T Nation

Box Squats

Can you guys tell me the basics of the box squat. The reason I am going to do box squats is because I have just started body building and cannot squat down without the weight going over the balls of my feet and going forward.

you need to stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors, they are way to tight. That is one of the reasons you are leaning forward and loading the balls of your feet and your lower back. the box squat is to teach one to sit back on the heels and use your stronger glute and hamstrings to power the squat. the main reason to box squat is to break the concentric/eccentric chain and increase starting strength. You will also need to initiate your squat with your hips starting first and then letting your knees flex as you sit back onto a box . start with a box 3-5 inches above parallel and sit back onto that for a few sessions. lower the box 2 inches and repeat work your way to afew inches below parallel. MOST IMPORTANT SART STRETCHING YOUR HIP FLEXORS ANDHAMSTRINGS.

you need to stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors, they are way to tight. That is one of the reasons you are leaning forward and loading the balls of your feet and your lower back. the box squat is to teach one to sit back on the heels and use your stronger glute and hamstrings to power the squat. the main reason to box squat is to break the concentric/eccentric chain and increase starting strength. You will also need to initiate your squat with your hips starting first and then letting your knees flex as you sit back onto a box . start with a box 3-5 inches above parallel and sit back onto that for a few sessions. lower the box 2 inches and repeat work your way to afew inches below parallel. MOST IMPORTANT SART STRETCHING YOUR HIP FLEXORS ANDHAMSTRINGS.

Do you mean the stretching from the box squats or me doing stretching. If so what stretches can I do.

One of my favorite stretches for the hips, glutes and lower back goes like this. I do this every moring after getting out of the shower, and it helps immensly.

It is a bit hard to explain so I will break it up into steps.

  1. Lie on your back with your feet on a wall and your knees bent at 90 degrees.

  2. Take a deep breathe, raise your hips up, place your foot at the ankle bone on the opposing knee (this should be like you are sitting in a chair and have crossed your leg at the knee).

  3. Grab the knee of the crossed leg with both hands.

  4. As you lower your hips to the floor, exhale deeply, draw the knee of the crossed leg towards your chest and somewhat across your body, pushing your lower back into the floor.

You should feel a stretch along the outside of the glutes and in your lower back.

There are some important things to note:

A) Make sure the crossed leg is resting at the ankle bone. The further you slid up the shin, the less stretch you will feel.

B) If you are too tight initally, decrease the angle of your knees/hips to the wall.

C) Only stretch on the exhale.

Lastly, if you push down on your knee instead of pulling it towards you chest, this is an excellent stretch for the piraformis.

HTH

Ray

Squatting from Head to Toe
Introducing the Box Squat
by Dave Tate

type this into the search function and read… very good stuff.

Can you guys explain the most important things to do while doing box squats because I don’t understand some of the things that guy is talking about in that article.

My response was about squatting to the box. Sit easy onto the box…do not slam your rear onto the box as you could potentially injure the discs and or vertebrae of your back.

The stretching will help you. You really need to stretch. Get a belt or bath towel…lay on your back on the floor legs straight out. Pull one leg up into your chestby bending at the knee ( as if you were trying to get into fetal position just one leg at a time). Grab the ends of towel or belt one in each hand and place center of towel or belt under arch of foot. Straighten leg out as far as possible… now using towel try to pull your leg towards your head without bending the knee. you should keep both your butt cheeks on the floor. if you raise the side up that you are stretching, it is due to a tight hamstring…keep working at it hold these stretch positions for 30 seconds and then release do ther leg and repeat 10 times. For your hip flexor stand in front of a chair(facing away from chair as if you were going to sit in it) approximately foot to foot and a half, depends on the length of your legs. Place one of your the top of one of your feet on the seat of the chair( the sole of your foot should be facing the ceiling) now start to squat as you lower yourself you will feel the quad and hip of the leg on the chair stretch. Lower as far as possible and then try to lean back to make your heel touch your glute. Do as many as you do for hamstring and in the same manner. You should also type into search “stretching or stretch” and review the results. Good Luck

For someone relatively new to the game and having difficulty mastering the standard squat, box squats could be dangerous. I am surprised that none of the others mentioned this.

I highly suggest FIRST improving your standard squat form. You are likely limited in hip and hamstring flexibility. To address this search for Eric Cressey’s “Get Your Butt in Gear” Parts I and II.

I followed the program last fall and have done wonders to my form. I now do several of Eric’s exercises and stretches routinely. Check it out.

Bastard F*ck Guy

It looks like allot of hassle doing all those exercises and I would look funny doing them in the gym.

