If you couldn't low-bar back squat, what would you do? If you couldn't low-bar back squat, what would you do?

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Thread: If you couldn't low-bar back squat, what would you do?

  1. #1
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    Default If you couldn't low-bar back squat, what would you do?

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    I have a skin lesion on my upper back, right where the bar goes for squatting. With biopsies and minor surgery in the offing, what should I do? Front squats? Leg press? Add in some RDLs for extra posterior chain work? Currently on this 4-day split, running simple LP for now:

    Monday Bench 3x5; light presses (80% or so of Thursday's presses 3x5+), chins
    Tuesday: Squat 3x5, PC 5x3

    Thursday: Press 3x5; dips, chins
    Friday: Squat 3x5; DL 1x5

    Thanks, Coaches.


    Male, 48, about 190. Progress is steady when I don't travel and miss workouts.

  2. #2
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    Can you high bar, or is that too close to the affected area? If not, front squats. If you do have to switch to front squats, I recommend triples instead of five.

    RDLs wouldn't be a bad idea to partially make up for the lack of hamstrings in your squat. Do a set or two of 5-8 reps after your DLs on Fridays.

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    Thanks, Wolf.

    How, generally speaking, do front squats affect the knees? If I start to slide forward at the bottom of LBBSs, I get sore at the quad insertions. Will I have any similar trouble, with FS being so quad dominant?

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    Front squats can be tough on the knees. You may have the trouble and you may not, there's no way to know for sure ahead of time. I wouldn't say it's a sure thing that you will though, just because you had soreness with knee slide on LBBS. With LBBS knee-slide, it's often an issue of knees staying back, then suddenly slamming forward at the bottom with a loss of tightness. With the front squat, your knees will be going forward through the whole movement, so it's not as much of a sudden slam. It might be OK, you won't really know till you try.
    Last edited by Michael Wolf; 10-20-2013 at 03:16 PM.

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    If I may offer my experience on Front Squatting exclusively...

    I have been using front squats exclusively while Im rehabbing my SI joint (flares up with both high bar and low bar back squats). When you transition to FS only expect some solid soreness in the mid (thoracic) erectors initially as these muscles are critical to keep the bar racked and your shoulders from slouching.

    After my FS sessions I like to hit the reverse hypers for 3 x 12 to give the low back and hammies some work. I have found 40-50kg good mornings at these set and rep ranges are good as well , when my SI joint is amenable to them.

    I find this much FS volume easy on my knees although this could be because I am still well below my old back squat numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kundahli View Post
    If I may offer my experience on Front Squatting exclusively...

    I have been using front squats exclusively while Im rehabbing my SI joint (flares up with both high bar and low bar back squats). When you transition to FS only expect some solid soreness in the mid (thoracic) erectors initially as these muscles are critical to keep the bar racked and your shoulders from slouching.

    After my FS sessions I like to hit the reverse hypers for 3 x 12 to give the low back and hammies some work. I have found 40-50kg good mornings at these set and rep ranges are good as well , when my SI joint is amenable to them.

    I find this much FS volume easy on my knees although this could be because I am still well below my old back squat numbers.
    I'm curious that you can do both front squats and good mornings, but not squats.

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    I'll try them. So 3's... 5x3? 3x3? To just below parallel? I'll watch Rip's video on the FS.

    My gym also has one of those "dead/squat" bars. My take on that is that you end up with a half-squat and a poorly-formed deadlift, all at the same time. Don't know if that's a worthy alternative, though.

    Kundahli, I've read about the thoracic erectors thing. Probably just what I need, to force some improvement into my posture.

    Wolf, do you see any value to the leg press sled in my case, or even generally (aside from Rip's use of it for little old ladies)?

    Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Wolf View Post
    I'm curious that you can do both front squats and good mornings, but not squats.
    Not to hijack the thread but, a possible cause for this is my back squat form is total shit. Its curious to me as well. GM's are hit or miss for encouraging a flare up, I do them with extremely light weight comapred to back squats which may be why I find them tolerable at times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcknshvl View Post
    I'll try them. So 3's... 5x3? 3x3? To just below parallel? I'll watch Rip's video on the FS.
    Yes, watch the video here on the FS. You can go deeper if you'd like, but if you're just training it as your main squat (rather than for clean recovery), I don't see an absolute need to go deeper than below parallel. You might like the physical bounce of hamstrings off calves at the deeper position, though. Try both, see which you prefer. Be sure to keep your back tight, however, if you do go deeper.

    Start low on volume and add. First day or two should be ramping triples to a top set. Then ramping to 2 top sets. Then pyramided warm-up sets to 3x3. Feel it out, especially since you're worried about your knees.

    Quote Originally Posted by pcknshvl View Post
    My gym also has one of those "dead/squat" bars. My take on that is that you end up with a half-squat and a poorly-formed deadlift, all at the same time. Don't know if that's a worthy alternative, though.
    Do you mean a trap bar?

    Quote Originally Posted by pcknshvl View Post
    Wolf, do you see any value to the leg press sled in my case, or even generally (aside from Rip's use of it for little old ladies)?
    No.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kundahli View Post
    Not to hijack the thread but, a possible cause for this is my back squat form is total shit.
    Well that's always a good explanation for weird things.

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