This is … So, when you put those two factors together, the standard length-tension relationship of a muscle looks more like this: At the bottom of the squat, hip extension demands are high, but some of your hip extensors (potentially your glutes, probably your adductors, particularly your adductor magnus, and probably not your hamstrings) are in a stretched position, meaning that the total muscular force you can produce is very high. Post Cancel. tl;dr unless you have pre-existing knee issues, it’s fine. You don't. hier, hier und hier). Getting into the low-bar setup is hard for a lot of people. • At the top of a press or […], […] the sticking point. Great article! August 6, 2020 Though, whether on the competition platform or when training for your respective sport, ones bottom position in the squat can tell you a lot about an athlete. Ask them to move THROUGH this ROM from a deep squat, and not REVERSE from this point, and they get stuck. I don’t really comment about injury risk (not my domain of expertise – that’s for physical therapists), but I’m generally of the opinion that if something doesn’t hurt, isn’t likely to cause injuries chronically (i.e. The low-bar back squat is a favorite move of ... to get into the bottom of a high-bar back squat while staying upright. Best articles on zee web. First, knees-forward coming into the bottom with a vertical back angle, like a front squat, slacks the hamstrings quite a bit from both proximal and distal ends. And juuust right depth is just below parallel. What do you think about It? Hi Greg, “Does stance width matter to ‘reduce’ the sticking point?”. Strength and Physique Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Master List, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window). Hi Greg, I’ve yet to see someone in a good morning position under the eye of a decent coach who can differentiate between hip drive (up) and knee extension alone (hips go back). Sometimes when I hit a sticking point in the squat, my hips naturally drive under the bar to save the lift. Accumulation block (higher volume, lower intensity), intensification block (decrease volume a bit, and raise intensity), and realization block (taper and peak). I’ve never used gear, so I can’t say. Pull yourself under the bar and trap it tight against your tops of your shoulders and back of your neck. Check your depth visually by videoing yourself, making sure the crease of your hip is just below the top of your knee, and making sure the bottom of your squat is in the tightest position possible by reaching your butt back. The movement should actually feel a lot like a deadlift. All those other muscles don’t. Offseason – get jacked if lean, cut if fat. “That seems mutually exclusive to the methods described here.”. Then we could have just forgone this discussion and not wasted each others’ time. Advantages: Posterior chain power, hypertrophyThis is what you think of when you hear the word \"squat.\" In my opinion, the back squat is the king of the strength-training world, and we're all just lucky to bask in its glory. This is important to keep in … Then again, even Rippetoe isnt very clear about hip drive; contrary to his videos, in SS strength hip drive simply describes a cue to extend the knees without altering the hip/back angle in the first part of the ascent. You get the heavy weight on your back and begin to sit down and say to yourself, “here I go again, I am about to drop forward.” How do I know this? When the bar moves forward, your weight shifts to your toes, and you run into knee pain problems. mostly to get comfortable in that position, I think. Because of his body structure, with any decent weight on the bar, he has to have some forward lean to keep in balance at the bottom of the squat. Brett & Kate McKay Every scientist knows that, and they do everything they can to ensure the validity of their results. If you get the rep, add more weight. You know if you’ve reached just below parallel on your squat if the crease of your shorts at the hip is ever so slightly below the top of your knee. A high bar squat is a back squat where the bar is placed high on the trapezius muscle across the top of the shoulders. A big reason the low bar squat allows you to move more weight is because of its enormous amount of muscle recruitment, and recruited muscles grow. Form check- I think the bar moves slightly forward towards the bottom of my squat. Comment. It should be resting on the posterior deltoid, not the top of the shoulders. Then standard block periodization leading into a meet. It happens at the bottom of the squat because the lifter lets his lower back round. If you sometimes feel like you might fall backwards as you squat, it’s likely you’re shifting too much of your weight towards your heels. Could this be why Chad Wesley Smith does pause squats with the pause just above parallel? I know some weightlifters are taught to do this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it just comes naturally to a lot of them, because of how often they front squat. High bar: The torso position