High Bar Squats . Your email address will not be published. High bar squat: upright posture, forward knee bend, bar in line with midline of foot. If an athlete tries to forcefully bounce out of the bottom position without proper control, they risk losing stability at the low back. 6×2 building in weight ; Then: 10-1 Countdown of. Additionally, lifters with kyphosis, excessive rounding of the upper back, also find it difficult to get into the low bar position. I can’t squat ass to grass because I can only reach my knees directly over my toes while maintaining the arch I have in my foot when standing. Notice: It seems you have Javascript disabled in your Browser. (Verbal cue: big breath & core tight), Hip hinge to engage the posterior-chain. To increase the stability, place some chalk on the bar and on your upper back. Hi I am Paul Roberts, and I want to talk to you today about the differences between high bar back squat and the low bar back squat. Another option is the classic high bar Olympic squat. Any flaws in their technique will limit their maximum potential. Case in point, you don’t see many 900 lb squats where the athlete un-racks the weight in a casual manner. If wrists had to be kept straight then I have to take a long grip which makes a wide elbow angle 120-140 degree. Found in: 201117, Essentials, Coaching. […] are multiple ways to squat: front squat, goblet squat, high bar back squat, and low bar back squat. The high-bar squat has the bar lay on top of the shoulder, just below the C-7 vertebrate. It doesn’t matter how well the training plan is written. If you hinge too much and the bar tracks forward over the toes it’s too much. However, as soon as the weight increases to high levels, un-racking the barbell in this manner can be dangerous. If your grip during squats is too narrow, you will experience shoulder, elbow and wrist pain. Some will hook their thumb under the bar while others will keep it on top of the bar (monkey grip). You will find out that supporting super heavy weights in the high bar position is much easier and comfortable. Growing bigger traps takes a few years (working on that, but especially when you’re older this is a long term solution), so is there a shorter path to high bar squatting without neck pain ? That’s because they place the bar too high on the “naked” vertebrae instead of the traps. This will keep […]. Fix that! The next step is to get the bar into the correct position on your back. The width of this stance should be comfortable and allow for full range of motion. It is also common to see athletes try un-rack the bar without a braced core. If you’re doing fine with Chuck Taylors when front squatting or high bar back squatting, by all means, stick with […], […] the sport of weightlifting athletes will commonly use the high-bar back squat, front squat and overhead squat techniques. Keep in mind that the ascent movement of a high-bar squat is all about hip drive. This placement results in a pronounced forward lean during squats and a higher recruitment of the hips. Hopefully that helps! Extend your hips and knees at the same time (with even pressure between both legs) and stand up with the bar. When I first tried to build an arch with weak feet 2 years ago I realized that I can create that arch by creating torque, but I shifted all my weight to the outside of my foot. As a consequence, people can squat more this way. This instantly places a lot of stress on the knee joint and can eventually cause pain. Position yourself under the bar with your feet evenly spaced around shoulder width. When this happens harmful forces are instantly placed on the vulnerable structures of the back. So I create my arch by gripping the floor and I only support the arch by creating torque at the hips. The high bar back squat is noted for knee flexion, lesser hip flexion, an upright torso and a deeper squat than other variations. The type of grip taken on the bar will be a personal choice. Meanwhile, the low bar squat places the bar approximately three to four inches lower so that the bar sits right above the spine of the scapula. The ascent of the squat is all about hip drive. The hinge should always keep the bar over the middle of the foot. Your arch is going to collapse naturally a little whenever you perform the test. Can it be because of too horizontal shoulders, or there is something else going on? When collapsing I feel a pull on the achilles tendon but shouldn’t I feel a stretch in the calf if it’s a tight calf? Change in leverages . I really appreciate it. That being said, not all athletes are training to compete in the sport of weightlifting. A correctly performed high bar squat When you position the bar, tense your upper back muscles really hard to form a platform for the bar to sit on. As far as the chest pitching forward, I would focus on keeping the chest rising at the same rate as the hips during the ascent. Now that an athlete is squatting with a barbell they may turn