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View Full Version : Olympic squat - upper back calluses


John Koshy
08-25-2012, 08:25 AM
So I've been consistently doing the Olympic squat the past 3+ months 3x a week on Starting Strength, and I've noticed that the skin in the middle of my traps/base of the neck where the middle knurling of the bar is has basically turned gray/black with a somewhat rough callus lol. Its right near that little bone at the base of the neck that sticks out lol. Is this normal? No pain but it's mainly just in the middle. Will it go away in time? I've never seen anyone mention this before lol.

Fan Yang
08-30-2012, 12:03 AM
yes it is normal. Hope your gf doesn't mind

John Koshy
12-12-2012, 11:05 PM
Lol no gf, but I've narrowed it down also to friction causing scars on that bone that sticks out at the base of the neck...is this normal? After googling it, it's the C7. My olympic squat bar position - the bar doesn't sit on the C7 of course, but a little below, but it rubs on it and has turned my skin like very dark at that stop lol.

Is that okay? And second thing, I keep reading here...keep elbows down. How is it possible to keep the bar that high on the back and keep the elbows down WHILE creating a shelf? Maybe it's because I have very long arms (6'8 arm span, my height is 6'2), but I can't form a comfortable shelf without sending my elbows back......

Curt Garner
12-17-2012, 10:44 AM
You don't really have to create much of a "shelf" with the high bar squat. The bar just rests on the traps and -- to a lesser extent -- the rear deltoids. So lots of people are more comfortable dropping their elbows toward the floor.

Does your bar have a center knurling? If so, using a bar without that knurling might reduce the callous buildup.

John Koshy
01-21-2013, 10:06 PM
You don't really have to create much of a "shelf" with the high bar squat. The bar just rests on the traps and -- to a lesser extent -- the rear deltoids. So lots of people are more comfortable dropping their elbows toward the floor.

Does your bar have a center knurling? If so, using a bar without that knurling might reduce the callous buildup.

YES! Center knurling has created a dark brown/black callus when the bar rubs up against that bone at the base of the neck. Is this okay??

The big issue for me is being tall w/ long femurs, I tend to lean forward coming out of the hole...but this is exacerbated by the fact that right when I hit the hole and come up, my elbows move backwards, further causing me to lean forward lol. I've tried to fix this by driving my elbows forward/down which helps me almost instantly eliminate the lean...HOWEVER, dropping the elbows directly down loosens the tension in my upper back and the bar really rubs against the bone. I hope this makes sense?

Also, for high bar, am I supposed to shrug my traps upwards? I've got them/my shoulder blades down and back, but i feel like that often doesn't provide enough of a "shelf" for the bar to sit on?

Curt Garner
01-23-2013, 08:40 PM
Try taking a narrower grip. This should pinch your traps together and create more for the bar to rest on so you won't have to raise your elbows. You shouldn't have to shrug.

The callous buildup is no problem unless for some reason it bothers you. I had it for a couple of years until I got a bar w/o center knurling.