High Bar Squat: What’s More Effective?
The most common question I get from my patients is “What’s more effective?”
When it comes to exercise, there are two main types of exercises. There are those that work muscles in specific areas (like squats) and then there are those that target different muscle groups simultaneously (like bench presses). Both types of exercises have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, squats work your legs while bench presses work your chest. They both help build strength and size but they have different benefits depending on what type of weight you’re using. If you want to lose fat or gain muscle, you need to use exercises that target all three major muscle groups in order to maximize results.
Squats are great for building mass because they target the muscles that make up most of your body. A squat will give you a greater pump than any other exercise, and since it works so many muscles, it helps prevent injuries. You’ll also burn calories during a squat session because it uses up a large amount of energy.
Squats are great for building strength because they develop balance and coordination. Your back won’t hurt after doing squats! Squats also help with flexibility because they strengthen your core muscles which support your spine and keep you stable when walking around or sitting down.
High bar vs. Low bar squat
The biggest difference between high bar and low bar squats is the placement of the barbell on your back. In a high bar squat, the barbell is placed on top of your trapezius muscles which are located at the top of your shoulders. In a low bar squat, the barbell is placed on top of your posterior deltoid muscles which are located at the top of your shoulders and collarbone.
Your trapezius muscles are larger and have a greater potential to receive injury from a heavy barbell over time. When performing a high bar squat, the weight is distributed evenly across both trapezius muscles. In a low bar squat, the weight is more toward the back of your body and can place more stress on your posterior deltoids muscles.
That’s why some people with shoulder problems find that a low bar squat produces less pain in their shoulders.
I believe that if you have shoulder pain, it is best to avoid a high bar squat. Also, as I mentioned before, it’s best to place the bar lower on your back when you’re a beginner because the low bar squat places more stress on your hips and knees.
This is one of my favorite exercises for building up strength in your legs. It’s a basic exercise that has stood the test of time. You can place the bar lower on your back or higher depending on your physical condition.
This is a great exercise to start with when you first start lifting weights because it teaches you to “brace” your core.
Start by placing the barbell on the supports of a power rack. The supports are just metal pipes that extend vertically from the floor to the ceiling. Set the barbell so that it is just above waist height when standing, about mid-thigh.
This will be the starting position of the bar.
When you get used to this exercise, you can increase the weight but remember that if you place the bar lower on your back, it’s harder to lift so don’t over do it. You can also perform this exercise just using your body weight if you don’t have a barbell available.
1. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.
2. Slowly bend at your knees and hips while keeping your back straight.
Keep your head up and do not let it dip forward.
3. Place the bar high up on your shoulders just below your trapezius muscles.
4. Quickly dip down into a squat while keeping your back as straight as possible.
It is very important that you keep your head up and do not let it dip down or forward. Look straight ahead the entire time.
5. At the bottom of the squat, your thighs should be at a right angle.
Hold that position for a moment and make sure that you do not lean forward.
6. Keeping your back in its natural arch, drive with your legs and return to the starting position.
The deadlift is another basic exercise that has been used for years by weight lifters and athletes to build up strength in their lower backs, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. It also helps to build up your grip strength because you’re pulling heavy weights up from the floor. Unlike the squat and the bench press, you do not want to be able to bounce out of your heals.
The deadlift should be a slow, controlled movement.
Always begin with a weight that you know that you can handle. Don’t try to lift too heavy of a weight because you could get hurt and it’s not necessary anyway when you’re just starting out.
The key to the deadlift is to always keep your head up, your back straight, and to keep breathing.
1. Stand with your feet hip width apart.
Bend at your waist and keep your back straight. Your arms should hang down holding the weights with your thumbs around the bar. Take a deep breath in and then breathe out most of the air.
2. Slowly lift the weight off of the floor by extending your hips and knees.
Keep the bar as close to your body as possible. Your shoulders should stay over the wrists and stay straight.
3. Stand completely up and hold the bar at the top for a moment before returning it to the floor.
The last weight lifting exercise that is very beneficial for you to include in your routine is the overhead press. This works on building up your deltoids, triceps, pectorals, biceps, traps, and core muscles. You will need to use dumbbells for this exercise and the heavier the weights you use, the harder it will be.
The overhead press is an excellent exercise because it works on your shoulder stability, which can help prevent injuries when you’re fighting or doing other activities. However, if you have had previous injuries to that area of your body, check with a physician before beginning this exercise.
Always remember to use proper form when doing any weight lifting exercises.
1. Begin by standing with your knees slightly bent and your dumbbells raised over your head with your arms straight. Your palms should be facing each other
2. Slowly lower the dumbbells until they’re almost at ear level and your elbows are extended
3. In a controlled manner, raise the dumbbells back up until your arms are straight again
4. Repeat this movement until you’ve done the desired amount of reps
I hope that you have found these weight lifting exercises useful. Please remember that when you begin doing these exercises, start out slow and light. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any sort of physical exercise program.
Always remember to use the Golden Rule when working out:
If you don’t think that you can lift a certain weight and you don’t have a spotter, then you probably shouldn’t attempt to lift it. If you’re in pain, stop immediately and if something feels wrong, get it checked out by a physician.Exercise is good for your mind, your body, and your spirit.
So make time each day to fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise.
I wish you the best of luck in your fitness goals.
Sources & references used in this article:
A mathematical high bar–human body model for analysing and interpreting mechanical-energetic processes on the high bar by A Arampatzis, GP Brüggemann – Journal of Biomechanics, 1998 – Elsevier
The mechanics of the backward giant circle on the high bar by MR Yeadon, MJ Hiley – Human Movement Science, 2000 – Elsevier
Control of gymnast on a high bar by S Takashima – Proceedings IROS’91: IEEE/RSJ International …, 1991 – ieeexplore.ieee.org
The margin for error when releasing the high bar for dismounts by MJ Hiley, MR Yeadon – Journal of Biomechanics, 2003 – Elsevier