T Nation

Sting ray

Does anyone have one of these? I saw it in Stuff We Like and was thinking of getting one. I like front squats but have to do them cross-arm style because of a lack of flexibility. Once I get over 185lbs, though, it seems most of my effort goes into keeping the bar balanced properly. Not exactly an ideal way to train legs. So I’m wondering how well its worked for others and how heavy they go with it. thanks.

The Sting Ray is a really excellent piece
of equipment.

I bought the sting ray about a couple of years ago after using the manta ray. I really haven’t used it much at all. I do think it is a good product but it just doesn’t fit my body. I have very pronounced clavicles so using it is somewhat painful. I now use one of those big fat squat pads when doing front squats. I use a clean grip and try to force the pad/barbell into my neck. If my wrists are sore I use my deadlift straps around the bar and hold onto them like handles. I just keep my elbows and chest up. I can’t do front squats at all without the pad because of myu build. BTW, I really think the manta ray is great for back squats…it keeps the bar higher so if you do a powerlifter style squat it may be a bit awkward. It is especially good for people who are just starting to squat and people who lack upper back muscularity.

Thanks for the responses. I guess my question really is, does it ever become akward or uncomfortable to use when the weights start getting heavy?

If it is comfortable with light weights it will be even better with heavy weights. If bar stability is poor in the front squat the sting ray should help. I find the big bar pad with straps as handles provide good support for me. If you lack flexibility try the deadlift straps as “handles”. Just loop the strap around the bar and pull it tight…keep the elbows high and chest up. BTW Poliquin stated somewhere that you should keep your reps low in the front squat because a certain muscle tires that could cause you to round your back…sorry don’t rember which muscle. I have found that this is definitely the case with me so I keep the reps low. Incidentally, I am in the process of concentrating on bringing my front squat up…I am concentrating on doing overhead squats right now to build a lot of strength to hold my body position real stable. It seems to be working well. I only do one leg workout a week because i’m also doing the great guns routine. I alternate one week of focus on improving front squats concentrating on the overhead squats and abs (cable reverse deadlifts as described by John Casler on supertraining egroup and barbell rollouts) with a week of concentrating on hamstring/glute strength and getting out of the bottom portion of the deep front squat. I will try to update on how that works for me…maybe it will be useful for others trying to increase their front squat.