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Bar Placement for Squats

For training for football, should I use a high bar placement as in an Olympic squat or use a low bar placement as in a Powerlifting squat? I have been using the higher bar placement, but I am now wondering if its as effective.

And on a side note, which bar placement will allow me to lift the most weight? Or is the difference to insignificant to even matter?

[quote]ukrainian wrote:

And on a side note, which bar placement will allow me to lift the most weight? Or is the difference to insignificant to even matter?[/quote]

Try it and post the results.

The Low Bar Position will allow you to use the most weight.

The reasons for using a high-bar position are the same as the reasons for using a Front Squat.

The Low Bar Position will allow you to recruit more hamstrings, which is very important for pretty much everything in football (running, pushing people, throwing stuff, tackling people, etc).

The best way for an athlete to squat is with an Olympic-Style Stance but a low-bar position. So, other than the low bar placement, do a squat that would be considered an Olympic Squat.

They both have benefits. A low-bar placement coupled with a wider stance will allow you to lift more weight.

If it were me I would include BOTH in my training.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
They both have benefits. A low-bar placement coupled with a wider stance will allow you to lift more weight.

If it were me I would include BOTH in my training.

[/quote]

Do you really put in your log

“High Bar Squats” and “Low Bar Squats?”

I don’t see the point of ANYONE doing High-Bar Squats if they’ve already got any combination of Front Squats, SSB Squats, or Manta-Ray Squats already in their program.

Just because you use a low-bar position does not automatically mean you need to take a wide stance.

I really like low bar squats. I used to just do high bar but, man low bar is great. With highbar alot of the time it would turn into a good morning once it started getting hard, but with low bar it is really easy to keep upright, and not do a good morning.
I think I have to focus more on good mornings now though, because I am not doing good mornings every time I do a hard squat anymore. lol
Try it and see how it goes.

[quote]Scrotus wrote:
I really like low bar squats. I used to just do high bar but, man low bar is great. With highbar alot of the time it would turn into a good morning once it started getting hard, but with low bar it is really easy to keep upright, and not do a good morning.
I think I have to focus more on good mornings now though, because I am not doing good mornings every time I do a hard squat anymore. lol
Try it and see how it goes.[/quote]

I have the same problem when going heavy. I will try them and see how good it is with the low bar placement.

And I will stay in more of the Olympic stance because when I got out to wide, I find it harder to keep my knees from coming in. Don’t know why though.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
Do you really put in your log

“High Bar Squats” and “Low Bar Squats?”

I don’t see the point of ANYONE doing High-Bar Squats if they’ve already got any combination of Front Squats, SSB Squats, or Manta-Ray Squats already in their program.

Just because you use a low-bar position does not automatically mean you need to take a wide stance.

[/quote]

The OP specifically asked about back squats. I personally think a combination of Low-bar squats and front squats would pretty much cover all bases. Or, obviously, high-bar squats and any type of deadlift.

For me, squatting low-bar with a shoulder width stance means leaning forward so much that it is no longer a squat. The benefits of a low-bar squat are moving more weight by using the posterior chain more than the quads, and if that is your goal you are going to want to widen your stance anyway.

[quote]mr popular wrote:

For me, squatting low-bar with a shoulder width stance means leaning forward so much that it is no longer a squat. The benefits of a low-bar squat are moving more weight by using the posterior chain more than the quads, and if that is your goal you are going to want to widen your stance anyway.
[/quote]

Think of it this way. It doesn’t work this way but it’ll help explain my reasoning.

If you can squat 100 kilos with a high bar position, then your quads and glutes are lifting 70 of those kilos and your hamstrings are lifting 30 of those kilos.

Then you move to the low bar squat, your quads and glutes still lift that same 70 kilos, but your hamstrings are now lifting 40 kilos, and you’re squatting 110 kilos. Since you’re moving more weight, your working the Quads just as much, if not more than you were when using a High-Bar squat, but you’re also using your Hamstrings.

“Starting Strength” provides a pretty good argument for always using a low-bar placement and an Olympic Stance. The point of the Back Squat for anyone but a Powerlifter is to just get stronger. Using a low-bar placement works more musculature than a high-bar placement, so a low-bar position should be used.

A Wide-Stance Squat works less musculature, but allows the lifter to handle more weight: the same way a 3-board Press works less musculature than a Close-Grip Bench Press but allows the lifter to use more weight. (That isn’t to say that a 3-board Press and a Wide-Stance Squat don’t work A LOT of muscle fibers. They’re two of the best exercises you can do).

[quote]mr popular wrote:
a combination of Low-bar squats and front squats would pretty much cover all bases. Or, obviously, high-bar squats and any type of deadlift.
[/quote]

A Low-Bar Squat will cover everything a High-Bar Squat covers, and more. That’s the beauty of it.

For the overwhelming majority of people, No good program is complete without the Deadlift. You could argue that Front Squats, Cleans, and Deadlifts cover everything.

Any sports athlete should stick to the simplest form (or the form they were first taught) on any exercise. What they want is a strength increase not a bigger lift. And the difference between low and high bar in making you stronger is trivial.

Having that said, trying out a low-bar stance is not a bad idea. If you feel comfortable with it from the get-go, then the extra 20 or 30 pounds on your squat will be a nice bonus.

On the topic of wide stance squats, DON’T do them PERIOD!! Leave that to equipped lifters with monolifts, else you’re asking for trouble.

Hmm im just asking stupid here.

But why dont do the Wide stance squats ? they have more caryover to you close stance squat than visa versa ?

at least i think i read somewhere ?

[quote]daraz wrote:

On the topic of wide stance squats, DON’T do them PERIOD!!

[/quote]

Unless getting big and strong sounds appealing to you.

