Box-Squats vs Rack-Squats

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by babucher, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. babucher

    babucher New Member

    Hi all,

    I've done my fair share of rack squats in the past (set the safety stands below parallel, begin the squat from the bottom position each rep) and would like to see if anyone has thought about differences between box-squats and rack-squats. From the little that I've read, it looks like the same thing is accomplished with either method. That is, relaxation of the hip flexors and beginning the movement from the 'static' position.

    Quoting Louie Simmons:
    "Static work overcome by dynamic action’ builds explosive strength best. This is precisely what a box squat provides. In addition, you are always breaking parallel. One can also train much lighter; 50-60% of a contest max is all that is necessary to make progress if you keep the lifts explosive and accelerate the bar."

    What led me to this was that I have a tendency to have my right knee come in a little when squatting heavy. I have semi-flat feet, and I'm wondering if the foot pronation that I experience leads to this happening, and if I can overcome it by simply doing wide-stance rack/box squats as I've seen recommended a couple of times on old archives of

    Any thoughts?

  2. I can't claim to be an expert on all of this, but I've found it helps me to keep a wide stance and to "spread the floor" by pushing my feet out against the sides of my shoes. Purposely widening my knees as I go down seems to help. It's something that's good to practice w/ low weight. If you train w/ a spotter, have him verbally remind you to keep your knees out and tell you if you come in.
  3. babucher

    babucher New Member

    Hey chacha,

    Thanks for the tip on pushing my feet against the sides of my shoes. It seems to help a little. My main concern is that I have a strength imbalance that I need to work on, and if rack squats would help.

    It'll be good when I can get to the point where I don't have to be conscious of my knee position, but that it all comes automatic.

    Thanks again,
  4. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Rack squats and box squats will achieve similar things, except box squats will allow a greater weight, and still provide some stretch reflex to the concentric motion.
  5. It appears that box squats resemble Westside's "squat suit" motion, therefore...neurally...adapting to an inherently different movement.
  6. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    yes thats another problem, which can be fixed by altering technique to suit what you are going to lift in, or compete in.
    The advantage is generally breaking the eccentric/concentric cycle :) Dont know if it provides a significant improvement over free squats, but obviously westside (including the origonal westside pre Simmons) found that they work better for speed/strength.
  7. the_dark_master

    the_dark_master New Member

    To help in "keeping the knees out" buy some cheap bungy cord, and form it into a loop - so that there is resistance felt when positioned at knee height; in your normal squat stance. (you can also use this technique when benching - to further utilise the tri's, position BC at wrists; again until slight resistance is felt)

    Or how about building-up inner arch strength with the old bare foot "picking up marbles"...

    I prefer box squats - 'cos I find that being forced to keep "tight" at the btm of the squat promotes better form... esp. when training without a spotter.

  8. babucher

    babucher New Member

    Hey guys, thanks for the tips.

    I recently found out that I have some biomechanical problems (is that the right phrase?) that are affecting my movements. I've got a lot of scar tissue built up in my foot (left, though) that's not allowing me to flex my foot much. ART seems to be helping, though I've only had two treatments so far.

    The guy I'm seeing (Brady) wrote an interesting short article on tendinosis vs tendonitis if you're interested:

    A New Understanding of Overuse Injuries
    The days of overprescribed rest, ice, and medication are over.
    By Dr. William F. Brady, D.C.

  9. bufard

    bufard New Member

    I just completed NASM CPT. and this is what they say about Knees Adduct [Cave in] You have tight Adductors and Iliotibial Band.The first thing you need to do is Foam Roll the next thing is to stretch these tight muscles.And then work on your core and then your Balance.You can find all the information you need for all this on the internet.
  10. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    or you can just be like some Oly lifters and let them cave in...

  11. Chthonian

    Chthonian New Member

    Isn't that a bad thing, Aaron?
  12. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Not necessarily bad, just probably not the best for everyone.

    If its being caused by tightnesses its one thing, if its being done on purpose its another

    they are doing it for a reason, helps leverage the bar outta the bottom of the front squat position.

    Watch the last olympics before the redid the weight classes, niam suleymanoglu would warp his whole body getting outta the clean position.

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