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View Full Version : Box squats as substitute while trying to work on squat form?



fpr
06-26-2009, 11:24 PM
I've had a tough time getting my squat form down, I think most of it has to do with the fact that I have such tight hamstrings -- While on the floor and lifting my left (dominant) leg, I'm probably -15 to 20 degrees from 90 -- from what I understand you should be able to get close to 90 while having your opposing hip still on the ground.

Anyhow, doing squats I've noticed that I've been getting a lot of anterior tilt as I begin to descend and this has led to tension on my lower back.

The solution: I've been stretching my legs (I only do one hamstring exercise stretch for 3 sets -- should I be doing more?) and have switched to box squats. Am I going about this the right way? I'm going to pick a day to work on form but with very light weight, probably around 135lbs.

Question about box squats. I've been sitting back on the box, so when I stand up, I have to do a forward lean/upward motion to get up. Should I sit on the edge of the box so that I just shoot straight up (which I've found to be quite challenging).

Thanks for the help!

MarcusWild
06-27-2009, 01:18 AM
When you sit back on the box, that's correct. You lean forward to get up because your hamstrings and glutes are too weak. The forward lean lets you use your quads to start off the box. Then you end up with a good morning to finish the squat. You should be able to sit with your shins sloping down away from your body and get off the box. It requires a lot of glute and hamstring strength and activation to do it. If you try with your quads, then you aren't going to get off the box.

If you can get video of your lifts, that'd be the best way for people here to help you.

Bob
06-27-2009, 05:34 AM
Dave Tate did a great instructional class on box squatting for the Crossfit site.. there are a couple of good samples here:
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_TateBox1Pre.wmv
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_TateBoxSquat2Pre.wmv
To get the full video you have to sign up.. but these 2 are pretty good

slashkills
06-27-2009, 11:27 AM
Find a couple hamstring and hip stretches and do them for 15-30seconds each for 3-4 sets every night.

vdizenzo
06-27-2009, 04:41 PM
Dave Tate did a great instructional class on box squatting for the Crossfit site.. there are a couple of good samples here:
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_TateBox1Pre.wmv
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_TateBoxSquat2Pre.wmv
To get the full video you have to sign up.. but these 2 are pretty good

Yeah, I'd say they are good. Especially the second vid. Leave it to Dave to pick the hottest girl from a room full of dudes to coach. Dave's my hero. I hope I remember to ask him about her when I visit in a few weeks.

KarstenDD
06-27-2009, 04:44 PM
Yeah, I'd say they are good. Especially the second vid. Leave it to Dave to pick the hottest girl from a room full of dudes to coach. Dave's my hero. I hope I remember to ask him about her when I visit in a few weeks.

I'll probably be able to remind you.

fpr
06-27-2009, 08:04 PM
So box squats are a good substitute while I work on my stretching/getting my form down?

EDIT: I just watched the first video, seems to be a good idea I suppose.

Andre518
06-27-2009, 10:17 PM
Dave Tate did a great instructional class on box squatting for the Crossfit site.. there are a couple of good samples here:
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_TateBox1Pre.wmv
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_TateBoxSquat2Pre.wmv
To get the full video you have to sign up.. but these 2 are pretty good

Great video kinda gave me some incite to some of my squat problems. Plus the chick in part two was super hot!

MarcusWild
06-27-2009, 10:46 PM
I don't think stretching will do much for you. I think most people with this issue have weak hamstrings. We did a test today with one of our lifters that proved his issue was weak hamstrings and not flexibility. Box squats are great though.

Kenny Croxdale
06-28-2009, 09:41 AM
Dave Tate did a great instructional class on box squatting for the Crossfit site.. there are a couple of good samples here:
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitJournal_TateBox1Pre.wmv

Tate's a smart guy. However, in this video he provide some mis-information. Tate refers states that a box squat with a pause is plyomeric. It isn't.

A plyometric movement involves the stretch reflex in which the transition of an eccentric (lowering the bar in a squat) is immediatley followed with some type of recoil movement (driving the bar back up in a squat).

Pausing on the box does break up the eccentric/concentric movement. That pause also decreases the rebound or completely eliminates the stretch reflex, dependent on how long one pauses on the box.

