At the most basic level, high-bar squats elicit greater quadriceps muscle activity, while low-bar squats are hip dominant. Bar position. When individualizing our programs, the bar position we favor depends on the ability and goals of the specific client or athlete we’re working with. The Low Bar Back Squat has the bar sit 2 to 3 inches lower than the high bar position. 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. High-bar squats are your big-ticket move for leg size, but you have to get them right to really emphasize the quads. In this video I answer a common question: Should I high bar squat or should I low bar squat? In this video, Alan Thrall compares the High Bar Squat and the Low Bar Squat. The position of the bar during high-bar squats already falls naturally in line with the midfoot from the beginning of the position, which makes it easier to stay in balance than the low-bar squat. The spine is loaded starting high thoracic and/or low cervical. For less specific strength assessments, e.g. The position of the bar may tell you what shoes to wear. Background Differences in the muscular activity between the high-bar back squat (HBBS) and the low-bar back squat (LBBS) on the same representative group of experienced powerlifters are still scarcely investigated. High bar squats have the bar placed on top of the traps muscle. The high-bar and low-bar back-squats: a biomechanical analysis. Low bar squats often lend themselves to a wider stance and more forward facing feet, where as a high bar usually favours a narrower stance with toes more pointed outwards, but this is more of a guideline, and it’s up to you to find out where is the best foot position for you. I feel I'm more comfortable with a high bar position. “This is scary for many people because it doesn’t feel natural,” Matt told me. If you’re concerned about going into that much detail, take a physics class, video tape your squat, and do some calculations. Knee Sleeves are useful for warming the knee joint quickly. This discussion covers 90%+ of people, though.) Wrist Wraps are useful if the low bar squat position is painful on your wrists. Next, we need to position the barbell correctly on the back. The numbers themselves don’t matter, just the relative size. Low-Bar vs. High-Bar Squats... (continued) better squatter at 611 than Phil’s 589. Position for “Low Bar Squats” A low bar squat will sit somewhere between the middle and top of the rear delt. The low bar squat allows you to lift heavier weights. Additionally, lifters with kyphosis, excessive rounding of the upper back, also find it difficult to get into the low bar position. A quick fix is a couple loops of athletic tape over pre-wrap. Back Squats: High Bar vs. Low Bar Position. Just like the high-bar back squat and front squat, the bar should be set at around chest height. Lifters with shoulder mobility issues who can’t get into a proper low bar position should high bar squat (or safety bar squat). Mark Rippetoe. But the downside to this position is the requirement of a flexible ankle to properly perform it. Below are key points they point out in proper high bar squat performance, along with a deficit summary that can be used as a tool to identify where someone’s form may be lacking. 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. 12-10-2007, 04:35 PM #2. Grab the bar with a tight grip, with the thumb is around the bar (and not on the same side as your fingers!) The high bar squat bar placement on the shoulders is closely connected with the high bar squat elbow position and forearm position. In a high bar Olympic lifting style squat, the bar is placed high on the trapezius muscles (traps) and on the cervical vertebra of the spine. Differences, advantages, disadvantages, challenges. Step 1: Pull the traps and scaps together, so the barbell sits on top of the traps. You’ll want to avoid resting the bar on your neck bones though. When to High Bar Squat. That’s why I think you should go for heeled shoes if you prefer high bars. High-Bar Typical Bar Position: On top of the traps. Wrist wraps are better because the pressure is adjustable and you can take them on & off quickly. In a high bar squat, the bar is placed on the traps, below the bony knot at the base of your neck (C7). High Bar Position for Squats I was wondering how less beneficial it would be to have the bar on your traps (right below the neck) for squats as compared to a lower bar position? High vs. Low Bar Squats . Before commencing the descent part of the exercise, secure a stable foundation with your feet. For High-Bar Squats. If you aren't used to a bar on your upper traps it can feel uncomfortable at first. J Strength Cond Res 33(7S): S1-S18, 2019-No previous study has compared the joint angle and ground reaction force (vertical force [Fv]) differences between the high-bar back-squat (HBBS) and low-bar back-squat (LBBS) above 