Barbell squats (dumb question)

  • bradinspace

    Posts: 4

    Jan 30, 2012 9:10 AM GMT
    Returning to fitness after a long hiatus, and attempting to use some equipment I've never used before - like the large barbell.

    Anyone got any tips for good technique on the barbell squat?

    I rested the barbell at the top of my spine without any padding. 3 sets, 10 reps, relatively light weight. It was fine throughout, but the next day I felt a lot of pain on the spot, like it had been bruised. Was I resting the barbell in the wrong spot, or will it just hurt until I get used to it?
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jan 30, 2012 10:40 AM GMT
    It depends on your bar position and trap development. If you have no muscle on your traps it's ok to put a towel around your neck. It is hard to tell without seeing you lift. Go to you tube and look up proper form on barbell squat.icon_idea.gif
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    Jan 30, 2012 2:15 PM GMT
    Should be on your shoulders, not on your neck. Towel is helpful.
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    Jan 30, 2012 4:01 PM GMT
    The bar should rest on your traps...and there's nothing wrong with using a pad that wraps around the bar. I have fairly good trap development...and I still use the pad....cause it still hurts, with out it. However..advanced lifters still hastle me about using the "pussy pad" !! These are the one's injecting testosterone...go figure.
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    Jan 30, 2012 4:20 PM GMT
    Yes... what the guys above said. It needs to rest on your traps and will actually fall a little below your neck. Even then, I tend to use a towel or one of the pads 'cause I bruise easily. Haha. Better to be comfortable and use proper form than worry about other dudes being d-bags about you using the pad/towel.

    Or... depending what kind of weight you're using right now, use dumbbells instead and go for more of a full-body exercise. Get some 30-45 pounders to start... do dumbbell squats with the weights at your side, then explode up into a shoulder press/push press and lower down slowly again. You might be surprised how much more you get out of that than a straight barbell squat.
  • bradinspace

    Posts: 4

    Feb 04, 2012 8:48 AM GMT
    Thanks guys. Good advice.
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    Feb 04, 2012 8:52 AM GMT
    The bar should sit comfortably across your traps and not directly on your spine.

    BUT.... form is critical for squats to avoid injury. Do not rely on some youtube demo for squats. always get a trainer /gym instructor to show you this exercise properly.

    After that, always watch your form in the mirror. Ensure your back is always in its 'natural' position and not arched at all.

    Don't be afraid to use a pad... my traps are reasonably developed and I still use one. It allows me to comfortably lift more and protects my back.

    good luck
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    Feb 04, 2012 9:14 AM GMT
    I've heard from multiple sources that this is among the best advice you'll get on improving squat form:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjbPo-EX_5o

    Also covers other big movements. Quite long, but really excellent stuff if you want to perfect your lift and minimize the risk of injury.
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    Feb 05, 2012 2:59 PM GMT
    Super-quick video of proper placement of the bar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_UjunJj-dw
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    Feb 05, 2012 3:02 PM GMT
    MikemikeMike saidIt depends on your bar position and trap development. If you have no muscle on your traps it's ok to put a towel around your neck. It is hard to tell without seeing you lift. Go to you tube and look up proper form on barbell squat.icon_idea.gif


    Bring the bar down a little and let it rest on your shoulders. If you grip the bar and then elevate your elbows behind you a bit it will create a bit of a "cradle" with your shoulders that will help stabilize the bar. Much more comfortable way to carry the weight.