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Box Squats Feet on Ground

Is taking your feet off the ground while box squatting cheating/bad for you? Should the weight remain on your heals the whole time? Are you supposed to fully deload the weight?

No you are only supposed to relax the hip flexors, but keep the extensors under tension. Think of it like being poised to jump while in contact with the box. Fully relaxing on the box can cause a “relaxation chain reaction” up the back which would not be good for you with very heavy weights.

Box squats can be done in a number of ways.

I personally keep my feet down, sit back a little and deload somwhat on the box. Where others dont sit back or deload and simply mark depth with the box. And other people might not sit back, but the would deload on the box.

Advice:
Dont get mixed up and think that the westside box squat is the only way to box squat.

[quote]Mega Newb wrote:
Box squats can be done in a number of ways.

I personally keep my feet down, sit back a little and deload somwhat on the box. Where others dont sit back or deload and simply mark depth with the box. And other people might not sit back, but the would deload on the box.

Advice:
Dont get mixed up and think that the westside box squat is the only way to box squat.
[/quote]

This is actually a very good point.

In my experience, wherever your feet are when you touch the box is going to be the best position for them when you stand back up. So keep you feet planted, but experiment with different versions of the Box Squat, and keep PR’s for each type and each height.

[quote]skidmark wrote:
No you are only supposed to relax the hip flexors, but keep the extensors under tension. Think of it like being poised to jump while in contact with the box. Fully relaxing on the box can cause a “relaxation chain reaction” up the back which would not be good for you with very heavy weights.

[/quote]

which ones are the flexors and extensors

[quote]FutureGL wrote:
Is taking your feet off the ground while box squatting cheating/bad for you? Should the weight remain on your heals the whole time? Are you supposed to fully deload the weight?[/quote]

As stated, there are many ways to box squat, however, IF you do decide to lift your feet then i wouldnt reccomend using weight right away, as youll have a tendency to flex your lumbar spine, and that could be troublesome. Try a weight vest, dbells, or no weight and go for speed initially while doing other types of box squats.

[quote]Mega Newb wrote:
Box squats can be done in a number of ways.

I personally keep my feet down, sit back a little and deload somwhat on the box. Where others dont sit back or deload and simply mark depth with the box. And other people might not sit back, but the would deload on the box.

Advice:
Dont get mixed up and think that the westside box squat is the only way to box squat.
[/quote]

True this. I tend to get over-focused.

So if you take your feet off the ground… what’s supporting the weight?

Thanks a lot guys. And Hanley, I guess that’s part of the reason taking your feet off the ground could be bad for your spine yeah? Sounds painful even typing it now, and it makes a lot of sense in conjunction with what skidmark said. I’ve use boxes just for depth markers before too, but figured out try out the whole partially deloading the weight idea. And I’m definitely guilty of thinking westside was the only way. Shit’s like a cult.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
So if you take your feet off the ground… what’s supporting the weight?[/quote]

your shoulders/spine/ass and all the muscles surrounding it .

I’ve seen vids of this . not something that I would recomend to a new box-squatter.

but that’s just me

Why?

If you are box squatting to improve your squat, wouldn’t you want to have your feet on the ground- such as you do when you free squat?

If you want to make the lift harder, I think adding weight to the bar will do more for you.

[quote]kickureface wrote:
skidmark wrote:
No you are only supposed to relax the hip flexors, but keep the extensors under tension. Think of it like being poised to jump while in contact with the box. Fully relaxing on the box can cause a “relaxation chain reaction” up the back which would not be good for you with very heavy weights.

which ones are the flexors and extensors [/quote]

Hip extensors are the glutes and hams. Flexors are the rectus femoris, iliacus and psoas.

[quote]Pinto wrote:
Why?

If you are box squatting to improve your squat, wouldn’t you want to have your feet on the ground- such as you do when you free squat?

If you want to make the lift harder, I think adding weight to the bar will do more for you.[/quote]

Shit that’s too obvious!

[quote]Pinto wrote:
Why?

If you are box squatting to improve your squat, wouldn’t you want to have your feet on the ground- such as you do when you free squat?

If you want to make the lift harder, I think adding weight to the bar will do more for you.[/quote]

thats what I thought to myself when I saw the vid . no way in hell I’m lifting my feet up with a loaded bar on my back.

I’m new to box-squatting ,so if a more advanced lifter does it that way , who am I to judge

Would you take your feet off the ground if you didn’t have a box:-) Box squating is an exercise that teaches you to keep some muscles tensed while others relaxed and you develop the ability to overcome static with dynamic.

The weight should remain loaded under your feet between your arch and heel, the tension while pushing laterally with your hip abducters should remain static on the box while your obliques and abs relax appx. 50%.

