T Nation

BOX SQUATS

I started box squats for the first time today… Wow do they feel different. I am 5’6" and about 175 and normally I squat about 295 when I do the 5X5 training went up to 315 but I relized my form was not allowing me to go up in weight I was off balance and leaning forward it was not good. So I decided to add box squats. My question is 2 parts first i had to go way down in weight I ended up doing 250 in my 5X5 should I expected to have to go down in weight? Also how should I go about deciding on stance? Most articles I have read say to use a very wide stance is this what I should always be using? Sorry if this is already been covered if it has flame away =-)

i’m in the same predicament as you. I like to use squats to hit my quads, but it seems like the whole notion of the squat is to use the hamstring and the glutes. The wider your stance the more the emphasis on the thighs and hamstrings. I can say that i definitely do feel my glutes and hamstrings firing when i do my full squats. And that i do lean in with my back. I don’t see how it’s possible not to mean your center of gravity, at least with the weight that i use to full squat is totally behind my support which are my legs. I tried box squatting in my previous workout and it felt so weird. It’s like i could not stand up, especially with a shoulder width stance which would put more emphasis on the quads. I might start doing some single leg step ups to try to get some new muscle going cause i’ve leveled off pretty hard. I know that the barbell hack squats work really well but it’s hard for me to incorporate them becuase i will fatigue a lot of the same upper back muscles as a i do with the deadlift. I might just alternate between deadlifts and hacksquats as my leg workouts giving myself enough time to recover. let me know if you have anyideas. laters pk

You will have to do less with box squats. You should always swuat wide in competition, and do it often in training, however switch up sometimes, and do olympic squats. This works other areas. I think you need to read every Dave Tate article on squating…Good luck

Yes you do. If I remember correctly, the usual protocol is to start somewhere around 50% of 1rm. And your stance must be wide. In the photo section there is a pic of El Machine doing a version of a box squat. While he is using chains, it will still give you and idea of what is going on…squat deep.

The box squat should be less than the back squat you are used to performing. When you sit down on the box you break up the eccentric concentric chain which will weaken force production. The myotatic reflex and the elasticity are weakend when pausing at the bottom. I have used this method very successfully with numerous athletes.

Be careful not to drop down onto the box. Searcch the archives here and you will find excellent articles by Dave Tate concerning box squats.

Thank you
Coach Hale

as charlie mentioned,the protocol is usually 50% of your 1rm to start.keep a wide stance and make sure you stay tight when you sit down on the box so as not to invite injury.after getting familiar with teh box squats you may opt to releses the hip flexors after sitting on the box.they do feel a bit odd when first getting used to them and actualy sitting back onto something.keep your stance wide enough so you can leverage your way up after sitting down.if you find yourself scooting forward or rocking to get back up then you need to lower the weight and adjust the stance.i have been working on the box for a few months now and find it to be very helpful with strength gains and squat form in general.good luck

im also in the same boat. I squat wide toes out. and i have thought about trying box squats. What is an olympic squat?

  1. there is definitely a bending of the back when doing the box squat and powerlifting squats, right or wrong? Everyone always says to keep your torso up but that is not possible using the law of physics and center of gravity. 2) Box squats do not hit the quads as hard. let me know what you guys think. laters pk

Olympic squats go like this:

One: You power-clean the barbell off the ground, ending with the barbell above your head and arms straight up; your body is crouched.

Two: holding the arms above your head, stand up. Repeat as necessary.

snatch squats? wouldn’t that be the same thing?

when you power clean the bar ends up under your head on your front shoulder area. You then squat up like you were doing front squats. Otherwise if the bar was above your head then you would be snatching it, and that would be an overhead squat like the olympic lifters do on their snatch lift. If this in not the accurate definition then i’ve never seen or heard of the “Olympic squat” you are talking about. laters pk

You’re right, I suppose. I always get those exercises mixed up. What I was reffering to is actually the “clean & jerk”

Boxes hit my quads and hams hard. I throw a one second pause in at the bottom to take out the elasticity of ligaments and tendons. Like the bodybuilder squat, lookup as you come up. Good boxes start with the head and shoulders then the hips/waist. And you bend, the back does not stay flat. In powerlifting, the goal is to get the weight up, hopefully legally, but get the weight up.