Back Squat derivatives form the cornerstone of many performance strength training programmes owing to our ability to maximally load the Squat pattern and evoke maximal neuromuscular recruitment in a pattern that has good transfer of training to many sports.
In the Fundamentals series we work to retain our primary focus on lumbo-pelvic control and stiffening of the lumbar spine in a good posture as the lower body flexes and extends. Where front loading exercises seen in the Corrective phase force a stiffened ‘neutral’ lumbar spine posture during squatting, rear loading with the Back Squat derivatives opens the door and even encourages lumbar extension, especially when the going gets tough. In sports where movement quality really matter we consider that an energy leak in hip extension and a potential irritant that we don’t want to transfer into sport skills.
The Box Squat at Level 4 leads us into the Back Squat at Level 5 by placing focus on quality transition between the eccentric and concentric phases. The focus in our technical model is to sit to the box, trunk stiffened and maintain that braced position as the hips initiate the upward drive without arching the back. The goal is to link triple extension of the lower body to a stiffened trunk position.