Box Squsts - Box Height vs Application

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Box Squsts - Box Height vs Application

Postby Alex on Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:33 am

Been touching on this a little in Ader's Journal and thought it may be interesting to give it a thread of it's own and widen up the discussion.

The more adopted method for Box Squats is a low height, below parallel, for aiding power out of the hole but this has been highlighted already that it's only really in PL that this is has a practical use.

For more sports based applications a higher box height may be in order as torso can be kept more upright and thus more power can from the Glutes and Hams. Also it's very rare that one would nedd to generate leg power from a parallel position or below in most sport applications.

So perhaps a combination of a higher box height and standard Squat may be the way to forward when developing leg power in sport applications due to the potential to great a greater load on the Glute/Ham area.
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Re: Box Squsts - Box Height vs Application

Postby Karlos on Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:47 am

For the drive phase of sprinting/or sled pulling/pushuing the hip bends up to and even slightly past 90 degrees and you want to be able to generate power from that hip angle. I also think recruitment of glutes and hams is slightly more with greater hip flexion.

I see your point though, for most invasion sports slightly higher box squats may be more useful, and as you say training with a variation of joint angles, leverage, depths etc is optimal.
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Re: Box Squsts - Box Height vs Application

Postby Coop_de_Ville on Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:57 am

I think the nature of the lift (taking away the stretch reflex) is enough of a change up for the majority of athletes whos sport relies on the stretch shortening cycle to generate power and speed so for an athlete doing these for the first time or even just bringing them into the program at certain periods of training is enough to bring about a performance increase.

I suppose the heigh of the box would also depend on the phase of training the athlete is in, for example if the athlete is in a power phase then like Alex says a higher box height would be more beneficial as you can lift a similar weight to a full squat for fire it up quicker and if the athlete is in a strenght phase more weight could be loaded up for overload of the CNS .

I guess there is a whole load of different ways you could do this lift to get a whole load of different responses!
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Re: Box Squsts - Box Height vs Application

Postby cleaver on Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:58 am

I think you need to think knee angle more. So if using for sporting enhancements then knee flexion should be less than 90 degrees IMO
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Re: Box Squsts - Box Height vs Application

Postby Ader on Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:47 pm

Karlos wrote:For the drive phase of sprinting/or sled pulling/pushuing the hip bends up to and even slightly past 90 degrees and you want to be able to generate power from that hip angle. I also think recruitment of glutes and hams is slightly more with greater hip flexion.
Is that right? Maybe I'm misreading, but whilst you may lift your knee so you hip angle is quite small, when you actually start pushing you hip is not at 90 see e.g:

Image

But what is interesting to me is the hip is more than 90 but the knee angle which is less than 90 - So very difficult to replciate with one exercise (other than sprinting itself) - So you need to do soemthing to get the small knee angle - so say full squats - But higher than // bench squats are going to better for the hip angle recplication.

I was thinking that for a pushing sled type movement the hip angle would be smaller since your torso will be leaning forward so lower box squats more relevant for that. But when I look at images, the hip angle is effectively only just about parallel.

Here's an intersting idea though:

Image

Great for rugby I imagine
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Re: Box Squsts - Box Height vs Application

Postby cleaver on Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:19 pm

Great for stealth butt seks too.
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Re: Box Squsts - Box Height vs Application

Postby health4ni on Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:28 pm

Alex wrote:For more sports based applications a higher box height may be in order as torso can be kept more upright and thus more power can from the Glutes and Hams.
My experience and teachings thus far indicate that hamstring activation in squats (whatever variation) is far less when not below parallel. Thus, going below parallel means the hamstrings are recruited more.

Variation is always a good thing. But whether it's a PT client or a sports person I try to choose exercises that are going to give me the biggest bang as it were. Generally I prefer below parallel box squats with a very wide stance (a la sumo). That stretches (and consequently strengthens) the hip flexors and as well as working the glutes and hams. And is sufficiently different than standard squats to cause decent adaptations.

Reverse hypers and glute-ham raises would probably lead to better gains when partnered with standard back squats (going below parallel) for ham development/strength, but unfortunately these pieces of equipment are rarely fond in gyms.

Reading some articles written by Louis Simmons would be useful in learning about box squatting.
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Re: Box Squsts - Box Height vs Application

Postby Alex on Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:29 pm

health4ni wrote:
Alex wrote:For more sports based applications a higher box height may be in order as torso can be kept more upright and thus more power can from the Glutes and Hams.
My experience and teachings thus far indicate that hamstring activation in squats (whatever variation) is far less when not below parallel. Thus, going below parallel means the hamstrings are recruited more.

Variation is always a good thing. But whether it's a PT client or a sports person I try to choose exercises that are going to give me the biggest bang as it were. Generally I prefer below parallel box squats with a very wide stance (a la sumo). That stretches (and consequently strengthens) the hip flexors and as well as working the glutes and hams. And is sufficiently different than standard squats to cause decent adaptations.

Reverse hypers and glute-ham raises would probably lead to better gains when partnered with standard back squats (going below parallel) for ham development/strength, but unfortunately these pieces of equipment are rarely fond in gyms.

Reading some articles written by Louis Simmons would be useful in learning about box squatting.


We did touch on the fact that going lower does lead towards a tendancy to be leaning forward more and in theory start transfering load forward onto the Quads. Also if you were able to do a higher variation and a standard squat in different sessions with a 1 week cycle then would be a good combination?
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Re: Box Squsts - Box Height vs Application

Postby health4ni on Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:15 am

For you, yes. You train hard and are committed, and this will work for you. I'd make sure that the feet are different widths. I'd personally go shoulder width for standard Back Squats and very wide for Box Squats.
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Re: Box Squsts - Box Height vs Application

Postby Alex on Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:33 pm

health4ni wrote:For you, yes. You train hard and are committed, and this will work for you. I'd make sure that the feet are different widths. I'd personally go shoulder width for standard Back Squats and very wide for Box Squats.


Differing width is the plan and went for inside Shoulder width this evening for Squats as I tend to go wide with Box Squats. Narrow stance worked out well for me.
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