Originally Posted by BendtheBar
The squat is not a lower back exercise. We all know this. If anything, it hits the hamstrings hardest. Anyone who's ever had a rough squat day knows this to be true.
And it's only a lower back exercise for someone who is a beginner and has no clue what they're doing.
To address AC's point...
"I'm seriously contemplating the neccessity of back squats for athletes as far as muscular development is concerned."
I couldn't disagree more. The back squat is a proven anabolic tool, and provides the fastest anabolic nudge out of any exercise. If you really want to slow your growth the fastest, remove squats.
The front squat is good for lower back strength and deadlift training, but is not a strong mass building exercise. I consider it primarily a strength building exercise.
And the RFE squat? For mass? It's worse then the lunge on the knees. In my opinion, it's almost as ridiculous as someone squatting on a ball. I mean no disrespect AC, but I do strongly disagree with you.
Originally Posted by BendtheBar
During college my vert went up nearly a foot from back squats.
I really didn't read his spiel. If it's for athletes...then, I know nothing about training for a sport. I do know that with heavy weight, my vert went through the rough and so did the ability to hit a baseball a mile
Maybe I am misunderstanding AC...are you saying muscular development isn't needed for athletes? If so, I can see dropping back squats. But I do not think there is a better exercise for increasing many aspects of sports, including the jumping ability.
I went from 6 inches shy of the rim to nearly dunking after one year of heavy squats.
So, for the most part we are in agreement in everything you said. No way do I think back squats are a bad thing. They will most definitely be in just about any routine I make except for the ones I already mentioned.
However, for athletic development, I think plain jane back squats are unneccessary. I think box squats and safety bar squats are useful and definitely have their place.
As for mass....
No, athlete's don't need "mass". They need to be strong as all fuck and if mass follows strength, then eventually they'll get big. Look at WR's and DB's that play in the NFL at 185lb. You think they're doing back squats to get mass? Doubt it.
RFE for mass? Hell no. RFE for high weight/low reps? Absolutely not. But athlete's play their game one foot at a time and usually have horrible hip mobility. Show me another lower body lift where athlete's get the same bang for their buck.
"Back squats are a posterior chain movement"
Yes, they certainly are. But are they the most efficient when you've only got 12 weeks to work with an athlete? Probably not. Also, football is an extremely quad dominant sport. Hence, the utilization of front squats.
"Heavy back squats made my vert go through the roof"
Absolutely....if you've never done them before. However, take me as an example. I had been squatting "heavy" for several years before taking up O-lifts. My vert prior had been nothing spectacular. As a 5'9 white dude, I could barely knick the rim with my middle finger. Add in O-lifts (and yes, RFE squats) and I can stand under the rim and hang on it from a vertical leap with two hands.
My point is that back squats are not evil. Much the opposite. As I said earlier and again in this post, they will remain in my programming for mental toughness and because any athlete I know WILL be tested on them. I just don't think they're essential to athletic development.
Athlete's need to be strong, absolutely, but they do not/should not lift as a recreational lifter lifting "just cuz they like to".