T Nation

Squats and the Manta Ray

The ad says “At Long Last, Squats Are Not A Pain In The Neck!”
"Q: How does it rest on your back?

A: It transfers the load to the traps exclusively and doesn’t involve the shoulder caps. It’s a simple load distribution principle where the load is spread over as much as 1600% more surface area than the raw bar. It’s like comparing a bed of nails to a single nail."
P.T. Barnum said “Never underestimate the stupidity of the American public.”

Any testimonials out there?

[quote]Colonel Dinque wrote:
The ad says “At Long Last, Squats Are Not A Pain In The Neck!”
"Q: How does it rest on your back?

A: It transfers the load to the traps exclusively and doesn’t involve the shoulder caps. It’s a simple load distribution principle where the load is spread over as much as 1600% more surface area than the raw bar. It’s like comparing a bed of nails to a single nail."
P.T. Barnum said “Never underestimate the stupidity of the American public.”

Any testimonials out there?[/quote]

No testimonial, but I’ve seen these things (blue I think) and they seem functional enough. However I don’t have any problems with a standard 7 dollar bar pad so personally I don’t really see a need.

–Tiribulus->

[quote]Colonel Dinque wrote:
The ad says “At Long Last, Squats Are Not A Pain In The Neck!”
"Q: How does it rest on your back?

A: It transfers the load to the traps exclusively and doesn’t involve the shoulder caps. It’s a simple load distribution principle where the load is spread over as much as 1600% more surface area than the raw bar. It’s like comparing a bed of nails to a single nail."
P.T. Barnum said “Never underestimate the stupidity of the American public.”

Any testimonials out there?[/quote]

I’ve used it. It became annoying over time. The best device made is either a simple pad on the bar or a towel.

I have pretty large traps and the bar alone is painful when I do squats because it is set on a smaller area than someone with smaller traps. Someone smaller could spread the stress out over their shoulders instead of the highest point on their traps alone.

I have never tried it but it probably does
take away the need to worry about balancing the bar and holding it in place, which in my opinion adds to the overall stress of the squat.(not using it is tougher than using it and therefore overall a better training effect on the body)

I have no problems back squatting, however I cant seem to get the front squat down. I am considering the Stingray. (please, no Irwin comments)

I got one off of ebay a couple of years ago and I do still use it when I do heavy sets. The bar sits up higher than normal and it feels strange at first but you quickly get used to it. It does hold the weight in place nicely and reduces the amount of pressure on the spine. That being said it isn’t perfect. With a lot of weight, it’s still going do dig into your back some and my buddy hates it but he has very big shoulders and traps so it doesn’t sit correctly and he says it is uncomfortable and pinches the hell out of him. I’m more “normal” size so I don’t have that problem. If you use a bitch pad when you do squats now, it works much better than that in my opinion. If you can find a deal on one on ebay or something it might be worth trying.

I think the manta ray is kind of dumb personally.

To me it hurts more than using the bar, the bar never really hurt me, but that’s probably because I couldn’t squat for shit when I first started so I gradually worked up from light weights and my body got used to it.

I guess to each his own, but you don’t see a whole lot of good powerlifters or oly lifters using it regularly…

I’ve used one for years. Because it is a rigid plastic it won’t be good for every body type.

My son is a quite skinny teenager, and although he likes it, he has to use a thin towel to take up space between the plastic and his skin.

Also, I think a very large person (muscular or just overweight) might have issues with a correct fit. I’m 210 and have no problems.

TD

the gym I just joined has one of them. I also find it more comfortable to just use the bar. The edges one the front really dig into me. I’ve also used pads in the past and it’s much better if you think that’s the kinda thing you need.

pass

I use a Manta Ray for standing calf raises in the power rack. It allows me to hold onto the rack for balance without worrying about dropping the bar.

I also use it for twenty-rep breathing squats. It lets me focus on the systemic pain of the exercise instead of the discomfort from the bar.

I prefer a lower bar position for heavy back squats.

I have used it on several occasions, but not in a long time. I can hardly stand to do high-bar squats because of the pain in my traps, so the manta-ray seemed beneficial when I was trying to do them. Fortunately, a trainer at the gym I went to helped convert me to a low-bar, powerlifting style squat, and that became just as, and probably more comfortable, than using the manta-ray.