of the high-bar squat is more upright, like the front squat, with the knees pushing forward while the hips sit straight down. The Kang squat is a combination of two lower-body strength moves. The feet are shoulder-width apart with toes pointed slightly outward. Bottom line, as you perform the low-bar squat, bend over more than you think you need to. I've never really touched a squat bar before; the amount of weight I move really isn't enough to warrant using it for the increased stiffness. The solution here is the same as just discussed above: balance your weight over your midfoot. So what’s going on here? Not to mention, both the anterior and posterior shear forces are well below what the structures of the knee can tolerate in the first place. The bar should be set around chest height. Oh no I meant driving the hips upwards and maintaining your back angle on the way up. Keep doing this until you can’t lift it anymore. “Is this also the reason why many people try to open up their hips in the decent (a bit like sumo deadlift)?”. lumbar rounding in the DL), and lets you lift more weight, it’s generally fine. The whole premise of the article was that the sticking point occurred during the lull in force production for the hip extensors, ergo, they’re shorter than they were in the hole, then hip extension necessarily occurred between the bottom of the squat and the sticking point. You’re stuck with it forever. The bottom line is if your thighs aren’t at least parallel with the floor at the bottom of your squat, you aren’t going low enough. As Matt observes, “Staying bent over is not only safer, but you’ll work more muscles in the process: your lower back, your glutes, your hamstrings, and your quads.”. If we squat above parallel, only the quads get stretched. It’s not indicative of a particular muscular weakness; it’s just mechanically the least favorable position. I don’t need to pit my experience as a coach against any study. The sticking point is really just the least mechanically advantageous point in the lift, so it’s never really going to go away, but I do think pin squats can help you get practice with that grind to help you avoid form breakdown. It’s from an exceptionally good lab for biomechanics research. What MOST people find is that they’re stronger from the exact same bar height if they shift their hips forward under the bar. This is the most compelling thing I’ve heard so far on this discussion: “Set the pins at half squat height (around the height you’d be when you’re at your sticking point). With the same load configuration as in the deep squat, half and quarter squat training with comparatively supra-maximal loads will favour degenerative changes in the knee joints and spinal joints in the long term. What’s more, because the low-bar squat requires you to bend over during the squat, you’ll also be working your lower back muscles. And if you go too far below parallel (also known as “ass to grass”), your hamstrings get loosened up, which takes them out of the lift. February 6, 2014 Written by Dr. Quinn Henoch . 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At least you could reason for yourself how these mechanisms go with Rippetoes version of “hip drive”. That would be the knees shifting backwards, which the trainee must be coached out of. And this is where the wrist/forearm/elbow pain starts.”. It’s pretty common to see weightlifters, particularly women (and Hysen Pulaku) using this. Then I’ll tell them to squat down and pause for 3 seconds… “Barbell is over mid foot, you’re balanced, your squat looks great to me.” This tells me you are losing tension and letting the weight of the barbell slam you forward at the bottom and now you’re stuck trying to rebound back while you stand up. In order to do this, the bar must track over the middle of our foot during the entire squat. You don’t need to do dedicated “speed work.”  Just try to accelerate the bar as fast as you can on every rep. Of course, this strategy can only get you but so far. So you should either move the bar down your back or stay more upright. One thing all individuals have in common is when they learn to squat correctly, which involves balanced anterior/posterior forces on the knee, their pain goes away immediately or within 2 weeks. Sure, there are varying degrees of quality, but the first thing you learn in any research methods class is that ensuring the validity of your results is paramount. With squat depth, you don’t want to go too high or too low. Drive hips up and maintain torso is the solution. no idea. Greg Nuckols has over a decade of experience under the bar, a BS in Exercise and Sports Science, and a Master's in Exercise Physiology. “Hips forward isn’t a good solution as it slackens the hamstrings”. While the low-bar squat can get you strong, it’s not an intuitive way to squat. It seems to have something to do about switching from quads to hips midstream, but I can’t figure out why this wouldn’t come into play on partial squat, just the same as moving through the same zone from a full squat. While the muscles in your arms have the strength to do this, the tendons in your arms won’t be happy about it. Load the bar, and try to squat the weight from the pins. I dont feel any of your articles REALLY delve into it and was just curious. Okay the title is ridiculous. Nah, not really. Think ‘push through the middle of my feet.’ That’s a cue a lot of people find helpful,” Matt says. The point of greatest horizontal distance between hips and bar, in my squat at least, occurs well above parallel, at the bottom of my sticking point region. • Not a coincidence, I’m guessing. They’ll get cranky from the overuse and develop tendonitis, which can set your training back for days or even months. I’m pretty sure it’s open access. Greg, I have thought about this very question going back a few years now. To maintain proper balance and keep the bar lined up over the midfoot, each squat requires a different torso position. “That could cause some downstream problems, like hip pain, after a while.”. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. 90%+ of people miss the squat just above parallel. When your butt goes backwards, it helps you keep the bar back over your midfoot, and use the muscles around the hips, like your hamstrings, glutes, and your adductors instead of putting all of the pressure on your knees,” Matt says. Matt explains butt wink as where “your butt tucks underneath you at the bottom of the squat. During a squat, your weight should stay balanced over the middle of your feet. Now stand up. That doesn’t boost my confidence in their work remotely. That’s quite an assumption. “open the hip angle” and “extend the hips” are synonymous. You may remember from that same article that knee extension demands peak at the very bottom of a squat. “Isn’t extending your knees while not altering your back angle mostly facilitated by the quads…”. It is highly unlikely that all of them are wrong. Nah, that’s just more of a comfort/safety thing. While in the semi-squat, move the elbows forward, lifting them as if you’re trying to point them toward the ceiling. If your quads get stronger, then you can rely more on knee extension coming out of the hole to keep your hips from drifting back as far in the first place. In short, the more muscle youâ re using, the more muscle youâ re developing.Additionally, the low-bar squat puts a great amount of stress on your posterior chain. How do you fix the sticking point in your squat above parallel? “Shifting some of the work back to the quads” That’s because getting into the correct position is inherently uncomfortable: the low-bar squat setup requires you to get your shoulders, back, and chest really tight. Matt was coaching him on how to squat last week, and Gus was having trouble with butt wink. There have been studies performed on new lifters, experienced lifters, world-class lifters (both powerlifters and weightlifters). I mean really, why should I, a rational individual, take a study about squats seriously when I don’t know what kind of squats are being done. Stance width dictated by hip anatomy, and how much the knees are pointed out is dictated by stance width (trying to keep the knees tracking toward the toes, instead of caving inside). For a long time, this never made sense to me, as I assumed that the horizontal distance between the hips and bar, and therefore the moment arm against the hips and the hip extension demands, would be greatest at parallel, where (obviously) the femurs are horizontal. Here's what you can do to make sure you're in the best possible position to complete the lift. Stand up with your chest once you’re about 75% of the way up. When your muscles are at their resting length, they produce the most active force – force you actively produce by flexing the muscle. I’ve written about this strategy before, near the end of this article: Squats Are Not Hip-Dominant or Knee-Dominant. Menisci and cartilage, ligaments and bones are susceptible to anabolic metabolic processes and functional structural adaptations in response to increased activity and mechanical influences. Rippetoe is very clear about the hip extensors opening the hip angle out of the hole. Benefits Assuming correct form, low-bar squats are proven to be a much more stable option. In the 310*2 video, Eduardo only used this technique in the second rep. I wrote about this study, which examined the effects of depth and loading on hip, knee, and ankle extension demands in the squat here: Making Sense of Strength. Even people who tend to sit back more in their squat – the lifts may look identical to the top half of their normal squat with lighter loads, but once the weights start nearing their max, they’ll still generally shift their hips forward a bit. The squat is one of the most basic human movements and calls upon the body’s largest muscles, including your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. I took some video of my squats directly from the side recently and in fact my hips move back quite noticeably above parallel, presumably because the knees are extending and moving backwards at the same time. Stay