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Thread: High bar or low bar?

  1. #1
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    High bar or low bar?

    Alright guys, I have been having some trouble squatting, I always heard to use a low bar position when squatting, and the only way I can create that little shelf back there is by pulling my shoulder blades back and lifting my elbows up a little bit, however I keep hearing people say you have to keep your elbows under the bar???? Also, I watched a lot of videos today on youtube from the previous arnold with the USAPL there, and all of them used a low bar squat with their elbows pulled back and a little up?? I also heard though that when it comes to double ply/multiply feds, they are using a high bar stance so they can keep their elbows under the bar, remain tighter and more upright, anybody have any thoughts? Is anyone using a low bar in either single or multi feds?

  2. #2
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    I use a low bar position with my elbows pointing almost straight down. In my experience, the people who leave their elbows back/up generally lack the shoulder mobility to get them down. Obviously there are some people that are just more comfortable with the elbows back like that but I find I am able to get so much tighter with my elbows down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeder View Post
    I use a low bar position with my elbows pointing almost straight down. In my experience, the people who leave their elbows back/up generally lack the shoulder mobility to get them down. Obviously there are some people that are just more comfortable with the elbows back like that but I find I am able to get so much tighter with my elbows down.
    Damn thats awesome, and I actually think thats my problem because I find myself moving my hands farther and farther apart on the bar because the lack of flexibility. I tried today to move them in, and put my ring finger on the power ring and use a low bar with my elbows pointing down, but I couldn't find a spot to rest it on and it wasn't tight at all, I felt like it was going to roll down my back...

  4. #4
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePunisherson View Post
    Damn thats awesome, and I actually think thats my problem because I find myself moving my hands farther and farther apart on the bar because the lack of flexibility. I tried today to move them in, and put my ring finger on the power ring and use a low bar with my elbows pointing down, but I couldn't find a spot to rest it on and it wasn't tight at all, I felt like it was going to roll down my back...
    You need to pull your shoulder blades together to create that shelf for the bar. Shoulder flexibility is huge when it comes to squatting IMO. You'll see lots of big guys with their hands right against the sleeves because they can't hold the bar any closer without pain.
    Full Powerlifting
    Squat - 595lbs -- 270kg -- Dec. 31, '09 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Bench - 374lbs -- 170kg -- Dec 20, '08 (@100kg class)
    Dead - 589lbs -- 267.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Total: 1537lbs -- 697.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)
    Bench Only -- 358lbs -- 162.5kg -- Nov. 25, '07 (Provincial Record @ 90kg class)
    Bench Only -- 376lbs -- 171kg -- Jan. 26, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeder View Post
    You need to pull your shoulder blades together to create that shelf for the bar. Shoulder flexibility is huge when it comes to squatting IMO. You'll see lots of big guys with their hands right against the sleeves because they can't hold the bar any closer without pain.
    Yeah I tried to pull them back as much as I could and push the elbows down but I just couldn't create a shelf, also my back development sucks ass, so that probably plays a role too...yeah I noticed that....I just read on fortified iron that chuck v has all his lexen extreme guys use a high bar squat and that helps keep the elbows underneath..

  6. #6
    Who is John Galt? CrazyK's Avatar
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    Anyway you can post a vid?

    You might have said it yourself, your back development sucks. Maybe working on your hams/back/abs for a little bit will help, as well as some shoulder mobility exercises.
    "You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones."- Quran 16:25

    "A life unexamined is not worth living"- Socrates

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePunisherson View Post
    I just read on fortified iron that chuck v has all his lexen extreme guys use a high bar squat and that helps keep the elbows underneath..
    I really doubt that Chuck V is squatting high-bar position...

    Elbows should be under the bar generally.

    Video
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    I really doubt that Chuck V is squatting high-bar position...

    Elbows should be under the bar generally.

    Video

    I need to get to post 10..here is 8

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    Here is 9

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    Here is 10

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    Here is the thread I read it from, somehow the guy must know chuck and his crew personally..

    http://www.fortified-iron.com/forum/...t=#entry819447

    Here is recent footage..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXxcya-kv_I

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyK View Post
    Anyway you can post a vid?

    You might have said it yourself, your back development sucks. Maybe working on your hams/back/abs for a little bit will help, as well as some shoulder mobility exercises.
    I will try bro...this isn't supposed to be a joke in anyway but if you watch Mike Tuchscherer squat, that is exactly how I set up and everything...thumbless grip, elbows back, low bar, everything..

  13. #13
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    The link won't show anything unless you are a member of the forum - would you mind cutting and pasting it?

    Well, the video certainly looks like a high bar squat but it's tough to tell... Maybe he changed his bar position. The only reason I can see why a PLer would decide to change from a low bar position would be if they prefer an upright squatting style or if the suit somehow prevents them from properly racking the weight on their back. Generally, hips back and forward lean helps the suit stretch and give pop out of the hole however...
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    The link won't show anything unless you are a member of the forum - would you mind cutting and pasting it?

