T Nation

Front Box Squat Form Check


#1

The title pretty much says it all.

I'd like to get my form looked at.
Weights get heavier with every set. which might explain any deterioration of technique.

Fire away. Give me the bad, the good and everything in between


#2

220 something views and nobody has anything ?


#3

The problem might be that this is not a powerlift or a close variation.

But if you really want feedback I will weigh in (disclaimer: I am not a good squatter myself).

You drop down too fast, it doesn’t look controlled (risk for back injury). You release all tension when sitting on the box (you even move your feet from the ground). The box is set too high (Using a dumbbel bench only works for really tall people). Or is the squat intended to be high?

And it might be important to know: why exactly are you doing what you are doing? Is this meant to increase your low bar back squat? Why the box? Why are you jumping at the end?

In conclusion: You should provide more information.


#4

I haven’t trained box squats so I don’t know what works well for myself or others. Just curious about how you’re doing them.

What is your goal for training front box squats the way you do? It doesn’t seem like there is a benefit to jumping at the top. The main reason most people train front squats is to build the quads, glutes, abs and upper back which work the hardest near the bottom to middle of the lift. Near the top of the lift, the glutes continue to help for lockout but I still don’t see a benefit to jumping instead of just squeezing the glutes hard. Bands seem better for addressing that.

When sitting on the bench, is it beneficial to completely relax your hips and legs? I know people use it to remove the stretch reflex but it seems like that can still be accomplished by sitting for a few seconds with the hips tight. It seems like loosening up the hips allow you to rock back and forth to pick up momentum for standing up. My first thought was that it has less carryover to the main lift but I can understand that using a heavier load than normal has it’s benefits.

Besides that it looks like you keep your upper body tight. Have you made much gains from doing these?


#5

There is nothing wrong with front squatting to a box or front box squats when it comes to learning technique, gauging depth or working around an injury but the way you are performing these are just wrong. You will have no carryover to anything other than this version of a “Rack Position Plop and Jump w/ Knee Wraps” you are performing that will eventually injure you.

The best man to look up for front squats to a box is Ben Bruno on this site. He front squats to a box to take pressure off of a surgically repaired knee and he stays tight and controlled through the whole movement. Not trying to be a jerk but you need a complete overhaul on this particular movement unless you have a specific reason for doing what you are doing and are meeting your goals.


#6

Ok im not sure what the knee wraps are for and you basically just collapse to the box and wiggle your feet around. Your feet should be firmly planted, the weight should still be on them. I would just forget the box right now.


#7

Let me start out out by being perfectly clear about something here. I don’t care if you are a jerk or your’e coming off like one as long as the replies are constructive towards bettering my squat technique. In case you guys hurt my feelings I’ll just curl up and hug my teddy bear and I’ll be just fine again.

The main reason for that particular squat form is that it comes recommended by several champion wrestlers that I know personally as well as many other prominent wrestlers and wrestling coaches as well. It’s intended use is that it forces the wrestler / squatter to overcome a static position which closely resembles specific situations during a match. Like a stalemate where a shot has to be taken without the stretch reflex being present.

Koestrizer: You’re right about the descent and it is something that I’m working on. When I step back towards the box I’m having some concerns about sitting short of it, hence the close proximity before sitting down. The lack of control is also due to this, partly at least due to my legs getting in contact with the box as I descent.

Unfortunately that bench is the lowest piece of equipment available to sit on, so that’s not something I can change. It does however fit quite well in regards to taking shots etc. not sure if going deeper would be beneficial or not. Still can’t change it though even if it would. but would it ?

[quote]lift206 wrote:
What is your goal for training front box squats the way you do? It doesn’t seem like there is a benefit to jumping at the top.
[/quote]
I believe I answered the first part above but the reason I jump at the end is to prevent deacceleration and support acceleration throughout the entire movement.
Could this be done better with bands as you mention?

[quote]lift206 wrote:
When sitting on the bench, is it beneficial to completely relax your hips and legs? I know people use it to remove the stretch reflex but it seems like that can still be accomplished by sitting for a few seconds with the hips tight. It seems like loosening up the hips allow you to rock back and forth to pick up momentum for standing up. My first thought was that it has less carryover to the main lift but I can understand that using a heavier load than normal has it’s benefits.

Besides that it looks like you keep your upper body tight. Have you made much gains from doing these?

