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  1. #1
    Registered User Aelius's Avatar
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    Squats without a squat rack

    I work out from home, and I've been doing squats for a few weeks and it had been going quite stellar with substantial increases in weight - I've gotten up to 135lbs now. Unfortunately, at this weight I'm unable to bring the barbell up to my back.

    See, up until now I've managed to get the bar up to my back by (from the floor) deadlifting it up to my thighs, then raising it to my clavicles in the same manner as if performing an upright row, and finally raising it above my head as in a military press and gently resting it on my trapeziuses/scapulae (I apologize for the convoluted breakdown of the mechanics, I'm sure there's a term for my methodology...)

    But it has gotten to around the point where it's straining my shoulders too much to get that weight above my head, not to mention the risk of dropping the barbell onto my vertebrae too hard.

    So, any suggestions for perhaps a new approach to getting around the physics of this without a squat rack? Thanks.
    Last edited by Aelius; 05-12-2010 at 04:37 AM.
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  2. #2
    'Defiant to Injuries' Ironlife's Avatar
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    Higher the posts on your bench press, set bar on that at below shoulder height. Thats what i do..
    Last edited by Ironlife; 05-12-2010 at 05:29 AM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User omgooses's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Aelius View Post
    I've been doing squats for a few weeks and it had been going quite stellar with substantial increases in weight - I've gotten up to 135lbs now. Unfortunately, at this weight I'm unable to bring the barbell up to my back.

    See, up until now I've managed to get the bar up to my back by (from the floor) deadlifting it up to my thighs, then raising it to my clavicles in the same manner as if performing an upright row, and finally raising it above my head as in a military press and gently resting it on my trapeziuses/scapulae (I apologize for the convoluted breakdown of the mechanics, I'm sure there's a term for my methodology...)

    But it has gotten to around the point where it's straining my shoulders too much to get that weight above my head, not to mention the risk of dropping the barbell onto my vertebrae too hard.

    So, any suggestions for perhaps a new approach to getting around the physics of this without a squat rack? Thanks.
    Front squats?

    exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBFrontSquat.html
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  4. #4
    Registered User Aelius's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ironlife View Post
    Higer the posts on your bench press, set bar on that at below shoulder height. Thats what i do..
    Hmm, yeah I might be able to do that. I'd have to find something 15-20 inches high to put the bench on.

    Originally Posted by omgooses View Post
    Front squats?

    exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBFrontSquat.html
    I tried though, unfortunately I can't keep my balance; I would just fall on my face :P
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  5. #5
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Aelius View Post

    I tried though, unfortunately I can't keep my balance; I would just fall on my face :P
    So practice with a lighter weight until you get it right.

    Learn to power clean and use the racking position to hold the bar on your delts.

    This is what I would do if I didn't have a rack. My cleans suck but I can clean enough weight to do low rep sets in front squat.
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  6. #6
    Registered User happymatei's Avatar
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    i remember kai was doing some squats where he took the bar and put it through his legs and he was squating like that, dont know the name, but it is an ideea
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  7. #7
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    Slow down your squats. So okay, now you can do say 135lbs x10. Well, do the same but slow. Count as you go down and up, speaking at a normal pace, "down - one and two and three and four and five, UP one and two and three and four and five." I promise you'll find the same weight MUCH harder with a slow rep.

    Put the bar on a couple of sawhorses and squat from the bottom up.

    Improve your shoulder flexibility or lack of midsection strength or whatever it is stopping you doing front squats, and do them.

    Perhaps the midsection strength would be addressed by overhead squats.



    Someone will suggest Steinborn lifts. I'd never recommend these to any client of mine as they are more than somewhat risky for your back, but you are just some random bloke online so have fun

    Last edited by KyleAaron; 05-12-2010 at 04:49 AM.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Aelius's Avatar
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    Hmm, I just tried front squats again and I could do them properly with the same weight I use for back squats. The last time I tried them was when I first started working out when I was pathetically weak everywhere, haha, but yeah no imbalance problems any more evidently.

    Much appreciated, folks.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Gouber's Avatar
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    Zurcher Squats are another alternative. They were designed for this particular situation.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Joelift's Avatar
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    I'm in the same situation and personally I like hack squats quite a bit.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by happymatei View Post
    i remember kai was doing some squats where he took the bar and put it through his legs and he was squating like that, dont know the name, but it is an ideea
    Jefferson Squats
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  12. #12
    Registered User Daio's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Joelift View Post
    I'm in the same situation and personally I like hack squats quite a bit.

    they are the ones when u hold the bar behind your legs arent they? I do those myself, as I train alone in the garage......also they are safer incase your legs giveway on you on the final Rep
    :)
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  13. #13
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    at home I just load the hell out of some DBs and do what I can...

    I have an extra rack for the BB, I just hate setting all that crap up
    BRB, going hunting...
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by Aelius View Post
    Hmm, I just tried front squats again and I could do them properly with the same weight I use for back squats. The last time I tried them was when I first started working out when I was pathetically weak everywhere, haha, but yeah no imbalance problems any more evidently.

    Much appreciated, folks.
    you wont be able to do the same weight, its a different exercise. If i don't have a squat rack I just power clean the weight up and do front squats with less weight.
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  15. #15
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    If you're serious about building a pair of quads, stop screwing around, and start looking on craigslist for a used power rack and Olympic bar. Skirting around the issue of training heavy and safe will get you nowhere except possibly injured.
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  16. #16
    bulking on lechon and PB shoot2turtle's Avatar
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    put it on the top peg of the bench. sit down on the edge of the bench, duck under bar. stand.
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  17. #17
    Registered User CellTherapy's Avatar
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    dumbel squats
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  18. #18
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    Theres always the curl rack. oh, wait
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  19. #19
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    Front squats.

    Free weight Hack Squats

    (try both of the above standing on a weight plate)

    even regular deadlifts (try different stances)
    CSCS, ACSM cPT.
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  20. #20
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    I have the same problem, so I'll have to buy a squat rack soon. I tried front squats but can't seem to get the bar off the bench onto my shoulders. It hurts too much. Bad form probably.
    "Pain is temporary. It my last for a minute, an hour, or a day. Or even a year. But eventually - it will subside, and something else will take its place. If I quit however, it will last forever."

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    Registered User Camron001's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Aelius View Post
    I work out from home, and I've been doing squats for a few weeks and it had been going quite stellar with substantial increases in weight - I've gotten up to 135lbs now. Unfortunately, at this weight I'm unable to bring the barbell up to my back.

    See, up until now I've managed to get the bar up to my back by (from the floor) deadlifting it up to my thighs, then raising it to my clavicles in the same manner as if performing an upright row, and finally raising it above my head as in a military press and gently resting it on my trapeziuses/scapulae (I apologize for the convoluted breakdown of the mechanics, I'm sure there's a term for my methodology...)

    But it has gotten to around the point where it's straining my shoulders too much to get that weight above my head, not to mention the risk of dropping the barbell onto my vertebrae too hard.

    So, any suggestions for perhaps a new approach to getting around the physics of this without a squat rack? Thanks.
    I think that you were doing some dangerous thing all these years, doing squats without a rack is very dangerous thing, it can even cost your life. I think that you were really lucky all these time, but time will not be the same every day. It’s high time that you get a squat rack for yourself and make your workout session much smoother. It is quite affordable too.
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