WSBB Blog: Advanced Box Squatting

WSBB Education
Tue Jun 22, 2021

WSBB Blog: Advanced Box Squatting
Time to read: 2,5 min
 
Westside Barbell has popularized many different exercises, specialty bars, and training modalities over the years. One of the exercises we are probably most associated with is the box squat. The box squat is an exercise that when executed correctly will have a great impact on your competition squat and your posterior chain strength. Over the last 35+ years, Louie Simmons and the lifters of Westside Barbell have experimented with different setups when it comes to box squatting, below we will go over a few that will take your competition squat to the next level.

Giant Cambered Bar with Bands

This is one of the best exercises to start with when beginning to use advanced box squat exercises. The giant cambered bar creates a lot of bar sway, which forces the lifter to maintain posture and keep the chest elevated throughout the lift. With bands attached, the oscillation created is more aggressive forcing the lifter to maintain perfect squat form to resist the forces being applied to their body. This exercise will payoff heavily in both strength gains and technique improvement. If you can execute giant cambered bar squats against bands with perfect form, then a barbell-free squat should be easy.

Safety Squat Bar to a Low Box

if you are a lifter who has weak quads or issues maintaining a neutral cervical and thoracic spine when squatting, this exercise is for you. To properly set this exercise up you will want to set the box height at least two inches below your usual dynamic effort lower box height. A flowerbox can be used, but that would be up to the lifter to decide. This exercise can help teach lifters how to lift the barbell before their hips, which many lifters struggle to do. If you try to the good morning this lift you will have a real bad time. As all good teachers do, this exercise rewards the lifter that does their homework and executes the lift correctly, and punishes those who don’t. Weak quads and bad squat posture? This is the exercise for you.

Beltless Giant Cambered Bar to a Low Box

The most difficult exercise of all box squats, and the lift that separates the strong from the weak, the giant cambered bar to a low box is one of the most challenging ways you can squat barbell. By taking the belt away the exercise is now nearly twice as difficult. This exercise will force you to maintain a proper brace while maintaining a controlled tempo throughout the entire lift. Failure to do so will cause the bar to sway, which in turn collapses the chest and creates a difficult situation for the lower back and legs to figure out. For this reason, this exercise should only be done by those proficient in heavy barbell squatting. If you want to truly know how strong your squat is, this is the exercise you should use.
When it comes to box squats, proper execution is key. Failure to properly descend to the box can result in falling to the box causing issues with the pelvis and lumbar spine. Failure to ascend from the box properly can also cause injury to the lumbar spine of the chest collapses and the legs take over the lift. To execute these exercises safely, you must have great emphasis on form and an understanding of the training effect each specialty bar creates. If you want to take your squat to the next level, consider adding these exercises into your rotation. For more information about box squatting and the Conjugate Method you can visit the Westside Barbell website, or join the Conjugate Club to see how we program box squats at the gym.

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