T Nation

Effectiveness of the P. Chain in a High Bar Squat

Alright here’s my little story real quick. I started out doing crappy barely parallel high bar squats when I first started. Then I learned to squat complete ass to heels, calves touching hamstrings, etc. Now that I’m finally squatting in the 300’s, I’m finding the ass to heels form unnecessary, and mainly because I recently realized that my hamstrings are relaxing at the bottom, and knees going way forward to achieve that extra depth. I am a lanky guy and so squatting with that form was becoming brutally difficult.

So then I tried to switch to low bar. And I’ve been unable to do so without pain in my right hand/wrist for some reason. I’ve tried varying grip width, bar placement, thumbs over/around, shrugging my traps and upper back more, stance width, and several other factors for the last 6 months or so almost every squat workout, but the pain is still there. My left wrist/hand does not seem to bother me nearly as much, and this leads me to believe the problem is from a previous injury in my right wrist. If my wrists are straight, there is bad hand/palm pain, if they are bent, wrist pain. It just doesn’t work for me.

I’m on 5/3/1 and i’ve come to realize bar placement isn’t as important as everyone makes it out to me, and that the important thing is to SQUAT.

However, I’ve recently made a discovery, it does seem to be possible to move your hips back, and keep your hamstrings tight with high bar. I’m going to try this style today: Slightly below parallel, sitting far back with the hips, while using high bar. This seemed nearly impossibly when going complete ATG, but now I think I finally may have found a solution.

I understand this is more of a rant than a specific question, but for the point of this topic, please feel free to share any similar experience you have had with bar placement, and if you have had success with the high bar style, let me hear some of your thoughts. Thanks.

Just make sure that by making that concious effort to sit back more than your back isn’t trying to compensate with too much forward lean. I noticed after a while that I was doing that w/o realizing it and my squat went way down over time.

Sounds like you’ve found your problem, a new stance or grip takes getting used to and generally will be quite uncomfortable until you get used to it…which will usually takes weeks of consistent usage. My first thought was that you may have been pinching a nerve in your shoulder which could lead to referred pain in your wrist/hand, that would be possible if you went from a close-grip high-bar to using the same grip on a lower bar position. But a past injury seems much more likely, what was the injury?

thanks guys,

the previous injury was from benching w/ bent wrists, i had to wrap my wrist for a while.

i changed my form the other day and i think it was better but my torso looked terribly vertical. i also widened the stance. not very noticable but i did use to start with knee break and it felt way easier to come out of the hole this way. heres a comparison video i made. and i will keep practicing loowbar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm__nqrTaSM