Manta Ray


Savage Mystic
May 16, 2003
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I know somebody who uses this abomination cause squats hurt her, but she still wants to squat, just not if it means that much pain. I've asked time and time again whether she could squat with the bar lower, but she insists it's in the proper place alread. So what's the deal with this device? Does it change anything about the movment? I kinda get the feeling not many of you have experience with it, but feel free to chime in if you do.

Off hand it LOOKS like it encourages squating with the bar up high.
I use one because my ivanko bar lacks center knurling...I personally like high bar squats I feel in my self and the kids i coached that it had much better sport transfer. It's also a jem for jumping squats...
This is gonna sound a little lame but I didn't like it because it felt TOO comfortable. Yes it puts the bar high and I found that it stressed my quads more and was easier on my back.

Squats with manta ray > No squats at all
They are extremely comfortable. My high school gym had 2 of those and I used it several moons ago. I really don't remember how I had it positioned to compare it the placement I use now, but it definately made it feel as though the weight was distributed equally through my entire 'upper' back (definately provided some mental security and had me focus on nothing but the explosion). I'd probably use one if my current gym had one, but alas they don't, and it's nothing I'd drop $40 on.
i've used one before. they certainly dont affect the motion, but they do place the bar higher that i would these days. just spreads the load out over a larger area. i wonder if anyone else makes models, or if manta ray makes other models, that facilitate lower bar placement?
that was a very prompt response gentlemen. Thank you very much.

As far as other manta ray models, the only one i see is the sting ray which is intended for front squats.
We have one in my gym, but I've never tried it. There's something about the feeling of controlling a steel bar that's pressing hard into your shoulders. Squats aren't meant to feel cushy.
It forces you to do a high-bar squat and use your quads more than your posterior chain, its a bit similar to squat with a safety-squat bar. Does take some of the stress off of your shoulders though, it can't be all bad if Elitefts carries it.
Sonic Reducer said:
it can't be all bad if Elitefts carries it.


My gym has one. I think it forces one to squat with too high of a bar placement. I, like Wilhelm, enjoy having a heavy BB across my back. It seems to me that it could make squatting more dangerous though. It would be nearly impssible to dump the bar if ou had to...
I've used it before in a commercial gym. It's real comfy, but like everyone else has said, it places the bar high. I liked the manta ray for back squats, but the sting ray was really hard to get into a groove with because you have to place the pads in exactly the right spot otherwise when you're coming up its hard to balance.
I don't like the sting ray, it's really annoying trying to make the pads fit properly and even...
Depending on whether its the feeling she doesn't like or the fact that its doing something fundementally bad to her (ie she has a chronic injury that its aggivating), she could try a hip belt (if its the latter). It would work her posterior chain without putting that back under any undue stress
It's just the pressure of the bar itself, not a pre-existing injury.
the hipbelt seems like a good idea, I always wanted one bc it seems like a good way to be able to do
squats in my apartment, but lo and behold, no cash :(
what sonic reducer said mostly,

it would help short torso, long leg people maintain their shin position.
Urban said:
It's just the pressure of the bar itself, not a pre-existing injury.

Ah, I see.

Bit of a wimp then. She can just stick with it and get used to it

Maybe if she lowered the weight and got used to the feeling, interspersed with loading up the bar and just standing there. It would remove the discomfort of the bar shifting when she squats and she can concentrate on the feeling alone without worrying about ditching etc. When she tries the normal weight the pressure will feel like nothing.

Personally I'd also suggest some pull ups, get some padding on the upper back where the bar rests, that might help her out as well.

Hip belts aren't that expensive are they loyal....maybe 100 dollars or something
I own an Ironmind Hip belt, which was my main means of working legs for a few months. It has its value, is sturdy as hell BUT IN NO WAY DOES REPLACE ANY KIND OF SQUATTING. Have her do front squats if there is no other way out. Hip belts are good but are somewhat of an isolation movement, like a leg press. Way inferior to any kind of real squatting. Good assistance exercise though.