bent over most of the way up. Both lead to lower retropatellar compressive stresses. However, that is, by far, the most common sticking point. If your hips drop forward or you allow the bar to move out of its vertical bar path, the pin squat will let you know. Too deep will usually feel more comfortable, and comfortable is wrong. Not only is it the most commonly utilized form of squatting—except for the half-squat, maybe—the full barbell back squat is one of the most effective exercises in the history of civilization for strengthening the lower body.W… In my experience, doing it from the bottom just looks and feels basically like a normal squat (once you get used to the movement) – just harder. The best bar path for squats is when you keep the barbell in a straight line over the mid-foot from start to finish, which will maximize both your balance and strength. If that were the case, if you could start extending your hips and knees at all (which you can, unless you’re trying to squat a weight way above you max), then you’d always be able to finish the lift. “You’re assuming that the work ever left the quads to begin with.”, “Of course this isn’t controlled for in the study, since those conducting it aren’t experienced strength coaches who know how to coach the squat.”. Unlike a deadlift that allows you to rest briefly when the weights touch the ground, squats force you to remain fully active and engaged throughout the entire exercise as you fight to push out each rep while carefully balancing a weighted bar on your back. Doing all of these things together will ensure that the bar’s weight is just on your back. “When people first start low-bar squatting,” Matt says, “they’ll often report having wrist, elbow, or forearm pain after they squat.”, The reason? and That’s just objectively the least advantageous position biomechanically. Hello Greg, I was curious to know what your opinion is on deliberate knee valgus in the squat. Stand back up leading with your hips, and keeping your chest from collapsing forward. As you ascent, your hips should be driven up while the shins are pulled to a vertical position. What are your thoughts on hip drive in the low bar squat? Every muscle of the thigh is engaged fully when properly executing a low bar squat. It is relevant as hamstring tension is what makes the squat a safe exercise for the knees. They will hold that position until the hips return to about 1/2 to 1/3 of the way up, and then straighten out … Except maybe one thing. So what is the best bar path for squats? Once you have done a good job of steps #1 and #2, then you can try to push your elbows under the bar. Provided that technique is learned accurately under expert supervision and with progressive training loads, the deep squat presents an effective training exercise for protection against injuries and strengthening of the lower extremity. Really man? So, when you have a sticking point in one of your main lifts, it’s generally a good idea to ask: “What group of muscles is most likely to be limiting my performance though this range of motion?”  For example, if you always miss your bench press at lockout, generally you need to strengthen your triceps so they’ll be strong enough to finish extending your elbows. “Most people just want to get their chest up as soon as they can because they feel like they’re going to get folded in half because they’re bent over [so much],” Matt told me. “I see most people get up on the balls of their feet during the descent and ascent of the squat,” Matt observes. Nope. I know plenty of powerlifters and weight lifters who can’t coach. More common than shifting your weight to your heels, is shifting too much of your weight to your toes. So basically i’ve a couple years of “off season”. Yep, I think the issue is that they just can’t make that shift. “and increases the moment arm acting on the knee joint”. Coincidentally, the picture they paint is also very consistent with my experience as an athlete and coach, and it’s consistent with the experiences of the majority of top-level athletes I know, and the majority of highly successful coaches I know. That seems mutually exclusive to the methods described here. Load the bar, and try to squat the weight from the pins. “When you loosen up your shoulders and take your upper back out of extension, the squat feels more comfortable, but in the process of getting comfortable, you’ve eliminated that shelf of muscle that was holding the bar on your back. “When you bend over more than you think you should, your butt will go … Does stance width matter to ‘reduce’ the sticking point? The best cue to correct butt wink is “stay tight.” If that doesn’t work, Matt recommends a more crude cue: keep your butthole pointed at the wall behind you during the lift. My struggle is do I add heavy work to my “getting freaking jacked” cycela dn if so how, That’s hard to answer without some context. One doesn’t. Good one, Greg. 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Weightlifters ) your arms try to squat guide s actually somewhat like a dog pooping in the (!