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Cues for engaging upper back in the squat

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Threetrees, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. Threetrees Free Jon Gruden

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    On the ascent

    I was told by my coach when I had one imagine throwing the bar off your back - it puts me off balance and has never worked

    Another one I've heard is press up like you're doing a push press which seems awkward

    Do you have any
     
  2. ASUThermo Wide Right: ╚╦╝ ○

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    Do you squat highbar or low bar?
     
  3. Threetrees Free Jon Gruden

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    low

    mostly
     
  4. JimRussel Brown Belt

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    Those are both terrible cues for a back squat lol.

    One that I always liked to use was to pull down like I was trying to bend the bar over my shoulders.
     
  5. Threetrees Free Jon Gruden

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    Well for the unrack and descent for sure

    But for the ascent almost everyone cues driving your back into bar in some way. Like I'm not sure why youd cue someone to actively pull the bar down when they're coming out of the hole unless that person struggled with bar placement or something
     
  6. JimRussel Brown Belt

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    Huh? It has nothing to do with bar placement.

    You pull the bar down right from the very start, before you even start a rep. It engages your lats as hard as possible and stiffens your entire torso.

    You asked for cues/tips for engaging your upper back during the squat. I gave you a pretty common one. Were you asking me a question in this post or trying to argue with me?
     
  7. Threetrees Free Jon Gruden

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    I'm not arguing I'm just not sure that I'm being clear with what I'm asking
     
  8. deadshot138 Silver Belt

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    There isnt a separate action of pushing your upper back into the bar. All those muscles should be contracting isometrically throughout the movement. If not, you have what's called a disconnected squat that's not one fluid motion but several movements chained together poorly.
     
  9. ASUThermo Wide Right: ╚╦╝ ○

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    Gotta pull the bar tight for low bar.
     
  10. -Magua- Red Belt

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    Man, that would throw me off... having to think of any upper body cue on the ascent.
    Just drive my heels into the ground, which isn’t even a cue.
    As long you make your chest big or fake airlats
    to set the traps at set up... isn’t that enough to have lats set in right position?
     
  11. Threetrees Free Jon Gruden

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    Well I think it's the case that this isnt a positioning cue
    I think, for those who this works for, this is more like "drive your feet through the floor and your upper back into the bar", but I think for a lot of people the latter action is more of a passive thought and additional cueing isnt neccessary
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  12. JimRussel Brown Belt

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    I don’t usually throw out numbers, but I’ve squatted 672 lbs and have no idea what you’re talking about or what this thread is about anymore lol.
     
  13. deadshot138 Silver Belt

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    TS thinks you should do a good morning while ascending in the squat to engage the upper back
     
  14. deadshot138 Silver Belt

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    The cue might be for people who dont set their upper back at the unrack and end up with thoracic rounding on the ascent.
     
  15. Threetrees Free Jon Gruden

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    Not sure why youd need to be rude about it lol, because that's not what I said or implied at all
     
  16. Threetrees Free Jon Gruden

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    Yeah maybe
     
  17. deadshot138 Silver Belt

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    That's how I perceived it, as a separate motion from the squat itself. In meets when attempting a really heavy single I have seen people visibly throw their upper backs into the bar to help with the ascent but i would say its outside of the norm and used when the weight is rpe 10+
     
  18. deadshot138 Silver Belt

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    Typically the "chest high" cue is enough to keep the upper back pressuring the bar.
     
  19. Threetrees Free Jon Gruden

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    Nah I meant as a cue specifically during the ascent, while also pushing into the floor

    It could be that you're right and it is reserved for cueing when working at very high intensity and isnt neccessarily good technique as a general rule (which makes sense to me). It's just something I've talked about with people before but it doesnt make much intuitive sense to me so I just thought I'd see if it does to anyone else.
     
  20. jgarner Silver Belt

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    Personally I like to do front squats as an accessory for my back squats because it really trains you to keep an upper back in a good strong position.

    I've also always thought about squeezing a tennis ball in my arm pit through the entire lift and driving my back into the bar out of the hole. My legs pretty much don't need focus, but if I don't think about my chest up/tight back then I'll turn a squat into a good morning really quickly.

    I wouldn't suggest thinking of throwing the bar off your back as much as driving my back into the bar at the start of the ascent. I'm not trying to throw it off as much as I'm trying to transfer as much force into the bar going back up as possible.
     

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