T Nation

High Box or Low Box Squats

[quote]Hanley wrote:
When I miss squats I tend to miss them about 6+ inches above parallel. I don’t fall forward, just run out of steam.

Anyone got any ideas what’s going on and how to fix it…?[/quote]

Many different exercises for that and reasons to use them next time you squat, try to pay attention and analyze what tool you think will be right for you.

1)Chain/Band Squats ----- Weight is heavier as you go higher, teaches you to shoot up and continue using more force.

2)Conditioning/focus ---- if ALL you ever do is heavy work, your conditioning may suck, along with conditioning means your mental focus may not last long enough. Old saying condition the body, the mind will follow.

  1. Pause squats/partials — if it’s truly a strength at that angle issue, train at that height with partials and pause squats.

  2. More DE work/plyometrics ---- If you think you already have strenght at the bottom and top of that range, then you should have enough momentum to carry you over to the top. You may not be explosive enough. Get your speed and explosiveness up. Whats your vertical and max and weight.

Remember that strength gained in the stretch range will carry over throughout the range of motion, so there’s very little need for a raw squatter to do very much lockout stuff.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
Many different exercises for that and reasons to use them next time you squat, try to pay attention and analyze what tool you think will be right for you.

1)Chain/Band Squats ----- Weight is heavier as you go higher, teaches you to shoot up and continue using more force.

2)Conditioning/focus ---- if ALL you ever do is heavy work, your conditioning may suck, along with conditioning means your mental focus may not last long enough. Old saying condition the body, the mind will follow.

  1. Pause squats/partials — if it’s truly a strength at that angle issue, train at that height with partials and pause squats.

  2. More DE work/plyometrics ---- If you think you already have strenght at the bottom and top of that range, then you should have enough momentum to carry you over to the top. You may not be explosive enough. Get your speed and explosiveness up. Whats your vertical and max and weight.[/quote]

  3. I think this is probably gonna be the key. It’s the one thing I haven’t tried. My bench always takes a jump when I work bands into a training cycle, so it would make sense that my squat would too!!

  4. My sticking point’s moved higher in tandem with my higher rep cycle. I used to miss an inch or two above parallel, but I’ve concentrated on sets of 8-12 for the last couple of months and the result is missing higher up. I find myself able to grind out the lower rep sets, but the higher rep ones I just run flat out of gas

  5. I’ve had good success with pause squats in the past, buuuut I’ve a lingering hamstring problem at the moment so I’m trying to avoid keeping constant tension on it mid set.

  6. Again, DE work is something Ive started to work on recently, it’s probably one of the factors that has led to my sticking point moving higher up. I’ve certainly noticed myself being much faster out of the hole with gear on.

I’ve no idea what my vert is… Max raw is probably around 210kg (465lb) at around 88kg (215lb), single ply equipped, 260-270 (585-600lb) I would think

I measured my box today…11 inches on the side I used 2 days ago. video shows this to bring me below parrelel .

should I consider this to be low-box?

Yes 11" is generally considered low. It depends a bit of course if you are 5’4" or 6’6" but generally anything less than 12" is low for most and anything above 15" is high for most.

Just vary it week to week or every other month.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
TheBodyGuard wrote:
You’d really have to see it to know. You can always throw out some bodyparts based on where you lose a lift but those are generalities b/c there could be things happening BEFORE that point that cause you to lose it where you do.

I know Tate and those guys are great at giving those opinions sight unseen and they are probably generally right (hey, it’s not rocket science - we all know the prime movers in the squat), but I’d say your best bet is just to get someone experienced to watch you and give an opinion. Or, you can post a vid on here and solicit an opinion.

I do have one disclaimer though; I’m not sure of the value of too much specialized work for guys that just need to get stronger in general period. If your squat isn’t fairly advanced, I think you’d do yourself a bigger favor by just getting all those prime movers stronger. I wouldn’t neglect that strategy in favor of special work unless I was fairly advanced. Just my opinion though and I have no idea of your level.

Good luck with it though!

Go to Elite and read all their stuff and you’ll come away with some good ideas of why you’re failing where you are. You can’t go wrong with reading as much of their stuff as you can absorb as it will always be useful.

Thanks for that… I think my squat’s fairly ok. It’s moving in the right direction at least. I did 180kg x5 in just a belt two weeks ago (missing the 6th 6-8 inches above parallel) and did a super easy 230kg today in my Centurion suit sans wraps.

When I miss I don’t fall forward, I can keep my position and keep straining, but just not get thru the sticking point.

Here’s the most recent raw vid I have; http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=dfx2IBcFLtE

And here’s some suited squats from today;

Thoughts??

Sorry to the OP for the hijack btw.[/quote]

Impossible to really tell anything from those vids. Your form is generally good. But you didn’t fail on any of those squats, so how can we talk about your “sticking point” or minimax?

In the first video, you were doing 12 reps - so the only thing we could possibly tell is where you “fatigue” after multiple reps, not necessarily fail with max weight. I do not think the two are synonymous.

It looked to me that when you fatigued about mid way thru the set (forget which rep it started), you started to pitch slightly forward just after your hips came out of the hole and you recovered. My guess is hip and glute work from that vid. It could also be simply a form cue, where you just need to remind yourself to push your hips thru, but more than likely, you exposed a weakness there, or its both.

The second vid, you made all your lifts, form looked decent. Two things stood out first; the lifts did not look explosive even though you were able to get more than one rep. The reps looked slow and it didn’t appear you were even trying to be explosive. Next, although one cannot really judge depth from the front, you definitely looked high on all your squats.

[quote]saps wrote:
Yes 11" is generally considered low. It depends a bit of course if you are 5’4" or 6’6" but generally anything less than 12" is low for most and anything above 15" is high for most.[/quote]

thanks

I’m 5’6"…so thats my lo-box . and the same box sitting the other way is 13"…so thats my med-box.plenty of variation for now