Top Tips for a Better Squat: Bar Path
G. Jones, W. Zhou, 24 May 2016
A good way to monitor your squat form, is by looking at the ‘bar path’. This pretty much means the path that the barbell travels when you look at it from a sideways view. Here’s a legitimate reason to get that camera out and record your squat!
However, there are also some times you shouldn't use the bar path to judge your squatting form.
When to use it:
1. The fastest way from A to B, is a straight line. If your bar path isn’t straight your body has to fight extra hard to bring it back to its rightful place. That’s wasted energy which means, if your bar path was straighter, you might be able to move more weight.
2. It can help measure the speed of your squat.
When NOT to use it:
1. When you are squatting LESS than your bodyweight on your back. Unfortunately bar Path is not applicable to beginners, as you’re squatting below 1x bodyweight, the bar might not be your centre of mass, your hips are more likely it. Therefore, the bar will not move up and down in a straight line like your centre of mass will. So follow the other queues in the previous blogs and work towards a 1 x bodyweight squat!
2. Don’t use it to judge stability, bar path doesn’t mean your squat is actually stable. You could have the most flawless bar path, but it takes no consideration of the shape of your lower back for example. So just because your bar path is straight, doesn’t mean your squat is ‘perfect”.