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Top squat or safety bar?

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    Top squat or safety bar?


    I have had shoulder injuries which limit my ROM so it makes squats with a straight bar very uncomfortable and limits the amount of weight I can squat. So I'm considering buying this:

    http://www.davedraper.com/top-squat.html

    Has anyone used this thing?
    I'm going to talk to the gym owner this week and see if i can talk him into getting a safety squat bar in or maybe the top squat before I buy something on my own so I don't have to lug it back n forth all the time.

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    youre gonna look like one of those funny dudes on youtube. but more power to you.

    i have a ****ed up rotator on my left side. squats push its rom just into pain zone. i forsee squats not happening when i get older
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    What funny dudes on YouTube ? What, does nobody use a safety squat bar? I'd rather be able to get my squat on then not. When I do squats I have to hold the handles on the plates , it's ackward and I look like I'm doing some crucifix reinactment
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    i built something like that for like 40 bucks from stuff at home depot. i even have the ability to add plates on the end to make it like a safety squat bar.

    better get some padding on the bar though. the part on the back rides very high and shoulders take quite the beating.
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
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    Use a SSB for now, but take the time to rehab and mobilize your shoulders.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Use a SSB for now, but take the time to rehab and mobilize your shoulders.
    I went thru 3 years of pt and surgeries on shoulders as well as cortisone injections in c6/c7 compacted vertabret. My shoulders are strong but my rom is limited in very few positions. Holding a bar for squats being the main one ecspecially as my shoulders gain mass. I still do my rehab mobility exercises on shoulder days for warm ups but as far a initial rehab time, that time has long passed. SSB is just healthier looking being able to maintain a more natural stance. And from what I read its actually more strenuos on your core making it all around a more effective squat. I just wanna know who's used either product and if the top squat attachment is worth the purchase. That way I could use it at home or gym
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg313 View Post
    I went thru 3 years of pt and surgeries on shoulders as well as cortisone injections in c6/c7 compacted vertabret. My shoulders are strong but my rom is limited in very few positions. Holding a bar for squats being the main one ecspecially as my shoulders gain mass. I still do my rehab mobility exercises on shoulder days for warm ups but as far a initial rehab time, that time has long passed. SSB is just healthier looking being able to maintain a more natural stance. And from what I read its actually more strenuos on your core making it all around a more effective squat. I just wanna know who's used either product and if the top squat attachment is worth the purchase. That way I could use it at home or gym
    Then there's obviously an imbalance in your mobility and training. Most likely, it's going to be from excessive internal rotator use in comparison to external rotator use, which will lead to tight pecs and impingements. SSB is a different movement than a traditional BB squat and should not be viewed as a replacement or alternative. It is a complementary tool to be used in addition to back squats.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post

    Then there's obviously an imbalance in your mobility and training. Most likely, it's going to be from excessive internal rotator use in comparison to external rotator use, which will lead to tight pecs and impingements. SSB is a different movement than a traditional BB squat and should not be viewed as a replacement or alternative. It is a complementary tool to be used in addition to back squats.
    No its from being hit by 2 SUVS in one motorcycle accident then a quad cab diesel in another incident. I'm lucky to have my arms and my mobility is exceptional considering by it. Scar tissue along with they way the stitched my labrum and anchored my shoulder in the left side. But that's another topic and not what I'm asking advice on in particular.

    So what exactly makes a traditional squat more effective then a safety bar squat? From all I've read the later sounds more effective. I haven't yet read anything that suggest otherwise. Same muscle groups are being worked with less negative impact it seems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg313 View Post
    No its from being hit by 2 SUVS in one motorcycle accident then a quad cab diesel in another incident. I'm lucky to have my arms and my mobility is exceptional considering by it. Scar tissue along with they way the stitched my labrum and anchored my shoulder in the left side. But that's another topic and not what I'm asking advice on in particular.

    So what exactly makes a traditional squat more effective then a safety bar squat? From all I've read the later sounds more effective. I haven't yet read anything that suggest otherwise. Same muscle groups are being worked with less negative impact it seems.
    The SSB requires more upper back strength and shifts the load. Your numbers will be lowered and the technique is different.
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    I have severe arthritis in my shoulders & have not been able to squat for a few years. The gym I currently go to has a safe squat bar but without any handles. I've tried it for 2 weeks now with light weight but I think a top squat piece would be better for me because of the handles. After seeing this thread, I might have to pull the trigger on this..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post

    The SSB requires more upper back strength and shifts the load. Your numbers will be lowered and the technique is different.

