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High bar vs low bar squats

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  • High bar vs low bar squats

    There are a lot of threads out there about high bar squats vs low bar. People tend to love one but hate the other. Sometimes they have a reason, sometimes they just say "because" and that you're stupid for even considering the alternative.

    But it seems to me that regardless of which one is better, if they're both great exercises and they emphasize different muscles, then obviously you should do both. Right?

    I had been doing low bar (just past parallel) for a while, and was stuck at 225. I decided to try high bar (ATG) for a while, starting at 175 (not necessarily the absolute most I could do, but close). I kept adding 5 pounds when I completed 3x5, or trying again at the same weight if I failed. After a few weeks I seemed to be stuck at 205.

    I decided to go back to low bar for a while, thinking that I would blast through 225 like it was nothing. But no, I only got 3 reps on the first set, same as before.

    So my high bar strength gains did not transfer at all to low bar. This tells me that these exercises are more different than I thought, which makes me even more convinced that one should do both of them, at least if they're not doing strength competitions.
    "Don't go in there, General, it's a trap! That's a grain chamber. It makes people like you into people like me."

  • #2
    Low bar squats have exposed some back problems that I never knew existed- my left back muscles are much weaker (I knew that) but when I do low bar squats, they tense up so much that when the bar sits on them it feels like it's hitting a trigger point that runs all the way down the side of my spine.

    Now I have to work on my back and shoulder flexibility, as well as my leg flexibility. All from squats.