I often get asked whether it is better to Deep Back Squat OR Box Squat… the answer is do both BUT your GOALS and PHASE of training will determine which one you need to focus on and when.
DEEP BACK SQUAT:
- Increases your range of motion and depth
- Increases your activation of gluteals
- Relevant to those people who do Olympic Lifts due to relevant depth levels
- When performed correctly it builds muscle quickly
- Improper technique can result in increased load on the spine
- Less work on the hamstrings and posterior chain than the Box Squat
- Less activation of the quadriceps
- Hard to gauge depth for beginners
- Can address weaknesses in squat performance by modifying levels
- The pause phase of the squat generates high levels of force which sparks your explosive strength and power work
- Can use heavier loads and challenge the lower body to a greater level eccentrically
- Focuses on producing the maximal level of force production
- When sitting you naturally lean back which places greater load on the hamstrings and posterior chain which all lifters need.
- Allows beginners to learn the heights at which they need to reach – it measures progress.
- The power output and activation levels aren’t as great in the gluteals.
- Can be unsafe if individuals drop down onto the box too quickly
- Criticism that the box squat doesn’t accurately represent the movements associated with athletic movements and performance.
Based on your goals you should be utilising
STRENGTH FOCUS: BOX SQUAT
HYPERTROPHY FOCUS: DEEP SQUAT
BEGINNERS: BOX SQUAT
MOBILITY & DEPTH: DEEP SQUAT
TECHNIQUE: BOX SQUAT
The box squat should not be considered a replacement for the normal deep squat but as a variation of the squat. It may not be for everyone but I would highly recommend the box squat particularly if you’re looking to overcome a strength plateau.
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