    So it sounds that as far as function and building strength the SSB is more effective as a core exercise the the traditional squat. Only downfall is that you won't be able to concentrate as much weight on your legs. Am I understanding this right? Or will the load shift make the lighter weight seem heavier on you legs making it as effective as heavier weight on a straight bar?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg313 View Post
    So it sounds that as far as function and building strength the SSB is more effective as a core exercise the the traditional squat. Only downfall is that you won't be able to concentrate as much weight on your legs. Am I understanding this right? Or will the load shift make the lighter weight seem heavier on you legs making it as effective as heavier weight on a straight bar?
    It shifts the weight to the upper back moreso than the core. The extra girth will more it difficult to fully dig in the traps during the setup and shift the weight to the area. Your thighs will be able to do the weight easily, but other weaknesses in the chain limit the poundages. Like I said, it's meant as something to be done in addition to back squats.

    Quick question: are your humerus' internally rotated? Ideally, your palms should be in the "neutral" position at rest on the side of your thighs. Most people will their palms pronated and slightly in front of their thighs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post

    Quick question: are your humerus' internally rotated? Ideally, your palms should be in the "neutral" position at rest on the side of your thighs. Most people will their palms pronated and slightly in front of their thighs.
    At rest my palms are middle of my thighs . Although my left arm now hangs about 1 1/2" shorter then my right. Same with reach. They can put you back together and but it'll never be like new. If I put my left arm up like I were holding a bar behind my kneck my hand will not reach parallel or further back then my elbow so grabbing a straight bar properly is just not an option.
    A simple way to see it is one of my rehab exercises. Stand back against a wall with your elbows on the wall shoulder high and hands straight up. (45* angle like a scare crow). Can both your hands touch the wall? For me my left is about 4"s off the wall. Normally with that exercise once you've got your hands to touch the wall you raise you arms up while maintaining full arm/hand contact with the wall until you hands come together with fully extended arms against the wall above your head. This is the only mobility exercise that my arm wouldn't do even after 1 1/2years of intense phys therapy (I went thru 2 other therapists in the year before that weren't as knowledgable until I got a great sport pt). Granted my arm on the wall started out literally with my left hand point directly away from the wall in front of me, so bringing it back to where I can now is a great improvement. Squats are my only hindrance.
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    http://www.mindandmuscle.net/article...-shoulder/Your imbalance is only partially derived from the injuries and the shoulder itself. A lot of it is from training imbalances in planar focus.
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    I'm thinking maybe doing a combo of the SSB and smith machine. That way I'm engaging all the muscle groups of a successful squat. Since smith is good for the major leg muscle groups but does nothing for stability and SSB covers the stabilizers and engages the upper back more and in turn draws away from the amount off weight you can concentrate on the legs. Sounds like its comparable. Sucks to have to do two exercises to achieve the effects of one but it does have the bonus of working some upper back in there at least. Which I could use anyhow. How does that game plan sound?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg313 View Post
    I'm thinking maybe doing a combo of the SSB and smith machine. That way I'm engaging all the muscle groups of a successful squat. Since smith is good for the major leg muscle groups but does nothing for stability and SSB covers the stabilizers and engages the upper back more and in turn draws away from the amount off weight you can concentrate on the legs. Sounds like its comparable. Sucks to have to do two exercises to achieve the effects of one but it does have the bonus of working some upper back in there at least. Which I could use anyhow. How does that game plan sound?
    Absolutely do NOT use the Smith machine for squats. It is an unnatural angle and should not be used.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    http://www.mindandmuscle.net/article...-shoulder/Your imbalance is only partially derived from the injuries and the shoulder itself. A lot of it is from training imbalances in planar focus.
    Your not taking into account soft tissue damage resulting in scar tissue as well as cartilage and bone damage. It's not that the muscle won't do it. I went through 3 days a week pt for a year (at the most intensive period of treatment) with a professional sports therapist and was unable to achieve only a few minor functions of the arm. I was not heavily weight training during my PT. I was only doing the supervised training i received at the time. You seem to keep pressing the issue past what my questions are. Lemme ask , have you ever had one of your arms nearly tore off your body?

    P.s. not being a dick. Just trying put it in perspective for you
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post

    Absolutely do NOT use the Smith machine for squats. It is an unnatural angle and should not be used.
    Then SSB and the sled.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg313 View Post
    Your not taking into account soft tissue damage resulting in scar tissue as well as cartilage and bone damage. It's not that the muscle won't do it. I went through 3 days a week pt for a year (at the most intensive period of treatment) with a professional sports therapist and was unable to achieve only a few minor functions of the arm. I was not heavily weight training during my PT. I was only doing the supervised training i received at the time. You seem to keep pressing the issue past what my questions are. Lemme ask , have you ever had one of your arms nearly tore off your body?


