T Nation

Box Squat

I’d like to incorporate box squats into my workouts. I am really fond of Ian King’s classification of all exercises into 12 groups (those who read “Get Buffed!” should know what those are) so I was wondering if I should put box squats into the category of hip or quad dominant exercises. From Dave Tate’s description I gather that box squat is a hip dominant exercise. However, it is, after all, a squat so perhaps it is a quad dominant movement. What do you guys think? What about lunges?

The technique that Dave Tate describes for squating is for PL, and as such, ends up being more hip dominant. Though he says that it is a loose definition, Ian King considers an exercise hip dominant if the trunk breaks 45 degrees of flexion. Hope that helps.

I see. I guess using box squats in GBC (German Body Comp) type training might not be such a good idea – Dave recommends doing box squats in sets of 1-3.

If you squat ala westside it’s a hip movement, but there’s no reason you can’t take a narrow stance and keep your torso as vertical as possible for quad stimulation. I do both on my speed squat day. If you want to work your hips, make sure to sit waaaay back on the box.

By watching videos at freaksofnature and by just experimenting at home without a barbell, I found that it is virtually impossible to “blow out of the hole” without initially leaning a bit forward. Is this ok or should I work more on the form?

If you go to Fred Hatfield’s site, there is a video clip of him when he did his half ton squat. Though his stance is MUCH narrower then that recommended by the Westside group, he also had great forward lean at the waist. When it comes to explosiveness out of the bottom, I believe the answer comes from the alignment of your muscle fibers. Your quads, though capable of great strength, are not ideal for speed due to their alignment, which is not in parallel to the axis of pull. On the other hand, your hamstring muscles are in parallel, and thus have much more potential for high speed of contraction. An example is when going for a maximal vertical leap. How far do you lean forward?