View Full Version : Soooo.....box squats really help you engage the hamstrings huh?

02-06-2008, 09:49 AM
I find that the hardest part of squatting is the "sit back, not down" part. I have been really working on my form a lot lately, but sometimes I just feel like my form is garbage. I can use light weights (maybe up to about 165 lbs.), but once I'm up close to 185 or higher, my form really starts to suck, and I can feel it in my knees that I'm not engaging my hamstrings enough. I'm letting my knees move forward at the bottom by not sitting back enough.

So I've heard that box squats usually fix this problem. First off, is that true? Secondly, how far behind you are you supposed to put the box to reach for? Third, do you put it at the same depth as if you were to just do a regular full squat? Also, are you just supposed to touch and go, or are you supposed to sit on the box for a second or two, then go back up?

I've searched around on this stuff, but I found many mixed answers, so I'm confused about what is right or not. Thanks everyone.

02-06-2008, 09:55 AM
Box squats will help you learn to sit back and pull in your hammies right.
Get a big box. Mine is maybe 20-22" across the top. You don't want to have to be reaching for it- it needs to just be there... I'll set it so that I could sit straight down on it, but then to sit back I just try to set my sack down on the back corner of the box. Works like a charm.

02-06-2008, 10:04 AM
So you aim for the back corner of the box? The side of the box furthest away from you?

Ben Moore
02-06-2008, 10:34 AM
Place it where one corner is forward so that when you walk the weight back you can see the box. Aim for the center of the box.

02-06-2008, 10:43 AM
First vid is short, second is long. Both worth watching, especially # 2.



02-06-2008, 10:48 AM
Thanks for the videos. i see that when they sit down, they actally kind of straighten the back to be more vertical, then they stand back up. Now, does the stance have to be that wide? Because I've been (attempting) squatting the way described in starting strength with heels at shoulder width.

02-06-2008, 11:00 AM
Those vids are great.
Ben is right on about the set up- I just say tap your sack on back corner of the box so you'll sit back right... you'll most likely still be in the center of the box.
Spread your stance wider. You won't be able to go as wide as they do in the videos in a rack, but definitely kick your feet out maybe a foot or so wider.

02-06-2008, 11:03 AM
I'm no coach, and I started with SS also, but remember that book is geared toward absolute beginners. Check out Sensei's squat videos.....in particular #3, which there is two parts.


02-06-2008, 11:07 AM
Spread your stance wider. You won't be able to go as wide as they do in the videos in a rack, but definitely kick your feet out maybe a foot or so wider.

Agreed on that. Just widening your stance will activate more glute/ham/hips.

02-06-2008, 11:20 AM
I dunno, that book is geared toward novices, not absolute beginners. I'd definately still consider myself a novice because I am still capable of adding weight to my squat and deadlift every workout even though I've been lifing for a long time now (I just started doing legs about 9 months ago though, I was an all upperbody guy before. It was terrible). Honestly though, I always considered the extremely wide stance to be a powerlifting thing. I'm don't really train like a powerlifter, although strength is my main goal, but only for rep ranges of around 5 - 8. I don't plan on doing heavy singles, doubles, or triples too often.

But I do appreciate the replies and advice given on how to box squat. I will give them a shot next squat day.