T Nation

High Bar Adjustment Due to Shoulder Issue

My right shoulder has been giving me problems when trying to squat. I know what I need to do to correct it but, its not going to be a short over night battle. Right now trying to get into low bar position is absolutely agonizing and wont even lie resorted to pain killers before the past few sessions just to get through. I noticed last night just trying to play around a bit that if I squat relatively high bar at least higher than usual and slightly spacing hands out I can get into a rack position in order to Squat. I figure squatting this way is better than not squatting at all, especially with a meet coming up in about 12 weeks.

I guess my question is that I have never really squat in this way so, what are the normal changes that need to be made. I figure feet brought in slightly, trying to drop down instead of back, and maybe even bringing my Oly shoes out. Are their any guys here who are pretty proficient in this form that can help me out?

Thanks to any one who can help.

I have always squatted high bar. I do a pretty good job at it 515 Sq in gym 495 in meet. The biggest part is letting your ankles dorsiflex forward and letting the knees track the toes or go slightly over. If you dont do this you will never get into a proper position to get in and out of the hole. Oly shoes can help but they didnt work for me i just use chucks.

When i squat i can get a crazy build up of iap from my belt i actually use that to stay steady getting into the hole then fire back out. I dont know if this only me but before i unrack i have the bar in low bar position then i slide it up into the high bar position. As of feet positioning i find shoulder width sufficient but slightly wider also works too. You wanna stay upright as possible. Im not a great high bar squatter check out my vids if ya want or the oly section. California strength squat tips on youtube is good too. Best of luck man.

[quote]jkondash89 wrote:
I have always squatted high bar. I do a pretty good job at it 515 Sq in gym 495 in meet. The biggest part is letting your ankles dorsiflex forward and letting the knees track the toes or go slightly over. If you dont do this you will never get into a proper position to get in and out of the hole. Oly shoes can help but they didnt work for me i just use chucks.

[/quote]

I’m confused, are you saying you want the ankles to flex forward and knees to track over the toes or slightly forward? Or the opposite?

Track over the toes slightly nothing crazy though it depends on your leg length really. Its perfectly ok for the knees to go past the toes.

[quote]jkondash89 wrote:
Track over the toes slightly nothing crazy though it depends on your leg length really. Its perfectly ok for the knees to go past the toes.[/quote]

Okay, I was just looking for clerification on what you wrote.

Your knees still want to track the same direction as your toes im just saying its ok for them to go forward of your toes a bit.

[quote]jkondash89 wrote:
Your knees still want to track the same direction as your toes im just saying its ok for them to go forward of your toes a bit. [/quote]

Gotcha, they do.

He said its not ok for the knees to go over the toes. Lol i havent watched this in a while but it really helped me. I just watched my video and the knees track the toes but dont go over so disregard what i said about knees going past the toes. Keep em tracking lol sorry.

Look at Travis Cooper @ 3:20, his knees look way over his feet?

[quote]jkondash89 wrote:

He said its not ok for the knees to go over the toes. Lol i havent watched this in a while but it really helped me. I just watched my video and the knees track the toes but dont go over so disregard what i said about knees going past the toes. Keep em tracking lol sorry.[/quote]

Depends on foot size and limb length honestly. Some people it is practically unavoidable in, some not.

Reed–how much you drop down instead of back is going to be determined by how far you move your feet in. The narrower you go, the more you have to drop down and push the knees out to make room (obviously the knees should be pushed out hard anyways, but it takes on a slightly different characteristic in narrow squatting). You definitely need to still start by pushing hips back to help get a stretch, but it will be of a different quality than before. Quad work, depending on how much you’ve done in the past, will take on slightly more priority because narrow stance upright squatting is more quad related. Again, depends on how you squat and how narrow you put your feet.

Ankle flexibility and tissue quality work is an absolute must.

You go straight down, force the elbows down and chest up, the knees will travel forward of course, but you should also open the hips so that your knees don’t travel too far forward.

