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Old 04-22-2008, 11:56 AM   #1
Simon Nainby
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Box Squats

Hi Guys I am a relative newcomer to Crossfit but am loving it and seeing excellent benefits from it.

This is my first post and I just wondered what the Crossfit position (and specifically Coach's if anyone has asked him) is on Box Squats. I have just been reading the thread about Louie Simmons and watching some videos on youtube which are very impressive but I have been told by various people from chiropractors, osteopaths and even a strength and conditioning coach that they are very bad for your lower back.

They have all said that when squatting all weight and force is spread evenly through your body (or should be) but if you squat on to a box as soon as you touch down on to it the weight is then taken away from this even loading and is all put through the lumbar spine alone whic places compressive forces through it. This would seem to be true given that Louie says in the piece you should release your hips before engaging them again and squatting up.

I am interested what crossfit thinks of this as Louie is a massive advocate and has clearly had great results and what would appear to be very few injuries from what I have read but I have never seen them as part of the official Crossfit programme.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:07 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: Box Squats

http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=6363

Yes, I know it's not indicative answer of all of your questions.

IMO you'd get more benefit of doing squats if you wanted to add extra strength work. They're useful extensively so once you strength is up there in the advanced-elite range, but not much so for the beginner and intermediate athlete.

I don't think "CF-is-my-sport" athletes will need them at all since elite fitness precludes elite strength. However, possibly use them if you're going into other sports other than CF.
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Last edited by Steven Low : 04-22-2008 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:24 PM   #3
Simon Nainby
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Re: Box Squats

Thanks for the link Steven - just out of interest, what are your personal thoughts on it?
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:31 PM   #4
Simon Nainby
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Re: Box Squats

Cheers - Think I'll leave them alone to be honest, as you say I am more interested in fitness than lifting huge weights but wondered if the risks I was warned of were outweighed by the benefits if done properly.

I have never seen such good results from any programme as simply doing the WODs - as I have read often enough "Just do what Coach says"!!
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:49 AM   #5
John Seiler
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Re: Box Squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Nainby View Post
This is my first post and I just wondered what the Crossfit position (and specifically Coach's if anyone has asked him) is on Box Squats. I have just been reading the thread about Louie Simmons and watching some videos on youtube which are very impressive but I have been told by various people from chiropractors, osteopaths and even a strength and conditioning coach that they are very bad for your lower back.

They have all said that when squatting all weight and force is spread evenly through your body (or should be) but if you squat on to a box as soon as you touch down on to it the weight is then taken away from this even loading and is all put through the lumbar spine alone whic places compressive forces through it. This would seem to be true given that Louie says in the piece you should release your hips before engaging them again and squatting up.
Osteopath? Chriopractor? It's amazing to me how smart people can be so stupid. When one is not squatting off a box, is the load somehow magically transmitted to the lower body via some other mechanism than the spine??? Sitting or standing, the load is the same. At the least they could have made up some lame argument about shear forces or pelvic angles.

Sorry if this comes off a little harsh. It sounds like they need to stick to things they know something about. Exercise technique isn't one of those things. As for the Strength coach, shame on him.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:05 AM   #6
Tim Luby
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Re: Box Squats

Box squats just flat-out rock. Simon, they're not just about lifting massive amounts of weight. They're a great tool for developing power production and explosiveness. That being said, I'm surprised Crossfit doesn't find more of a place for them.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:20 AM   #7
Kurt A Gross
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Re: Box Squats

I guess maybe the concern would be if you relax your core and roll your hips under when you relax your hip flexors. This rounds out the lower back, and with a decent load on your shoulders, you could hurt yourself. You can do it with regular squats too, but maybe the tendency to relax the back when you relax the legs is the "problem". I occasionally do box squats just for variety, but not very often.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:53 PM   #8
Bobbi Miller
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Re: Box Squats

Love them. Use them with all of my athletes. DeFranco is a huge fan and uses pretty high box squats with his athletes. I do a 14" (low) and a 20" (high) with different loads for explosive power.

Like someone else said. It does appear that you wouldn't need them if you weren't an athlete outside of CF.
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:43 AM   #9
Simon Nainby
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Re: Box Squats

I think it all comes to lack of understanding to be honest. Powerlifting and Oly lifting are rarely seen anywhere in the UK compared to America and is not well understood. Most high school kids in the States will know about all the basic lifts but here most kids wouldn't even know what an Olympic bar looked like! There is also a tendency over here for overcautiousness (if that is a word!).

Anyway I spoke to Louie on the phone and emailed him and just for reference this was his reply. He is a top bloke and

Simon,

First you must know how to box squat properly and I'm sure your medical friends have not got a clue how to box squat. Through physics, 160 of your body weight is reduced while sitting on the box. Properly breath in the abdominals takes all of the pressure off the spinal cord. When you box squat you literally leg curl the shins are passed straight up and down and the only way to get off of the box is to pull with the heals which causes a glute/ham action. When top sprinters run, they produce 4,5 and 6 times the body weight through the collision of contacting with the payment. No time do you box squat with 5 or 6 times your body weight. Box squats are absolutely the safest way to squat for the spinal cord and the knees. Box squats break up the eccentric concentric chain. Much like one running when one foot is off the ground. We also use box squatting for NFL ball players with no injuries. Two Olympic Gold sprinters, with no injuries and numerous others. I hope this helps Simon. I will match my mal practice insurance payments to your medical friends any day.

Louie Simmons
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:43 AM   #10
Tim Luby
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Re: Box Squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Nainby View Post
I think it all comes to lack of understanding to be honest. Powerlifting and Oly lifting are rarely seen anywhere in the UK compared to America and is not well understood. Most high school kids in the States will know about all the basic lifts but here most kids wouldn't even know what an Olympic bar looked like! There is also a tendency over here for overcautiousness (if that is a word!).

Anyway I spoke to Louie on the phone and emailed him and just for reference this was his reply. He is a top bloke and

Simon,

First you must know how to box squat properly and I'm sure your medical friends have not got a clue how to box squat. Through physics, 160 of your body weight is reduced while sitting on the box. Properly breath in the abdominals takes all of the pressure off the spinal cord. When you box squat you literally leg curl the shins are passed straight up and down and the only way to get off of the box is to pull with the heals which causes a glute/ham action. When top sprinters run, they produce 4,5 and 6 times the body weight through the collision of contacting with the payment. No time do you box squat with 5 or 6 times your body weight. Box squats are absolutely the safest way to squat for the spinal cord and the knees. Box squats break up the eccentric concentric chain. Much like one running when one foot is off the ground. We also use box squatting for NFL ball players with no injuries. Two Olympic Gold sprinters, with no injuries and numerous others. I hope this helps Simon. I will match my mal practice insurance payments to your medical friends any day.

Louie Simmons
That's so awesome that Louie was that responsive. So, are you going to give box squats a try?
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