Why do Crossfitters use High-Bar Squats? Why do Crossfitters use High-Bar Squats?

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Thread: Why do Crossfitters use High-Bar Squats?

  1. #1
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    Default Why do Crossfitters use High-Bar Squats?

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    What is the stated utility of high bar squats for this group? Does it match reality? Are low-bar squats better for the stated application? Is it simply dogma?

    I fully expect to be slammed and receive snarky answers. I simply want to know why they are not doing low-bar squats. There has to be rationale.

    Some background - I am a former Crossfitter who stumbled across Starting Strength and I am floored by the effectiveness of the program. I find myself sticking on the point of bar position because vertical high bar squats have been jammed into my head repeatedly. However - low bar squats have essentially dissolved my reoccurring back pain, and I am seeing quick strength increases.

  2. #2
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    The high bar squat does not require nearly as much coaching or instruction as the low bar. You get high bar squats if you tell someone to do some back squats and give them no other direction. This makes it easier to use in a group setting or with circuit style crossfit workouts.

    The low bar squat's drawback is that it is a pain in the ass to get right.

  3. #3
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    Well, as a former crossfitter, why did you do high bar? Or if you have no answer, maybe you could ask your former crossfit pod leader :-)

  4. #4
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    So this is your question:

    Quote Originally Posted by jcockerham View Post
    What is the stated utility of high bar squats for this group? Does it match reality? Are low-bar squats better for the stated application? Is it simply dogma?
    Which you seem to have already answered for yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcockerham View Post
    However - low bar squats have essentially dissolved my reoccurring back pain, and I am seeing quick strength increases.
    FTFY

  5. #5
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    Another of those “why doesn’t everybody train for strength” style questions. Personally I don’t think there is anything wrong with high bar squats, I just prefer low bar and if low bar is a better ‘bang for buck’ then it’s a win win.

  6. #6
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    Less individual coaching required for Crossfit-acceptable high bar squat technique.

  7. #7
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    Let me be clear. I agree with low-bar squat after reading the blue book and seeing it's benefits in my own training.

    Where I'm "stuck" so to speak is Crossfit's emphasis on a high bar squat. In the blue book Rip indicates that he believes the low-bar actually translates to Olympic lifts. Crossfitters claim the opposite. I can see one making the argument that high bar squats are easier to program in a Crossfit class, but I'm mostly talking about competitive Crossfitters. They don't (as Rip pointed out early on) generally do Crossfit programming. I fail to see why these people, with around the clock coaching, would adopt a high bar squat if it did not translate to improved performance in their competitions. Is it simply dogma? Or does the high bar squat translate to human movement patterns more optimally? If it does not - could one utilize the low-bar squat to train a competitive Crossfit athlete as a sort of cheat code?

    Also to be fair - I'm asking these questions because I'm wondering about the commercial application of SS principles. I asked a similar question recently regarding sports performance. If the answer is that low bar squatting translates better to the competitive Crossfitter's application than their high bar squat (which is utilized in the video linked below) doesn't it make sense from a commercial standpoint to say so? For example - let's assume that I can somehow through hard work and diligence and dedication and good luck be accepted as an SS coach - are individuals who want to compete at something like Crossfit people I should turn down?

    CrossFit TOTALS - 2020 CrossFit Games Finals (Back Squat, Shoulder Press and Deadlift) - YouTube

  8. #8
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    I did CrossFit for a few months many years ago. Two thoughts on your question:

    1) Whether high bar or low bar, squatting means nothing when half the class quarter squats.
    2) Whether high bar or low bar, you're squatting a meaningless amount of weight because you're supposed to do 25 reps.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcockerham View Post
    I fail to see why these people, with around the clock coaching, would adopt a high bar squat if it did not translate to improved performance in their competitions. Is it simply dogma? Or does the high bar squat translate to human movement patterns more optimally? If it does not - could one utilize the low-bar squat to train a competitive Crossfit athlete as a sort of cheat code?
    Perhaps they are merely wrong. You've heard of that happening, I'm sure.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    That is the conclusion I'm leaning towards, and it's like when you find out as a young child that Santa isn't real. You're surprised that anyone would ever believe it!

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