Birthday Back Squats


For Load:

  • Back Squat (high bar focus)


Compare to Oct 2011, Nov 2009

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The high bar back squat has a few hallmarks that will help you identify it:

  • The bar is carried just behind the neck on the trapezius muscles.
  • The torso remains rather upright throughout the movement.
  • Arms are held in a neutral position and the thumbs grip the bar.
  • The knees come to a point in front of the toes and the shins will be well past vertical at the bottom.
  • The quadriceps are the dominant muscles driving the squat.
  • The full range of motion is usually several inches below parallel.


In the high bar back squat, the most common location to set the bar is right on top of the trapezius muscles. This position is known as high bar placement and the decision to keep the bar there will directly influence how the squat will be performed. A high bar back squat is often referred to as an Olympic squat and, in keeping with its name, is the preferred squatting style for many who practice Olympic weightlifting.  The bar needs to stay in balance over the middle of the foot. In a high bar squat, the torso will remain quite upright throughout the movement and the knees will come to a position in front of the toes at the bottom. The lower back is held in extension to avoid injury and maximize force transfer while the arms are held in a neutral position and the thumbs are wrapped around the bar. This posture keeps the bar in balance and also dictates what musculature is emphasized during the squat. A high bar squat relies heavily on the quadriceps to extend the knee and the gluteal muscles to extend the hip. The hamstrings and adductors, while involved during the movement, are not considered the prime movers of this exercise.

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Happy Birthday, Mike Ray!

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Happy Birthday, Methy!!!