Thursday, December 21, 2017

High Bar Squat Vs. Low Bar Squat

Why I don't do the low bar squat.

High bar squat or low bar squat, which is better?  That is the question many strength trainees ask and here I will explain why I favor the high bar squat.

I became interested in this question once I resumed training barbell squats in October 2017 after years unable/unwilling to do them due to injuries. As the title indicates, after doing some research, thought and experimentation with the two types of squatting, I have decided that the high bar squat has advantages for strength training and bodybuilding. Although I generally like Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength book and program, I think the high bar squat is a better choice for strength training and bodybuilding than the low bar squat that he recommends, for reasons given below.

Before diving in, let me emphasize that squatting for strength training may differ from squatting in order to lift as much weight as possible for competition. I argue that for building strength in the thighs and hips, the high bar squat is preferable to the low bar squat. However, for lifting as much weight as possible to win a powerlifting competition, the low bar squat might be best, at least for some people.

Why do we squat? To build full range strength and muscle size in the hips and thighs, particularly the front thighs, consisting of the quadriceps femoris. So, which builds greater full range strength in the hips and quadriceps, the high bar or low bar squat?

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