Using a Safety Squat Bar is a great progression to front squat and a great regression to the back squat. This is because the bar has a unique cambered feature that helps target the posterior chain and it has handles in front that mimics the positioning of the front squat.
I typically use this variation with clients who have a difficult time performing a back squat due to weakness, mobility and flexibility restrictions.
Great Carry Over
Since the SSB is a specialty bar it holds great carry over to other movements like the deadlift. Due to the bar being cambered, it creates tension and strengthens your posterior chain. Not only does it target your posterior chain, it does strengthen your quads and core because the bar does position you in an upright position just like a front squat.
Performing a squat with a safety bar gives you the benefits of both the front squat and the back squat as mentioned.
As mentioned previously, the safety bar forces your posterior chain, quads and core to activate more due to the unique features of the bar. You will also lift a much lighter weight while using this bar compared to your back squat, it is very humbling.
Compared to the other squat variations (Goblet Squat, Double KB Squat, Front Squat & Back Squat). Using a safety bar to squat just how it sounds like, it’s safe. Since the bar is placed on your back and handles in front, it takes out the need to externally rotate your shoulder which helps individuals with shoulder and elbow pain.
Performing the SSB Squat
Step 1: Stand under a bar and have it rest on your traps.
Step 2: Hold on to the handles and pull it towards you.
Step 3: Keep your back tight by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Step 4: Push your knees slightly out to open your hips.
Step 5: While keeping your body weight on your midfoot and a neutral spine, slowly lower your hips straight down.
Step 6: As you reach the parallel pause.
Step 7: As you come up, keep your weight midfoot and as you extend your knees squeeze your glutes.
The typical progression for barbell exercises are adding weight, but there are other ways to increase difficulty and intensity with any movement. You can keep loading the bar by 5lbs/2kg, or you can add bands and chains to make the movement more difficult. When you progress this variation, move up the 7 Squat Progressions.
A safety bar can be used during box squats to target specific weakness in your squat movement pattern.
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