T Nation

Squat Grip with the Yoke


My training partner for Strong Man (I'm a newb, he's a vet) just recently suggested gripping the yoke just like you would with a regular barbell squat, with your hand close to your shoulders (not a PL squat).

I personally found that it feels better on my back when I walk with it, however locking it out in the first place is a pain in the ass. Since I don't have enough experience yet with this sport, I was just curious whether some of you guys have experimented with this as well and what your results were. Thanks in advance.


I've only done one contest, but when I trained with the Yoke, it always felt better with my hands on the uprights of the Yoke (similar to using a Giant Cambered Squat Bar). You could take a normal squat grip, but I would be worried that if the uprights of the yoke happen to swing a bit, they could throw you off balance.

Just my $0.02


I do yoke with my hands on the crossbar as you describe, although I'd estimate more people have their hands ont eh uprights. Not sure what you mean tho comparing a "regular barbell squat" with a pl squat. my hand placement is the same whetehr im goign to parallel or full depth


I've found that I feel most stable by placing my hands inside the uprights and "pressing" out on the uprights. This seems to tighten up my torso and thoracic spine. This technique does depend on how narrow or wide the uprights are. I've walked on yokes so wide I can't get any tension on the uprights.

I do feel that pressing out on the uprights also allows me to control the swing of the yoke. Keeping my hands up on the cross bar like a regular squat always makes my walks feel wobbly.

Just like anything else in strongman, it will come down to what you feel most comfortable with.


He means powerlifters all grip at the collars and squat high, because that's what the superheavy weight multiply guys do.


First of all, thanks to the replies so far!! Compared to other yokes ours is actually pretty wide but I can try again and see if I can build up some more pressure on the uprights.
You're right, I guess I'll just have to experiment some more.


You want to grip the uprights IMO. I actually pull in on them. This will somewhat allow you to control the swinging that a yoke does. Love that avatar.



Monopoly, have you tried pushing out vice pulling in? I could tell a big difference when I switched the direction of my force on the yoke frame. I picture that I'm standing in an unmoveable box and I'm pressing against it on all four sides. I'm not sure if this is a mind trick, like clenching your fist to generate more neural feedback on a lift, or if there is something about turning a yoke walk into a total body "press" vice having some parts pulling and some pushing.

Now, if you really want to throw all this advice out the door, start walking with a chain yoke so that it swings in every direction, completely independent. Great way to build up core stability and a nice smooth walk.