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Thomas Green
11-13-2010, 11:37 AM
Given the number of experts in this area that have been affiliated with CrossFit at one point or another, does CF currently endorse any particular squat style? For example, both Louie Simmons and Rippetoe have been involved with CF, but there are significant differences in the way they teach the low bar back squat, has CFHQ clarified which method it wants its trainees to learn? Or is it pretty much up to the individual? I know that Simmons is the official PL seminar guy in CF now, but in the coaching forum, it seems like everyone is still advising people to squat Rippetoe-style. Whereas Louie really emphasizes the importance of taking a wide stance and sitting back as far as possible.

Also, many in the CF community prefer the high bar style squat. Yet when a CF trainee is introduced to the squat, all he is tough is "weight on heels," "lumbar curve," "squat to parallel." On the main site coaching videos, it doesn't seem like the info is consistent with regards to the width of your stance, sitting back, etc... Do coaches in most boxes make their trainees aware of the differences in styles?

Robert Callahan
11-13-2010, 06:03 PM
I know they teach Front and Overhead Squats as the weight squats at certs, so maybe these are the "preferred" squats of CF??

Eric Montgomery
11-13-2010, 06:06 PM
The air squat is taught with similar hip/back/knee angles as a front squat or a high-bar squat--quad dominant without any focus on hip drive.

I don't remember low-bar (or weighted back squats at all, for that matter) being mentioned at my L1 but it's been a while so I could be wrong.

Thomas Green
11-13-2010, 06:37 PM
I think you guys are right about the front/ohs form being the "default" form for air squats.

I just think it's a little odd considering both Rippetoe and Simmons both have argued on this website that wide stance, low bar back squats have far more carryover to various athletic skills than high bar squats do. Yet there's no mention of hip drive (probably Rip's most important cue) or sitting back (Simmons most important cue) at L1 Certs when teaching the squat. I wonder if most coaches are aware of this and if they make the distinction clear in their boxes.

Rene Forestier
11-13-2010, 08:52 PM
i defer back to the video with Castro stating that ALL styles should be learned. there is no arguing Louis S's success.

Skylar Cook
11-18-2010, 05:38 PM
The question was asked at my L1: "What about high vs. low-bar squats?"

Response (from trainers) was a nervous laugh followed by "We're not going to talk about that. For us, there's just 'The Squat.' " They then moved on and refused to talk more about it.

Katherine Derbyshire
11-18-2010, 06:33 PM
The question was asked at my L1: "What about high vs. low-bar squats?"

Response (from trainers) was a nervous laugh followed by "We're not going to talk about that. For us, there's just 'The Squat.' " They then moved on and refused to talk more about it.

Clearly there's some internal disagreement...

But for the majority of Crossfitters, does it matter? Metcon weights are too low to be form-limited, and CF doesn't particularly emphasize max back squats. Anyone lifting enough weight to really have an opinion is probably following a strength program outside of Crossfit anyway.

(And having just read Wendler's 5/3/1 e-book, it sounds like he doesn't much care either, and he *is* doing dedicated strength training.)

Katherine

Thomas Green
11-18-2010, 07:59 PM
Regardless, the back squat is still taught in affiliates. Shouldn't coaches be educated on the differences? The OHS, Front Squat, High Bar Squat and Low Bar Rippetoe Style Squat have long been a part of CF. Now you have the Westide Power Squat as well. Considering the squat is a much harder movement to teach than the majority of CF exercises (and a higher potential for injury if done improperly), you'd think this would be of great importance to HQ.

Skylar Cook
11-19-2010, 04:33 PM
Regardless, the back squat is still taught in affiliates. Shouldn't coaches be educated on the differences? The OHS, Front Squat, High Bar Squat and Low Bar Rippetoe Style Squat have long been a part of CF. Now you have the Westide Power Squat as well. Considering the squat is a much harder movement to teach than the majority of CF exercises (and a higher potential for injury if done improperly), you'd think this would be of great importance to HQ.

