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Old 03-02-2010, 03:47 PM   #1
Scott Shapiro
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Red face High bar back squat - 3 rep 235# - form check

Here's a video of me from this morning doing 5x3 high bar back squat. 235 pounds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLGb1DASVPc - Yes, it's safe for work.

I had been doing the low bar position but find that it requires too horizontal of a back angle and hurts my thoracic spine a bit.

So I'm moving back to high bar position squats which let me keep a more vertical angle (I think). But I can't get the same level of hip drive / posterior chain action and my output is maybe 5% less. The bounce out of the bottom isn't the same either.

As for my form, I think my depth is OK, but I'm rolling forward on to the balls of my feet and I think my knees are coming forward too. This is happening at the bottom of the squat. I think it ends up reducing my hamstring tension and bounce out of the bottom. How can I fix this?

Any other comments / critiques?

Thanks!
Scott
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:19 PM   #2
Júlíus Magnússon
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Re: High bar back squat - 3 rep 235# - form check

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Originally Posted by Scott Shapiro View Post
So I'm moving back to high bar position squats which let me keep a more vertical angle (I think). But I can't get the same level of hip drive / posterior chain action and my output is maybe 5% less. The bounce out of the bottom isn't the same either.
This is basically the definition of a high bar back squat. You DON'T get nearly the same amount of posterior chain involvement with high bar back squats as the focus shifts from the posterior, to the anterior chain.

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Originally Posted by Scott Shapiro View Post
As for my form, I think my depth is OK, but I'm rolling forward on to the balls of my feet and I think my knees are coming forward too.
Your knees are SUPPOSED to go forward. How are you going to maintain a vertical torso if they don't? That would mean you had to lean even more forward, creating a longer lever arm with your back causing even greater torque on it, which from what I understand is what you're trying to reduce.

Your depth is iffy. I would want you to go way deeper on a high bar squat, ideally bouncing off your calves.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:20 PM   #3
Scott Shapiro
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Re: High bar back squat - 3 rep 235# - form check

Thanks Júlíus!

I'll work on my depth. My hamstrings are tight and ankles are even tighter so I'll spend time on flexibility.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:40 PM   #4
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: High bar back squat - 3 rep 235# - form check

I don't see any problems with them. I would go deeper, until you hamstrings touch your calves, but that me.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:47 PM   #5
Derek Weaver
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Re: High bar back squat - 3 rep 235# - form check

A couple of things:
- You're not going to get the same p-chain recruitment on a high bar back squat, as others said. It's a more quad dominant movement, though you do want to maintain tension in the hammies as much as possible.
- Your hip mobility will help with depth over time. Work on it. Look for the Kelly Starrett video on prepping the hips.
- Even with that said, you're unlikely to get a whole lot more depth without weightlifting shoes. The raised heel helps a ton. Working on ankle mobility will help with this as well. If you want to continue low bar squatting in the future then the shoes you have on in the video would be alright, but not optimal.
- You only want to go so deep as you can maintain: tension in the movement, chest up, lordosis. If any of these breaks down you've reached your current maximum depth.

When I note tension, I don't mean that you should be tight or immobile. You should have activated hips, hamstrings, glutes in addition to your quads. Your calves should even be firing.

For the best description and explanation on the 'net go here http://www.dieselcrew.com/how-to-squat/ (questionable of work and family safe. shirtless people, though nothing offensive)

Last edited by Derek Weaver : 03-03-2010 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:34 PM   #6
Terry Gibbs
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Re: High bar back squat - 3 rep 235# - form check

I beleive you are going down too fast.

Cortisone and other treatments will await you if you do not get control of your decent.

There are many aspects to strength one is eccentric, work on it, in the long term you will reap the rewards.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:47 PM   #7
Júlíus Magnússon
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Re: High bar back squat - 3 rep 235# - form check

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I beleive you are going down too fast.

Cortisone and other treatments will await you if you do not get control of your decent.
I disagree.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:55 AM   #8
Derek Weaver
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Re: High bar back squat - 3 rep 235# - form check

Sorry, I got ahead of myself on the last post and didn't actually address the form in the video.

Descent is a little quick, but that's alright. I wouldn't necessarily slow it down.

Depth is alright, and I'm guessing about as low are you're going to get currently considering you noted your ankles and hammies are tight, as well as the sub optimal footwear.

read the article I posted, load the bar with something light, like 135, or even leave it unloaded and give it another go being sure to go through the checklist provided.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:35 AM   #9
Scott Shapiro
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Re: High bar back squat - 3 rep 235# - form check

Thanks everyone for your feedback!! I'll focus on slowing down a little and going through the checklist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Weaver View Post
Depth is alright, and I'm guessing about as low are you're going to get currently considering you noted your ankles and hammies are tight, as well as the sub optimal footwear.
I actually am wearing weightlifting shoes: VS Dynamo Weightlifting Shoe. They have helped a lot compared to converse.

Are there different kinds of weightlifting shoes that would be more helpful to me?
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:42 AM   #10
Derek Weaver
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Re: High bar back squat - 3 rep 235# - form check

Wow. Looks like the heel is rather low. I thought you had on shoes for skateboarding or something.

VS are fine for weightlifting.

I think you need to bring the weight down 20-30 lbs or more. Things like the squat stretch, the prepping the hip video that was on the main site for a while and ankle mobilizations and stretches are important for you.

Can you get something on video again, from multiple angles with less weight?
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