Low back and glutes should remain engaged and then flex abs and hip flexors to initiate the motion while your abductors push violently sideways. Hamstings cotract as part of the posterior chain in addition to glutes while the erectors are in extension keeping your chest up. Keep your head slightly elevated (circa 4 o’clock).

[quote]laroyal wrote:
Would you take your feet off the ground if you didn’t have a box:-) Box squating is an exercise that teaches you to keep some muscles tensed while others relaxed and you develop the ability to overcome static with dynamic.

The weight should remain loaded under your feet between your arch and heel, the tension while pushing laterally with your hip abducters should remain static on the box while your obliques and abs relax appx. 50%.

Low back and glutes should remain engaged and then flex abs and hip flexors to initiate the motion while your abductors push violently sideways. Hamstings cotract as part of the posterior chain in addition to glutes while the erectors are in extension keeping your chest up. Keep your head slightly elevated (circa 4 o’clock). [/quote]

beautiful

[quote]laroyal wrote:
Would you take your feet off the ground if you didn’t have a box:-) Box squating is an exercise that teaches you to keep some muscles tensed while others relaxed and you develop the ability to overcome static with dynamic.

The weight should remain loaded under your feet between your arch and heel, the tension while pushing laterally with your hip abducters should remain static on the box while your obliques and abs relax appx. 50%.

Low back and glutes should remain engaged and then flex abs and hip flexors to initiate the motion while your abductors push violently sideways. Hamstings cotract as part of the posterior chain in addition to glutes while the erectors are in extension keeping your chest up. Keep your head slightly elevated (circa 4 o’clock). [/quote]

Asking if you would take your feet off the ground if there wasnt a box is like asking if you would squat like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QugVk20OdKY without a box.

Both are impossible to do. Because the box squat can be done in many different ways while still having good carry over to the squat and still working the posterior chain fine, so its safe to say that there is no best way.

I assume your talking about the form the form used in the video I posted. All though that is a great exercise for bring up the posterior chain, it wont have carry over to a raw lifter like it would have carry over to a westside squater with a super wide stance with a suite on.

In my opinion the best box squat variation as far as carry over to a raw squat… Would just be a bellow parallel box where the person didnt drastically change their form just because they had something they could sit on.

It would just be something to mark depth that they could pause on to make it harder out of the hole. Not the typical westside super wide stance, sitting back until your shins are past perpendicular to the floor and your weight and the bar weight is supported by the box.

I used to squat off a box with a wide stance sitting back etc doing it exactly how you just wrote and almost exactly like the video. The end result was I was strong as hell on box squats but I couldnt move as much weight when the box was taken away.

I dont consider that good carry over… Infact, being a raw lifter, it didnt really do shit for my lifts at all other than leave my quads more or less unworked.

anyway

If sitting back on the box like the westside guys do, where the weight is 100% supported by the box, isnt bad form. Then why would taking your feet off the ground be considered bad idea?

That guy taking his feet off the floor when he was off the box wouldnt change the loading on the spine or anything like that considering his full weight is already on the box to begin with… All it would do is kill the stretch reflex and relax some of the squating muscles.

To me this would make it like a bottom up squat because you would lose allot of the stretch reflex that you would get from keeping your feel planted. But considering its off a box and not from the pins it would be started more like a regular squat, considering most bottom up pin squats end up turning into a high squat with a goodmorning.

Doing that off a box would ensure depth and proper form (chest up, knee’s out, flex off the box etc)

So all this considered… lifting your feet off the floor on the bottom of a box squat (in its self) isnt “bad form”. And would probably be a viable way to change things up in my opinion. This is not to say that it should be done with just any squat form. It could be dangerous to do with some forms of squating…

But as far as a medium stanced box squat, lifting your feet up at the bottom of the lift would probably just make it a little harder out of the hole, and that could do some people allot of good.

There are today a myriad of “correct” ways to box squat.

However from the master

“the true secret of increasing bench squat poundage…is a certain rocking-forward motion at the instant of starting up” - Muscle Builder (sigh) April 1972.

these so called bench squats were done on a 20" high box or a 14" low box.

Author George Frenn (held 242 record for over 10 years and was not broken until super suits and super wraps had been round for 5 years.)

He was not about eliminating momentum, but about using it effectively.

This works for me, but as the above have said, the term box squat now covers a wide range of variations.

There is also a couple of photos of Peanuts West the founder of the original Westside squatting on a bench with both feet relaxed mostly off the floor.

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The idea is not simply to make the lift harder, rather, it is to increase force produced on the way up. A lot people will do jumps in which they are seated on a box, rock back then forth and jump onto a higher box. Same idea. However, as I stated in my previous post, I would save this variant for someone who was really advanced and knew how to stay tight, etc. because with a loaded bar, it could lead to a back injury for sure.

Pat