Yes.

Though if you're just following mainpage WODs or affiliate Metcons (i.e., not a "CFSB" type or pure strength program) it's probably far more important that you learn the Oly lifts, which they do emphasize at certs (or at least at my L1).



I know they teach Front and Overhead Squats as the weight squats at certs, so maybe these are the "preferred" squats of CF??

This may just be because of the skill transfer to the Oly lifts.

Troy Becker
11-19-2010, 09:25 PM
Yes.


This may just be because of the skill transfer to the Oly lifts.

I think it's because they transition from one to the other. The front squat is an air squat only with a bar on the shoulders, and the overhead squat is the same as both only the bar is overhead.

The back squat, however, no matter where you put the bar, involves a different back angle altogether. It's tangential to the first, second, and third level movements described above. (Note also there are first, second, and third levels for the press/push press/push jerk, and deadlift/SDHP/power clean.)

Thomas Green
11-20-2010, 07:07 PM
was a nervous laugh followed by "We're not going to talk about that. For us, there's just 'The Squat.' " They then moved on and refused to talk more about it.

There's definitely something wrong with that. That should not be the attitude. I realize that the oly lifts are far more likely to come up in a workout than the back squat, but you can't just blow off a fundamental movement like that. It's still not an excuse to master the oly lifts but ignore the back squat.

I just watched the air squat instructional video from HQ. I found it interesting that they mentioned "vertical torso" as one of the cues. Back when that video was made, Rippetoe was CFs chief strength guru, and he used to emphasize how low bar squats were far more useful than high bar squats. On top of that, he used to always emphasize not worrying about back angle, as that allows for more hip drive. Now with Westside CF's strength go-to experts, and the sit-back cue is the most crucial component of the lift, it seems even more outdated that the vertical torso cue is emphasized in the air squat. Obviously a vertical torso is important for the olympic lifts, but as more and more CFers begin to use Westside's methods to help with GPP, HQ/L1 is going to have to update the way they teach the squat in order to be consistent with this.

Troy Becker
11-20-2010, 11:28 PM
There's definitely something wrong with that. That should not be the attitude. I realize that the oly lifts are far more likely to come up in a workout than the back squat, but you can't just blow off a fundamental movement like that. It's still not an excuse to master the oly lifts but ignore the back squat.

I just watched the air squat instructional video from HQ. I found it interesting that they mentioned "vertical torso" as one of the cues. Back when that video was made, Rippetoe was CFs chief strength guru, and he used to emphasize how low bar squats were far more useful than high bar squats. On top of that, he used to always emphasize not worrying about back angle, as that allows for more hip drive. Now with Westside CF's strength go-to experts, and the sit-back cue is the most crucial component of the lift, it seems even more outdated that the vertical torso cue is emphasized in the air squat. Obviously a vertical torso is important for the olympic lifts, but as more and more CFers begin to use Westside's methods to help with GPP, HQ/L1 is going to have to update the way they teach the squat in order to be consistent with this.

Well the "vertical torso" styles of squatting, meaning the air squat, front squat, and overhead squat, are three of the "9 foundational movements" of CrossFit. The back squat is one of the core lifts for getting really big and strong- and that leaves us pretty much with the decision between Rip's style and Louis' style. Unless you want the high bar thing which only Bill Starr seems to care for.

The most important thing, of course, is to just do them, one way or another.

But I think the point here is that back squats are different than the 3 squats I mentioned above because of their back angles, and additional importance being placed on the hip drive.

Thomas Green
11-21-2010, 11:06 AM
Well the "vertical torso" styles of squatting, meaning the air squat, front squat, and overhead squat, are three of the "9 foundational movements" of CrossFit. The back squat is one of the core lifts for getting really big and strong- and that leaves us pretty much with the decision between Rip's style and Louis' style. Unless you want the high bar thing which only Bill Starr seems to care for.

