Did you ask yourself ‘What is Low Bar Back Squat?’ and wondered, what is the difference between a Low Bar Squat and a Squat?
This video and article discuss:
- What is a Low Bar Back Squat
- The difference between a High Bar Back Squat vs Low Bar Back Squat
- The characteristics and benefits of a Low Bar Back Squat
In order to clarify, what a Low Bar Back Squat is, let’s first look at the different squat variations.
There are 3 different and basic squat variations
- The Back Squat, where the bar is placed on the back, more specifically on the back of your shoulders (check out What is a Back Squat)
- The Front Squat, where the bar is placed on the front of your shoulders (check out What Do Front Squats Develop and Why You Need To Do Them)
- The Overhead Squat, where the bar is the bar is held overhead (check out What is an Overhead Squat)
If you are interested in the differences between these different squat variations, I have compared the pro’s and con’s of each of these squatting movements in the article
What is a Low Bar Back Squat?
If we now look at the Back Squat, the Back Squat can be further divided into a High Bar Back Squat and a Low Bar Back Squat.
The ‘high bar’ and ‘low bar’ refers to the position of the barbell on the back, or on the back of your shoulders, so whether the barbell is placed ‘high’ on your shoulders or ‘low’ on your shoulders.
High on the shoulders, refers to the bar being placed on your neck or trapezius muscle, low on the shoulders, refers to the bar being placed on you rear deltoids or slightly below the rear deltoids.
The fine art of the Low Bar Back Squat is to place the barbell as low as possible, while you are still able to hold the bar, without rolling down your back.
What is the correct Low Bar Back Squat Grip Width?
What is the right grip for the Low Bar Back Squat?
In order to hold the barbell low on the shoulders, the grip tends to be much wider in a Low Bar Back Squat as opposed to a High Bar Back Squat.
Precisely, the grip should be as wide as necessary, as narrow as possible.
As a result of the lower bar position, there is more forward lean in the Low Bar Back Squat and as a result of the forward lean, the head position is not as straight as in the High Bar Back Squat. The head is more aligned with the rest of the body and you end up looking slightly down, instead of straight ahead.
Why can you lift more weight in the Low Bar Back Squat?
There are a few different reasons, why you can lift more weight in the Low Bar Back Squat vs High Bar Back Squat.
The barbell is placed lower on your shoulders, consequently, the distance between your center of mass and the barbell is shorter. The shorter distance results in a shorter lever, which allows you to ultimately lift more weight than in the High Bar Back Squat.
The stronger forward lean allows you to engage the muscles of the posterior chain to a greater extent, which also helps you to lift higher loads.
One more reason, why you can lift heavier loads in a Low Bar Back Squat is the fact, that due to the stronger forward lean, you travel less distance, which results in you being able to use heavier loads.
Concluding What is a Low Bar Back Squat
The Low Bar Back Squat is next to the High Bar Back Squat a Back Squat variation.
The Low Bar Back Squat is characterised by a lower barbell position on the back of your shoulders and results in a stronger forward lean and allows you to lift heavier loads, due to a shorter lever between barbell and center of mass, more engagement of the posterior chain and less distance travelled of the barbell.