I am often asked whether box squatting will help your Raw Squat. My answer is yes. But, there are many reasons to consider in choosing, if it will be just an assistance movement or a direct Raw Squat builder.
1. Squat Style.
A. If you are a wide stance, sit back style squatter, box squats will be a BIG Squat builder. A few
reasons for this.
1. It will teach you form. This will only work if the box is set just below parallel. Once you
go lower, then you normally would on a regular squat, your form will break.
2. It mimics your regular squat form, thus a big carryover.
3. Your hips will thank you! Without the aid of briefs, wide stance squats take a toll on your
hips. That in turn will make it hard to reach depth and you will be more prone to injury.
4. Box squats will build your hips like nothing else. Much needed for this style.
B. If you are a drop squatter, Box Squats will be more of an assistance movement.
1. You have a few options that might be of assistance. Box Squat the traditional way,
which will build your hips. While you may not use as much this style (maybe a bit
more if you are still a bit wide) it never hurts. Or you can drop the box down low
(2″ +) and you can mimic your form. If you try and mimic your form on a higher
you will most likely find that you are out of position. Therefore, you will get less
A. Hips-As mentioned above, if your hips are beat up or injured, Box Squats will be less
stressful, yet build them.
B. Quads-Most injuries on thighs comes from the Eccentric portion of the lift or from
being out of position. While there is an eccentric portion still, you are stopped just
before the breaking point. If there is a box, you will have far less chance of shifting in
C. IT Band-This is a common injury amongst Raw Squatters, especially if you squat wide
and back as I do. When the IT band(s) tighten up, get on the box and of course stretch.
Basically for the same reasons as mentioned above on B.
A. I have found that when trying to get someone explosive, Box Squats are more efficient then
without. Often when going for max speed, the Eccentric portion will be too fast and throw
you out of position, making you slower. This defeats the purpose.
B. Firing off the box, makes your muscles react faster. If done the same style as regular, it makes
you fire with the correct muscles first.
This article is about Box Squatting for Raw Squats. However, box squats are also very effective for deadlifting. Everyone hears the same thing when someone is trying to finish a deadlift…hips, hips, hips! If you sumo deadlift, box squatting is especially beneficial.
One of the biggest reasons for writing this article as mentioned above, I am often asked. But the other, is because you have one side that drinks the “all people must box squat until they die cool aide.” The other thinks the box squat is the devil and somehow makes it a geared lift. So, I feel neither is right. Use boxes for the intended purposes above and of course do good ole fashion squats. This combo will produce the biggest squat and deadlift that is possible for you.
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