Here’s a brief comparison between a high bar and low bar squat (swipe left for photos):

Bar placement:
High bar: Traps.
Low bar: Few inches lower on your posterior belts or mid shoulder.

Foot placement:
High bar: Narrow or shoulder width.
Low bar: Wide.

High bar: Directly under bar.
Low bar: Pushed back.

Chest Angle:
High bar: Tall.
Low bar: Leaning forward.

High bar: Tight.
Low bar: Wide.

Common use:
High bar: Weightlifting.
Low bar: Powerlifting.

Range of motion:
High bar: Greater.
Low bar: Less.

High bar: Athletic stance. Starting and movement positions in sports. Works the anterior chain (especially the quadriceps) more than posterior chain (i.e. glutes & hamstrings). This will lead to low back pain if you don’t balance your routine with posterior chain exercises.

Low bar: To lift more weight and posterior chain involvement. More stress on hips/glutes/hamstrings and less stress on knees. Hence, great for athletes with knee issues, but may cause hip/low back pain if your hamstrings are chronically tight/weak (e.g. from prolonged sitting).
Use proper form for either squat.
Have a balanced exercise routine (anterior vs. posterior chain).
Reduce the weight lifted.
Improve your core strength and roll your hip flexors.
Make it a great day!
Still in pain?
Schedule an appointment with us to confirm the underlying diagnosis and exercise options.

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