apologies if I missed or distorted anything.
Chris Goodrich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2007, 05:15 PM   #7
Robb Wolf
Senior Member
 
Robb Wolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,444
Default

Like Greg said, one should be able to create a comfortable shelf that the bar can rest on at the T-3 T-4 level. If you are hanging on with just the arms that means the shoulders are being placed in an eventual loosing situation. If you can get some photos or video posted (profile) that would make diagnosis easier.

BTW- Welcome to the forum!
__________________
"Survival will be neither to the strongest of the species, nor to the most intelligent, but to those most adaptable to change."
C. Darwin

Robb's Blog
Robb Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2007, 05:23 PM   #8
Greg Everett
Administrator
 
Greg Everett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,738
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Goodrich View Post
Use a thumbless grip on the bar and keep your wrists locked and aligned with your forearms, not pronated.
I dig rippetoe and want to party with him all the time, but I don't care for the thumbless grip approach. He explained at some point I don't recall that it was because if he was going to lose a bar, he didn't want to rip off his thumbs. But sans thumbs, you'll rip off your arms instead. I prefer the former over the latter.

The way I look at it, if you're placing the bar in a position that is not secure with a nearly vertical torso, you're going to have to hold it there with your arms, and that's just setting yourself up for trouble--either shoulder, wrist, or elbow pain/injuries, or a fudged up bail out.

All that said, I think it was actually our very own Pierre who said he liked the thumbless grip because it was easier on his wrists, as he is a very old man and has these sorts of problems. In that case, I suppose I can live with it, but then even more than with the thumb, the bar placement needs to be as secure as possible on the back, not the arms.
__________________
Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches

"Without a doubt the best book on the market about Olympic-style weightlifting." - Mike Burgener, USAW Senior International Coach

American Weightlifting: The Documentary
Catalyst Athletics
Performance Menu Journal
Greg Everett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2007, 05:56 PM   #9
Jay L Swan
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Durango CO
Posts: 21
Default

I tried this again yesterday and it felt a lot better. Not sure why. I did get some photos, but my new computer and my camera are not getting along. I hope to figure that out tonight or tomorrow.

I have had problems back squatting with even light weights for quite a long time now when using the high bar position--I get odd twinges in my knees, and a sharp strange pain in my right hamstring. The low bar position seems to totally resolve these issues.
Jay L Swan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2007, 07:22 PM   #10
Greg Everett
Administrator
 
Greg Everett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,738
Default

jay - Do the respective positions of your hips, feet, knees differ between the low and high bar squats? Does the depth change? The width of your foot placement? The angle of your foot placement?
__________________
Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches

"Without a doubt the best book on the market about Olympic-style weightlifting." - Mike Burgener, USAW Senior International Coach

American Weightlifting: The Documentary
Catalyst Athletics
Performance Menu Journal
Greg Everett is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:51 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Subscribe to our Newsletter


Receive emails with training tips, news updates, events info, sale notifications and more.
ASK GREG

Submit your question to be answered by Greg Everett in the Performance Menu or on the website

Submit Your Question
WEIGHTLIFTING TEAM

Catalyst Athletics is a USA Weightlifting team of competitive Olympic-style weightlifters with multiple national team medals.

Read More
Olympic Weightlifting Book
Catalyst Athletics
Contact Us
About
Help
Newsletter
Products & Services
Gym
Store
Seminars
Weightlifting Team
Performance Menu
Magazine Home
Subscriber Login
Issues
Articles
Workouts
About the Program
Workout Archives
Exercise Demos
Text Only
Instructional Content
Exercise Demos
Video Gallery
Free Articles
Free Recipes
Resources
Recommended Books & DVDs
Olympic Weightlifting Guide
Discussion Forum
Weight Conversion Calculator