High Bar vs. Low Bar Back Squat

Posted on 09-22-2015 by dminter in CFM

image-2The Back Squat. Such a fundamental and basic movement has a large impact on other lifts – from cleans to snatching. There is no one right technique, however, for our advancement in the sport of CrossFit, the high bar back squat is most useful.

When we receive the bar in a clean….our torso should remain erect.
How about during a snatch? Same upright catch position. Breaking at the hip or a forward bend results in a failed lift.

Being able to maintain a tight midline throughout these Olympic movements will become easier with a heavier back squat. The only way to improve this is to use the same mechanics and body positioning that is required in both catch positions.

When we perform a high bar back squat, the bar is placed between our traps and the top of our shoulder blades. Not only are we retracting our scaps, but we are pulling our lats down, creating a shield around our midline. The elbows will be tucked in and under the bar instead of out and up (as we would use for the low bar back squat). Our lower body mechanics remain the same – feet outside shoulder width and slightly angled out, getting our butt below parallel, weight in the heels, knees out, and making sure our midline is staying intact.

Take a look at the images below to help better understand positioning.

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-courtesy of CrossFit Milford