Research by Wilson (often quote by Simmons) states that a pause of up to 1 second will kills approximately 50% of the rebound/stretch reflex. That means the your power production is going to dramatically decrease...meaning you are going to push less weight up.

The stretch reflex is completely lost if a 4 second or longer pause is taken.

A good method of testing this is to squat with a slight recoil out of the hole and to perform a pause squat in which you start you drive out of the hole from a dead stop. You'll squat more with a rebound than a pause squat.

It's the same thing with the bench press. You bench press more with a touch and go than a pause.

As I have noted in previous post, pausing on a box squat is an effective method of increasing power and strength. However, pausing on a box does not elicit or develop the stretch reflex.

The only way to develop the stretch reflex is to train it with some type of recoil movement.

Kenny Croxdale

MarcusWild
06-28-2009, 03:15 PM
Kenny, what is your point? Are you trying to point out that you think Dave Tate said one thing wrong in two long instructional clips so you must be smarter than him? Also, Louie has proven the stretch reflex can last up to 8 seconds on the box. It lasts 2 seconds even for normal people.

TXslapshot
06-29-2009, 06:28 PM
I need to try some box squats. That girl in the 2nd video was smokin.

vdizenzo
06-29-2009, 08:33 PM
Marcus, just concern yourself with the vid. Follow what Dave says, it should help a lot. If you want to squat a lot listen to Dave. If you want to be a "Knowitall" self important individual, you can concern yourself with the other post.

Travis Bell
06-29-2009, 08:47 PM
Tate's a smart guy. However, in this video he provide some mis-information. Tate refers states that a box squat with a pause is plyomeric. It isn't.

A plyometric movement involves the stretch reflex in which the transition of an eccentric (lowering the bar in a squat) is immediatley followed with some type of recoil movement (driving the bar back up in a squat).

Pausing on the box does break up the eccentric/concentric movement. That pause also decreases the rebound or completely eliminates the stretch reflex, dependent on how long one pauses on the box.

Research by Wilson (often quote by Simmons) states that a pause of up to 1 second will kills approximately 50% of the rebound/stretch reflex. That means the your power production is going to dramatically decrease...meaning you are going to push less weight up.

The stretch reflex is completely lost if a 4 second or longer pause is taken.

A good method of testing this is to squat with a slight recoil out of the hole and to perform a pause squat in which you start you drive out of the hole from a dead stop. You'll squat more with a rebound than a pause squat.

It's the same thing with the bench press. You bench press more with a touch and go than a pause.

As I have noted in previous post, pausing on a box squat is an effective method of increasing power and strength. However, pausing on a box does not elicit or develop the stretch reflex.

The only way to develop the stretch reflex is to train it with some type of recoil movement.

Kenny Croxdale


LOL I like the "under your breath" way you insult Dave Tate in your post, similar to how you've questioned information I have posted before.

Kenny the fact of the matter is, instead of contributing to a nice discussion with a personal anecdote from your own training or an opinion you jump in here and clamp down on one possible thing you could disagree with and spend a large post citing what you believe to be evidence against Dave's information. In the meantime this contributes nothing whatsoever to the thread discussion at hand.

Here's the thing, whether or not you like it there are very few absolutes in the lifting world, yet you almost always express yourself as if you know the exact absolutes for every situation. I would encourage you to brighten your image around here by expressing things as more your opinion instead absolute fact and talk about things you have learned from your own training, not things that other people have learned from their personal research and training.

This is not an invite for discussion or debate on these issues. We have a great board here and I appreciate the level from which you come to these discussions, but at some point you're going to have to work on your communication skills if you want to be an effective contributor around here.

Travis Bell
06-29-2009, 08:50 PM
I've had a tough time getting my squat form down, I think most of it has to do with the fact that I have such tight hamstrings -- While on the floor and lifting my left (dominant) leg, I'm probably -15 to 20 degrees from 90 -- from what I understand you should be able to get close to 90 while having your opposing hip still on the ground.

Anyhow, doing squats I've noticed that I've been getting a lot of anterior tilt as I begin to descend and this has led to tension on my lower back.

The solution: I've been stretching my legs (I only do one hamstring exercise stretch for 3 sets -- should I be doing more?) and have switched to box squats. Am I going about this the right way? I'm going to pick a day to work on form but with very light weight, probably around 135lbs.