Stian Walgermo has a superb high bar squat form for powerlifting.

Reed, I am in this same boat man. I had my left shoulder repaired a year and a half ago and now my right is giving me the same symptoms my left did pre surgery. AKA double whammy for shoulder pain / issues to train around. My days of gripping the bar wide out by the collars is long been over. Getting the bar in a low position feels like steak knives being stabbed into the joints. I would also like to add that I have a pretty hefty pain tolerance and this shit brings tears to my eyes literally. Instead, I’ve had to squat higher bar and it still feels weird as shit. What Ive had to resort doing is using a Yoke bar ( ssb) for 98% of my sets and only using a straight bar on occasion. When I do use a straight bar I have to use a thumb from smooth grip and often times a false grip using my fingers to hold the bar. Yeah, I can’t even get a whole hand around the bar. sucks… I write all this to say get a SSB if you can. It will help your shoulders.

Also echo what Aragorn says. If you are used to a PL style squat as I was, you will quickly realize how much more quads / glutes are needed with the narrower stance squatting as opposed to relying on the PC to muscle up the weight. Walking lunges have been my “secret weapon” to not totally suck at this new squat style. Hope this helps man.

EDIT: I’m LUCKY if I can get the bar as low as the dude in the video above… fk I’m in the suck lol

I’m not in any position to be giving out high bar squatting advice, looks like these Communist, high bar bastards have got you taken care of already :wink:

I just wanted to say, Reed, buddy, whatever you do, don’t let this mess with your head. I can promise you that you won’t get weaker having to squat this way. Just treat it like an entirely different exercise, and don’t try to match the weight you do low bar. Once you go back low come meet time, you’ll be golden.

Thanks guys seriously. Imma try and hit a few sets tomorrow probably just 315-365 and try to feel it l out will upload videos here from a few different angles and see what can be helped and what not.

[quote]csulli wrote:
I’m not in any position to be giving out high bar squatting advice, looks like these Communist, high bar bastards have got you taken care of already :wink:

I just wanted to say, Reed, buddy, whatever you do, don’t let this mess with your head. I can promise you that you won’t get weaker having to squat this way. Just treat it like an entirely different exercise, and don’t try to match the weight you do low bar. Once you go back low come meet time, you’ll be golden.[/quote]

Thanks man. I’ll do my best still trying to get my head around the mental part already. Our meet in March is coming on fast and I know I need to get this shit going really can’t afford a injury right now to close to game time and I really want that Juniors TN State Record for SPF and really feel like I had good shot.

[quote]Reed wrote:

[quote]csulli wrote:
I’m not in any position to be giving out high bar squatting advice, looks like these Communist, high bar bastards have got you taken care of already :wink:

I just wanted to say, Reed, buddy, whatever you do, don’t let this mess with your head. I can promise you that you won’t get weaker having to squat this way. Just treat it like an entirely different exercise, and don’t try to match the weight you do low bar. Once you go back low come meet time, you’ll be golden.[/quote]

Thanks man. I’ll do my best still trying to get my head around the mental part already. Our meet in March is coming on fast and I know I need to get this shit going really can’t afford a injury right now to close to game time and I really want that Juniors TN State Record for SPF and really feel like I had good shot.[/quote]

Csulli is right. You’ll be fine if you can take care of low back strength (being that low bar tends to produce a lot more tension there than high bar upright). I think this ‘time-out’ will help.

I know Ed Coan did most of his squat training high bar until a few weeks out. He seemed to do alright.

Ok so went in today and tried high bar. All I have to say damn. That’s one of the hardest Squat styles I have ever tried. 365 for a 3 doubles blew complete balls. I have video ill post up for critique tonight after work. But I seriously have alot more respect for any one squatting 500-600 plus high bar. My quads are pathetic reversing out of the hole is horrible haha.

High bar socialism for the win!

Out of curiosity, how tall are you?