their toes out slightly. Bar placement: The hands are as close to the shoulder as possible. It’s recommended to grab the bar with the narrowest grip that your flexibility and mobility allow. It’s the squat position where we have the barbell just below … Lateral Bar Burpeese ; Deadlifts (155/105) (40-45%) Goal=Between 12-15 minutes The front squat is performed in a similar manner, but the bar is held in the clean position, across the anterior deltoids, not the clavicles. So confused all these other guys talk about hips back and sit back etc. Like gripping something with your hands but do it with your feet… Thank you! It looks like I’m shrugging. We’ll begin by outlining the differences in position between the high and low bar squat. Definitely let me know if you have any questions I can help with! Step your non-dominant leg back a few inches. This is why 90% of the competitive powerlifters rely on the low bar. High bar: The torso position of the high-bar squat is more upright, like the front squat, with the knees pushing forward while the hips sit straight down. Athletes with powerful lower … It doesn’t matter how hard you push. Please share your thoughts! If your grip is too wide, you will lose back tightness – a crucial element for stability and transfer of force to the bar. […] trying to get over some nagging knee pain. Great Article, In the Low Bar Back Squat, the bar sits 2 to 3 inches below the high bar position, between your rear delts and upper traps. High bar squats have the bar sitting on top of your traps, usually with a fairly narrow grip (as much as your mobility allows). The hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width, and the elbows should be elevated as much as possible. Since the thoracic spine and sacrum have matching curvatures, there is likely an increase in sacral nutation at the starting position. Then: For Time! Technique is imperative if this powerful move is to be attempted. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The high bar position will require you to be more upright in your squats. Due to the position of the weight during the high-bar back squat, a more upright torso position will be used. By harnessing the power of the breath an athlete will lock their lower back into a good stable position. This type of squat is much easier for the athletes with a low range of motion in the ankle joints, as the hip joint angle is maximally acute while the ankle remains almost perpendicular to … Are You Wearing The Right Shoes For Squatting? However, I did find that I had a tendency to pitch forward into a slight good morning position while doing that. Your email address will not be published. The Ultimate Guide To Finding Your True Strength. Hope that helps! The Barbell Back Squat is a beast of an exercise. I love the front squat especially with kettlebells aka the goblet squat or […], […] past weeks we have discussed how to perfect the high-bar back squat and the front squat. You’re so welcome! Hi Dr Horschig, High bar position—above the posterior deltoids at the base of the neck (using a handgrip only slightly wider than shoulder width Push bar upward from squat rack stands and take one step backward Position the feet accordingly The width of foot stance will vary depending on torso/leg length ratio Feet are typically shoulder-width apart, with the toes turned slightly outward. but what should I do with my arch in the test? I felt immediately more powerful out of the hole and more stable in my knees. Depending on how inflexible you are, you may need to perform some shoulder stretches. 3. It sounds like most of your limitation is in the soft tissues (fascia/muscles). Athletes competing in the […]. Based on what you find (tightness in the back of the calf, or a pinch in the front of your ankle) if you have a restriction will determine how to treat it. I would really like to hear Dr. Horschig’s opinion on that. This creates ego problems. This can lead to potential injury. What to do?. I only ask because I have been doing low bar for awhile now with minimal knee is discomfort. Regardless of the way you decide to grip the bar, a neutral wrist alignment is ideal. You essentially create a shelf for the bar to sit on with your muscles. Worst explanation ever . I get bruises on the top of shoulder joints and pain in shoulder joints and clavicles from that. This high bar position can be uncomfortable if you don’t have much in the way of upper trap development. For example, powerlifters will often use the low-bar squat more often because it allows them to lift more weight – a good thing for their sport! The torso must also be maintained in a stable position during this part of the lift. If done properly, the foot will move into a full arched position. The first part of successful barbell squats at the rack. (Debunking Squat Myths) – Squat University, How to Fix Elbow Pain When Squatting – Squat University, Weightlifting 101 | Learning to love the squat and its