T Nation

Squat From Top or Bottom -

Do you squat starting at the bottom or un-racking from the top?

Is one better than the other or is it a matter of preference?

I’ve always un-racked from the top myself, but I’m wondering if starting from the bottom would be a positive change.

Both methods have a distinctive benefit/cost profile. If you can match this profile to your needs, you’ll be in business.

If you simply want to get stronger in the standard squat (starting at the top), doing “bottom up” squats can be helpful, because, quite simply, they’re harder and less confortable.

For all others, there can be a benefit from minimizing the contribution of the stretch shortening cycle (SSC), which is what happens when you start at the bottom.

Ultimately, at least over the short term you’ll get better and whatever sytle you’re using.

[quote]Jujimufu wrote:
Do you squat starting at the bottom or un-racking from the top?

Is one better than the other or is it a matter of preference?

I’ve always un-racked from the top myself, but I’m wondering if starting from the bottom would be a positive change.[/quote]

I LOVE my bottom-up squats. They DO elimnate the SSC which makes them harder in that respect.
One thing is for sure, if you set the pins correctly, you ALWAYS go to parallel! I have squatted 500 for a double as of last fall. I also use a 3" bar.

[quote]derek wrote:
I LOVE my bottom-up squats. They DO elimnate the SSC which makes them harder in that respect.
One thing is for sure, if you set the pins correctly, you ALWAYS go to parallel! I have squatted 500 for a double as of last fall. I also use a 3" bar.[/quote]

I also used bottom-up squats to start a strength cycle. It worked really well to get the legs firing without the SSC.

You may want to experiment a bit in getting your position set so that you can get the form good. Spend some time getting that right so that you reap the benefits.

Both methods have tremendous benefits and should always be employed…I will wave one and then the other…sometimes Zerchers…sometimes fronts…when bottom upping I always work at exploding as violently as possible at the start…its not about simply getting the weight up but getting the weight MOVING…I have to say of all the movemnets in the bottom up routine I use I like zerchers with a lightening band the most…I will load up somewehere between 450-550, a set of minis or monster minis from the rack top and away you go…I use a box and the power yoke and go from a box…I lift the weight off the pins to get it setup so I don’t kill myself then focus on getting really tight and launching forward and up off the box…its about as good an arch building exercise as there is…you either arch the weight up or fold like an accordian…