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.