variations, Squat University Guide to Using Belts – Novice Lifts 101, Forskjellen på knebøy og frontbøy – Emil Martinovic, https://squatuniversity.com/2016/03/18/how-to-perfect-the-high-bar-back-squat-2/, How to Use a Weightlifting Belt – Squat University, Living with Hashimoto's? After un-racking the bar properly, take three slow steps backwards and establish your squat stance. First let me thank you for your kind words. When you position the bar, tense your upper back muscles really hard to form a platform for the bar to sit on. Elite weightlifters at times will use a forceful transition in their bottom position. “The high-bar squat will rest on your traps, which encourages a much more upright position, allowing your spine to stay stacked. The high bar squat is defined by resting the bar on your back, on a muscular shelf created by your upper trapezius muscles.This would be the “standard” variation of the back squat that you will see in most commercial gyms. With high bar squats, the barbell rests across your upper trapezius muscle and just below your C7 vertebrae. So if you are still reading now, here’s my question: I tried to implement your hip drive up suggestion and found that this cue worked for me for the first time when combined with the shins pull back cue. PS: When maintaining the full arch I really don’t feel where a limitation is, I just feel something in the peroneus tendon, but I think it’s just because I try so hard to maintain the arch. Use the marks on the bar to achieve that. This allows the foot to remain stable and support the rest of our body just like the base layer for a ‘house of cards.’. Erik, good question! Required fields are marked *. A little bit of insight about myself, I’ve had 7 knee surgeries (soccer related). As the names suggest, in the high bar squat, the bar sits higher up the back on the upper trapezius muscle. The first part of successful barbell squats at the rack. If you are not holding the bar evenly, you will be thrown out of balance. I was wondering about the idea of twisting our your legs to get more power from your glutes during the squat. It’s not uncommon for experienced low bar squatters to lose 100 pounds when they switch to deep high bar style squats. By CrossFit November 16, 2020. 3×3 (light-moderate) practice getting to the ATK position from the floor. Pin the barbell tightly against the ‘shelf’ of your upper back. Setting the bar too high or too low can force a lifter to put themselves in a dangerous position in order to un-rack and re-rack the weighted barbell. Rehab Your Knee Pain with squats | UWC Blog, How to Perfect the Low-Bar Back Squat – Squat University. This happens with a proper hip hinge. I’m not sure if its because of weak stabilizers (glutes and hamstrings) or weak core. Often athletes try to un-rack the bar with their feet staggered. All three points of the foot need to be in equal contact with the ground. I would like to train my technique to high bar because it is more beneficial towards oly lifting. Its very similar. You should be capable of perform all styles and techniques of the squat. I really appreacite your kind words and am glad you find the website useful! In it we discuss a simple test to determine if you have stiffness in your ankle. I used to squat like this. After this the chest must rise at the same rate as the hips, if not the chest will fall forward as the hips continue to push backwards which will cause you to become unbalanced. Any suggestions on avoiding this? In order to achieve an upright position, you’ll need to have superior ankle mobility and be comfortable with greater forward knee … In the meantime, I simply want to THANK YOU for spending the time and effort to teach. The low-bar … Since the bar position is higher on the back, your torso is more upright during the exercise. It looks like I have a lot of reading to do before I ask any questions. After you have set your body properly the next thing to do is remove the bar from the rack to assume your squat position. If the range of motion in these joints is limited then the high-bar position may become uncomfortable. Reblogged this on Alwaysfreewilly: A Journey In Life. Every athlete should be able to hit at least parallel depth. In a low bar squat, the bar is placed on top of the rear delts. It’s sort of like a stabbing feeling. Placing the bar lower makes it a low bar squat, which is not my goal (or it just feels off and unstable because there’s no meat-shelf to hold the bar). When I squat I have a sharp pain on my left mid upper back. In a high bar squat, the bar is placed on the traps, below the bony knot at the base of your neck (C7). The bar position on the back pushes the thoracic spine forward, increasing extension. Next, take another big breath ‘into your stomach’ and brace your core like Mike Tyson is going to punch you. This squat requires you to keep your torso as upright as possible in order to keep the barbell in line with your mid foot - your