90% 1 repetition maximum (1RM). The High Bar Squat Bar position and resulting in more upright body posture also allows you to achieve greater squatting depth, as compared to the low bar position. Position for “High Bar Squats” A high bar squat will sit on the upper trap muscles, somewhere above the rear deltoid. The latter also allows you to lift heavier weights. tom-morrison-squat-foot-placement.jpg 49.92 KB The bar rests higher on the trapezius muscles than in the powerlifting style of squatting, which means the high-bar squat trains the body for similar hip and spine positions as seen in the snatch and clean (hence its pseudonym: "Olympic Squat"). Low Bar. Or you could high bar squat with a silly amount of forward lean, and then there would be more hip torque. However, if it NEEDS to be changed for the benefit of my body, I'll go ahead and lower the bar position. The initial break of the movement occurs at the knee as the hips descend low with as little hip extension as possible, resulting in larger amounts of knee flexion and ankle dorsi flexion. As you can clearly see by the image above, bar position placement can affect the force angles and postures involved in the barbell back squat exercise. Given the similarities between the two in joint angles, we’d also expect a high degree of transference or carry over from high bar back squat to the front squat and vice versa. All of these need a barbell – the difference is in the placement of the barbell. i can maintain more vertical position with higher placement. Place a barbell on your upper traps while squeezing your upper back muscles together to form a shelf. So, what are the benefits of a greater range of motion? High Bar Squat Low Bar Squat; Bar Position: On upper trapezius: On middle trapezius, and across the top of rear deltoids: Grip width: Wide; forearms should be approximately perpendicular to the bar: Wide; should be wider than a high bar squat grip width; but not wider than is necessary, since you can tighten your upper back muscles with a (relatively) narrower grip The Setup . This, of course, is the obvious one. In that way, it lies comfortably within the middle of your feet. Unlike the high-bar squat, which calls for a vertical torso as you descend, the low-bar squat calls for the lifter to bend over. This is why, when you take weightlifters and put them on the powerlifting platform, even if they change to the low bar squat position, their technique as a whole looks more similar to a high bar squat than what we typically think of as hinged-forward low bar squat form (For example, here’s Max Aita squatting 320kg/705lbs and Chen Wei Ling squatting 170kg/375lbs). Get used to it. A high bar squat is similar to a safety bar squat. I prefer a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed outward. The interesting thing is that when we copied that squat the first day we tried it, we both put the bar on top of our traps when we took it out of the rack. The green point on the spine labeled “B” is approximately at the junction between the 9th and 10th thoracic vertebrae. The barbell position also influences your stance, arm placement, and chest angle. “The high-bar squat will rest on your traps, which encourages a much more upright position, allowing your spine to stay stacked. The low-bar back squat puts the bar in a position over the midline, which makes the core, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings do the work, versus the quad-dominant high bar variation. Each trainer will have a slightly different stance width based on his or her individual anatomy and level of mobility. depending on how i squat is where bar position is... for exp if doing oly squats (narrow ass to ground) i will place bar higher around upper trap. Low Bar Back Squat. Of course, this similarity is to be expected. 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. The high-bar squat can be used very effectively for general strength training (though less effectively than the low-bar squat) or for other specific applications that an injured lifter may need. Low bar: Because of the bar’s lower position, to keep the bar lined up over the midfoot, the low-bar squat requires you to lean forward. The length of segment AB is the thoracic extension moment arm. The worst situation is when you have to tip toe up just to get the bar on and off. Foot placement should mimic the same position used during the high bar back squat. Beloved by Olympic weightlifting coaches, the high-bar squat is also the way you'd squat if no one gave you any other specific instruction. Pull yourself under the bar and trap it tight against the back of your shoulders. tests that aren’t back or front squats, the sEMG data suggests that both types of squats are equivalent for increasing force production capacity in the trunk and leg muscles. 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