The low-bar squat is the superior technique for squatting maximum weight possible!

For my entire lifting career I have always used the high-bar, Olympic style squat. For the mere fact that I wanted to build my squat using a quad dominant, ass-to grass, aesthetically pleasing technique.

Although I’ve always known in the back of my head that for me to full fill my full potential this was not the way to go….but I still kept at it.

Well in the last few weeks that voice of reason in the back of my head has finally convinced me to switch to low-bar and set me on a fast-track to fulfilling my relentless pursuit of becoming as strong as humanly possible.

Within the first week of switching over to low-bar squats I realised that this was a move that would set me 2 steps back and 10 steps forward. The stability and control going through the movement, in comparison to going high-bar was astonishing. After just a couple of training sessions I developed my technique to what feels perfect (or should I say good enough to start focusing on increasing weight on the bar and building speed).

Why I Switched

As I mentioned before my primary concern and drive for training is to lift as much weight as possible….so that is why I switched to using the low-bar technique.

The low-bar technique allows for optimal recruitment of the posterior chain, due to the acute hip angle and wider angle at the knees. Something that has become quite clear through my training is that my posterior-chain is exceptionally strong in comparison to my quads. A good example of this is the fact that my deadlift 1RM is 25% stronger than my squat 1RM. Therefore squatting in a position that will utilise my strengths as much as possible makes sense.

Another reason that going low-bar and adopting a wider stance is better suited for me is the fact that I have a half inch deficit on my left leg. Anyone who has seen my videos will notice that my right leg is always set further back than my left and that I often sway slightly to one side. So having my stance set wider will reduce the effect of the length difference.

Should you

For the majority of lifters the low-bar technique is going to allow the maximum amount of weight to be lifted, although there are individuals who are stronger in the high-bar position, a notable individual who still uses the high-bar position is the famous Raw 308lbs weight class Powerlifter, Eric Lilliebridge.

Whether you go low-bar or not depends on two major factors:

– Is your primary goal from training is to build muscle or lift maximum weight. If it’s to build muscle then your probably better of going high-bar as your going to work the quads a lot better this way.

– If your primary goal is to lift maximum weight, which style of squatting do you feel strongest using.

Benefits of low-bar:

– Best style for lifting maximum weight
– Builds strength and hypertrophy in the posterior chain
– Builds strength in the hips

Benefits of high-bar:

– Optimal for building quad strength and hypertrophy
– Carries over to Olympic lifting and Crossfit better
– Anyone with a lower back injury may feel more comfortable and safer due to the upright positioning of the torso

Look out for part-two of this article were I will discuss in depth, how to perform the low-bar squat and my game plan for smashing big PR’s every workout using my newly adopted technique!