Article On Box Squatting - AnabolicMinds.com

Article On Box Squatting

  1. YellowJacket's Avatar
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    Article On Box Squatting


    Box Squatting
    By: Louie Simmons
    Box squatting is the most effective method to produce a first-rate squat. This is, in my opinion, the safest way to squat because you don't use as much weight as you would with a regular squat.
    Let me say first that, no, they won't hurt your spine, you don't use1000 lbs. on a 25 inch tall box, you don't rock on the box, you don't touch and go, and there is no need to do regular power squats before a meet. No knee wraps are worn nor are the straps of the suit pulled up.
    By doing sets of 2 reps for at least 8 sets with short rest periods, you will get about a 200 lb. carryover to your regular squat. Two of our lifters finished their lifting cycle before a meet with 8 sets of 2 reps with 505 lbs. off a slightly below parallel box, and both squatted 700 for a meet PR One was competing in the 242s and the other as a 275. Two years before, in his first meet, our 275 pounder squatted 465 - quite an improvement!
    There are many advantages to box squatting. One of the most important is recuperation. You can train more often on a box than you can doing regular squats. The original Westside boys (Culver City, CA) did them three times a week, which I feel is a bit extreme, but they paved the way for this type of training. We do them for the squat part of our workout on Fridays and occasionally on Mondays to build hip and low back power for deadlifting. The NBA's Utah Jazz do box squats for the same reason - recuperation. Greg Shepherd, their strength coach, is a former member of the Culver City gym.
    The second reason is equally important. It is generally accepted that you should keep your shins perpendicular to the floor when squatting. With box squatting, you can go past this point (that is, an imaginary line drawn from your ankle to your knee will point toward your body), which places all the stress on the major squatting muscles- hips, glutes, lower back, and hamstrings. This is a tremendous advantage-
    Thirdly, you don't have to ask anyone if you were parallel. Once you establish a below parallel height, all of your squats will be just that -below parallel. I have seen it over and over. As the weights get heavier, the squats get higher. This can't happen with box squats.

    If your hips are weak, use a below parallel box with a wide stance. If you need low back power, use a close stance, below parallel. If your quads are weak, work on a parallel box. If you have a sticking point about 2 inches above parallel, as is common, then work on a box that is 2 inches above parallel. Our advanced squatters use all below parallel boxes. This builds so much power out of the hole that there will be no sticking points.
    As an added bonus, box squats will build the deadlift as well by overloading the hips and lower back muscles. Your ability to explode off the floor will increase greatly. One of our 275 pounders, Jerry Obradovich, put 50 lbs. on his dead lift in 3 months by doing extra box squats during that time period, going from 672 to 722 at the 1994 APF Junior Nationals. Chuck Vogelpohl deadlifts only about once in 8 weeks yet pulls 793 in the 242s. Chuck relies on wide box squats on a low, 12-inch box and does a lot of reverse hypers and chest-supported rows.
    Now, how do you do a box squat? They are performed just like regular squats. Fill your abdomen with air, and push out against your belt. Push your knees out as far as possible to the sides and with a tightly arched back, squat back, not down, until you completely sit on the box. Every muscle is kept tight while on the box with the exception of the hip flexors. By releasing and then contracting the hip flexors and arching the upper back, you will jump off the box, building tremendous starting strength. Remember to sit back and down, not straight down. Your hamstrings will be strengthened to a high degree, which is essential. Many don't know this, but the hamstrings are hip extensors. Some great squatters have large quads and some do not, but they all have large hamstrings where they tie into the glutes. Remember to sit on the box completely and flex off.
    Now, how do you know how much you can full squat if you box squat all the time? Well, let's say you have squatted 600 lbs. in a meet and decided to box squat. Let's say you can do 550 off a parallel box; that's a 50-lb. carry-over. Now you are doing only box squats and you take a weight 4-6 weeks into the cycle. You hit a 575 squat, a 25-lb. jump on that particular box. This will carry over to your 600 contest best. So now expect a 625 at your next meet.
    I recommend that you train with 65-82% of your box record on each particular box height that you use. Change box heights every 3-4 weeks. Do not base the training weight on your full squat record! Box squats are much harder than full squats! Do 8-12 sets of 2 reps with 1 minute rest between sets. This is a tough workout! The week that you reach 82%, reduce the sets to 6. Don't train with more than 82%. You can try a max the after you train with 82%. If you are going to a meet, take a weight 2 weeks before the meet. The week before the meet use 70% for 6-8 sets.
    This type of squatting is hard work, but each rep shouldn't be hard. Don't get psyched up to do your sets. We have found that 2 reps is ideal because any more may cause bicipital tendonitis and if you are doing 12 sets, you are doing 12 first reps per workout. After all, the first rep is the most important one. This will make your contest squat much better. Our most talented lifters will do best on their first rep and then tire quickly whereas our lower skilled people will do better after the first rep is completed because they use the first rep as a body awareness tool. As they become more skilled, their first rep will be their best.
    I know box squatting is not common, mostly because no one knows how do them. After reading this or watching my squat tape you should be fully aware of the benefits. Many great squatters have done box squats including Marv Phillips, Larry Kidney, Roger Estep, Matt Dimel, and of course George Fern, who did an 853 squat in track shorts in 1970. If box squats didn't work, we wouldn't do them. We have 20 lifters who have squatted over 700 lbs. in a meet including a 198 who has done 804. 1 hope this article clears up any misconceptions and leads to great success on the lifting platform.

