I am not going to write a huge piece on the difference between high-bar and low-bar squats. I’m sure I’ll have to soon, but for today you get 5 cues that usually work—if they don’t, you’re screwed.
1) Barbell on top of traps—duh. It may hurt. If it does STFU and don’t admit it.
2) Relax your arms and use a clean grip. When I say relax, I mean literally let them hang. The tighter your arms are the more you’ll want to turn this into a low-bar squat. The looser your arms are the more we’ll have to rely on the back arch to support the bar. Wrists should be neutral and hanging as well. If you can’t use a clean grip or relax your arms then we have some mobility issues.
3) Initiate right down the middle. No pushing the hips back, no “closing the car door”. Try to think about squatting ass literally to ankles so that your glutes are on top of your achilles in the bottom. I even will instruct people to break the knees before the hips if they are struggling to understand this.
4) Arch your back. The high-bar squat is an accessory lift for the clean, so with that in mind we should be practicing in the position we’ll receive the clean. You’ll NEVER catch a clean in a low-bar type position, so make sure you’re arched as much as possible to maintain bar support throughout the lift.
5) Control the fall and bounce out of the bottom. I can talk science about the stretch shortening cycle and neural inhibition, but simply put—bouncing out of the bottom makes you be able to lift more weight (if your midline can support it). This will be a new concept to some of you, but it will transfer to ever aspect of your squatting and allow you to utilize the stored energy throughout your legs.
I know these are not perfect as I am typically an adductor and have a tendency for my pos chain to take over about halfway up. However, you’ll get the idea of the bounce and the speed you should be carrying the bar down with.
Rudy – HBBS 385X2:
*Make sure to use your high-bar 1rm for these percentages. If you do not have a high-bar 1rm then cut 10-20% off of your low-bar 1rm for an estimated number.
1) High-Bar Back Squat: 1X10 @ 60%, 1X8 @ 65%, 1X6 @ 70%, 1X4 @ 75% – rest 2-3 min. between each set.
2a) 4X3 Shoulder Press – heaviest possible, rest 60 sec.
2b) Front Squats: 1X5 @ 60%, 1X5 @ 65%, 2X5 @ 70% – rest 60 sec.
5 X 120 yard Prowler Shuttle Run @ 90/50# – rest 2 minutes.
Notes: Shuttle run/push should be performed by doing: 10yd down – 10 yd back, 20 yd down – 20 yd back, 30 yd down – 30 yd back. Use high handles for push down and low handles for push back.
20 minutes alternating practice/testing between HS Walks and Standing Vertical Jump Test.
Notes: For vertical testing use whatever implement you can. You may touch a spot on the wall, hang rings high and measure them, or simply hang a tape measure from the ceiling. Do not take a run or a drop step to start. This should be a two foot standing jump test. Obviously, measure the height of your highest reach and subtract from highest height touched to find your number. Take at least 5 attempts.