[/quote]
Well the entire reason for sitting on the box as stated above is to remove the S-Reflex but I’m purposely taking a few to many seconds sitting before initiating the ascend to remove any energy left. I’m not sure why I relax my hips etc. I think it’s because I’m trying to move forward as I keep landing to far back. Besides that I don’t know why or even that I am doing it, but it’s something I’m going to look at asap. Thanks for pointing that out!

I haven’t done them very long, so it’s hard to say if there has been any real significant gains or it’s just due to greasing the groove but in either case I went from a hard single of approximately 95kg’s to a similar hard single of 125 under a month. On the mats however, I definitely feel more explosive when shooting in etc. which is why I’m not just about to give up the box just yet.

[quote]jblues85 wrote:
There is nothing wrong with front squatting to a box or front box squats when it comes to learning technique, gauging depth or working around an injury but the way you are performing these are just wrong. You will have no carryover to anything other than this version of a “Rack Position Plop and Jump w/ Knee Wraps” you are performing that will eventually injure you.
[/quote]
I appreciate the concern for my health and it is something I’m very aware of, hence the protective gear. I have to stress that I should probably have chosen another video where I’m not trying to test the waters of my strength. I believe the first rep is done with 110-115 ish kg’s, close to my 1rm which is the one I perform at the end of the video with 125 i think. I don’t usually go that heavy. For my working sets I’m somewhere between 90 and 95 kg’s and that’s without wraps or belt. Slightly better overall form, descent, ascend etc.

[quote]jblues85 wrote:
Not trying to be a jerk but you need a complete overhaul on this particular movement unless you have a specific reason for doing what you are doing and are meeting your goals.[/quote]
No worries, I forgive you, as do teddy.
As stated above I do have specific reasons, BUT, that doesn’t mean an overhaul can’t be beneficial.

[quote]cparker wrote:
Ok im not sure what the knee wraps are for and you basically just collapse to the box and wiggle your feet around. Your feet should be firmly planted, the weight should still be on them. I would just forget the box right now.[/quote]
Knee wraps I explained just above, but It’s only due to the facts that I was testing the waters of my strength in that vid. I normally don’t use them, as goes with the belt.
Yeah my feet is all over the place and I recoqnize it as something that needs to be addressed. The weight was pretty overwhelming at the end though and I do believe it’s gets worse at the video progresses.

What I can extrapolate so far is two main issues that needs attending.
1: Work on the ascent for better control, feet placement, distance to box etc.
2: Hips tight.

Thanks for replying guys!
If nothing else, I’ll post a new vid in the nearby future and hopefully it will look better.


#8

If this is for wrestling then it is just as important to keep the hips and upper body tight. Being explosive does nothing if you hit a brick wall (when someone sprawls) and land face first on the mat instead of driving through them. All of the best wrestlers with great take down skills have a strong back, abs, hips and legs - pretty much strong overall.

When squatting to the bench, try keeping everything tight and imagine that the bench isn’t even there. If you soften up then you would just fall back. If you treat the lift that way, you will keep everything tight the entire time and that increased time under tension will pay off in building your stabilizers.

For those wrestlers and coaches that recommended the movement, it might be useful to observe how they perform it. The lift can be done in so many ways.


#9

[quote]lift206 wrote:
If this is for wrestling then it is just as important to keep the hips and upper body tight. Being explosive does nothing if you hit a brick wall (when someone sprawls) and land face first on the mat instead of driving through them. All of the best wrestlers with great take down skills have a strong back, abs, hips and legs - pretty much strong overall.

When squatting to the bench, try keeping everything tight and imagine that the bench isn’t even there. If you soften up then you would just fall back. If you treat the lift that way, you will keep everything tight the entire time and that increased time under tension will pay off in building your stabilizers.

For those wrestlers and coaches that recommended the movement, it might be useful to observe how they perform it. The lift can be done in so many ways.[/quote]
Good advice right there! I went squatting again yesterday and it seems my stance has been to narrow. Tried widening it more and more until it felt more comfortable, which left me with a somewhat wide stance. definitely got more control out of it on the descent but it’s too wide to being able to explode all the way up with the calf extension in the end.
I will take you advice though and work on the descent, getting the stabilizers up and running and then I can worry about the last explosive part when I’ve got that nailed.