How To Do High Bar Squat

High Bar Squat Exercise

High Bar Squat primarily builds the quadriceps muscles with secondary emphasis on the hamstrings and gluteus muscles.

This exercise also activates the core muscles in order to stabilise the upper body and to support the lower back.

The High Bar Squat is the ideal exercise if you are into powerlifting because you have to practice the Clean and Jerk and Snatch movements which require a more upright squatting position.

High Bar Squat How To

  • Set up a barbell on the squat rack.
  • Go under the barbell and position it on your upper traps. Your grip should be slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Adapt a shoulder- width stance and angle your feet slightly outward. Your heels should be in line with the bar and your lower back.
  • Stick your chest out and tighten your core then un- rack the weight.
  • Take one step back; assume the same stance and position before you un- racked the weight.
  • Inhale then begin the squat by bending at the hips. Descend under control and keep your lower back tight throughout the movement.
  • You are at the bottom position of the squat once the top of your thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Once you are at the bottom position, exhale then squat up. Maintain the same bar path as the descent.
  • At the top position, make sure you maintain your form before repeating the movement.
  • Repeat the movement until you have completed the targeted number of reps.

Form and Technique

Bar placement is important in the High Bar Squat. The barbell should be placed on top of your upper traps, not on your neck.
This is very dangerous because the neck area is not stable.

Using a weight that is heavier than usual may cause sudden shifts in form which may result in the bar rolling over your neck.

You can either look straight ahead or focus on a spot on the ground before you begin the High Bar Squat.

It is very important to initiate the High Bar Squat by bending at the hips and not at the knees.

Just think of your hips as a hinge and to disengage this hinge by dropping your glutes.

If your hips and hamstrings are tight or lack flexibility, use weightlifting shoes or place one kilo plates under your heels.

Having an elevated heel helps with the transfer of weight from the back foot to the front foot at the ascent of the High Bar Squat.

Variations: Front Squat

Routine for Strength: 3 sets x 12-15 reps

Routine for Muscle Gains: 4-5 sets x 6-8 reps

High Bar Squat