T Nation

High Bar Squats and Shoulder Blades


#1

Hello all I have a question about them high bar squat. When I place the bar on my traps should I be pulling my shoulder blades together and flexing my traps and pushing my chest up? Or should I just kinda let the bar sit on my traps and try to keep my chest up?

When I pull my shoulders together and pull my chest up it feels like I'm leaning too far forward I really need help here should my traps and upper back be flexed hard or should the bar just be resting on them? Please someone with knowledgeable advice help I don't want to be doing good morning high bar squats anymore..... thanks


#2

Bump


#3

Bump 101 views but i cant get any help?


#4

JK,

Far from an expert,
and personally mainly focus on front squats cause they force me to use correct form.
Ever try doin a good morning with the bar on your collar bone? Usually doesn't work out too well.

But if you insist on back squatting try this.
Step out of the rack and work on pointing your elbows down, not back. Straight down. 9 out of 10 guys will have their elbows pointing back to some degree. Rotate them straight down or close to it.
Why?
It helps to set your shoulders rotated back.
Most important it helps properly aline your spine (so your less inclined to "goodmorning").
It also helps to set the chest up.
With your spine aligned and your shoulders rotated back into their most stable configuration your traps will take care of themselves.
Try it.
We all got different bodies but this works for alot of folks.

Of course you have to be honest enough to realize that when the weight is too heavy to stay in this configuration, then..... take weight off the bar!!!!

Again, that's why i front squat, cause when the weight is too heavy to maintain correct form the bar simply lets me know that.....by rolling off onto the floor before i injure my self using crapy form.
When i back squat i'm just mr.badass and keep going and then screw up a knee or my spine cause my form breaks down.

Oh, and please no "Thats not how PLifter so and so's elbows look when he set a world record"
Yeah, yeah we're talking high bar olympic style back squatting not PL low back break with your ass and go maybe halfway down. Maybe.
Check out mobilitywod.com and Kelly Starrett's utube stuff. Its priceless and the dude is funny too.

LB


#5

Oh yeah,

If ya thought front squatting was for sissies give this a go.

at 169 lbs, no belt, no wraps, two days before the Worlds so he just fooling around.

nice form eh?

That 230 is kilo's, not pounds.


#6

Anybody who thinks front squatting is a joke or for sissies hasn't seriously attempted them.


#7

Thats awesome bro. When you say get my arms as close to facing down that just sounds like a good idea. I dont think the weights to much because even on warm ups i get like a shift of weight out of the bottom of the hole and i tend to good morning up. I am also currently working on so mobility issues because i cannot squat straight down and stay on my heels so ive been putting my oly shoes on and squatting down and spreading my knees with elbows fot five sets of 10 seconds 3 times daily im hoping it helps. Thanks bro your very helpful and i think front squats are awesone. If you have any more tips about mobility please chime in. Thanks -Jk


#8

If your hips are rising too fast out of the bottom then try paused squats. Hold at the bottom for a legitimate 2 second+ count while holding tension (do not relax!!) and focus on driving out of the bottom hard. Most people tip forwards because they aren't strong enough to maintain a good back position with a quick turn around.


#9

If you're rolling forward it sounds like a flexibility issue within you hips and hamstrings. The bar should rest on upper traps, chest should be up shoulders should be back and hand placement should be close to body to increase tension within the shoulder muscles. Increase stance width and point toes further out.


#10

I have started working on hip and ankle flexibility 3 times a day. I throw my oly shoes on and do zercher squats and spread my knees out with my elbows i do this for 5 sets of 10 second count 3 times daily then after each last set i do ten fast air squats. Im amazed at how horrible my flexibility is. This is what i was doing while squatting since i got not sit straight dowb atg without falling behind me i was essentially squatting pushing my hips back then down but to keep my balance i was leaning forward with my torso....

Should i even toucha barbell until i get this flexibilty under control. Should i lower the weight and try to keep my form correct and continuing mobility what would be your best advice? I dont wanna hurt my self and i would rather reset to the bar and learn proper form. What would you reccomend doing ?


#11

JK,

As someone who has fucked up their knee, back, wrist and shoulder using poor form and heavy weight, my advice is to back off the weight, and hammmer hundreds of reps with crisp proper form so it becomes ingrained into your nerves and muscle.

I do NOT mean sets of 100 either. I just mean alot of lifts with picture perfect form.
You will not see alot of olympic lifters doing alot of reps.
One reason why is that form tends to break down the more reps you go into a set and you don't win gold with poor form.
I was taught no more than 3 reps with a working weight.

I learned this the hard way after shoulder and knee surgery.

When you lift a new PR your body will naturally be frightened by the weight it feels and instinctively resort to what it knows best. If you have taught it perfect form, from hundreds of reps, thats what it will do.

When Lucas Matthysse or Floyd Mayweather step into the boxing ring, 99% of what they do is pure reflex from hundreds of rounds of sparring.
Same thing.

I like watching guys who are good too, to help paint a mental picture as i approach the bar.
One of the best ever, couple days out from the Worlds so he's just keeping sharp, nothin heavy. He'll back squat for you at the end of his workout....after snatching and CJ work. Note the elbows nearly vertical.

lb


#12

Good point there LB. What im gonna do is start with the empty bar and do 5 perfect reps and keep adding 20 lbs at a clip and doing 5 perfect reps. When i get to a point where my form breaks down i am going to subtract 20 lbs from that and improve from there.

Also i see what you mean about high reps and form breaking down.
Ill leave you with a video link to kinda show you how i was squatting before. I think the guy in this video is confused by one thing as was ibat one point. Some people think that if the bar is placed on traps its an olympic style squat this is untrue because the guy in this vid is calling this the olympic squat but he is clearly using a more lowbbar technique.