A good Monday to you all. I am back with some real live content, hope you all are ready, woo! I had this idea on this topic and then John Goodman had to go and spoil it for me, oh well I’m positing it anyway. I’m happy to say more people are understanding this topic than once upon a time, but we can still do better. Many people (including some numbskull coaches) will tell you that you must must must, back squat. This is one of the most inaccurate things being said in the fitness realm, especially if you just skip over consideration of the following: What is your thoracic mobility like? Do you have shoulder pain? Are your ankles stiff like they’re in a pair of cement shoes? Is the Illuminati going to rise? Maybe the last one doesn’t matter here.
In any case, if there’s pain with it a certain squat variation, or the movement mechanics look off, the answer to which squat variation you should do, lies with some variation that's not the back squat. At least for a bit or until you can get your hands on a specialty bar.
Some coaches would have you believe not being able to back squat is the end of the universe, it’s not. Still, other coaches would have you believe doing a back squat is the end of the universe, that isn’t it either. Other coaches would have you chuck out bilateral squats entirely, again, a big bucket of nope. It’s entirely about what works for you, your body, and your goals.
Let me just remind everyone before they think I’m hating on the backs squat and I’m just a front squat junky of sorts. I’m not, matter of fact front squats and I fight every time we see each other, but I know it works well for my body mechanics. I’m also lucky enough to have access to those specialty bars I mentioned before. So I’m not locked in to one variation or the other, it all depends, everyone’s favorite term in fitness.
This is a short list of squat variations that go along with the pictures below;
-Back (2 specialty bars pictured below)
-Bulgarian Split Squat
-Single Leg Squat (Off Box)
By no means, is this all there is to choose from and work with, these are just some I gravitate towards for clients. Point being, if you can’t back squat, or simply can’t bilateral squat because of pain, mobility, mechanics, or other reasons not specified here, there’s an alternative out there for you. Match the variation to you, or if you’re not sure, seek out a professional that can help you.
Thanks for reading everyone, hopefully this gave some a little help and didn’t muddy things up in everyone’s brain (too badly at least). Have a week everyone and as always, feel free to reach out with questions or comments!
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS