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Mr.Silverback 11-04-2011 11:30 AM

Box squatting for the RAW lifter
I've been bouncing back and forth on the worth of box squatting if you are a RAW Lifter. I want to hear your thoughts. For me I look at a number of positives, the stress is transferred to the hips which can take more of a beating than the lower back. It's easier to teach a neophyte how to properly squat. Haven't really heard many people blowing out anything from Box squatting. Now I have read many articles and books, but in all my studies I find that time under the bar is best. What are your thoughts MAB community? I don't care what your discipline is, just want to hear your thoughts.

BendtheBar 11-04-2011 11:47 AM

I ran box squats for quite a while in past years. The biggest mistake I made was subconsciously opening my stance a little wider than normal. I'm not sure why this occurred, but it did.

I also found that when doing box squats exclusively my form started to change. Obviously this could be from lack of discipline, but I was making every effort to maintain proper form. The changes were gradual, but they did occur. For example, my eccentrics started to slow a bit too much.

Speaking only for myself, I believe I am better off using box squats for speed style work, and keeping all heavy work "box free."

If I had to boil down the differences between box and free squats for me, it would come down to eccentric speed. LTL and I were talking about eccentric speed this morning.

I suffered heavily in the post-box squat days from a very slow eccentric. My squats were stalled and I made zero progress for about a year. Squats became a mental grind for me and my form felt awkward. I hadn't realized that while box squatting my eccentric speed had slowed.

It helps me personally to be more aggressive during eccentrics...more aggressive meaning confident, in control and not overly babying the descent.

Perhaps I was being too much of a wimp when box squatting, and this isn't an issue for others...

Mr.Silverback 11-04-2011 12:25 PM

Thanks BTB for your input!

big_swede 11-04-2011 02:24 PM

I have box squatted quite a lot the last year, have been having some lower back issues and working off a box seems to be more lower back friendly. The most carryover i have had to my pulls i think, in term of hip/glute strength and also core strength in general. I have not brought up my squat #, but on the other hand, i box squat much wider than i free squat.

Did some very low box squatting yesterday, not much above my "atg" depth, and it felt great, will continue my to explore its possibilities.

Off Road 11-04-2011 02:45 PM

I tried box squatting for a while. I liked the way it got me to "sit back", but as BtB said, it slowed me down. So now I only use the box as a depth guide to make sure I'm breaking parallel. It's still a good cue for me to sit back but i don't actually sit on the box any more, just 'tap' it with my butt.

LtL 11-04-2011 02:57 PM

I think for a RAW squatter, the Westside style box squat where you sit back until the shins are past vertical isn't as useful. Yes it will overload the hamstrings, hips and glutes but for most raw squatters quad's are more important. I have been using box squats sparingly and I think of them more for dead's than squats.


gaspers04 11-04-2011 04:23 PM

I personally like box squats. It allows me to overload a great deal and get used to heavier weights. I feel that it is a useful tool.

BigTallOx 11-05-2011 08:28 PM

Box squats are all my pro strongman training buddy does, and I'm on his program so it's the only kind of squat I currently do as well. However, the topic says "raw lifter" so I assume that means for a raw powerlifter, I'm not a powerlifter and since the (barbell) squat isn't typically a strongman event, I'm not training to improve my back squat like a powerlifter would, I squat as an accessory for strongman events, so the focus is quite a bit different than a powerlifter.

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