Low-Bar Squat Uses More Muscle?

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Steve Freides

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The majority of good and great Deadlifters only train the Deadlift once a week or every other week.
No, the majority of good and great Deadlifters - who also train the powerlifting squat - only train the deadlift once a week or every other week.

-S-
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
No, the majority of good and great Deadlifters - who also train the powerlifting squat - only train the deadlift once a week or every other week.
Yes, I would agree that the majority train the Deadlift once a week. While a smaller group train it every 10 to 14 days.

Kenny Croxdale
 

Steve Freides

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What about those who train the high bar squat?
I don't know. High-bar squatters are relatively few and far between in the PL world, but my guess is that it's still the same, probably train SQ regularly and DL once a week or so.

-S-
 

Jeff

Level 4 Valued Member
I don't know. High-bar squatters are relatively few and far between in the PL world, but my guess is that it's still the same, probably train SQ regularly and DL once a week or so.

-S-
I did not specifically mean in the powerlifting community.
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
As always some excellent responses. These are appreciated.

As for the question on DL frequency while high-bar squatting, if I DLed regularly it would likely be once a week at most. Back when I did the Olympic lifts, the only type of DL I did was the Romanian DL, and even then it was not every week. Doing the lifts plus squats after was pretty taxing. Every few months I would try to pull a comfortable max DL and it generally increased. Slowly, but there was an increase.
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
I've thought about trying powerlifting but I just feel like I would do 2 of the 3 lifts "wrong." I can bench PL style with elbows tucked - this feels much better on my shoulders than elbows flared. I don't have a super huge back arch but I imagine this is true for many masters lifters. So my bench would be "normal." The squat I would do high bar - it's the most comfortable for me and it's the only way I know how to squat. As for my deadlift, I feel like I pull darn close to the same, if the not the same, way that I do the first pull of the clean. I tried Mark Rippetoe's way of deadlifting, watched the instruction video twice, but my way just feels more comfortable and I pulled the same amount of weight. I am not saying this just to be an a$$hole - that's just how I like to pull.
 

Steve Freides

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@MikeTheBear, as long as your lifts pass the judges, no one is going to care about whether they're "wrong." I've seen injured lifters bench with their hands touching, I've seen a few high-bar squatters, and as long as you don't hitch your DL, and you put it down without letting go of the bar, you should be good to go.

-S-
 

Jeff

Level 4 Valued Member
I don’t know why but my lower back feels crunched after doing high bar squats last Monday (today is Wednesday). It felt good at the time but the next day and today, not so much.
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 7 Valued Member
I don’t know why but my lower back feels crunched after doing high bar squats last Monday (today is Wednesday). It felt good at the time but the next day and today, not so much.
Did you switch from low-bar to high-bar recently?
I think it's common for people who switch to put the bar higher, but still use a lot of the low-bar technique. That way you create a bigger lever arm, which results in even more lower back involvement.
If you go high-bar you need to minimize the "sit-back" and try to go down as vertically as you can. Really try to sit between the legs.
 

Rif

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Master Certified Instructor
So I bought the Barbell Prescription book and I did like all of the physiology stuff. I couldn't help but skip ahead to the chapter on The Squat. Sure enough, because Mark Rippetoe's company published the book and both authors are SS coaches, the low-bar squat was recommended as the best variant. To be fair, the book did say that for those with extremely tight shoulders or other mobility issues who are "beyond hope" of regaining mobility can do the high-bar squat. This recommendation was followed by a litany of why the high-bar is "inferior."

You all know my stance on this. Consider me "beyond hope" of adopting the low-bar. I guess the book should have added another category: cranky middle-aged guys who refuse to change how they squat. But I am not here to bash the authors about this point. As I said I like the book and am glad I purchased it.

This brings me to my question, and it is a sincere question and I have no intention of saying demeaning comments about Mr. Rippetoe, the authors of the book, or anyone who loves the low-bar squat. My question is this: does the low-bar squat really used "more muscle?" This is the book's main argument about why the low-bar is better. I've read other analyses stating that the two back squat variants use exactly the same amount of muscle mass, it's just that the muscles are used differently. This makes more sense. What says the forum?

I would say no. I did low bar squats exclusively for 13 years of powerlifting competition with the intent to build my glutes and hips as well as a ton of special exercises with that goal as well and it didn't really help near as much as kettlebell swings did for the posterior chain.

Plus I had significantly more leg mass during my time doing high bar squats as a bodybuilder

Also, please compare the musculature of the average olympic weightlifter with that of the average powerlifter. Not even close. Weightlifter and high bar squat wins
 

Anna C

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Elite Certified Instructor
I don't understand the quote. "Not even close," meaning, the olympic lifter has bigger leg muscles? Better looking leg muscles? Stronger leg muscles?
 

Rif

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I don't understand the quote. "Not even close," meaning, the olympic lifter has bigger leg muscles? Better looking leg muscles? Stronger leg muscles?
Yes, olympic weightlifters tend to have much more and better developed legs, hips and glutes than the average powerlifter.Their techniques rely much more on the elastic elements of the muscles as opposed to the tendon/ligament stresses for the powerlifters, as well as leverage techniques
 

Anna C

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Elite Certified Instructor
Yes, olympic weightlifters tend to have much more and better developed legs, hips and glutes than the average powerlifter.Their techniques rely much more on the elastic elements of the muscles as opposed to the tendon/ligament stresses for the powerlifters, as well as leverage techniques
Interesting. Yes, they do look different; the weightlifters being more athletic I would say. Powerlifters seem have less muscle definition in the legs, even at a comparably low body fat percentage.
 

Rif

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Interesting. Yes, they do look different; the weightlifters being more athletic I would say. Powerlifters seem have less muscle definition in the legs, even at a comparably low body fat percentage.

they have muscle mass as well as less definition as classic power squats concentrates on hip and low back strength and development and not quads( legs)
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
Yes, olympic weightlifters tend to have much more and better developed legs, hips and glutes than the average powerlifter.Their techniques rely much more on the elastic elements of the muscles as opposed to the tendon/ligament stresses for the powerlifters, as well as leverage techniques
This is why I really don't understand the SS recommendation for using low bar squats for the development of general strength. LBBS seems like a deadlift with the bar on your back. If the program already has deadlifts in it, this just seems like doubling up. Honestly, as some have already mentioned, I would favor front squats.
 
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Rif

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The weak link in the front squat is being able to hold the shoulders and t spine in extension during what can be very big loads. I prefer the regular style back squat- not HIGH bar or low bar but whatever rack position allows the athlete to stand completely upright at the start and the finish.
With the low bar one has to lean too much, imo. to keep the bar balanced over the mid foot to be optimal
 

Abdul-Rasheed

Level 6 Valued Member
I prefer the regular style back squat- not HIGH bar or low bar but whatever rack position allows the athlete to stand completely upright at the start and the finish.
You meant it doesn't matter if it is HBBS or Front SQ as they are the only ones that allows upright stance for most people? Is that what you meant by 'regular style back squat'? They are the only two choices, yes? Clearly LBBS, as you mentioned, does not let you do that.
 
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