T Nation

High Bar Squats for Advanced Lifters


#1

I have recently been doing high bar squats to try to correct forward lead problems I have been having in the squat. Does anyone else do these? What kind of value do you think they have for a lifter who has been squatting low bar for a long time? I find that the weight I use is severely compromised, but I can feel these more in my quads and glutes.


#2

Maybe this article by Robertson on Olympic vs powerlifting squats and the discussion may help.


#3

Though most ppl wont agree with me, I have seen more high bar lifters squat more weight low bar style than the other way around. These lifters also did a lot of front squats which is much harder to perform than the back squat.

Give it a shot and see what works.


#4

I recently switched to a higher bar placement and it feels better to me than the lower bar placement and the forward that comes with a lower bar placement.

In addition, I feel I am able to stay tighter throughout the range of motion of the squat than before.

As Deadlift425 said, give it a shot and see how it feels.


#5

They are a staple at Jackal’s, as are front squats, so I would state you are on to something.

Very effective for building leg strength and ability to hold body position and grind through a lift.


#6

I switched to a high bar position in the last year or so. Here’s what I noticed:

-The initial switch resulted in a dip in my performance for a few months until I got the groove down. Absent any gear, I am still stronger with a low bar position, but my geared or even just belt/wraps squats are back to where they were with a low bar or even a little better.

-I had chronic bicep tendonitis and frequent shoulder pain for years. When I started squatting with a higher bar position, these pains mostly disappeared.

-With a low bar position, if I started to come a little too far forward on the way up, I could usually muscle the weight up anyway as a “squat-morning”. High-bar squatting requires that I stay in groove perfectly or else I will miss weights or at least struggle with a weight that should have looked like a warm-up.

-Using a high bar position has reduced my range of motion necessary to break parallel, so I do less work.

-I am more stable with a low bar position. A high bar seems to aggravate the sensation that I am about to fall over. It looks the same on video- but feels totally different.

-Using a high bar postiion has helped with problems I have had with the bar rolling on heavier squats.


#7

This thread is kind of interesting because when I think about a high bar squat I literally think of an Olympic style, shoulders pinched together hard, bar sitting in a place it’s gonna hurt tomorrow, and just getting aggressive, belly full of air driving the elbows and trying to stay as upright as possible.

To me, this style of squatting is used as a tool in the arsenal and really gives you feedback as to how well you are holding position and teaches you to anticipate points in the lift where you might get pitched, and drive through. It also teaches you to make up your mind and go. You can’t high bar squat with a slow descent.

My point is, I have had lifters come to train with us feeling like they were unstable and had too much lean and we have literally moved the bar positon less than an inch ipward, taught them how to address the bar correctly, and it has significantly changed their leverages.

Lower isn’t always better. It depends on a lot of factors including total leg strength and just becomes another thing to spend a little time on during this journey. We have had to adjust bar position as lifters gain/lose weight.


#8

[quote]Pinto wrote:
I switched to a high bar position in the last year or so. Here’s what I noticed:

-The initial switch resulted in a dip in my performance for a few months until I got the groove down. Absent any gear, I am still stronger with a low bar position, but my geared or even just belt/wraps squats are back to where they were with a low bar or even a little better.

-I had chronic bicep tendonitis and frequent shoulder pain for years. When I started squatting with a higher bar position, these pains mostly disappeared.

-With a low bar position, if I started to come a little too far forward on the way up, I could usually muscle the weight up anyway as a “squat-morning”. High-bar squatting requires that I stay in groove perfectly or else I will miss weights or at least struggle with a weight that should have looked like a warm-up.

-Using a high bar position has reduced my range of motion necessary to break parallel, so I do less work.

-I am more stable with a low bar position. A high bar seems to aggravate the sensation that I am about to fall over. It looks the same on video- but feels totally different.

-Using a high bar postiion has helped with problems I have had with the bar rolling on heavier squats.
[/quote]

I don’t intend to use a high bar in competition, I am just hoping it will help correct some form issues and prove to be a valuable assistance exercise. I really have to fight to keep my head and chest up and it has alleviated some hip issues I’ve been having.


#9

[quote]TunaMonkey wrote:

I don’t intend to use a high bar in competition, I am just hoping it will help correct some form issues and prove to be a valuable assistance exercise. I really have to fight to keep my head and chest up and it has alleviated some hip issues I’ve been having.
[/quote]

This is one of the reasons why lifters use things like the Safety Squat bar and, to a lesser degree, the Manta Ray.

If you feel it helps then stick with it for a while.