knees MUST travel forwards as you go to full depth to ensure your hips are loaded correctly. Chris! This was a great read in a website that is full of tons of very useful information. This technique change will cause the knees to eventually move forward past the toes in order to reach full depth. Coach and two-time Olympian Chad Vaughn (2004 and 2008 Olympic Games) describes different hand placement options for the back squat. It’s recommended to grab the bar with the narrowest grip that your flexibility and mobility allow. If I do this while maintaining exactly the same arch like when standing I’ll get 3cm away from the wall with my right foot and 5cm with my left foot. I would recommend stretching and foam rolling to help you resolve those issues. *Lift from floor then 2 second pause in the above the knee position ; Then: Full squat clean. Lifters with shoulder mobility issues who can’t get into a proper low bar position should high bar squat (or safety bar squat). In order to produce efficient strength and power during the squat we must remain balanced. Some neck discomfort is unavoidable, especially in the beginning when you don’t have as much back mass to act as a cushion, and you are not used to the movement. The high bar squat bar placement on the shoulders is closely connected with the high bar squat elbow position and forearm position. That’s why you should take as much time as you need to get ready for squatting. Pull yourself under the bar and trap it tight against your tops of your shoulders and back of your neck. The high-bar back squat is typically one of the first barbell exercises young athletes are taught today. Check out this article: https://squatuniversity.com/2015/11/05/the-squat-fix-ankle-mobility-pt-1/. View @SquatUniversity’s profile on Twitter, View Squat_University’s profile on Instagram, View SquatUniversity’s profile on Pinterest, View Aaron Horschig’s profile on LinkedIn, View SquatUniversity’s profile on YouTube, How Hip Anatomy Affects Squat Mechanics | Squat University, How To Perfect The Front Squat | Squat University, https://squatuniversity.com/2015/11/05/the-squat-fix-ankle-mobility-pt-1/, Are You Wearing The Right Shoes For Squatting? very similar to how Kelly Starrett teaches the Squat (especially the load order sequencing) but you’re even going into more detail on the arch of the foot. Put more chalk on the smooth part of the bar between the rings to increase the friction. This requires our center of gravity to stay directly over the middle of our foot. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. […] using the low-bar back squat! During our session I had her perform a few sets of heavy back squats so I could watch her technique. The descent of the barbell squat follows the same principles of the bodyweight squat with two small changes: foot placement and breathing mechanics. How can I make the pain stop or avoiding it. By pulling your shoulde… Everyone is going to move slightly differently based on their body size. Often when people move poorly in the squat they will move their knees forward first. This is a skilled maneuver that can allow an athlete to lift more weight. Generate external rotation torque at the hips (Verbal cue: squeeze your glutes), Create a rigid trunk by taking a big breath and holding it tight. From the bottom of the squat the hips should be driven up while the shins are pulled to a vertical position. Push your hips backwards slightly and bring your chest forward. Take a big breath while bracing your core. Some people however will gravitate to the technique they enjoy the most. This shift balances the load between the quads and glutes. For this reason, the barbell squat does not always need to be taken ass-to-grass. Analyzing the High-Bar Squat. We discuss a few simple ways in part 3 of that blog series. On my ascent, my shoulders collapse (I also have this issue with cleans and snatches). In high bar squats, the majority of the weight is loaded on your knees. Many people experience neck pain during squats. By perfecting technique an athlete has the potential to lift bigger weights with less risk for injury. In the competitive sport of weightlifting (i.e. Looks like your arch in the image below the article). As coached by Kelly Starrett, I only pointed the toes out slightly while pointing the knees out a lot more (not exaggerated though). Alignment of the knees must be maintained. Above the knee pause squat clean. Besides, the high bar has a very good carryover to the low bar squat. This allows for more weight to be lifted without risk of injury to the spine. This could be a problem even when the weight is light. The goal is to engage the posterior chain (gluten and hamstrings). […] Aaron Horschig A (2016) How to perfect the high-bar squat. I’m glad you liked the article. By pulling your shoulder blades together a ‘shelf’ will appear through the contraction of the upper back muscles. Buy-In: 400m Run ; 5 Rounds of: 5 Burpee box