The most important thing, of course, is to just do them, one way or another.

But I think the point here is that back squats are different than the 3 squats I mentioned above because of their back angles, and additional importance being placed on the hip drive.


Agree with the bold.

I just think it gets when you have so many styles being incorporated into one program, without the "coordinators" of the whole program explaining the differences (HQ). For years you had Rippetoe arguing that his version of the LBBS was far more useful for all athletes than the high bar style squat, including olympic lifters. But then you have trainers going to level 1 certs being taught to squat with a vertical torso w/o explanation why, then they go to a strength cert and learn that the way they were taught to squat was wrong. Then they go to Louie's cert and are taught to squat again from scratch - only this time, Louie says everything you learned was wrong, you all need to learn to sit back. And on top of that, there are plenty of weightlifting coaches out there telling CF clients that they LBBS isn't functional at all...

I think it's great that there are so many resources on this, but the distinctions should be made right away between the different styles. Otherwise, you'll have people telling a client he needs to use more hip drive on a front squat, or criticize a clients form because his back angle is too large on a lbbs, etc..

Troy Becker
11-21-2010, 01:00 PM
Agree with the bold.

I just think it gets when you have so many styles being incorporated into one program, without the "coordinators" of the whole program explaining the differences (HQ). For years you had Rippetoe arguing that his version of the LBBS was far more useful for all athletes than the high bar style squat, including olympic lifters. But then you have trainers going to level 1 certs being taught to squat with a vertical torso w/o explanation why, then they go to a strength cert and learn that the way they were taught to squat was wrong. Then they go to Louie's cert and are taught to squat again from scratch - only this time, Louie says everything you learned was wrong, you all need to learn to sit back. And on top of that, there are plenty of weightlifting coaches out there telling CF clients that they LBBS isn't functional at all...

I think it's great that there are so many resources on this, but the distinctions should be made right away between the different styles. Otherwise, you'll have people telling a client he needs to use more hip drive on a front squat, or criticize a clients form because his back angle is too large on a lbbs, etc..


The fun part is that all those different philosophies of the squat are good- except for the ones that say low bar isn't functional. :censored: that nonsense.

Thomas Green
11-21-2010, 01:08 PM
The fun part is that all those different philosophies of the squat are good- except for the ones that say low bar isn't functional. :censored: that nonsense.

I've heard weightlifting coaches associated with CF say that. Not the big ones (Everett, Burgener), but still.

Eric Montgomery
11-21-2010, 01:41 PM
I've heard weightlifting coaches associated with CF say that. Not the big ones (Everett, Burgener), but still.

Everett's book doesn't say low bar is not functional, but he does say high bar is superior in pretty much every way for an Oly lifter. He basically says there's no good reason for a WLer to do low bar, and picks apart most of the arguments people make for WLers to do low bar...helping with the pull off the floor, strengthening the scoop, increasing loads handled, etc.

Brian Degenaro
11-21-2010, 03:17 PM
That's because the goal of weightlifting isn't a big back squat or maximal strength... It helps but only if that strength is developed and practiced in a way applicable to weightlifting (speed, tempo, depth, bounce, etcetera).

Thomas Green
11-21-2010, 03:55 PM
Everett's book doesn't say low bar is not functional, but he does say high bar is superior in pretty much every way for an Oly lifter. He basically says there's no good reason for a WLer to do low bar, and picks apart most of the arguments people make for WLers to do low bar...helping with the pull off the floor, strengthening the scoop, increasing loads handled, etc.

That doesn't surprise me at all. I never actually agreed with Rip's point that the LBBS was more useful for olympic lifters.

Jacob Israel Briskin
11-27-2010, 12:12 PM
Additionally, I think that the most common Westisde cues for the squat, like "hard arch" and especially "sit back" are really most useful for geared lifters, who need to sit back to get the most benefit from their suits.