Low Bar Squat: Does it truly load the Axial Skeleton? Low Bar Squat: Does it truly load the Axial Skeleton?

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Thread: Low Bar Squat: Does it truly load the Axial Skeleton?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    80

    Default Low Bar Squat: Does it truly load the Axial Skeleton?

    Hey Coach,

    This video (little kids holding forth about the squat) is an interesting video comparing the Low Bar Squat to the Olympic Squat, in terms of which to use. They try to keep it as unbiased as possible; at 6:40 of the video they even go as far to demonstrate that the Low Bar isn't applicable to the RECOVERY of the Snatch, even if the Low Bar does produce more similar angles to the Snatch's PULL.

    My question is at 2:40, they demonstrate how the erectors are used to keep the spine in extension, but the weight is going straight down, putting the spine not into compression like a high bar squat, but into rotation.

    The NSCA recommends weight bearing exercises that load the axial skeleton through the spine and hips to provide an osteogenic stimulus for those with osteopenia/osteoporosis. I know this may seem like a stupid question, and I know I'll get flamed for it, but if the Low Bar Back Squatter has to fight shear instead of compression, can it still cause Skeletal Loading/Bone Density Enhancements through the hip and spine? Or will there only be skeletal loading around the scapula and the thoracic spine, due to the weight going straight down? And we all know shear wouldn't necessarily occur if the muscles responsible for maintaining those interverterbral relationships are contracting.
    Last edited by Mark Rippetoe; 10-22-2011 at 07:32 PM. Reason: video removed, since we do not condone such behavior

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
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    38,851

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    The low bar hip-drive position is only applicable to the snatch if heavy weights are used in the lift. See any video of a heavy snatch for confirmation of this. CrossFit personnel may well be under a different impression.

    Now, are you seriously asking if the spine is still under load at the bottom of the squat? Like if the spine wasn't there, the squat could be performed anyway? How much sense does this make? Moment is the force distributed along the spine in any position that is not vertical. There are moment forces on the spine in an Olympic squat and a low-bar squat, the difference is one of degree. Moment is a shear force, i.e. a composition of compression and tension along the segment that would produce shearing strain if it were sufficient to deform the material. As such, a portion of the moment force is compression, and the response of the tissue to this compression component is densification, since that is how bone responds to compressive strain. The compressive component can be calculated with trig, but not by me -- I'm just the qualitative guy. Be ye not insulted when I remind you that taking the bar out of the rack and into the rack produces a more pure compressive stress that would indeed cause the adaptation even if the squat itself somehow stopped being partially compressive during the rep.

    Is this flaming? Sorry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    745

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    Mr. clip toe, I immensely enjoy your replacement of the video with "little kids holding forth about the squat."

    That is all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nevada
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    2,700

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    The low bar hip-drive position is only applicable to the snatch if heavy weights are used in the lift. See any video of a heavy snatch for confirmation of this. CrossFit personnel may well be under a different impression.

    Now, are you seriously asking if the spine is still under load at the bottom of the squat? Like if the spine wasn't there, the squat could be performed anyway? How much sense does this make? Moment is the force distributed along the spine in any position that is not vertical. There are moment forces on the spine in an Olympic squat and a low-bar squat, the difference is one of degree. Moment is a shear force, i.e. a composition of compression and tension along the segment that would produce shearing strain if it were sufficient to deform the material. As such, a portion of the moment force is compression, and the response of the tissue to this compression component is densification, since that is how bone responds to compressive strain. The compressive component can be calculated with trig, but not by me -- I'm just the qualitative guy. Be ye not insulted when I remind you that taking the bar out of the rack and into the rack produces a more pure compressive stress that would indeed cause the adaptation even if the squat itself somehow stopped being partially compressive during the rep.

    Is this flaming? Sorry.

    And in addition to racking and unracking, there is the standing upright that serves as the starting point for each rep. At this time you are taking a deep breath and setting your valsalva. I find this duration to be approximately as long as the rep itself, save for rep 5 of set 3 perhaps.

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