Squats are an important part of any workout, not only building leg muscles but also quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. They also provide an anabolic aspect to your workout, improving overall muscle building.
If you have realized how important squats are in your workout, you may be surprised to learn that adding box squats can not only bring added benefits to your workout routine but it could also improve your squatting technique overall.
What Are Box Squats?
A box squat is a weight-lifting technique with a box or bench placed behind you. The goal is to aim for a box height for a parallel squat, but you can train with a box that is higher or lower depending on your training. With the weight across your shoulders, you lower yourself to a sitting position until you are seated on the box, pause and then lift yourself up again without bouncing.
Benefits of Box Squats
Box squats offer significant benefits in a workout. The biggest benefit is that it can actually improve your squatting technique. Often, people squat by initiating the knees and not the hips which can overload the quads and increasing the chance of injury. By forcing yourself to “sit back” on the bench, you put more pressure on your hips, relieving the pressure on your knees.
With a box squat, you also tend to take a wider than shoulder stance while holding the bar lower and your knees over your toes. This further increases the stress on glutes, hamstrings and your lower back.
Pausing on the box also forces you to rise from a dead stop rather than “bouncing,” increasing posterior chain power.
Athletes also tend to cheat depth in squats as their weight level rises so a box squat keeps you from doing that. Box squats force you to tighten your body in order to come off the box, getting more benefits from the lift.
How to Box Squat
Begin a box squat by standing in a power rack with the box behind you. Step under the bar and place it across your shoulders then squeeze your shoulder blades together, rotating your elbows forward as if you were bending the bar across your shoulders. Create a tight arch in your lower back, lift the bar and step back, your head facing forward. Push your knees and butt out, then start to lower your body. Sit back until your butt is seated on the bench, shins perpendicular to the ground. Pause, relax your hip flexors and then, with your weight on your heels, push your feet and knees out, pushing upward. Lead the movement with our head, continuing up until you reach your starting position.
Box squats can increase the value of your leg workout but can also improve your squat technique overall. The key is to learn how to do the box squat correctly and to continue using free squatting in order to get a good overall workout. Learn more workout techniques by subscribing to my YouTube channel.