I was going to buy one, but then I saw some people posting that it places the weight too high on your back and can screw up your lower back. They said it was a crutch and should not be used. Any thoughts?
I never used one but remember putting some pipe isolation around the bar for a while. That worked ok. However, it doesn't take very long to get use to having the bar on your back. Training hard is really not suppose to be comfortable.
I have used it for 2 years about, in my opinion is very good, I cannot doing squat without it. I don't think is bad for your back, instead, I think is very healty, However if you can doing squat without it, I agree with canada.
Yes I can do it without it, but my wife has trouble going heavy. I have to admit, I liked the way it felt the one time I did use one.
if you plan on making a run at any high efforts DO NOT USE
if you are just basically squatting for a general benefit & are not too concerned about increasing poundage it will be ok
if you don't mind parting with the $ then I would suggest a safety squat bar -
What do you mean not interested in increasing poundage? I assume you mean there is a limit on how much weight you can safely use the manta ray with. You always want to continue to improve. Yeah not looking to spend that much money. The Manta Ray looked like an inexpensive accessory.
what is your best squat/best set currently?
if you could post a pic of your form at the lowest point of your lift that would help give a better answer too
If you are holding the bar correctly it shouldn't hurt.
It doesn't hurt me. It hurts my wife and it's only when she trys going heavy. I think I will buy it. I found where T-Nation recommends it as stuff they like.