Squat Tip: Barbell Placement

G.R. Jones; W. Zhou 03/12/2015

Is your squat constantly inconsistent? Are you stalling on a weight you don’t think you should be stalling on? Are you very uncomfortable during a squat? If so, maybe you can try a different style of squat.

No matter what anyone says, there is not one specific way to squat that works for all people of different shapes or sizes. People with short femurs will squat differently to people with long femurs and people with long torsos will squat differently to people with short torsos etc. All we can do, is to find the way best suited to us.

Barbell Placement: There is actually more than one way you can place the barbell. Where the bar sits on your back mainly falls under two main categories: 1. High bar, and 2. Low bar. What does “High” and “Low” bar mean? Well it is as simple as it sounds.

High Bar: Is where you rest the bar on top of your traps (not your spine/neck). This form of squatting is commonly used by Olympic Weightlifters, due to torso position. The torso position is held more vertical and better mimics the posture required for the Clean, and the Snatch.

This form of Squat usually puts more focus on your Quadriceps and less on your Posterior Chain, and may require slightly more mobility as it has a larger range of movement.

 Low Bar: Is where you rest the bar (most of the time) on your rear deltoids. You can put it in a lower position if your body allows it, quite a number of Powerlifters do so, the reason is to bring the weight closer to your centre of gravity and biomechanically reduces the length of your levers. This also creates better leverage for moving weight. This is a type of style commonly used by Powerlifters. It usually focuses more on the posterior, and has a smaller range of motion.   What will work for you?    There isn’t a “best” way, however depending on your goal, body type and preference, you can pick the one most suited to you. Be sure though that neither one of these styles will take the hard work out of your squat days, they are both tough in their own ways. So if you want a fancy squatting experience? Maybe try sticking your pinkies fingers out when squatting.  Try them both, and squat away!

Low Bar: Is where you rest the bar (most of the time) on your rear deltoids. You can put it in a lower position if your body allows it, quite a number of Powerlifters do so, the reason is to bring the weight closer to your centre of gravity and biomechanically reduces the length of your levers. This also creates better leverage for moving weight. This is a type of style commonly used by Powerlifters. It usually focuses more on the posterior, and has a smaller range of motion.

What will work for you?

There isn’t a “best” way, however depending on your goal, body type and preference, you can pick the one most suited to you. Be sure though that neither one of these styles will take the hard work out of your squat days, they are both tough in their own ways. So if you want a fancy squatting experience? Maybe try sticking your pinkies fingers out when squatting.

Try them both, and squat away!

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