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Low Bar Squatting - How Low is Too Low?

I’ve been low-bar squatting for a while as, for me, I feel stronger and more solid with a low bar position. However, I’m wondering if my bar position is actually drifting too low?

When I get my shoulders set it creates kind of two shelf’s. One across the traps with the bar crossing the shoulders around the back of the mid-delt/top of the rear delt. The second shelf is kind of across the top of the scapula with the bar crossing the shoulders across the rear-delt. However, I’ve begun placing the bar below that second “shelf”. Really across the the scapula and crossing the bottom of the rear delts, almost top of the tricep. It’s a position where I’m slightly tilted from the hips at the top and a fair bit of the weight kind of feels like its in my hands more than on my shoulders.

I know that sounds unstable, but when I actually squat that position just feels more solid. I’m just wondering if its “too low”. Does anyone else squat with the bar this low? Should I be trying to move the bar position a little higher?

I know pics would help, but I haven’t been able to get any at my gym. Thanks in advance.

Federations have rules regarding how low the bar can be. Find your federation’s rulebook and use that to guide you.

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I looked in the IPF technical rulebook. They have a diagram with “typical” placements (one I would say is on the upper “shelf” I mentioned above and the other is bsically on the lower “shelf”. But the book says the position is not obligatory/required.

Does it hurt? If you are pain-free in this position and it’s within the rules for the federation whose meet you’ll be lifting in, I see no problem.

The lower you go with the bar the more forward lean is required for balance because lever length of your back gets shorter. As long as you have the hip mobility to keep your lower back neutral that’s fine, but it’s something you should look out for.

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This causes the bar to drift forward significantly for a lot of people, and is why you might see some “borderline” squatters that look super stable have their form completely fall apart when they go another couple inches deeper. With a real low bar position, that last little bit of depth can really pitch people forward. So I would recommend taking some videos from the side and have some good vertical line reference points to compare your bar path to. Some forward drift is often unavoidable, but if the bar is traveling up in a line that is more forward than the line it traveled down along, that’s a pretty sure sign you’re getting pitched forward at the bottom.