T Nation

Back Squat Vs. Front for Taller Lifter

When I first started lifting I had a training partner from work but our gym closed down and he couldn’t get to another one so he took a break from it. Now our old gym opened back up sometime in the summer and he was going on his own for a while but he didn’t push past nay PR’s. Now he started coming back to the gym and lifting with me a few weeks ago but after about 3 months(accumulated lifitng) he’s about to hit a PR of a 135lb low-bar back squat for 5 reps.

Now don’t get me wrong, the guy puts real effort into his training(but not so much into his recovery, he just won’t listen to me on that front) and I realise that everybody is born with different strength potential but this still seems quite weak to me.

He’s quite tall at about 6 foot 3 and about 175lbs. But his lower back continues to round at the bottom of his squat. I’ve tried varying depths and extensive glute and hamstring stretches along with some lower back work but nothing seems to have an effect.

My question is what do people think about trying him on a front squat instead of back squat…? I read the suggestion in LankyMofo’s thread in T-Cell Alpha and it seems like a good idea to me.
Has anyone had any experience with a similar situation…?

[quote]Jereth127 wrote:
He’s quite tall at about 6 foot 3 and about 175lbs. But his lower back continues to round at the bottom of his squat. I’ve tried varying depths and extensive glute and hamstring stretches along with some lower back work but nothing seems to have an effect.

My question is what do people think about trying him on a front squat instead of back squat…? I read the suggestion in LankyMofo’s thread in T-Cell Alpha and it seems like a good idea to me.
Has anyone had any experience with a similar situation…?[/quote]

It sounds as though he is not quite flexible enough yet. This is something that takes time to work on, and won’t be resolved right away. One thing that helped me out was to take an empty bar, or lightly loaded (<100 lbs) and just work on form and depth. While in the hole, have him pause and hold at the bottom. For me (6’7’’), this helped stretch and increase flexibility. Work up on weight from there.

I personally don’t take anything other than multi’s and fish oil (need to be better on this one). Of course the required protein. I made decent gains last year (working sets 185 increased to 295), but don’t expect these types of gains to continue at the same rate.

Lastly, it will come down to your buddy having the drive to actually make the improvements. The burden is on him…

Box squats helped me a lot with flexibility and getting low on the regular back squat. It’s still something I have to work on consciously every time I squat, in particular whenever I progress in weight, but Box Squats did help a lot.

[quote]Jereth127 wrote:
I realise that everybody is born with different strength potential but this still seems quite weak to me.

He’s quite tall at about 6 foot 3 and about 175lbs.
[/quote]

Maybe he’s weak because he is malnourished? Dude should probably gain about 50 pounds.

^
like I said, the dude won’t listen to me on the recovery side of things. It’s mostly lack of adequate rest from what I can gather.
Still though, he should still be stronger than he is.