  2. msclbldrguy's Avatar
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    I started using this technique recently and it is awesome. i had not been going down to quite parallel and came across an article about box squats a coupla months ago. when i resume training again in about 2 weeks, i'm gonna start with 'em again. thanks for the post yj....great stuff.
  3. LunaHotel's Avatar
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    That seems pretty crazy... You actually sit down on the box with the bar on your back??? Man, I can't even IMAGINE doing that................
    •   
       

  4. T-Bar's Avatar
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    Originally posted by LunaHotel
    That seems pretty crazy... You actually sit down on the box with the bar on your back??? Man, I can't even IMAGINE doing that................
     

    I think you just sort of touch your ass to the box, I don't belive the idea here is to just plop down on the box like you're about to hit the couch after a long days work. I know that at my gym there was this poster that explained how to squat properly and it mentioned squatting down to a bench and said that it was bad cuz you could injur your spine, but I think you'd have to be bouncing your ass off the bench/box for that to happen.
  5. LunaHotel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by YellowJacket
    Box Squatting
    By: Louie Simmons
    (...) Push your knees out as far as possible to the sides and with a tightly arched back, squat back, not down, until you completely sit on the box. Every muscle is kept tight while on the box with the exception of the hip flexors. By releasing and then contracting the hip flexors and arching the upper back, you will jump off the box, building tremendous starting strength. Remember to sit back and down, not straight down. Your hamstrings will be strengthened to a high degree, which is essential. (...) Remember to sit on the box completely and flex off.
    (...)
    So you *DO* sit down completely, and actually release all the hip flexors. I don't think of "plopping down" or anysuch, but still that seems unimaginable. Also, he talks of squatting BACK not DOWN, which essentially means a movement that you COULD NOT DO without the box : you would fall on your back at some point, at least that's what it looks like to me. Does anyone here actually do this? It sure seems interesting, but of course I would benefit from knowing EXACTLY how to perform this before.
  6. YellowJacket's Avatar
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    I have been doing them, with lighter weight. I do them jsut as the article describes.
  7. LunaHotel's Avatar
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    Does that mean that I assume correctly that the form, i.e. squatting BACK not DOWN means that if you were to squat that way without a box you would fall on your back at some point?
  8. pinoy's Avatar
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    i wish i can do box squats but i workout at a bally's gym and they have no boxes
  9. iron addict's Avatar
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    Pinoy,

    If you are tall enough you will find a bench works just fine. Until you have actually done a box squat you have no idea what you are missing. If your knees are bad, GET ON THE BOX! Box squats reduce knee stress to a hge degree. Westside Barbell TOATLLY dominates powerlifting and the rarely squat without a box.

    Luna,

    The box teaches how you really should be squatting, it doesn't provide a way to squat that you can't do without a box. After using the box for awhile you will find your regular squat has transformed.

    Iron Addict
  10. pinoy's Avatar
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    i don't think using a bench would be good enough for me to be bellow parallel
  11. iron addict's Avatar
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    You DON'T have to go below parrallel. Westside trainnes use various benches, from way below parrallel to a couple of inches above. A good solid parrallel squat, or even an inch or so above is more than adequate to work your squat effectively.

    Iron Addict
  12. sage's Avatar
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    ROM isnt set when box squating pinoy. its more for finding and working out the where your weak point is when performing an actual full range squat. the times ive incorportated weak-point training, (box squats, floor presses,etc), its in accordance to where my usual "sticking" point is. however, i might be in the minority in liking box squats. i say target different areas of the lower half of the body by moving the angles and width of your stance/feet, rather than stopping at a certain point in an exercise, and working out the weakness.
    Sage
  13. db682's Avatar
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    Box squating is an extremly old technique. I played high school football for the state champs 2 years in a row and we used a program called "BIGGER,FASTER,STRONGER" It's pretty much the basics of the NFL.
    We were never allowed to squat without a box or chair because we were always told that the forces acting on the joints and ligaments around the knee become dangerously high anywhere beyond parallel. The movement really works to high hell though. The only problem with it is that if you use a smith machine its hard to keep the correct form while going though it.

    yipee, Ive legs tonight.
    db
  14. Iron Warrior's Avatar
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    Originally posted by pinoy
    i wish i can do box squats but i workout at a bally's gym and they have no boxes
    Geez bro, I know what you mean. I also workout at Bally's and they don't have great equipment since the majority of their members are women, teens, or just average Joe's that don't care about bodybuilding. I've nagged them for a measely neck machine but they say it's not necessary to have such a machine.
  15. pinoy's Avatar
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    thx for the replies guys, i'm gonna use a bench next time i squat

    and yes bally's sucks ass, wish there was a real hardcore gym around me, my gym doesn't even have a ghr bench!
  16. ex_banana-eater's Avatar
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    Box squatting and westside techniques improved my squat better than any training I did preceding it.

    You dont fall backward when squatting "back." Louie says that in a general sense, you want to focus more on hamstrings and glutes which are way stronger than the calves.
  17. LunaHotel's Avatar
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    I get you, ex_banana-eater. BTW, is there a reason why you don't eat bananas anymore?

    Iron Warrior, stop complaining, your gym is full of playmates, at least
  18. Iron Warrior's Avatar
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    Originally posted by LunaHotel
    Iron Warrior, stop complaining, your gym is full of playmates, at least
    You're right bro, I'll quit being a baby, but damm, I'm not joking. There's lots of hotties to go around in my gym and about half of them are MILF's
  

  
 

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