However, my brother will never use one now, because it shifted once while he was squatting and he feels that it caused him to hurt his back.

I’m not a fan. I found it to be uncomfortable.

I dont like them. Yes it transfers weight over a greater area of your upper back, but it takes stress off areas that can take alot of weight and puts it where it doesnt feel as good (the nerves in your neck.)

On a somewhat related note, what about the Sting Ray for front squats? I was thinking about purchasing one to make these easier. Anyone tried them, and what did you think?

Thx in advance!

I bought one years ago and while I used it maybe a dzoen times I weaned myself off it… more of a novelty than the Shoulder Horn, IMO.

As some posters above have stated the sharper edges along the front started to bother me when I put more then 315 on the bar… now I just set the bar lower on my back to provide more shelf room for the bar.

I figure if the lifters of old could build massive stems without the little plastic doohickey I can do the same.

Use it if you want but as you get bigger and thicker you might find it also will start bothering you with the tapered front edge(s)

If you want I’ll sell you mine :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Colonel Dinque wrote:
The ad says “At Long Last, Squats Are Not A Pain In The Neck!”
"Q: How does it rest on your back?

A: It transfers the load to the traps exclusively and doesn’t involve the shoulder caps. It’s a simple load distribution principle where the load is spread over as much as 1600% more surface area than the raw bar. It’s like comparing a bed of nails to a single nail."
P.T. Barnum said “Never underestimate the stupidity of the American public.”

Any testimonials out there?

I’ve used it. It became annoying over time. The best device made is either a simple pad on the bar or a towel.

I have pretty large traps and the bar alone is painful when I do squats because it is set on a smaller area than someone with smaller traps. Someone smaller could spread the stress out over their shoulders instead of the highest point on their traps alone.[/quote]

Ok, I’m confused.

I’ve always been under the impression that larger traps help releive squat pain. As such I’ve trained my traps in various ways (power cleans, snatches, deadlifts, heavy shurgs). While Im going to assume that my traps aren’t as big as yours, I’m no scrawny bitch either. Having done extensive work on my traps I actually don’t feel any pain when squatting, even if its heavy.

Heavy for me, such as last night, was 415 for 5. I’m sure you squat much more. Was their a point at which you got to a certain weight and it started hurting or have you always had pain at your maximal squat weight?

I actually began using this when I started squatting, because my gym has one. However, a couple months ago I found that I can squat more effectively with the naked bar on my traps, because I can keep the bar further back. At first I had a big red line going across my shoulders, but that’s long gone and I don’t really feel any discomfort.

I havent squatted over 350lbs so the bar is just fine for me.

I bought one years ago and while I used it maybe a dzoen times I weaned myself off it… more of a novelty than the Shoulder Horn, IMO.

As some posters above have stated the sharper edges along the front started to bother me when I put more then 315 on the bar… now I just set the bar lower on my back to provide more shelf room for the bar.

I figure if the lifters of old could build massive stems without the little plastic doohickey I can do the same.

Use it if you want but as you get bigger and thicker you might find it also will start bothering you with the tapered front edge(s)

If you want I’ll sell you mine :stuck_out_tongue:

I really like mine - for two or three weeks at a time. I go through phases when I squat powerlifter style with the bar low, then front squat, then high bar squat with the Manta Ray. It helps a little to stabilize the bar, center it on your back. Nothing magical about it, for sure, but a handy little gadget. I really hate the pads, they seem to move the bar to far behind me. The manta puts it right on top of your shoulders.

[quote]hoosierdaddy wrote:
Ok, I’m confused.

I’ve always been under the impression that larger traps help releive squat pain. As such I’ve trained my traps in various ways (power cleans, snatches, deadlifts, heavy shurgs). While Im going to assume that my traps aren’t as big as yours, I’m no scrawny bitch either. Having done extensive work on my traps I actually don’t feel any pain when squatting, even if its heavy.

Heavy for me, such as last night, was 415 for 5. I’m sure you squat much more. Was their a point at which you got to a certain weight and it started hurting or have you always had pain at your maximal squat weight?

[/quote]

Guy, everyone isn’t made the same. If you don’t feel any pain on your traps, great. My neck measures about 20" at my heaviest weight so I don’t know if you are my size or not. I feel pain and have for years which is why I use a pad on the bar. If you don’t…drop the pad.