    P.s. not being a dick. Just trying put it in perspective for you

    I've had my shoulder nearly destroyed while training for both BJJ competitions and MMA. You're missing the point that I'm trying to make and that is you can still increase your mobility within the shoulders to where you will not need to make the SSB necessary. There is also a difference between rehabbing and corrective exercise for posture. Your arms are heavily internally rotated per your description and that's why I attached the article.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg313 View Post
    Then SSB and the sled.
    There is nothing that will substitute for a bar either in front of you or on your back. If nothing else, switch between fornt squats and SSB, but do not attempt to use a machine for a substitute.
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    What about using a smith machine for front squats? I've been using light weight doing front squats on that machine for 2 weeks & I can really feel it working my thighs. I keep perfect form letting my quads do the work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhino67jg View Post
    What about using a smith machine for front squats? I've been using light weight doing front squats on that machine for 2 weeks & I can really feel it working my thighs. I keep perfect form letting my quads do the work.
    The Smith machine will put the body at an unnatural angle and shift emphasis. IMO, it should never be utilized.
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    What about the rack that's kind of like a smith but it moves front back up down?. We have two at my gym. I only see girls and beginners use them though. Know what I'm talking about?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg313 View Post
    What about the rack that's kind of like a smith but it moves front back up down?. We have two at my gym. I only see girls and beginners use them though. Know what I'm talking about?
    If it's a fixed movement pattern or removes the stabilization aspect, then I don't recommend it.
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    The barbell is on polls but the polls move front to back. So it's a powerack with a barbell you can't remove. Basically the only thing it cheats with is balancing the weight. I'm not sure what you call the thing. Ill try to find one on YouTube
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg313 View Post
    I edited my post to include the stabilization aspect. It's an improvement on the Smith machine, but still far from optimal.
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    I haven't read all of the posts and I'm sure this has been said but I will put in my two cents. The safety squat bar will be a different training effect because it is designed to swing the weight out in front of you making it harder on your mid and low back. However the buffalo barbell is a curved barbell made for squat that puts a lot less stress on your shoulder you could look into that. It could still be a bit too much torque on your shoulder though. Just an idea
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    I just need like 2-3 freakin inches forward from the bar on my shoulders. If they made some kind of bar extension grips, like a couple handles you could just strap around the bar so I don't have to reach so far back.
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    Think straps would be a good option? Now that I think of it I feel dumb for not trying it already . Not sure if it'll be as effective for back squats as front squats.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg313 View Post
    I just need like 2-3 freakin inches forward from the bar on my shoulders. If they made some kind of bar extension grips, like a couple handles you could just strap around the bar so I don't have to reach so far back.
    Look up the buffalo barbell.
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    Just ordered my top squat bar. Looks just like what I need to continue squatting. Tried the safety squat bar in my gym, but no handles on it. It dosent even feel right. Hope the top squat will be a better idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhino67jg View Post
    Just ordered my top squat bar. Looks just like what I need to continue squatting. Tried the safety squat bar in my gym, but no handles on it. It dosent even feel right. Hope the top squat will be a better idea.
    Where did u order it from?
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    I ordered mine threw davedraper.com/top-squat.html. I wanted mine from the manufacturer. I read where some guys who ordered it threw ebay, didnt get the safety velcro straps that come with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhino67jg View Post
    I ordered mine threw davedraper.com/top-squat.html. I wanted mine from the manufacturer. I read where some guys who ordered it threw ebay, didnt get the safety velcro straps that come with it.
    Good call. Been thinking about for a bit especially after 3 shoulder operations.
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    When you get it post your review on it. I was talking to the guy that owns my gym and he said he's used it and it felt ackward because the your arms are out front and the weight isn't offset to counteract the balance like a safety bar. He said it felt like it was gonna slide down his back. He's kind of a scrawny dude not very in shape so i dunno how much I can trust his critique
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    Sure thing
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    Ok, Just received my top squat bar. This thing is built like a tank. Made very well. I weighed it at work on a digital scale & it weighs 12 pounds. There is some play between the bar & the inside of the neck pad. You have to make sure its positioned on the center of the bar because it does have a tendency to slide a bit from left to right, if you physically move it with your hands. It comes with 2 Velcro straps that rap around the neck pad. They are probably not needed, but it's a nice plus for your own peace of mind. Once you get under the top squat you will notice how the bar pushes into the pad, so there is no way the bar will slip out or slide around because of the pressure of the pad pushing the bar upon your traps. I was using the safety squat bar for two weeks working up to 210 for 3 sets of 8. Today with the top squat, I worked up to 240 for 8 reps. After not being able to squat for a few years because of arthritis in my shoulders, I have to say that I do like the top squat & look forward to being able to squat again.
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    Sounds cool, I totally missed the update til now
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    I love the safety squat bar. I have adequate mobility to front and back squat but I like having the safety squat bar as a separate tool.
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    After 3 shoulder operations and arthritis and bone spurs (getting old sucks) I might have to give this a look.

    How was shipping from draper's site?
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