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Box Squats vs. Regular Squats

I’ve done some research into the differences between box squats and regular squats, and I think I get the pros and cons of each. I speed skate (short track, ice), and I’m thinking of adding box squats to hopefully make each stride more powerful. Should I cut out regular squats completely, or can I work in both? I’m currently doing regular squats and smith machine squats, will box squats be over kill? Thanks for your input.

stick with the box squats only, delete regular squats when doing box squats, specially since you skate, more would be overkill. Explosive stride huh? try lateral squats also but not on the same week as box squats!

Box squatting will complement regular squatting if you follow a structured protocol like Westside. But why do smith machine squats? Box squats will improve regular squats; smith machine might help with hypertrophy because of the larger weight you can use but I doubt it will enhance regular squat strength or skating speed…

I do Smith Machine squats to avoid using the hamstring machine, legs at 90 degrees at the bottom of the movement - hence the need to use the machine or I’d tip over! What exactly are lateral squats?

Maybe this is just me but i would do 3-4 sets of box squats…then 2 sets of regular squats…1-2 sets of dumbell lunges…3-4 sets of leg curls…2-3 sets of back extensions…whatever you do, do not ever use the smith machine…What I am about to say comes from a quote out of poliquin principles…“The smith bar makes it possible to squat in a manner that allows you to lean back against the barbell, thereby supporting your back and minimzing hip extension during the exercise. What this does it takes the hamstrings out of the movement. The hamstrings, however are the muscle group that helps stabilize the kneecap. The result is unnaturally high shearing forces that try to pull the joint apart, as well as tremendous stress on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of the primary ligaments in the knee capsule that provides stability to the knee.” I hope this helps you with your decision making…and poliquin is a well known strength coach that has coached many olympic athletes…good luck…

I say drop the Smith Machine squats. And we do train with both box squats and regular squats - we just alternate. And it’s working - our strength in squats has improved tremendously. And yes we do also train with explosive reps.

Ok, now I’m not sure here… I started the Smith Machine squats to get out of doing hamstring curls and leg extensions. Are the box squats and regular squats going to be enough? My full leg day is currently - squats, smith machine squats, lunges, deads, good mornings - repeat. What should I put where?

DROP THE SMITH MACHINE SQUAT!!! I HATE THE SMITH MACHINE WORST THING INVENTED! Do squats and box squats also try some front squats also. Lateal Lunges is good also. Work on the HAMSTRINGS Also. And your hip adductors and adduction I know its a girlie machine but for sports specific or speed skating the ab&adductor machine is good also cables.

You need to do alittle reasearch on this site. Check out ALL articles by Dave Tate and Coach John Davies. There are plenty of ways to work the hamstrings but that should not be the focus of athletic training. . .you should work the posterior chain as a unit: glute ham raises, reverse hypers, good mornings, Romainan dead lifts, stiff leg dead lifts, all forms of dead lifting, all have cross over to sport, the smith machine does not. YOU ARE NOT A BODYBUILDER DON’T TRAIN LIKE ONE! isolation movements have their role in training but should be limited. Machines should be limited.

I agree with Kali on this one 100% but you need to do ham and glute exerices and hip becauses thats where most of your speed is coming from… Not in the Quads but you need to traint them to… Notices a Speed Sakaters ham they are huge…

When you train, you have to think “purpose”. What is the purpose of your training? It sounds like you are basing your current routine on bodybuilding. Now, I admit, I’m not familiar with a typical weight training program for speed skaters. However, I’m thinking that endurance is a important criteria? Explosiveness, also? Therefore with that in mind, we move on to squats. Squats, as you know are a compound movement. Means several different muscle groups come into play when performing a squat. I say that yes, Box Squats and Regular Squats would be a very effective base. Sometimes we do just 3-4 sets of Box Squats (or regular squats) followed by 3-4 sets of Deadlifts. So definitely quit doing the smith machine squats. And do search this site more for what you need in terms of a workout that focuses on “explosive reps”.

Good job! A most appropriate quote … says “much!”

Short track is identical to sprinting, short distances of 150% effort. If you watched it on the Olympics, even the laps at the beginning of the 5000 where they were going ‘slow’ were faster than most can go all out. There is no cruising time like in long track where the distances can allow you to settle down to a rythm, and the addition of other skaters is also a big factor. It’s sprinting, and then overdrive for passing. And, yes, may speed skaters neglect upper body work but I’m not one of them.