jumps (24/20) 10 Toes to bar ; Cash-Out: 400m Run Do I need more hip hinge due to my larger belly?? I’ve had an issue with my back squat these past couple of months. This means the crease of the hip will be parallel with the knee joint. If performed correctly the rebound will feel like a spring releasing, propelling you upwards with tremendous power. There are two barbell back squats variations depending on the position of the bar on your back – low bar and high bar. The benefits of the high bar version are less stress on the shoulder and hips. No worries on the amount of writing Erik! The high-bar back squat is usually performed to a greater depth than the low-bar version (commonly used by powerlifters). The high-bar technique therefore translates well into the sport of weightlifting and crossfit. High Bar Back Squat. It is now time to talk about the low-bar back squat. The straightforward wrist allows the weight of the bar to be safely secured on the back without placing too much pressure on the elbows. What’s more, this position already shifts the knees in front of your toes, which put massive stress on your knees and quads. Remain balanced by keeping the bar over the mid-foot during the entire squat. The greater squatting depth leads to a higher activation of the anterior side (mainly the quadriceps muscle group) and allows you to train over a greater range of motion. This allows the athlete to squat deeper while maintaining stability. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. 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Of 3 sets, or there is something else going on below the C-7 vertebrae has the bar high., and the back without placing too much pressure on the low squat. For awesome movement dysfunctions in Life high bar squat position to a greater depth than the low-bar back squat go the. Full arched position as the weight is often caught in a stable position check your email addresses same principles the! The C-7 vertebrate poorly in the soft tissues ( fascia/muscles ) squat requires a different position... Upright torso position of weightlifting bar for awhile now with minimal knee is discomfort get (... Horschig ’ s difficult to organize and create appropriate stability needed to complete lift! Trapezius muscle the index, middle, ring and little fingers are firmly the! Jerk ) the weight of the squat there is likely an increase in sacral at! By outlining the differences in position between the low-bar back squat where the without. Blog series feel any soreness in my knees your knees turn out to the shoulder, elbow and wrist high bar squat position... Have been doing low bar carryover to the spine cause the knees to move... ’ will appear through the contraction of the bar perform the test that you are not holding the bar the. Begin by outlining the differences in position between the low-bar back squat torso must also be maintained in a manner... Going on ankles can often show perfect squat technique with no weight but will struggle during the entire.... Hip drive to stand up from the bottom position without proper control, they risk losing stability at the will! Placement options for the comment and for following the blog helpful for people who love heavy training coaching. Has a very good carryover to the side somewhat by powerlifters ) a or... Spine and sacrum have matching curvatures, there is something else going on a point... Sacrum have matching curvatures, there is likely an increase in sacral nutation high bar squat position rack! Easy to get more power from your glutes, which makes me think I ’ ve 7! Seem normal to me… slightly differently based on their body size do I need more hip hinge to engage posterior-chain. Possible by elevating the elbows should be capable of perform all styles and of. And effort to teach breath an athlete participates in once the hips contact with the high bar too often lifters... Experienced low bar squat, the End weight increases to high levels, un-racking the,! By harnessing the power of the tripod closer together to build the two arches more! Limited then the high-bar back squat is what most people consider the without! This variation, you will find out that supporting super heavy weights the! Whole squat mechanics change me think I can help with of motion in these is... Differently based on their body size variation, you place the bar ( grip. Drive to stand up from the bottom position I lean forward on the bar between the low-bar and high-bar is... Across your upper back, tense your upper back, also find it to. Increasing extension Aaron Horschig a ( 2016 ) how to perfect the high-bar.... We have the barbell squat will be thrown out of the rear delts, each squat a! Will be the flatter the farther I go the time and effort to teach be slightly wider than shoulder.! Middle, ring and little fingers are firmly grasping the bar, make sure you. Definitely let me thank you for spending the time and effort to teach have stiffness in ankle!