I have a box that I bought from BFS- Bigger, Faster, Stronger. It’s padded & very nice! The exercise itself is great! All the track athlets back in the 60’s were doing this lift. It’s great for the athlete or for anyone wanting to learn how to squat.

[quote]Marty232 wrote:
It looks like allot of hassle doing all those exercises and I would look funny doing them in the gym.[/quote]

ohhhhh, you wanted the classified, top-secret, no effort way to do it. Why didn’t you say so in the first place.
[/sarcasm]

Just about everybody looks “funny” when they’re learning a new movement, in or out of the gym. The way I see it is there are two types of people who are going to be watching you:

  • The people who know what you’re doing and will (or should) respect the fact that you’re putting in the effort to do something the right way

and

  • The people who don’t know what you’re doing and who the hell cares what they think, espescially since they’ll be the same people scratching their heads and shooting you envious looks while you’re making progress and they’re stuck.

As to it being a “hassle” - to quote my college physics professor: “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”

[quote]Marty232 wrote:
It looks like allot of hassle doing all those exercises and I would look funny doing them in the gym.[/quote]

What’s more important to you? Looking funny in the gym to a bunch of morons, or looking good outside the gym to a bunch of women (and morons)? Don’t f*cking worry about it. I don’t care how dumb or GAY or funny it looks - IT WORKS. Do what you gotta do!

Oh, and yes, morons are everywhere.

Bastard F*ck Guy

I could do most of the exercises on the first page at home.

How many reps and sets do should I do for those exersizes. And should I do the building a better but routine before my leg workout or on seprate days.

My bodybuilding leg workout consistis of this
Legs
Squats
Hack Squats
Leg curs
Straight legged deadlifts
Staning Calve raises.

However, many you were planning on doing anyway. Substitute it for squats.

Try out TBT and everywhere it says Lunges, put in Box squats.

Why should I take out lunges and what is TBT. And should I do the getting but into gear post workout stretching after my leg workout.

[quote]BFG wrote:
For someone relatively new to the game and having difficulty mastering the standard squat, box squats could be dangerous. I am surprised that none of the others mentioned this.

Bastard F*ck Guy

[/quote]

BFG:

I find a lot of people have trouble learning to squat. As Dave Tate put it, “Most people sit on a toilet bowl better than they squat”.

However, when teaching people to squat I have found teaching them to box squat is easier. The reason is most people squat incorrectly. With the box behind them they MUST learn to sit back and they learn proper form.

Truth is I tried them and one day a power lifter came over and corrected my form. Box squats are a great tool and my squat went up about 50 pounds in a month. However the article, while a good start could use other sources to supplement it.

I have two recommendations:

  1. If your lucky enough to have a powerlifter at your gym, and he does them, ask.
  2. Louie Simmons sells a videio on box squats.

Hope this helps.

T-Guy69

[quote]mejho wrote:
you need to stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors, they are way to tight. That is one of the reasons you are leaning forward and loading the balls of your feet and your lower back. [/quote]

I don’t disagree but I’m dead curious. Since the hip flexors flex (fold) the hip, how do they limit the ROM of a squat? I ask only to know. I stretch my hip flexors and have noticed the corresponding gain in ROM in the squat. But I’m buggered if I can figure out the why. Any info?

[quote]t-guy69 wrote:
BFG wrote:
For someone relatively new to the game and having difficulty mastering the standard squat, box squats could be dangerous. I am surprised that none of the others mentioned this.

Bastard F*ck Guy

BFG:

I find a lot of people have trouble learning to squat. As Dave Tate put it, “Most people sit on a toilet bowl better than they squat”.

However, when teaching people to squat I have found teaching them to box squat is easier. The reason is most people squat incorrectly. With the box behind them they MUST learn to sit back and they learn proper form.

Truth is I tried them and one day a power lifter came over and corrected my form. Box squats are a great tool and my squat went up about 50 pounds in a month. However the article, while a good start could use other sources to supplement it.

I have two recommendations:

  1. If your lucky enough to have a powerlifter at your gym, and he does them, ask.
  2. Louie Simmons sells a videio on box squats.

Hope this helps.

T-Guy69
[/quote]

Very good point. Your two recs are solid, and I especially like the first one. Regarding the second though, due to the lifter’s low experience level and likely corresponding low self awareness, simply watching the video could still be dangerous. How may guys have you seen 3/4 squatting that actually think they are hitting the full ROM? Still, either of your recs are better than simply going off some words and pictures.

Marty232 - start with light weight and “grease the groove.” You should not tax your muscles initially, although your hips might feel like you gave birth to a small hippopotamus, and thus you shold be able to do this several times a week (damn near every day) until you are comfortable with the movement.

BFG