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Machine Squat Vs. Barbell Squat

I prefer to use the squat on the machine because the barbell hurts my upper spine bone. I would guess that you’d say that its improper form or something but I can’t squat without padding. I could put a towel in between my neck and the barbell and it’ll be all good then. So, is it better to do barbell squats or use the contraption where there’s padding and everything and absolutely no need for a spotter?

It’s better to toughen up and squat with the barbell, no pad. People that have pain holding the bar are almost always people who have little to no upper back muscularity. Take your bruises and bar tattoo for awhile and take pride in knowing you are doing the harder thing which usually translates into more results.

I used to have the same problem, but I don’t notice anything uncomfortable anymore. I think what helped was holding the bar slightly lower down the back, farther from the neck, and developing more muscularity in the upper back as the previous poster said.

You just have to toughen up. I’m guessing you’re talking about using a smith machine, too, which is a bad idea. It doesn’t follow the body’s mechanics and potentially can cause injury.

Just do the regular squat and get used to it.

I think you’re right I may be holding the bar too far up. I think my squatting form is a little off too by looking at aquat form vids on youtube. I’ll fix that the next time I lift on leg day.

The squat pad is the worse thing known to man. I work with high school athletes and a few of the girls said they couldn’t squat without the pad. I told them to try it for 5 sessions and if it still hurt after that then they could use the pad.

First couple session we worked a ton on proper form and set up (especially staying tight and squeezing the upper back together) and by third or fourth session they said it hardly hurt to hold it on their back and they pretty much didn’t have any problems after that.

It’s just like front squats, for a lot of people they really have a tough time with the wrists but after a few sessions they adapt and are fine.

My wife is able to squat without the bar pad just fine. You want to be a bigger man than her.

I got another question about gaining leg size by squatting. There are so many different kinds of squat exercises. Will just doing the barbell squat be enough for the squatting part of leg day? Maybe leg presses also?

I only do one leg exercise for quads each session. Do as little as possible to get the results you need.

[quote]scottiscool wrote:
I only do one leg exercise for quads each session. Do as little as possible to get the results you need. [/quote]

Your DC influence is showing =] A view I don’t have an aversion to, but this may be stated in too universally general a way in my opinion. I’m a lower to low volume guy myself, but “little as possible” is begging to be misunderstood.

Yeah you caught me being a little too vague. It should be more like the least amount to get the results you need. If you are doing squats leg press hacks leg extensions and lunges you might just have a little fluff in there somewhere and get the same results with just the squats and hacks.

The bar should be resting on your traps. Puff your chest out, try to grab as narrow a grip as u can, and bring your elbows forward.

You’re lucky you can do back squats. I have to do Zerchers because my gym has no squat rack.

BB squats are definitely better because they are more functional than machine squats. You get to use your entire body to balance the weight, and it definitely gives you the most bang for your buck. Get used to the pain because it’s worth it.

BTW, any squat is better than any leg press IMO.

If you rest the bar between your deltoids and traps, you’ll have no pain.