This is the fifth Part of a series on Squats, the earlier posts can be found here:
In the previous sections we've discussed that the back squat is a primal motion, it is not an invented exercise, it's something that we all do everyday in different forms. While it is a basic movement when we load it with weights there are several points to make it a safe and efficient exercise.
The low bar back squat is often referred to as Power Lifter style. It is the form of squat recommended by .
Mark Rippetoe, in Starting Strength
When we do any functional weight training movement we want to bring as much muscle mass into the exercise as possible. The low bar back squat recruits more muscle mass then the high bar back squat or the front squat. While all of the squats train the glutes, posterior chain and core stabilizers the low bar back squat recruits the hamstrings and glutes much more than the other two, which place a much greater emphasis on the glutes.
Low Bar Back Squat
- More horizontal back
- Less knee bend, less quad activation
- More hip angle, more hamstring and glute
High Bar Back Squat
- More vertical back
- More knee bend(More Quad Activation)
- Less hip bend(Less Hamstring and Glute
Remember this is a angle created by bending from the hips not a flexion of the back. The back always remain straight the angle comes from rotation around the hips. As we will get to in the next post the front squat is a movement with an even more vertical angle on the back then high bar back squat due to the position of the bar in front and on the rack position.
The grip has your hands over the top of the bar. You should be supporting no weight if the bar in your hands or arms, all of the weight is resting on your back. They are simply there for light positioning.
If flexibility will allow a narrow grip will help you to contract your upper-back more providing a padded rack toward the bottom shelf of your scapula. Some people will have difficulty with a narrow grip until shoulder flexibility improves. I will post more on shoulder flexibility in a future post. In the mean time see Increase Shoulder Flexibility Fast with This Shoulder Stretch
Spotting the Back squat
- Really, how much assistance can be given?
- This just looks silly.
Two people on each side of the bar.
Use a proper squat rack with safety bars or Bumper plates that you can dump.
I know this position on spotting the squat will be controversial. I would appreciate any comments and am happy to entertain disagreement. Please comment if you disagree,
After that we will tackle the Front Squat in Part 6 and try and wrap up Squats(For now) in Part 7
Previous Sections Can Be Found below: