Monday 7.8.13

High-Bar vs Low-Bar Back Squatting

Several people today asked about high bar backsquatting vs low bar back squatting. Unless otherwise instructed, we will highbar backsquat here. Why? Here goes: 

First of all: what is the difference between a high bar backsquat and a low bar backsquat? Just like it sounds, the position of the bar on your back is different.  A high bar sits on top of your traps, where a low bar squat will have the bar sitting more on your deltoids (see picture). 

front squat, high bar backsquat, low bar backsquat

front squat, high bar backsquat, low bar backsquat

You can see the the position of the torso is much more vertical in that of a low bar squat compared to that of the high bar squat. 

So why do we high bar squat instead of low bar squat?
Let me be clear that neither type of squat is incorrect. The short answer is that high bar back squat is easier to learn how to do correctly, and that the back position translates more often into common CrossFit movements.  

Powerlifters are big fans of the low-bar squat because it really works on developing the posterior chain and usually allows for bigger loads, however, the high bar squat more directly mimicks the receiving position of the Olympic lifts - clean and the snatch - as well as positioning in the thruster, the wall ball, front squat, and overhead squat. For more information, read this Tabata Times article: Low-bar vs High-Bar backsquat.

Strength
3-3-3 LIGHT pause back squats (3 sec pause at bottom)

Back squat:
5-3-1
rest 2-3 min
5-3-1
rest 2-3 min
5-3-1
 *increase weights each set