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Thread: I don't understand low bar squats page

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    Gadsie's Avatar
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    I don't understand low bar squats

    When you've finished a rep, and stand straight up. How are you supposed to keep the bar from fallling from your back? Should you lean your upperback forward when you're standing straight up? Isn't this bad for your back
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    With low bar squats you are leaning a little bit forward, yes, but not enough that it should be rolling up. Also, you don't lean your upper back forward, but your whole back, all the way to your hips.

    Low Bar vs High Bar Squatting | 70's Big This article explains it pretty well, and uses an image from Rippetoe's Starting Strength to illustrate the difference. In all three of the squat positions shown, the back is straight, all the way to the hips. From the page, "The high bar is a simple ďgo down, squat upĒ kind of movement. In contrast, the low bar squat requires much more attention to detail and is more difficult to do correctly."


    If you are switching from high bar to low bar, take the time to deload a bit, or practice your form with lighter weight. Low bar squats exposed me to some shoulder and back issues (mostly lack of flexibility) that were never an issue with high bar.

    "Some other problems with the low bar squat include itís difficulty. Itís not easy to do properly. This doesnít mean it should be avoided, but some trainees do such a shitty job of executing it that itíd be better if could wait to receive proper coaching. Also, some trainees donít have enough flexibility in their shoulders to put the bar in the right position. When they attempt to do so, it may result in shoulder, wrist, or elbow pain. If any problems in those joints become debilitating to training, the trainee should use a different style of squatting until they a) alleviate the painful symptoms and ó more importantly ó b) address the underlying mobility problem that is causing the pain.

    It's a good lift, but make sure you are doing it properly, and get your form down with low weight before loading back up.

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    Gadsie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfreaksho View Post
    With low bar squats you are leaning a little bit forward, yes, but not enough that it should be rolling up. Also, you don't lean your upper back forward, but your whole back, all the way to your hips.

    Low Bar vs High Bar Squatting | 70's Big This article explains it pretty well, and uses an image from Rippetoe's Starting Strength to illustrate the difference. In all three of the squat positions shown, the back is straight, all the way to the hips. From the page, "The high bar is a simple “go down, squat up” kind of movement. In contrast, the low bar squat requires much more attention to detail and is more difficult to do correctly."


    If you are switching from high bar to low bar, take the time to deload a bit, or practice your form with lighter weight. Low bar squats exposed me to some shoulder and back issues (mostly lack of flexibility) that were never an issue with high bar.

    "Some other problems with the low bar squat include it’s difficulty. It’s not easy to do properly. This doesn’t mean it should be avoided, but some trainees do such a shitty job of executing it that it’d be better if could wait to receive proper coaching. Also, some trainees don’t have enough flexibility in their shoulders to put the bar in the right position. When they attempt to do so, it may result in shoulder, wrist, or elbow pain. If any problems in those joints become debilitating to training, the trainee should use a different style of squatting until they a) alleviate the painful symptoms and — more importantly — b) address the underlying mobility problem that is causing the pain.

    It's a good lift, but make sure you are doing it properly, and get your form down with low weight before loading back up.
    I just got back from doing low bar squats for the second time. It went better. I did a thumbless grip and this is much easier on my wrist. I bent at mi hips and pushed my shoulder blades back so the bar could rest more on my back. However my shoulders get a little tired by pushing the bar at my back.

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    I used to do high bar squats only, but recently switched to low bar. I find it much more comfortable, less strain on my back and I am able to squat more weight than with high bar. It even feels better on my hips. With high bar I'd feel a little pull on the hip flexors and lower back when I go really deep, no such feeling when I go deep with low bar. I don't think I'll ever do a high bar squat again. The bar did feel weird being so low on the back at first, but I got used to it after one set. I use the same no thumb grip.

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    take a look at mark's videos on youtube where he talks about hip drive. the essence of the low bar squat is the hip drive, and back angle is really secondary. your back will bear more of the load, so it's important to keep proper spinal flexion. but the crux of the movement when coming back up is to drive the sacrum.

    for me, the advantage of low bar squats is that they're just way easier on the knees if you're doing the properly. if you have back issues though, it may be easier for you to stick with olympic style squatting.

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    Here's what happens when I low bar squat:

    I have to do a thumbless grip otherwise I'll injure my thumbs (this is what rippetoe advices anyway)
    Because of this the bar is slowly slipping out of my hands even if I lean forward as much as I can.
    My shoulders get very tired
    well then

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadsie View Post
    Here's what happens when I low bar squat:

    I have to do a thumbless grip otherwise I'll injure my thumbs (this is what rippetoe advices anyway)
    Because of this the bar is slowly slipping out of my hands even if I lean forward as much as I can.
    My shoulders get very tired
    You probably have the bar too low - Ripp describes the bar position for low bar as the point where if you go any lower you can no longer keep the bar in place. There is a good video describing it on the starting strength website.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadsie View Post
    Here's what happens when I low bar squat:

    I have to do a thumbless grip otherwise I'll injure my thumbs (this is what rippetoe advices anyway)
    Because of this the bar is slowly slipping out of my hands even if I lean forward as much as I can.
    My shoulders get very tired
    Grip as narrow as you can, and keep your elbows behind the bar. This bunches up your back muscles and provides a stable spot for the bar.

    The thumbless grip is correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomingno View Post
    You probably have the bar too low - Ripp describes the bar position for low bar as the point where if you go any lower you can no longer keep the bar in place. There is a good video describing it on the starting strength website.
    That could be true, I have the bar just above my armpits, is that too low?
    well then

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miscellangela View Post
    Grip as narrow as you can, and keep your elbows behind the bar. This bunches up your back muscles and provides a stable spot for the bar.

    The thumbless grip is correct.
    I'll try that though it's very scary to not have any handsupport
    well then

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