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Nick Tumminello is the owner of Performance University, which provides hybrid fitness training for athletes and educational programs for fitness professionals worldwide. Tumminello has worked with a variety of clients from National Football League (NFL) athletes to professional bodybuilders and figure models to exercise enthusiasts. He has served as the conditioning coach for the Ground Control Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Fight Team. Tumminello has also produced 15 DVDs and is a regular contributor to several major fitness magazines.
1. Farrokhi, S, Pollard, CD, Souza, RB, Chen, YJ, Reischl, S, and Powers, CM. Trunk position influences the kinematics, kinetics, and muscle activity of the lead lower extremity during the forward lunge exercise. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 38(7): 403-409, 2008.2. Youdas, JW, Hollman, JH, Hitchcock, JR, Hoyme, GJ, and Johnsen, JJ. Comparison of hamstring and quadriceps femoris electromyographic activity between men and women during a single-limb squat on both a stable and labile surface. J Strength Cond Res 21(1): 105-111, 2007.
Hi Nick - Great article! Below are a few additional thoughts on high vs low bar The Low Bar Position is typically used with a power lifting style squat (hip break, see below). In the low bar position the bar rests across the posterior deltoids. If a
more» lifter tried to do an Olympic style squat (knee break, vertical torso – see below) with the bar in the low bar position, the bar would tend to rest on the hands and not the torso. Thus, the low bar position is not recommended for an Olympic Style Squat.The reason behind the low bar position is to decrease the lever arm from the bar relative to the hip and the low back. When the lever arm from the bar relative to the hip joint and low back decreases, the torque generated by the bar decreases and the bar can be lifted with less force or by the same token – a greater load could be lifted. Thus, the purpose of the low bar essentially is to make a lift easier rather than placing maximal tension on certain muscle groups. Thus, the low bar position does not seem to be the most obvious choice for the fitness client bodybuilder who is looking to place maximal tension on the involved muscles.With the powerlifting style squat, the change in position of the bar from the traps to the deltoids results in a relatively large change in the lever arm from the bar relative to the hip joint and low back measured in the bottom position of the squat. With an Olympic style squat, the change in position of the bar from the traps to the shoulders would result in a relatively small change, almost none, in the lever arm relative to the hip joint and low back, again if measured in the bottom position of the squat. Thus, even if a low bar position worked well for the Olympic style squat, which it does not, the benefit of the low bar position with this style of squat would be low.While the Olympic Style Squat must be executed with the bar in a high bar position, the powerlifting style squat could be executed with either a high bar or a low bar p«less