Question about box squats. I've been sitting back on the box, so when I stand up, I have to do a forward lean/upward motion to get up. Should I sit on the edge of the box so that I just shoot straight up (which I've found to be quite challenging).

Thanks for the help!

Stretching is a good idea. Loosen your hips and glutes up so they can allow you to reach depth easier.

Leaning forward isn't a bad thing per se, just mix it with both forms so one doesn't become more dominant than the other. Focus on pointing your toes out a little as well as pushing those knees out.

You may need to bring in your stance a little bit for the time being as a wide stance will tighten them up

fpr
07-02-2009, 10:52 PM
I wonder if my squat form is taking a hit since I'm doing my squats the day after I deadlift??? :confused:

MarcusWild
07-02-2009, 10:59 PM
I wonder if my squat form is taking a hit since I'm doing my squats the day after I deadlift??? :confused:

YES! You should have 3-4 days between deadlift and squats. Same goes for 3-4 days between squats and deadlifts. A lot of people squat and deadlift on the same day, so they get more recovery time.

fpr
07-03-2009, 12:26 AM
Thanks, I'll try and switch things up a bit.

fpr
07-03-2009, 12:53 AM
Hey guys, need some help with my routine here. Here's what I've been doing for about the past month or so, let me know what you think:

Day 1
Flat barbell bench: 5 x 5
LI DB Press: 3 x 8
Dips: 3 x 10 (will be adding weight shortly)
High Rack Pulls (from knee): 3 x 10

Day 2
Box Squats: 3 x 10
core/stability work and abs

Day 3
OFF

Day 4
Standing Military Press: 5 x 5
Narrow Grip BP: 3 x 8
DB Press: 3 x 8
Deadlifts: 5 x 5

Day 5
Squats: 5 x 5 (toned this down cause my form sucks)
core/stability work and abs

Days 6 + 7
OFF

I'm sure this probably needs to be reworked some, if you guys could point me in the right direction, I'd greatly appreciate it.

I'd also like to throw in some chinups somewhere, but I'm not sure where.

Thanks! :hello:

Kenny Powers
07-03-2009, 07:28 AM
1) no direct hamstring work, this is a big problem. you need to add ghr, rdl, or something of the like on the day that you squat and deadlift as assistance work

2) you cannot have direct lower back work every day you workout. this will cause all sorts of recovery and potential injury problems

3) you need to consolidate your routine into basically upper and lower body days. keep the squats and deadlifts either on their own day, or on the same day.

4) as has been mentioned to you in this thread, you need more recovery time between squat and deadilft. currently you have basically no rest between the two

5) you need much more tricep assistance work, you have very little

6) you should subtract deadlift variations from your bench days and add in direct tricep work (extensions) and lat work (chins or pulldowns if you cant do chins)

Basically, it should look something more like one of these two examples

1)

M - Squat (squat, front squat/oly squat/pause squat, lunge/leg press, ghr)

W- Bench (bench, bench variation (2 board, cgbp, etc...), triceps work, lat work)

F- Deadlift (deadlift, dl variation, (i like to throw a few sets of oly squats here, not too heavy), reverse hyper/ghr, power shrug)

Sa- Bench Assistance (close grip, oh press, speed work, tricep work, lat work)


Thats something like I do, exercises for me are a little different. And this is simply an example, you fill it with the specific assistance work that works best for you.

Another possible setup is a westside style routine, which some of these other guys can help you out with because i dont train that way and am not extremely qualified to give you suggestions on how to do it. Basically its setup as ME and DE or RE upper and lower days. Four total days of working out.

The main idea is to up your assistance work, more hamstring and tricep work, and simply more assistance work for legs. And less deadlifting!

fpr
07-03-2009, 05:26 PM
Thanks, that post really helped out a lot.

I've purchased Louie's book, I found it a little difficult to read and digest.

When it comes down to these training methods, they seem more advanced than what I'm at, boards, bands, etc... I also don't have access to these.

I'll tinker around with what I have in the meantime and try and develop something a little better -- this is all a little frustrating, I guess the only positive thing is that I'm making strength gains each week, but I agree that it needs to be revamped.

Thanks again guys!