Introduction to high bar vs. low bar squat bodybuilding
In a bid to take charge of our health and overall standard of living, more and more people have become involved in various forms of physical exercise.
From the occasional casual jogging, swimming, cycling, hiking, to the more extreme bodybuilding, individuals have resorted to different types and degrees of physical exercising for multiple reasons.
Bodybuilding is a type of physical exercise designed to build muscles through a series of resistance and endurance exercises.
Over the course of time, bodybuilding exercises tend to result in a lean and fit form, usually accompanied by improved self-esteem, decreased anxiety, depression, and stress levels, improved nutrition, body, and mental health.
Like with every other activity, acquiring the target goals depends on the efficiency of the actions leading to those goals. So too with bodybuilding, the training course matters.
One common exercise typical of every form of bodybuilding is the squat. We will take a look at the two techniques high bar vs. low bar squat for bodybuilding and athletes. You will need some supplements for recovery, so check out our promo code iHerb page for more information.
Why you have to squat?
Often involving the use of weights, squats involve lowering the torso from an upright position by simultaneously moving the hips backward and bending the knees at an angle of ninety degrees, to later return to an upright position.
Squats are a vital part of bodybuilding and should thus be involved in the training schedule of, and undertaken by every bodybuilder since they are designed to strengthen and build the muscles of the hips, chest, thighs, back, buttocks, and shoulders.
The question about what squatting technique to use, high bar or low bar squat for bodybuilding, has garnered numerous responses over time.
What is a low bar squat and how do you attain it?
Low-bar squats are reported to involve the placement of the bar just over the midline of the body, across the spine of the scapula.
It requires increased use of the muscles of the back like the gluteus and hamstring muscles and is recommended for individuals who struggle with maintaining a good form.
Also to maintain a relatively neutral spine position, your eyes are focused downward in low-bar squats.
To do a low-bar squat, you place your bar across the spine of your scapula, spread your hands and feet widely, with your chest thrust forward.
Next, bend your knees slowly until you attain a ninety-degree angle. Gently lift yourself to the original upright position, breathing out as you rise and breathing in as you lower yourself.
What is a high bar squat and how do you attain it?
High-bar squats are defined as the squatting position involving the placement of the bar across the back of the neck and the top of the shoulders.
With the feet spread just shoulder-width and the chest upright to enable a more comfortable and proper descent to make a squat, and your eyes focused forward.
The most-frequently used squatting position, high-bar squats are reported to be better exercises for the quadriceps muscles.
To do a high-bar squat, you place your bar across the top of your shoulders, spread your feet shoulder-width apart, with your chest upright, then you bend your knees slowly until you attain a ninety-degree angle.
Gently lift yourself to the original upright position, breathing out as you rise and breathing in as you lower yourself.
Differences between high bar vs. low bar squat bodybuilding
A couple of differences distinguish both squatting techniques. A few of these differences include:
- The placement of the bar
Ideally, the low-bar squat technique demands that the bar is placed across the spine of the scapula, while the high-bar squat technique requires that the bar is positioned on the shoulder blades.
- Body position and movement mechanics
How your body should be and is placed on each activity matters since the weight is spread differently. In low-bar squats, your hips are expected to be pushed backward, your hands and feet widely spread, and your chest should be leaning forward.
On the other side, with high-bar squats, your hips should be positioned directly under your body, your feet, and hands narrowly spread, and your chest should be straight to accommodate the weight evenly.
Which athletes should use the low-bar squat technique and who should use the high-bar squat technique?
Determining which squatting technique is ideal for you is crucial.
While it is possible to find ease with either technique; it will be a waste of time if you were to engage in one which will cost you more effort and time to attain the same results as engaging with the other.
As a result, one indicator of what squatting technique to resort to is your leg strength.
Athletes with shorter legs tend to find high-bar squats more natural and more fulfilling than low-bar squats, while those with longer legs are better with low-bar squats.
Also, the nature of exercises and long-term goals in the sport can influence your decision on what squatting techniques to use.
Commonly used by people involved in strongman-style training and powerlifters, the low-bar squat technique is recommended for athletes presenting knee problems since it tends to concentrate the stress of the weight on the gluteus, hamstring, and hip muscles.
Also, the low-bar squats are especially ideal for when the athlete wants to either increase the load on the posterior muscles or to overall increase the weight they want to carry. Read also about the Zercher squat technique.
Also, while it may be ideal for the posterior muscles of the lower limb, the low-bar squatting technique does not utilize the quadriceps muscles, and because there is always a need for balance for an efficient workout, it is necessary to exercise the unattended muscles in other exercises.
On the other hand, high-bar squats are usually employed by recreational and weightlifters, as well as by CrossFit athletes, and enable athletes to strengthen their cores both while exhibiting their athletic stance and when exercising.
While the high-bar squatting technique is reported to be ideal for the development of lower body strength, many believe it is not suitable for athletes with long legs, or for anyone who presents knee issues since they put excess stress on the knees.
Summarily, the question of what squatting technique should be used has been demonstrated to depend on factors like the form of exercise you are interested in, the state-of-health of your knees, your training goals, among others.
While it is impossible to state which technique is better (in our case high bar vs. low bar squat bodybuilding technique), it is evident that both squatting techniques if adequately executed have distinctively fulfilling and unique advantages by themselves.