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Old 03-05-2007, 05:03 PM   #17
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stronger is better of course--even I understand that. but the key is where/how that strength can be applied. i'm not arguing a low bar squat will not deliver strength improvements in the pull, nor in the squat. but i think because of the different hip/back position in the clean vs low bar squat, the low bar squat is not as useful for developing strength for the portion of the clean in which the lifter is rising from the bottom. i agree that the low bar squat can and will improve the strength for the PULL of the clean, but as i said in my last post, i don't see a huge need for that since much of the time lifters' pulling strength is already relatively greater than their front squatting strength - it does me no good to be able to rack 150 kg if i can only stand up with 130 kg.

so in a lifter whose pull is weaker than his front squat, i see more usefulness for the low bar squat, although i would still contest that a better movement for that purpose would be deadlifts or clean pulls since it more closely resembles the movement we're attempting to strengthen. as a variation, the low bar would be a good substitute, but i would not consider it a primary movement.

as far as absolute load in a movement, i can quarter squat a lot more than i can a2a squat--but that doesn't mean that squatting only 1/4 depth with a ****load of weight is the best way to develop strength in a full depth squat. it does have some good benefits, particulary if done explosively, for the 2nd pull of the lifts and drive of the jerk, but that's an entirely different goal.

so am i correct in saying that if, for example, a weightlifter is currently front squatting 2X/week and back squatting 1X/week, you'd prefer to see that back squat of the low-bar variety? i wouldn't necessarily disagree with that--it could be a good way to add more post chain development, help strengthen the back to prevent leaning during front squats/cleans, and contribute to pulling strength. however, this is only useful if the aforedescribed is a problem for a given lifter.

"I'm curious about this: "so bottom line, the high bar, upright torso, quad-centric Oly squat i see as primarily intended for improving the squat segment of the clean (and the snatch to some extent), while pulls/deads address the pull more directly." Why does this explain the high-bar squats usefulness?"

because usefulness is dependent on specific goals, e.g. in this case, improving the ability of the lifter to rise from a clean, so unless a lifter pulls the bar high enough to rack his clean on his back and low (as has been done in competition at least once), the low bar back squat's transferability is not as great as a high bar back squat which is not as great as a front squat.

for the clean the front squat is a superior strength developer (and it doesn't sound like you're arguing with that) because it's as close to the clean movement as we can come without cleaning. to help improve the front squat, occasional back squatting is one option because greater loading can be used. there are 2 choices here: high bar or low bar. the low bar will offer a chance for even greater loading, but i'm not yet convinced that greater load will deliver benefits great enough to eclipse the difference in movement patterns between it and the clean/FS. the low bar squat is so much stronger because of the ability to pull in more contribution of the posterior chain - but that itself will not drive greater strength in the FS/clean because in those lifts, the possible contribution of the posterior chain is limited by the necessarily upright torso. no doubt the greater loading will drive strength that will transfer at least somewhat to the clean/FS, but again, i'm just not sure it will be more than can be transfered from a high bar back squat.

now all of this is based on the low-bar back squat having both a smaller ROM for the hips/knees than the front squat and a greater possible contribution of the posterior chain than the front squat. if i'm not correct on the ROM, than i'm closer to agreeing with you.

but still i'm not clear on your programming suggestions with the low bar BS--how would you combine it with front squatting, and when in a cycle or lifter's career would it be used?
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