T Nation

Box Squats

when you do box squats are you suposed to sit on the box or just touch it and go?

Sit back and then down onto the box, pause for a second, and come up using your hips.

What, in your opinion are you trying to achieve with them?

Most of the time you use a full sit/relax/flex hard off the box.

EDIT; Yes, relax hip flexors. I should’ve been more clear… always stay tight everywhere else.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
Sit back and then down onto the box, pause for a second, and come up using your hips.[/quote]

Over 90% of the time I will agree with this. However, I have, and known some others that have, used a box for touch and go to find the “just-below-parallel” point. It can be used simply as a tool to find exactly how deep you need to go for a legal depth squat.

[quote]derek wrote:
What, in your opinion are you trying to achieve with them?

Most of the time you use a full sit/relax/flex hard off the box.[/quote]

I thought you want to stay tight and not relax, because that’s when you can hurt your back? I don’t know I’m just asking; I’ve never actually done them before.

[quote]beans wrote:
derek wrote:
What, in your opinion are you trying to achieve with them?

Most of the time you use a full sit/relax/flex hard off the box.

I thought you want to stay tight and not relax, because that’s when you can hurt your back? I don’t know I’m just asking; I’ve never actually done them before.[/quote]

It’s not so much as relaxing as it is pausing to cancel out any bouncing. Always keep your back tight on any form of squat.

Well you do relax your hip flexors (the muscles in the front of your hip). Try it:

Without weight, squat down on a box but don’t relax anything. Put your hands on the front of your hips. The muscles there should feel tight. Then try to just relax your hip flexors. You should feel your muscles loosen. Watch some videos on youtube of box squats to look at correct form.

Go to Westside barbells main page, go to the articles section of 2002 artcles-June 02- The Squat Workout. Louie Simmons lays it out for you. Also read the November 04- Box Squatting article.

[quote]smallmike wrote:
Well you do relax your hip flexors (the muscles in the front of your hip). Try it:

Without weight, squat down on a box but don’t relax anything. Put your hands on the front of your hips. The muscles there should feel tight. Then try to just relax your hip flexors. You should feel your muscles loosen. Watch some videos on youtube of box squats to look at correct form. [/quote]

I don’t know if some of those videos on you tube are the best examples. Check out the Midwest Barbell reference videos. I think they have some better examples than youtube.

The point of leaning back/pausing is to break the “chain of motion”.

You must separate the eccentric/concentric portions of the squat, and utilize your glutes/hams to come off of the box.

your suppose to sit for 2-3 seconds and then explode off with your legs, contract your back and arms and squeeze your butt with proper form. of course you should do moderate weights not heavy or superheavy. i would also recommend smith machine for proper alignment and form

He, he he!

By the way, box squats can be used as a ME exercise. Rotate the hieght of the box as well when doing so.

[quote]derek wrote:
By the way, box squats can be used as a ME exercise. Rotate the hieght of the box as well when doing so.[/quote]

This is an important piece of information right here, so I will quote it again so no one misses it. High box squats are a regular part of my routine now and my squat has increased nicely as a result.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
derek wrote:
By the way, box squats can be used as a ME exercise. Rotate the hieght of the box as well when doing so.

This is an important piece of information right here, so I will quote it again so no one misses it. High box squats are a regular part of my routine now and my squat has increased nicely as a result.[/quote]

Nice work Malonetd. Please elaborate on how you’ve improved. (and thanks!)

[quote]derek wrote:
malonetd wrote:
derek wrote:
By the way, box squats can be used as a ME exercise. Rotate the hieght of the box as well when doing so.

This is an important piece of information right here, so I will quote it again so no one misses it. High box squats are a regular part of my routine now and my squat has increased nicely as a result.

Nice work Malonetd. Please elaborate on how you’ve improved. (and thanks!)

[/quote]

Thanks. I don’t remember exact numbers, but I would guess I went from a shaky 425 1RM to a pretty solid 515 in a couple months after regularly doing high box squats.

I started rotating high box and low box with the low box being an inch or so below parallel. I also took a break from free squatting.

Honestly, the biggest thing that improved for me was my confidence in holding heavier weights on my back and my ability to hold my body upright during a squat since you can go so much heavier on a high box. I like to think of it as a 3 board press for the squat. It helps your lockout on the squat( which most people don’t really need) and it gets you more comfortable with weights beyond your max. A 500 pound squat wasn’t nearly as intimidating after I had done over 600 on a high box for a double.

I’d love to see the average guy at the gym do box squats at slightly past parallel! It pains me to see 3 or 4 plates on each side and they’re doing quarter squats and screaming like they’re doing something…

Malone, that is an absolutely huge improvement. Good job.