Box Squat vs. Free Squat

hey guys

i’m 165 and box squat 315. just wanted to know

box squat at parallel


paralle squat

which is better for strenght?? and which has more sport carry over?? if i can squat 350 in box squat is that better than 350 at parallel free squat???


mix it up every week. You have a decent/pretty good squat for your weight.

a free squat takes a shit on a box squat…i would not keep doing box squat every week but rather maybe every 3 weeks or so…ur regular squat should be going below parallel to begin with…if ur free squat is the same depth as your box squat than thats a problem…

ur box squat is great for loading the weight up and getting your muscles use to moving heavier weights, not to be used as a weekly squat…and if ur speaking of sports carry over, ur free squat is ur key, go deep and heavy…

if u play football ur tackling, blocking, pretty much everyhing will be improved…it will also help lower risk of ankle and knee injuries with going lower on ur free squat…good luck hope this helped a bit

But full ATG does not really have a carry over compared to PArallel does it??

i normally do box squat and bulgarin split squat, is that fine and once a week include clean’s.

Box Squats are traditionally used for speed enhancement. This is not to say that you cannot use them as a ME exercise but the primary purpose is explosiveness out of the hole. Box Squats are fantastic with chains and decent with bands but there is a learning curve with the bands.

Also most people can proper squat 5-15% more in a parallel free squat than a box squat though mileage will vary.

The answer from actual strong people: both can be useful. See how strong people use them, try it yourself and see what happens.

Box squats and free squats debate again…
they are two completely different exercises. Some people can box squat more than others, some people are better at the free squats, depends on a lot of factors.

Depths, techniques, stance, where you place your bar on the back, whether you are rocking or pausing on the box etc are just some of the factors. Switch them up every once in a while, theres no “best exercise”. You can use both for explosive movements or ME movements.

However, a lot of coaches like Cressey and Mike Boyle eliminated free back squats for their athletes in favor of low box squats and front squats. The reason for this is because you can get the same benefit/result with front squat, and it is more “sport specific” (if that term even exist) and you cant cheat on it like the back squat where some people lean forward with it or good morning it up with heavier weights.

Box squats also put less stress on your knees and back since your knees don’t pass shins. You can also recovery faster with box squats.

Remember your body only knows stress and adaptation. As long as you are giving your body more loads/stress and allow it to adapt you will get stronger, it isn’t going to pick one exercise over another.

ps. if you squat to 90 degrees or a quarter, you will not notice gains in the full squats, but full squats do have a good carry over to half and quarter squats.

In actuality if done proper a box squat should be harder then a free squat you are pausing unloading in the box and lose the stretch reflex. This causes you to use pure muscle strength to get out of the hole then when you go to free squat its a breeze you have that rebound on your side the stretch reflex.

One could get the same near effect pausing in the bottom of a free squat.

many also incorporate the box squat for athletes due o it being easier on the knees

there all tools use them and find what works best for you your body and goals


the thing with squats is just i dont get it, i fall my first time and i guess never recovered mentally.

i box squat around my lower knee box level box is the height fine??? and front squat which i think is better than bakc squat for sport carry over wise.

[quote]Topathlete wrote:
the thing with squats is just i dont get it, i fall my first time and i guess never recovered mentally.

i box squat around my lower knee box level box is the height fine??? and front squat which i think is better than bakc squat for sport carry over wise.[/quote]

You should be spending 90%+ of your time on box and any squatting for that matter at or below parallel. The level at which your hip NOT the bottom of your butt is level with the knee or below. Sounds to me your prob a bit high.

you need to also beat down that mental road block. start at a low weight and work up. Own it dont let it own you its just a bar and some cast iron.

Yes front squats are great as well


You got to mix it up imo.

Speed work use a box well below parallel with accomodating resistance…

Heavy work use a parallel box or slightly above parallel box…

Free Squat every now and then.

Most people don’t box squat correctly especially when using it as an ME exercise they tend to touch and go. Which is fine if you want to use it as a protractor and make sure you got down low enough, but its NOT a box squat.

Hit the box, release your hip flexors (FAST), reactivate them(FASTER), and Shoot off the box (SPEED SPEED SPEED).

^^thats the process in DE and ME.

And THAT break in the concentric/eccentric chain is what makes box squats so much harder than free squatting.

It’s like doing “anderson” squats or “deadstop” front squats. That break in the chain is what makes you stronger because you have to move the weight with no ‘reflex’.