T Nation

Box Squats


coach CT or any others. i would like to hear your opinions on box squats and your thoughts on their carryover to free box squats and also athletics. Also, from experience, how much will the load differ from a free back squat to a box squat?

I am asking because i started box squatting a couple months ago when my free back squat stalled out. I set a goal to reach 315 on the box (set up so that crease in hip is parallel to the knee) and then switch back to free squats to see the improvement. I hit 305 on the box today and i figure that next time i box squat i will go for 315x1. I make sure to pause on the box and eliminate the stretch relfex. i also try to get my shins back past perpindicular to the floor so that i engage my posterior chain to a greater degree.



Every coach will have its own opinion. I personally do not like box squats unless you are a powerlifter lifting with a squat suit. For a raw lifter not squatting with the powerlifting (wide stance, a lot of torso lean, more hips dominant squat) then the box squat has very little carryover to the regular squat. And there are much better posterior chain movements out there.

For a powerlifter I do not dispute their value though.


my question is do you feel athletes benifit from box squats(or in my case front box squats) due to the box breaking up the static reflex of the squat? i currently train mma


Id argue that point with you though. Has been my personal experience that box squatting all of the time makes you an exceptional box squatter. At one point, I squatted 930 off of a box in just my briefs, went to a meet 3 weeks later and squatted 900 in full gear. Got buried by 1000 twice.

Dropped the box squat after that and my numbers have been well on the way up. That being said, I think that for teaching the squat, and certain rehab purposes the box squat is an exceptional lift. They just dont have a place in my program anymore.



Man, if you cant squat 315lbs you simply need to get stronger. No need to fuck around with other excercises at this level. Work on your squat and get strong.


Man, if you cant squat 315lbs you simply need to get stronger. No need to fuck around with other excercises at this level. Work on your squat and get strong.


That's not the first time I heard that J. I had a somewhat similar experience when competing in olympic lifting. I loved to do power snatches from blocks to work on the explosiveness of my second pull. It got to a point that I would hardly do any snatching from the floor (I reasoned that I was strong enough from the floor, and only needed to bring the bar from the floor to the knees then explode and decided to work more on explosion).

Well it got to a point that I could power snatch 125kg for 5 reps from blocks but at that time I had a hard time snatching 120kg from the floor in a contest!

Every exercise can have its purpose if it targets one of your weaknesses. But any lift other than the competitive lifts should never take the place of the competitive lift as far as training volume and frequency goes.

BTW, GREAT article in Muscle & Fitness man... inspiring!


yea i know i need to get stronger but I back squatted 350 and stalled out there so i went to the box squat and started out with only being able to do 250 on the box (keep in mind i'm 17 and have been training for just over a year). i told myself that i would get my box squat up to 315 which i managed to do yesterday and then return to regular squats and see how it worked out. so i guess we will find out in a few days whether or not the box helped me.


Exactly! Same thing. I think that lifts like that can make one good at that lift, but they just don't get the carryover. Appreciate you checking out the article too. Cool scar huh? hahaha



For sure Thib. I rarely do the hang snatch or hang clean, or block snatch/block clean. If I do anything from blocks, it's usually a snatch or clean pull. Everything else right now is from the floor. I'd say 25% of my lifts throughout the week are the classic snatch and clean & jerk.


OP, answered your question on EFS.



Jason Pegg pretty much summed it up.

Box squats did nothing for my back squats. Did wonders for my sumo though when I use to pull sumo that is, but I cut that out too.

"Conventional is better." Jim Wendler


Its not that conventional is better, its that sumo is CHEATING!