T Nation

totally confused about box squats


Ok here is what i dont understand about box squats is how are they soposed to increase your full squat when you only go a few inches below parell? I can work up to 325 on box squats, but so,ething tells me I dont think I can do that weight for a full rep. Any pointers?
Will Rouse


You don't full squat in competition.


hm? you can do more off a box than you can regular?

i personally can do more regular than on a box (50-60 pounds more), its harder off the box.. i thought this was the case for most people, now you've confused me :slight_smile:

starting strength (without stretch) = harder??



box squats bring up your competition parrellel squat.. not olympic squats there two totaly diffirent things......but in competition you only have to squat to parrellel..bm


I can squat about 50lbs more off a box ....What that means I dont know...I guess I use my glutes and hams a lot more than i thought


No big thing there, I can box squat 40lbs (1" below parallel) more than I can full squat!! I think that would be the case for most people. But I can parallel squat 40lbs more than i can box squat.


Sounds like you're using a different form when free squatting. To clarify, are you talking about a full, ass-to-grass squat, or just to parallel? From your first post it sounded like ATG, but now I don't know.

If you are trying to improve your competition squat, work to use the same form without the box as with; IOW, make sure you sit back, spread the floor, etc.

If you want to improve your full squat, use a lower box.

Hope this helps,


I always thought that box squating would not only bring up a competition squat but would also bring up a full squat by just making you stronger period, at least that's what I alawys tell people whom I trying to convert.


snippdawg..i think thats true..i know that this board by far has the most people other than olympic lifters who squat atg..most athletes squat maybe a inch high of parrelel so getting them down to parrellel is a great benifit of the bxsq..but a parrellel box squat can work for the atg squat by conditioning the cns and you it is very very hard to build speed off a lower box..bm


A box squat can indeed help the olympic squat by teaching one to use their posterior chain more efficiently which becomes more critical the deeper in the squat you go. However, if you want to build the olympic squat then you should be doing full squats. Olympic lifters never do box squats yet can full squat huge poundages. They however do plenty of posterior chain work via the olympic lifts themselves and the different assistance lifts, ie: pulls,rdls,goodmornings. So if you choose to do olympic squats only and not include box squats, then you should at least be doing some other form of posterior chain work. One method I've found to work is to use the olympic squat as a ME exercise and the box squat as a DE exercise.


Wouldn't it be useful to olympic squat off a box as well? Say front box squats for example.


snippdawg- yeap these i do all the time for max eff work..i do the low box sq 10-12 inches with work boots and with the speciality bars...but low bx sq's would not be a good idea for speed work..because when you start going to a really low box below 12 inches it is very difficult to develop and speed at all of the box...i think a better idea to bring up speed out of the bottom for atg oly squats would be pause squats with the same %;s as the normal dynamic speed work...also to learn to incorperate more post-chain into your oly squats try goodmorning-squats with a pause..bm


Are there any Canadian sites where I can purchase a westside box squat? I find ordering from their American site gets really expensive when you add in the exchange rate and duty tax.


Big Martin, you use front squats on ME day? So your saying that parallel or above should only be used on speed day box for optimal speed? I have been using a 10 inch box on speed day and I thought I was kinda slow and thought about droppin weight(using around 60%) but I guess I will just raise the box and try that. On pause squats should one pause for 1-2seconds? Maybe off pins? Pause squats also a good ME exercise?


Molsonman, I would just use milk crates and plates for a box unless you really wanna spend the dough...


Snipp dawg..i dont do front squats for max eff work..but i do 10-12 low box squats with a oly stance and with a variety of bars..i am not saying the low box front squat wouldnt be a good max effort movement.. im sure it would.. i just have better tools such as the ss bar and camberd squat bar to use on my max eff low box squats..but yea 10 inch box is way way to low for speed work..for speed work you need a parrellel box and for most people between 5'8 and 6'3 a parrellel box would be in the 13-17 inch region..i am 6 foot and use a 14 inch box wich puts me right at parrellel...any thing below 12 inches is considerd a low box squat wich is used for max effort work to build full leg brute strength and power out of the bottom...pause squats would be a great max effort movement for one who is trying to build a strong oly or close stance squats..bm


Thanks bm I will defininetly start using a set up in the 13-17 range (I'm 5-9) for my speed work...


I thought the whole purpose of doing the box squats was to condition your body to heavier weights? Since you will not be going as low you have to make yourself put more weight on the bar.
I played a little college ball, and when we would have to max out, about 4 weeks out we would go to box squat for 3 weeks. During this time we would increase the weight significantly. My senior year, in 2 months time I went from 450 to 525.


honey baked you need to read about westside.

My full squat has gone up im sure. If i can squat nearly 800 lbs powerlifter sstyle, i can surely squat over 500 olympic style.


Dont over think it and dont over complicate it.
Lose the box and just squat
Squat deep
Squat heavy
Squat for reps
Squat for speed
Squat for power
To many people wanna gimmick this movement with boxes, boards, heel lifts......nuffsaid