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trap bar squats

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:46 pm
by NordicMan
The trap bar was not something I had heard of, until I read about it on OldTimeStrongman site. I had seen those hexagonal types of bars, but I didn't know how they were used.

This bar looked like a good item, since the basement in my house doesn't allow weights overhead. A power rack wouldn't fit well in my basement, although I would love to have a power rack. So I got a trap bar, to better do squats.

The way I do these is to squat to parallel or below, then rise. I have read cautions not to do this, that one should take a stance which looks basically to me like a deadlift position, with the hips higher than what I am doing.

Am I doing these trap bar squats in a way that may be harmful to me? Sorry, no cell phone or camera by which to take a video of myself, and so let others see just how I have done these.

Re: trap bar squats

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:49 pm
by robertscott
I don't understand how you can squat with a trap bar.

Are you holding it in your hands? If so, you are doing trap bar deadlifts. These are halfway between a squat and a deadlift and are a great all-round lower body exercise.

Re: trap bar squats

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:10 pm
by Stephen Johnson
Trap bar deadlifts are a good deadlift replacement for lifters who have trouble keeping the bar from scraping their shins. And doing them on a block or box high enough that you can't touch the plates to the ground between reps really keeps constant tension on your muscles, as well as tests your grip.

Re: trap bar squats

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:32 am
by stuward
NordicMan wrote:..
The way I do these is to squat to parallel or below, then rise. I have read cautions not to do this, that one should take a stance which looks basically to me like a deadlift position, with the hips higher than what I am doing.
...
Squat depth is one of those often repeated but untrue myth that is deeply ingrained in conventional wisdom. There is nothing wrong with squatting low is you're able to do it with good form. As Stephen said, you can use a platform to gt more range of motion. Some bars have raised handles. Turning the bar upside down will also increase the squat depth and the ROM.

You can change the characteristics of the movemnet by either keeping the kips low and using your quads to squat the bar or keep the hips higher, legs relatively stiff and deadlifting the bar.

Re: trap bar squats

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:15 am
by NordicMan
robertscott wrote:I don't understand how you can squat with a trap bar.

Are you holding it in your hands? If so, you are doing trap bar deadlifts. These are halfway between a squat and a deadlift and are a great all-round lower body exercise.


Yes, I am holding it in my hands. While one person said that he pressed overhead with it, this would be difficult indeed to get it into position.

I called it a trap bar squat, as my feet are flat on the ground, so much as I can, and I squat to where my thighs are parallel, at least to start with, and then I rise. I have seen this cautioned against somewhere, with the recommendation that one take more the deadlift position. Meaning that the hips are higher than if you were squatting with thighs parallel or below. I have done the exercise both ways. I reckon since I have hurt my back before, I am trying to make my back as upright as I can, and keep it as straight as I can.

Re: trap bar squats

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:24 am
by NordicMan
stuward wrote:
NordicMan wrote:..
The way I do these is to squat to parallel or below, then rise. I have read cautions not to do this, that one should take a stance which looks basically to me like a deadlift position, with the hips higher than what I am doing.
...
Squat depth is one of those often repeated but untrue myth that is deeply ingrained in conventional wisdom. There is nothing wrong with squatting low is you're able to do it with good form. As Stephen said, you can use a platform to gt more range of motion. Some bars have raised handles. Turning the bar upside down will also increase the squat depth and the ROM.

You can change the characteristics of the movemnet by either keeping the kips low and using your quads to squat the bar or keep the hips higher, legs relatively stiff and deadlifting the bar.
Yes, you understand what I am saying. I do use my quadriceps the more, it is more of a squat position, or that is what I call it. But with the length of my arms(which are not long, I am more long torsoed and shorter legged), I probably wind up rising to kind of a low deadlift position before I am moving the bar. My hips are low, I am seeking to squat.

Well, all I was asking was do folk who know these things, think that it were best to deadlift(start the lift with your hips higher than parallel). Some writers who deadlift say not to make your legs do so much of the work, or the quads, but to get the whole posterior chain, as they call it, into the work. I think it would be good for me to try this exercise different ways.

Thanks for the answers, it seems to be that people answering here say that it may be done either way.

Re: trap bar squats

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:05 am
by stuward
NordicMan wrote: I probably wind up rising to kind of a low deadlift position before I am moving the bar. My hips are low, I am seeking to squat.
The key point here is to keep your chest up and lead with your shoulders. Your quads will naturally engage. If you want to get the backside engaged, like a deadlift, break it off the floor with your back. The bar will be further to the back with the squat, the deadlift, slightly forward, although both close t the center of your feet.

Re: trap bar squats

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:44 am
by KenDowns
Different positions give different benefits.

I get great results improving my leg drive if I get the hips low, like parallel, and keep my chest up and really concentrate on doing the work with my legs.

Re: trap bar squats

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:53 pm
by robertscott
the main advantage of the trap bar is the more upright torso IMO. Much more lower back friendly.