T Nation

Why Do You Back Squat?


Hey everyone I just posted in the nutrition forum for the first time with an article I wrote pertaining to 'Protein Supplements and Excuses.' I decided to post an article from my blog I wrote last month in this forum since I thought it was more appropriate in this forum than any other.

As a strength coach majority of my clients are between 35 and 50 and just want to be stronger while being pain free. Weight room carry over to real world (functionality) is very important too. If you are interested in finding new ways to maximize your gym visits try using some of these new implements in your programming.

If you have any question feel free to fire away!

strengthsyndicate.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html (WFS)


If the demo dude held the weight out in front of him rather than clutching it I bet he could get even better depth.


Ass is below the knees, try watching it and pausing it as I just did. Also, if that's all you got out of the video you likely are not a coach or someone who has had and kind of back injury in the past or you would see how using this tool in this implement would help take pressure off the low back, engage thoracic muscles and give the client confidence to sit back and activate the glutes and hamstring.

Holding weight out in front would put the stress in the shoulders causing rounding of the back and we do not want that.


I think...

The standard idea is that the hip crease needs to be lower than the top of the kneecap for glute / hamstring activation.

I have an old fracture of the L/T junction.

Don't mind me. I very rarely back squat. Focus on front squats for Oly Lifting.

The aim being to sit my ass down between my legs (rather than sitting my ass back) so the bar on the delts, hips, and midfoot are in vertical alignment.

No plans to replace a competition women's eleiko bar for a sandbag anytime soon :slightly_smiling:

But perhaps you will find some converts over here...


Holding weight out in front would put the stress in the shoulders causing rounding of the back and we do not want that.

I was thinking more of improving mobility than loading. So:


it isn't then much of a step to:

then it is just about wrist flexibility for the rack position...


Alexus- the goblet squat is very similar except for the sandbag loads down the midline of the body, so when you squat the bag helps push your hips back because of how it loads making it more unique and less challenging to perform than a goblet squat. Not any less effective in terms of glute/ham activation but easier to support heavier loads through the bear hug position.

All the examples though are great, not the same but I appreciate you sharing those with me and everyone else, thanks!


Why do I back squat, even though I suck at it, and I hate doing it, and it nags at me the entire day (or more) before I'm scheduled to do a back squat workout?

Think Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, my young friend.


This post strikes me as a thinly veiled advertisement for your products.

Most of us here squat because we are serious about lifting. If we weren't serious, we wouldn't frequent this site.

And we squat to depth (hip crease below top of knee) because that's what consistutes a legitimate squat. Anything less is a partial in my book.


Doest thou ask the Lark why he sings?

Doest thou ask the river why he runs to shore?

I back squat therefore I am!

Seriously, my first sand filled plastic weights came with a sheet of exercises and the only 2 leg ones were back squats and hack squats. The hack squats were awkward, so I just did back squats and have done them ever since.

The sack ones are all well and good for a change, but are more limited by your grip, arm and shoulder strength etc. Everyone can balance a bar on their back easily. Back squats are easier to progress on too and more accurately measured. What are you going to do?, add more sand to the sack each set or take some out. Nobody's gonna have a pile of sand and a pair of scales in their gym and waste all that time when you can just put on some plates. And you're going to have to measure how high or low you carry the sack on your chest to make a PR meaningful as the height you carry it would make a difference.

Sandbag carries for distance I get, but I don't think these'll catch on. Back squats have done the business for over a hundred years, if it aint broke, don't fix it!


I think you might be barking up the wrong tree posting in this forum. You might find more support in the beginner section. You have to understand a large % of people who post in the over 35 are experienced lifter. Some of whom have been at it on and off for 20 years plus. Not to mention that in here there is a high % that compete in one iron sport or another from local to National level. Not trying to be a Ass but that is the reality in here. Im sure doing squats with a sandbag has its benefits. I don't think the majority here are going to go out and get a sandbag.

Just a FYI . After posting this above I found you post at a Crossfit site. Most of us here will not get involved in long debates. We in the over 35 forum tend not to do that. The whole reason we post in here is to avoid all the FUCKING STUPID SHIT. That litters this site. We are basically are own little community here.So if your goal is to push your opinion down peoples throats. Then I will suggest that you might want to move on to another forum on this site....or keep posting on Crossfit.


Was this meant to be in the over 35? OP if you had looked in this section you would not have posted this. I dont think the Mods will move it to conditioning section but they should.



If your goal is to reduce the impact to the spine as much as possible while allowing heavy loading...

You are looking for a variety of squat that involves the torso being as vertical as possible.

Demo dude has some forwards lean and he doesn't seem able to hit legitimate depth.

You could reduce the forwards lean by:

1) Giving him a light weight to act as a counterbalance (front loaded plate squats)

If you are determined that he should be sitting his ass back behind his midfoot (rather than getting hips and ankles in vertical alignment) then he needs one of two things in order to prevent falling over backwards. A) Some degree of forward lean. B) Enough weight held out front to act as a counterbalance. The latter will help him activate his abs and keep his torso upright. Try it. Should be almost magical in its effect.

2) Improving hip mobility (goblet squat stretch)

You are right that one can't really load up the plate squat. Seems that in order to get that torso vertical and safely load the movement we are going to need to sort out his mobility issues. Need to do that anyway so he can hit legitimate depth. In order to get him sitting his ass down between his legs rather than back behind them (which we need for an upright torso - remember?) we are going to have to pry those hips open.

Just because someone can't squat is no reason to wuss out and make something easier.
Especially when your replacement exercise isn't the best at achieving the goals you have set yourself.
You just need to have a better understanding of squat mechanics so you can teach them how in a way that is safe.

Think how functional it would be (in your daily life) if you could squat down and up without weight comfortably. Chill out down there for a while. Play a couple games poker or something. Then be able to squat down and up with a heavy backpack on or something like that. With a heavy frontpack on. Holding things out in front of you. Holding them over your head. Natural, comfortable movement.

Barbells are indeed good for standardized progressive loading. The sandbag is interesting... But so are heavy rocks. Heh.


A very safe spine. With very heavy loading.


uh, I back squat because the people I started training with 28 years ago told me if I didn't I would be a complete fucking pussy, and they were right.

also it is one of the three required lifts in my sport of choice

and when I don't things go south: knees feel worse, back and core gets weaker, etc.

anyway, wierd place to post this thread


I am hoping you posted here- because some of your clients are a similar age
to the posters here.

What you will find here is a few things

a larger cross section of lifters then you are used to

and probably a much lower tolerance for bullshit then you are used to as well.

As for back squatting every S&C coach I ever worked or trained with

felt they where the best movement for my goals.


Feels like we need a spam filter on TN.


^ I am surprised the Mods let this stay, is the OP a contributor to TN?


Generally we don't get this crap in this forum but some trolls are more persistant than others.


Alright, At the risk of being labeled a Ass...which I am.


In the words of Mark Rippetoe, "because not back squatting will make you a pussy"