T Nation

High Bar Oly Squats and Tall Lifters

CT how do you feel about high bar oly squats and front squats? I need to develop a lot more leg strength and these two exercises to be the best choices to bring up my quads/glutes and overall leg strength and carry over to my comp squat. But i have very long legs and a medium torso and I can’t seem to get deep enough without my torso leaning a decent bit forward and getting out of prop per position.

Do you generally use these 2 lifts with guys who’s body types are like mine? Or would you recommend other exercises or variations?

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The front squat is normally my recommendation in that case. But my FIRST recommendation is to get olympic lifting shoes. The raised heel help long-limbed lifters to go deeper while staying more upright. Stretching the hip flexors never hurts either.

I also like Martin Rooney’s hybrid deadlift. Which can be best described as a moderate stance sumo deadlift, making sure to use a “low hips” starting position. I find this to be a very complete lower body exercise.

I attached a video of one of my client doing this exercise, but I can’t seem to post it in the right angle! You still get the idea!

I am built the same way, long femurs and a shorter torso. I can’t go down very far without my back rounding when doing back squats. The best thing I did was finally getting a pair of oly shoes and focusing on front squats. Also hanging out in the bottom of a deep body weight squat everyday have helped with flexibility. I hit a 50lbs front squat PR after squatting in my oly shoes for a few weeks.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
The front squat is normally my recommendation in that case. But my FIRST recommendation is to get olympic lifting shoes. The raised heel help long-limbed lifters to go deeper while staying more upright. Stretching the hip flexors never hurts either.
[/quote]

This.

Just last week while making some adjustments to my program, I made the executive decision to stop back squatting - ATG Back Squats just weren’t for me.

I switched to the front squats. I can personally full ATG front squat with an almost perfectly erect spine in the bottom position. NO lumbar pain whatsoever.

I don’t have olympic weightlifting shoes, but I do have some Nike shox and some arch support inner soles (I had corrective feet surgery for flat feet a few years ago). The combo raises my heal about 1 & 1/4 inches off the ground - which is SUPER helpful.

And stretching my hip flexors! WOW does this help. Having to sit all day at school makes mine super tight.

Another thing that is super helpful is having a mirror to either your right or left that you can look at yourself in.
Every workout (but not every set), I’ll “sit” at the bottom of the squat (bracing) and turn my head to see how my form looks.

This or a video works great! I think seeing yourself perform a movement [im]properly is an incredible teaching tool.

Another vote for Front squats as a tall guy with long limbs. Had significant issues with lower back rounding on deep back squats, and really felt the exercise more in my erectors and glutes than quads anyway. Swapped to front squats and it’s like magic. Can go super deep with no pain, no rounding. Can sit in the hole or do 1-1/4s without an issue. Feel it almost exclusively in the quads, but also get a nice upper back pump from bracing.

I don’t have shoes either, I usually squat barefoot, but that’s just me.

x2 on olympic lifting shoes. Make sure your stance is such that it’s not too narrow, either. Slightly outside hip width, toes turned out anywhere from 15-30 degrees (as mobility allows).

Lot Christian I work with her. Living the goodlife

[quote]Jamesliftsheavy wrote:
Lot Christian I work with her. Living the goodlife[/quote]

Great, you’ll be my eyes to make sure that she isn’t slacking off