Wednesday, August 31, 2011

High Bar v. Low Bar

So this debate has been going on since, well.....a while. High bar back squats vs. low bar back squat. I'm here to say right now I am biased and I only teach the high bar back squat. I'm not saying low bar is wrong, just that the high bar back squat suits Olympic style lifting better. Why you ask, well in my opinion it allows for a deeper squat, and keeps the torso more vertical which is key to the Olympic lifts. Plus, it allows for more range of motion.

Someone who power lifts would probably tell you the low bar back squat allows you to lift more weight because you recruit more hamstring and glutes, which is true. You do use more of those two muscles than when you use the high bar. Someone told me if you want to get stronger faster do low bar back squat. But, if you have ever looked at a power lifter and compare the range of motion to an Olympic lifter I think, in my opinion, you can see which one in the long run is better for you.
Again this is just my opinion, take is for what it's worth.

Found this article about the two lifts just puttin around the net and thought I would share it with ya.
High Bar vs. Low Bar Back Squats: A Brief Look into Mechanical Differences

"There are several benefits to either position and depending on your goals, either could be right for you. The high bar position tends to limit the amount of weight the athlete can lift due to less overall muscle recruitment, more quadriceps and less glutes and hamstrings. But, the movement tends to be considered more athletic as the range of motion is greater and it transitions well into the Olympic style lifts (the clean and jerk and the snatch). The low bar position works more muscles and thus allows the athlete to lift more weight and potentially build more muscle, but unlike the high bar squat it does not lend itself very well to other sports. In the end, no matter which you choose, make sure you are squatting frequently in any strength and conditioning program."

My good friend Lance also shared a good read concerning to lifts. It takes no sides and I think is a fare assessment. So take a look.

Olympic vs. Powerlifting Squats

"The key to healthy, long-term training is knowing the pros and cons of training. Knowing why and how to squat is no different. High quality Olympic squatting will take your training to the next level. The only immediate downside is that you'll have to take weight off the bar. In the long run though, you'll have greater lower and upper body development — and we guarantee that's worth spending time on."

So, I think both of these articles do a fair job of comparing the two different style of squatting. I also think it depends on what your goals are and what style of lifting you want to pursue. My sport is Olympic lifting so naturally I high bar squat.
The most important thing is have squats be a part of your training. Make sure you have proper coaching and technique. And get STRONG AS F*@K!


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