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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-10-2014, 09:03 AM   #1
Thomas Cofer
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Back squats

What's the general consensus for back squatting amongst crossfitters? I would assume the high bar back squat as it keeps a more vertical torso which may help front squats etc.....my question is depth. Do many of you squat to parallel or below? Or is slightly above acceptable?
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:13 AM   #2
Jeff Enge
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Re: Back squats

For CF standards - to parallel or below.

For powerlifting standards - to parallel or below.

For weightlifting - no standards because it's an assistance lift, but generally as low as you can get without losing tightness. AKA, a** to grass is the goal.

There's no reason to stop above parallel unless you have an injury or are very immobile.

Weightlifters don't do high bar back squats specificallyto carryover to front squats (we do plenty of front squats as it is, but they are assistance to the lifts too), we do them because 1) it's a more natural squat (just put the bar on your back and squat), and 2) it's more leg dominant and less back dominant than a Rippetoe-style low bar. We do plenty of pulling and back strengthening work that we don't need another back exercise.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:34 AM   #3
Dakota Base
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Re: Back squats

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Originally Posted by Jeff Enge View Post
It's more leg dominant and less back dominant than a Rippetoe-style low bar. We do plenty of pulling and back strengthening work that we don't need another back exercise.
Agree 100% with Jeff's comments, but I might expand a bit on the bold part above with some of my thoughts.

Having a chance to rest your back is usually considered a benefit. Heavy low bar squats followed by heavy deadlifts two or 3 days later, along with other accessory lifts for back might be too much for the low back to handle. Especially if you're doing much Oly lifting volume, which inevitably loads the low back.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:11 AM   #4
Jason Denny
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Re: Back squats

Go as low as you can. Quite frankly, most people do not squat enough. I started off squatting low bar but since I started following Catalyst Athletics I switched to high bar. I also narrowed my stance quite a bit when I switched. I find that I get lower, more upright, and have an easier time out of the hole. I'm squatting right out of my jeans...haha. A good problem to have.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:28 AM   #5
Thomas Cofer
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Re: Back squats

Thanks for the input guys. I do back squat at or below parallel but I notice at heavier loads I don't go as deep....whether that's a strength issue or mental issue I don't know. I have tried different techniques and I find it much easier for me to get in and out with a wider stance (I'm 6'1). I sometimes question peoples squat maxes when they tell me because I work at a college university fitness facility and see some nasty stuff haha.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:28 AM   #6
Dakota Base
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Re: Back squats

Forgot to cast my vote...

I'm a high bar squatter and go at a MINIMUM to below parallel. I have poor mobility/flexibility, so getting "*** to grass" doesn't happen easily for me. I use deep squats to work on that mobility.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:53 AM   #7
Jason Denny
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Re: Back squats

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Originally Posted by Thomas Cofer View Post
Thanks for the input guys. I do back squat at or below parallel but I notice at heavier loads I don't go as deep....whether that's a strength issue or mental issue I don't know. I have tried different techniques and I find it much easier for me to get in and out with a wider stance (I'm 6'1). I sometimes question peoples squat maxes when they tell me because I work at a college university fitness facility and see some nasty stuff haha.
I understand what you are saying about heavy loads. It's a mental thing. I used to be the exact same way when starting squatting. However I discovered that I worked harder standing up if I stopped at parallel then if I bottomed out and used that bounce to help me out of the hole.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:53 PM   #8
Aaron Gainer
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Re: Back squats

High bar only. Take my opinion for what its worth. If you want to have any real success in weightlifting, it is the better of the two exercises based on the more upright position, and the stress on the legs more than the low back.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:07 PM   #9
Thomas Cofer
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Re: Back squats

Thanks everyone. Jason, I tried what you were talking about....I feel I do more work at parallel then up. I was doing 5X3 today and and tried bouncing up from that deep position and it worked very well. I guess that makes more sense because when using full ROM a lot of pressure builds inside the joint capsule...using that pressure, or force, from that lower position can help get in and out faster.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:22 PM   #10
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Re: Back squats

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Originally Posted by Thomas Cofer View Post
I sometimes question peoples squat maxes when they tell me because I work at a college university fitness facility and see some nasty stuff haha.
Video or it didn't happen! lol.
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