If you’re walking out your squats and you’re using challenging weight, you’re going to be limited to how wide you can set your stance.

[quote]blunt wrote:
Hmm im just asking stupid here.

But why dont do the Wide stance squats ? they have more caryover to you close stance squat than visa versa ?

at least i think i read somewhere ?[/quote]

All Squatting carries over pretty well. Olympic-Stance squatting will have more carryover to Tom-Platz-Style Heel-To-Heel Squats.
I think these super-close-stance squats are much harder on your joints than Wide-Stance Squats.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
mr popular wrote:

For me, squatting low-bar with a shoulder width stance means leaning forward so much that it is no longer a squat. The benefits of a low-bar squat are moving more weight by using the posterior chain more than the quads, and if that is your goal you are going to want to widen your stance anyway.

Think of it this way. It doesn’t work this way but it’ll help explain my reasoning.

If you can squat 100 kilos with a high bar position, then your quads and glutes are lifting 70 of those kilos and your hamstrings are lifting 30 of those kilos.

Then you move to the low bar squat, your quads and glutes still lift that same 70 kilos, but your hamstrings are now lifting 40 kilos, and you’re squatting 110 kilos. Since you’re moving more weight, your working the Quads just as much, if not more than you were when using a High-Bar squat, but you’re also using your Hamstrings.

“Starting Strength” provides a pretty good argument for always using a low-bar placement and an Olympic Stance. The point of the Back Squat for anyone but a Powerlifter is to just get stronger. Using a low-bar placement works more musculature than a high-bar placement, so a low-bar position should be used.

A Wide-Stance Squat works less musculature, but allows the lifter to handle more weight: the same way a 3-board Press works less musculature than a Close-Grip Bench Press but allows the lifter to use more weight. (That isn’t to say that a 3-board Press and a Wide-Stance Squat don’t work A LOT of muscle fibers. They’re two of the best exercises you can do). [/quote]

You can take a simplified explanation like that, sure, but as I said if I were to actually put this theory into practice I wind up with problems because when you apply it to a set with more than one rep its not that cut and dry.

If I took an olympic stance and squatted low-bar, I would find myself doing a very awkward bent-knee-good-morning abortion of an exercise. This simply doesn’t work for me, and it especially doesn’t work for my quads because my lower back is going to be doing a heavy brunt of the work.

Now what happens if I can use more weight but my lower back hits concentric failure before my quads do, because i’m having to compensate for the shift in balance from going high bar to low bar…? My thighs didnt get as good a workout as if I had lightened the load slightly, gone high-bar and stayed upright and let them do most of the work.

Keep in mind here I’m just discussing the point you’re making, not necessarily what the OP should be doing.

I do all my heavy lifting with a low bar because that’s how I compete. However, I also do high bar squats when my elbows and shoulders are beat up- hi-bars are a little easier on them then low-bars.

[quote]Pinto wrote:
I do all my heavy lifting with a low bar because that’s how I compete. However, I also do high bar squats when my elbows and shoulders are beat up- hi-bars are a little easier on them then low-bars.[/quote]

Excellent point.

Interestingly, in the Jackals 5x5 template the deload week consists of 8x2 highbar. Additionally, there is a front squat program they utilize which has you warm-up by working up to a high bar double in a weekly progression over the course of the 6 weeks so you basically perform no low bar work.

Before I started dabbling with these programs I never used them but actually like to work in high bars every now and then, similar to how I utilize box squatting in my training.

I certainly wouldn’t rule them out.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
If I took an olympic stance and squatted low-bar, I would find myself doing a very awkward bent-knee-good-morning abortion of an exercise.[/quote]

A Proper Low-Bar Squat should make it so you do LESS of a Good-Morning when you squat. SSB Squats, Front Squats, High-Bar Squats, and Manta Ray squats are used because they throw you forward and try to force you into a Good-Morning. But if you’re squatting right, and using a low-bar position, then you shouldn’t be thrown forward as much.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
mr popular wrote:
If I took an olympic stance and squatted low-bar, I would find myself doing a very awkward bent-knee-good-morning abortion of an exercise.

A Proper Low-Bar Squat should make it so you do LESS of a Good-Morning when you squat. SSB Squats, Front Squats, High-Bar Squats, and Manta Ray squats are used because they throw you forward and try to force you into a Good-Morning. But if you’re squatting right, and using a low-bar position, then you shouldn’t be thrown forward as much. [/quote]

what are you talking about? The point in front squats is to stay as upright as possible. For many the purpose of high bar squats is to mimic the front squat position but increase the load. You can’t good morning when you front squat because you’d just dump the bar

you totally lost me there

[quote]actionjeff wrote:
FightingScott wrote:
mr popular wrote:
If I took an olympic stance and squatted low-bar, I would find myself doing a very awkward bent-knee-good-morning abortion of an exercise.

A Proper Low-Bar Squat should make it so you do LESS of a Good-Morning when you squat. SSB Squats, Front Squats, High-Bar Squats, and Manta Ray squats are used because they throw you forward and try to force you into a Good-Morning. But if you’re squatting right, and using a low-bar position, then you shouldn’t be thrown forward as much.

what are you talking about? The point in front squats is to stay as upright as possible. For many the purpose of high bar squats is to mimic the front squat position but increase the load. You can’t good morning when you front squat because you’d just dump the bar

you totally lost me there [/quote]

Front Squats still throw you forward. By including those squat variations I listed, you train yourself to NOT do a Good-Morning when you actually do real back squats.

The other 3 reasons for including front squats that are obvious to me…

(1) More Focus on Quads
(2) SPP for Olympic Lifters (You gotta front squat in the Clean & Jerk)
(3) The Front Squat is a totally different lift than the back squat and demands a great deal of trunk strength, making it great for athletes.