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Elliot Royce 06-01-2006 08:24 AM

I've started on this program from Jim Schmidt's (former US Olympic coach) DVD/book. The first 12 sessions are hang snatch, hang clean, deadlift shrug, push press, front squat, overhead squat and bench press (i.e., no back squat). I suck majorly at the front squat and overhead squat due to limited flexibility.

My question is, by missing out on the back squat, am I limiting my strength gains? Right now, I can only do like 60lbs on the front squat since I can't get the bar to rest on my shoulders so it's on my fingertips. I could do much more on the back squat. So are my leg muscles missing out? If I were to swap the back squat in, what could I replace?

Kent Sewell 06-01-2006 08:35 AM

The back squat is usually taught first by the Bulgarians as a means of building leg strength and getting a feel for that really DEEP position that you'll constantly go to after you get it. They really stress a deep back squat, so if you don't have one, I think it's pretty important.

And for your front squat having 60lbs restin on your fingertips, you still should have the bar on your shoulders. Make sure to get your elbows HIGH like in the videos and pictures I'm sure you've seen. Fingertips or not you should be able to feel the bar resting on your shoulders. You can front squat without your hands like bodybuilders do/used to because you don't really hold the bar up there, your shoulder rack does.

Work on the stretches for your wrists asap!

Dan John 06-01-2006 11:10 AM

I didn't do a Back Squat for the first two years I O lifted...nothing but Front Squats. Best advice I could give is to do what Dick Notmeyer insisted on: Front Squats only.

If you were 9 and learning them after a selection process, Back Squats would be fine...I have great video of a young Dimas doing them with 60 k. But...for an adult you are experiencing, suffer through the FS.

Lincoln Brigham 06-01-2006 11:41 AM

I started learning front squats with the "I Dream Of Genie Bodybuilders Grip" version and later graduated to the clean grip. I might have made better progress just starting with the clean grip, but it worked out okay for me.

If that doesn't work out very well, keep doing front squats anyway and do a bit more work on the deadlift shrug.

Lynne Pitts 06-01-2006 03:04 PM

Moving to Exercises.

Veronica Carpenter 06-01-2006 05:45 PM

Elliot, If you follow Jim Schmidt's program you'll become an OLer for sure. I'm guessing he left back squats out becuase you are already doing a lot of front squat work while learning proper technique. My reasoning is if you can't front squat it won't matter how much you can back squat.

I don't know what the rest of your training routine looks like, but if you've got some left in the tank at the end of your lifting session, throw in a few sets of backsquats.

Jan Szyndler 06-02-2006 06:04 PM

I really didn't know that the back squat was looked on so negatively?
I still do them in my OL routine...although I have only been at it for about 6 mos.
I can get a.t.g. back squats with 182 kgs. at my bodyweight of 97 kgs.
Is it really that useless( forgive the terminology)that it will not translate to anything positive in the oly lifts? Is it time to completely eliminate the back squat from my routine?
Thanks for any advice!!

Veronica Carpenter 06-02-2006 06:19 PM

Jan, I don't think the back squat is considered useless by the majority of the OL community. It has it's place for building leg strength. I probably do the backsquat as often if not more than fronts and and an aweful lot more than OHS.

I kind of think of it this way: If I can back squat more, I'll be able to front squat more hence C&J more.

Jan Szyndler 06-02-2006 06:55 PM

That seems to make a bit more sense. I guess I just felt like I do a heck of a lotta front squatting while training the lifts.
I figured I wanted to continously get stronger in the back squat because I thought that getting stronger was equally as important as technique in the O-Lifts (and back squatting is a strong movement).
How many times do you squat per week? Lately, I have been mixing in fronts squats, back squats, and some heavy lunges into a rotation that requires two leg movements per week.

Veronica Carpenter 06-02-2006 08:26 PM

I squat every time I train, anywhere from 2(in a bad week) to 5 days a week. I squat clean, squat snatch every session. Then I'll do fronts, backs, or overheads as well.

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