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Geelong26 04-09-2014 08:52 AM

pause squats vs box squats
what do you think is the better assistant lift for the back squat , pause squats or box squats ?


JTM811 04-09-2014 09:04 AM

I like doing box squats on a 6-8" high box(never measured it). Many times that's how I squat during a workout, using the box exclusively. Some really don't like it, especially on a box that low and I'm tall too at 6-03. Sometimes you just have to try different things and see how they feel to you and whether you think its helping or hindering your progress. Try both methods and alter them from workout to workout and see how it feels.

Be careful on the box squats though. Stay tight like you should anyways through the movement, but especially when you are stopped and sitting on the box for that moment. Also don't rock trying to get up off the box. I learned the hard way with too much weight one time, got stuck and tried to rock to help build momentum to get out to the hole and also lost my tightness. Ended up tweaking my lower back and was pretty tender for a week or two, which screwed up my other workout days to boot.

BendtheBar 04-09-2014 09:11 AM


Originally Posted by Geelong26 (Post 471168)
what do you think is the better assistant lift for the back squat , pause squats or box squats ?


I prefer paused squats.

Box squats can change the squat form if you are not a hips-back squatter. If this is the case, you will almost need to relearn how to squat by breaking at the hips.

I, and many others, are "break at the knees" squatters. When I try hips back squatting (ala box squatting) I get instant knee tendonitis. The change is subtle, but important.

I am not against box squatting. I just think that paused squats:

1) Assure you that no squat form will be required.
2) Are a better overall choice for raw lifters.

That's simply my opinion. Mileage may vary.

miked96 04-09-2014 09:28 AM

Paused squats for squats. Box squats are a great accessory for deadlifting.

Dray 04-09-2014 09:34 AM

In my very limited experience so far, it seems to me that paused squats might indeed help a bit*, for raw lifters. Box squats, I don't know, but neither am I keen to try them. Strike me, right or wrong, as more relevant to geared lifters.

* I guess that what I mean by "a bit" is for people like me, or *for me* anyway :). In that, they might be a lot more helpful for more advanced lifters. Whereas guys like me, it will probably be just as good, or better really (IMO), to just keep adding weight/volume to standard issue squats. IOW, "Squat moar to squat moar!", lol. :p However, what I have found very recently is that alternating low bar and high bar is great. More balanced muscle development and better overall health/mobility... I think. Well, it feels that way. But hey, I R n00b. ;)

Nathan 04-09-2014 09:51 AM


Originally Posted by miked96 (Post 471182)
Paused squats for squats. Box squats are a great accessory for deadlifting.

I second this. I've been doing front box squats and I am convinced they have helped my starting strength.

CountryFriedMuscle 04-09-2014 10:15 AM

Like BtB said, I think a lot of it depends on how exactly you squat. If you are a wide stance, hips back squatter, then you will probably get something out of box squats. However, if you use more forward knee action in your squat, then sitting that far back will only mess with your technique and develop the wrong musculature.

Also, consider what happens at the bottom of a box squat. You in essence deload the quads and hamstrings, then start the concentric portion of the lift from a dead stop. Regardless of style, that type of muscular deload will never occur in a raw squat; in fact your muscles will be under the most tension in the bottom of the lift. I think the pause squat is just all around better for raw lifters looking to build their squat. The box squat does have it's uses though, as noted by a few other guys.

J_Byrd 04-09-2014 11:32 AM

Pause squats have a much better carry over IMO. Doing a pause squat correctly you learn to maintain a level of overall body tightness you may not see in the box squat. I feel the box squat varies the form for most people. Box squats just do not have the same value overall.

afraziaaaa 04-09-2014 04:13 PM

I get more carryover to my deadlift from box squatting. I do feel that box squatting helps build the hips which can transfer to power out of the hole. I do them with a pause on the box/release the hips and explode up. I also do them with just a pause on the box while staying tight.

As far as the squat goes, I think paused squats are better.

GeezerDude 04-09-2014 06:22 PM

This is maybe slightly off topic from box squatting and paused squats, but is still the same principle. Has anybody tried squats with a dead start from the rack pins at a depth of parallel or just below? Are there any benefits to doing it this way instead of box or pause squats? I have only known of one guy who did it this way, but am not sure how much better or worse it would have been over the other styles.

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