    Well, the video certainly looks like a high bar squat but it's tough to tell... Maybe he changed his bar position. The only reason I can see why a PLer would decide to change from a low bar position would be if they prefer an upright squatting style or if the suit somehow prevents them from properly racking the weight on their back. Generally, hips back and forward lean helps the suit stretch and give pop out of the hole however...
    I know of a guy who squats with a high bar position even though he performs what looks more like a low bar squat. He does it to save his shoulders for benching. This guy also has terrible shoulder mobility; he literally can't put his arms straight up.
    Full Powerlifting
    Squat - 595lbs -- 270kg -- Dec. 31, '09 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Bench - 374lbs -- 170kg -- Dec 20, '08 (@100kg class)
    Dead - 589lbs -- 267.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Total: 1537lbs -- 697.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)
    Bench Only -- 358lbs -- 162.5kg -- Nov. 25, '07 (Provincial Record @ 90kg class)
    Bench Only -- 376lbs -- 171kg -- Jan. 26, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)

  15. #15
    Senior Member SELK's Avatar
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    I squat fairly high bar. Its the only way it feels right to me. Low bar I end up doing a good morning instead of a squat.
    960/530/749 @ 242
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeder View Post
    I know of a guy who squats with a high bar position even though he performs what looks more like a low bar squat. He does it to save his shoulders for benching. This guy also has terrible shoulder mobility; he literally can't put his arms straight up.
    Yeah, I can certainly understand that. My point was that if you had a choice and it wasn't because of a physical issue, most would choose a low(er) bar position.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by SELK View Post
    I squat fairly high bar. Its the only way it feels right to me. Low bar I end up doing a good morning instead of a squat.
    Same thing here. I think for many people who lift multi-ply, a higher bar placement works better. It keeps them more upright and thus less likely to get rounded over. Because of the support in the legs and hips, the rate limiting factor is often the ability to hold your arch. It's also often tough to get depth with multi-ply equipment on, so the extra stretch of a greater forward lean can prevent you from reaching depth. I've seen more than one person try to use a canvas suit with a medium or narrow stance and a big forward lean and really struggle to get depth because the suit binds up before they can get their hips low enough. Also, when you are used to carrying the bar higher, you don't have to adjust your bar placement when you put on a suit with big, thick straps.
    Ultimately bar placement will depend on individual proportions and leverage in conjunction with equipment usage.

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    Well said Sean....and I am with you selk, when I use a low bar, like resting on my rear delts, I lean forward too much, so yesturday I tried high bar and it helped me stay upright and hit depth easier without leaning forward, it felt awesome. Yeah Sensei I would past it but for some reason on fortified iron you cant see everyones posts at once, you have to go through each and every one I dont know why that is but it would be a pain in the ass....I think Chuck and all them do it to stay more upright and I heard when your in multi ply gear with thick straps its hard to feel the bar on your back when you use a low bar position, therefore a lot of people switch over to a high bar.

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    And whats cool is I thought you couldnt sit back with a high bar position but you definitely can, knees still stayed over my ankles, I was happy, its just hard to get used to carrying that weight higher up.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    It makes sense - losing arch is a huge problem as you're learning gear. At least it was for me.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

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    I bet it is man, I am not in double ply yet but definitely plan to in the near future, I am about to try out my first squat squit, its an older centurion, nxg + size 48, I can't wait to use it, thats why I was asking about it, some people over at FI told me to keep squatting with it low if your doing raw or single ply so I guess I will keep it there for now.

  22. #22
    Ernie Batson
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    I have been using a low bar position for the last two years. That's the way I was taught years ago. So when I started lifting again I natrually went back to what I was taught. After reading this thread and veiwing the vids I tried high bar. Man what a difference. It was ackward at first because it seemed to tilt side to side more. I was able to get my elbows under the bar and keep upright through the whole lift. Might keep using it for the next few weeks to see how it helps over time.
    You can be pitiful or powerful CHOOSE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBatz View Post
    I have been using a low bar position for the last two years. That's the way I was taught years ago. So when I started lifting again I natrually went back to what I was taught. After reading this thread and veiwing the vids I tried high bar. Man what a difference. It was ackward at first because it seemed to tilt side to side more. I was able to get my elbows under the bar and keep upright through the whole lift. Might keep using it for the next few weeks to see how it helps over time.
    Thats bad ass man, you sound just like me, when I first started squatting I learned how to put the bar low but there is no way for me anyway that I can keep the bar low and my elbows directly under the bar, they are under the bar but back a little you know, just like the video of the sqwat rx videos. But thats awesome you like it, I couldn't believe how upright I am squatting now, its freaking awesome.

  24. #24
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    I started high bar and made the transition to low bar recently and love it. Its much easier to squat that way for me (better leverages). Shoulder flexibility is an issue and I hated where it sat at first, but its not bad now. I'll still do high bar for yoke and oly type squats though.

  25. #25
    Ernie Batson
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePunisherson View Post
    But thats awesome you like it, I couldn't believe how upright I am squatting now, its freaking awesome.

    Thanks man. I was actually shocked that I could keep my elbows forward. I have always had shoulder issues and once I added some mass to my back it seem to get worse. I did'nt feel the discomfort I normally feel in my shoulders in low bar position. I still have alot to learn on the road back. Once I get more comfortable with it I will be teaching my athletes the technique. At least give them the choice of which to use.
    You can be pitiful or powerful CHOOSE.

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