High Bar vs Low Bar Squat: Which Is Better?
Now that you know the differences between the high bar and low bar squat, let’s look at the pros and cons of each squat variation.
High Bar Squat
- Builds bigger quads
- Less stress on the lower back
- Not the best for overall power
- Puts more stress on the knees
- Requires more mobility
Low Bar Squat
- Increases power (greater 1RM)
- Builds bigger booty and hamstrings
- Don’t need to be as flexible
- More stress on the lower back
- Awkward to balance the bar at first
At the end of the day, both high bar and low bar squats have their benefits and limitations. So which variation is best for you depends on your goals and preference.
In my weightlifting career, high bar squats have helped me build some pretty big quads. So they will always have a place in my workout routine.
But since making the switch, I can see how low bar squats may work best for the majority of people and situations. From here on out, I’ll be showing you how to low bar squat.
How To Low Bar Squat
Before you start the exercise, it’s important to get the bar properly positioned on your shoulders. Doing this incorrectly will make you feel uncomfortable under the weight.
Low Bar Squat Bar Position
First, place the lower part of your palms on the bar just outside your shoulder width. Keep your hands on the bar as you step under it and place it on the top of your shoulders.
Next, squeeze your shoulder blades and push your elbows back to create a shelf between your lats and rear delts. Slide the bar down the back of your shoulders until it sits on this shelf.
With the bar in position, you’re ready to stand up, lift the bar off the rack, and step back. Keep in mind, you won’t be able to stand up perfectly straight with the low bar position, which will feel awkward at first.
Low Bar Squat Form
To start, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or wider and your toes angled out slightly. From here, push your hips back and bend at the knees to lower the weight.
When you reach the point where your thighs are just about parallel with the floor, extend your legs and drive your hips forward to push the weight back up. Take a breath in at the top and proceed with another rep.
While performing the low bar squat movement, keep your eyes forward or angled down slightly. Also, try to keep the weight balanced over the center of your foot, not leaned forward on your toes.
Low Bar Squat Video