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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:42 pm 
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n00b
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Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:29 pm
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Location: Perth, Australia
Hey Guys,

I have been doing the 45 deg Leg Press for a while and am moving onto the Barbell Squat which I believe will give an all round better workout for my legs.

Problem is my shoulder muscles aren't that big and my body fat is on the low side. Result is there isn't much cushioning my neck when the bar is on my shoulders even when I use those sponge braces. I always come up with a sore spot on my vertebrae. I know this won't be good as I up the weights.

Any advice?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:09 am 
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Exalted Seer
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I've heard good things about the Manta Ray


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:18 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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It's a great training aid, and much more secure than a neck roll (stays in place better and much less likely to shift). I use the Manta Ray whenever I squat. The only drawbacks are that it's only good for high-bar squats. Also, you won't be able to use one at powerlifting meets if you ever plan to compete.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:45 am 
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n00b
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I never squat with a pad and my back never hurts. It's gonna be hard to explain but i don't put the bar on my shoulders. I line it up probably around shoulder blade height and lock my elbows. This forces the weight against your back, and not resting on your shoulders. Like i said, it's kinda tough to explain, but that's how real men do it =P


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:38 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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I think what he's describing are low-bar squats. With these the bar rests low on the upper traps, at about the level of the rear delts.

Low-bar squats are prefered by most powerlifters, because they allow you to move more weight. Meanwhile, high-bar squats (bar resting across the top of the traps), are prefered by Olympic lifters (as an assist lift) and most bodybuilders (to target the quads). It's debatable which variation is more functional.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:46 pm 
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n00b
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Matt Z wrote:
I think what he's describing are low-bar squats. With these the bar rests low on the upper traps, at about the level of the rear delts.

Low-bar squats are prefered by most powerlifters, because they allow you to move more weight. Meanwhile, high-bar squats (bar resting across the top of the traps), are prefered by Olympic lifters (as an assist lift) and most bodybuilders (to target the quads). It's debatable which variation is more functional.


That's basically it. I've never squatted/lunged any other way, and i wouldn't want to honestly. When i got back into training recently my first set rested on m shoulders, no pad because i don't use em, and i wanted to shoot myself in the face. The low bar technique really takes the weight off your vertabrae and is WAY more comfortable in my eyes.

To each his own however.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:48 pm 
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In Memoriam: TimD
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Matt, I think they are both worth using. The PL style squat has a lot of carry over in pullig off the ground for snatches and cleans, wherea the high bar targets the quads more, as you said, and also aids in recovery from snatches and cleans, providing a more upright torso. Use 'em both every so often, IMO.
Tim


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:40 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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I agree, high-bar squats can be very uncomfortable. That's why I started using the Manta Ray. It's not a pad, but rather a peice of hard, polymer material that distributes the weight of the bar over a much wider area.

Of course, if you perfer low-bar squats, you don't need such a device, but for those of us why like high-bar squats it's a good thing to have.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:21 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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PS.) My father also uses the Manta Ray. He has bad rotator cuffs in both shoulders and finds that using the Manta Ray makes it easier for him to balance the bar.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:53 pm 
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In Memoriam: TimD
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Last I heard, they had another one out called a sting ray, that allowed you to do the same thing for front squats.
Tim


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:27 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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I have the Stingray also, but I don't like it as much. It seems to shift the weight forward slightly, which is fine with lighter weights, but as you progress to heavier weights, your front delts get a workout just keeping the bar in place.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:35 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Meanwhile, I don't have the wrist flexibility to do Oympic style front squats, so I just stick to back squats.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:50 pm 
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In Memoriam: TimD
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Matt, Hi. Just a question on your front squat technique, you don't actually try to grasp the bar do you? This is one of the most common problems I encounter when teaching them. The bar should be supported on the shoulders, wrists back and fingers extended. You should NOT be grabbing it. If you can get your middle and index on the under of the bar, thats great. We only teach greabbing the bar after you have ascnded, the the elbows come down and you grasp the bar, getting ready for the press, pushpres, pushjerk, or jerk. Also try the "no hands style". You put the bar in the rack, dip, with arms straight and out in front, rest the bar on your shoulders, back out and support it. this forces you into proper position. If you lean too far forward, the bar rolls out onto the floor. If you go too far back, it goes right into your throat. I teach everyone this with an unloaded bar to teach positioning.
Tim


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:17 pm 
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Apprentice
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When I step back from the rack to squat (I don't like to squat inside the rack) I only use my hands to keep the bar positionied slightly above the shoulder blades. This might sound wierd, but I usually move my hands way out...pressing against the inside plates! This gives me a great amount of stability and drive, but would it be a disqualification? While I'm at it...I wish everyone here at ExRx a joyous, healthy Christmas season. K. Rowland

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Squeeze life until it bleeds.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:21 pm 
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In Memoriam: TimD
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Hi Keith, I haven't done a PL comp since 79, and the rules may have changed, but back then, it was perfectly legal, and usually done, to spread the arms and push out against the plates as if you were trying to rip them apart. Don't ask me why or how that was useful, I have no idea, but it did seem to work.
Tim


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