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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 06-29-2008, 07:22 PM   #1
Derek Maffett
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Standing with the low-bar back squat

I'm having some trouble with the low-bar back squat. When I come up to full extension, I feel (and look) like I'm inclined forward. My back isn't necessarily rounding, but I seem to become a spokesman for a kyphosis awareness group. Is my head supposed to be coming forward like that?

Another question - is the accepted bottom position the furthest down you can go physically while keeping the back arched? With sufficient flexibility, is more depth feasible?
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Old 06-29-2008, 08:33 PM   #2
Dave Gibbs
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Re: Standing with the low-bar back squat

Derek,
I have a similar issue and have found that it has taken quite a few weeks of practice to overcome this and my flexibility has gradually increased just through repitition.
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:05 PM   #3
Derek Franks
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Re: Standing with the low-bar back squat

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Originally Posted by Derek Maffett View Post
I'm having some trouble with the low-bar back squat. When I come up to full extension, I feel (and look) like I'm inclined forward. My back isn't necessarily rounding, but I seem to become a spokesman for a kyphosis awareness group. Is my head supposed to be coming forward like that?

Another question - is the accepted bottom position the furthest down you can go physically while keeping the back arched? With sufficient flexibility, is more depth feasible?
It's hard to address the first part without a pic or video. But generally speaking, in order to keep the bar over the center of the feet, you're going to have to have more forward lean at the top as the bar sits lower on your back.

The bottom position should generally be the point at which you work the through through it's functional range. In other words, for the squat it's more or less going to be at or just below "parallel". However, if you have a need for a greater range of motion, then you should train for that. But don't extend the range of motion at the cost of using a lighter weight, just for the sake of extended range of motion.

Last edited by Derek Franks : 06-29-2008 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:03 AM   #4
Victor Putz
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Re: Standing with the low-bar back squat

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in order to keep the bar over the center of the feet, you're going to have to have more forward lean at the top as the bar sits lower on your back.
And there's the key. Physically, your centre of mass will have to be over the centre of your support (ie mid-foot). Since we're not all that different from front to back, and since (as Rip says) weights will want to move in a straight line up and down, that generally means putting the bar above your mid-foot. With the bar on your back, that means you'll have to have a slight forward incline at the top; otherwise the bar will be "stuck to your back" and you'll fall over backward.

You still don't want to be "bent over", but you're not going to be fully upright as if you weren't loaded at all, with a barbell stuck in the low bar position.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:58 AM   #5
Jamie Crichton
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Re: Standing with the low-bar back squat

Remember that the forward lean should come from a certain degree of hip flexion, NOT flexion of the thoracic spine (kyphosis). As everyone has pointed out, the bar still needs to be over your foot, so your hips will never reach complete extension (as in a DL). You will stop short of this at the top of the squat if you maintain a good lumbar arch - the squat is complete, the knees are fully extended, but you won't have that hips locked-out, glutes engaged position that you would at the top of a DL.
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