View Full Version : Box Squat dynamics in bench training.

09-13-2009, 09:40 PM
I was sitting here at my computer watching Louie Simmons on youtube instead of writing papers like I should be doing and I had this thought:

The whole point of a box squat is to actually sit down and release the tension in the leg muscles so that there is no potential energy buildup due to the elasticity of the muscles. It forces you to start from scratch on the concentric part of the motion. This works very well for increasing squat strength, sooo...

Why don't we do this on the bench? Why not find an adjustable power rack and set the catch pins right at chest level and after lowering the bar just let it sit on the catch pins for a second so that we are starting from scratch on the concentric part of the movement just like on a box squat?

I've never seen anyone do this, but it seems like it would work to increase bench strength. Or have people been doing this for a while and I'm just the last horse out of the stall?

What do you guys think?

09-13-2009, 09:49 PM
We do it all the time. I dont have a rack so I just rest it on my chest. Powerlifters use 2x4s and such to lift from different points.

09-13-2009, 10:02 PM
I'm familiar with the boards, we use those all the time, but you can't completely relax your muscles like that or the bar will roll down the board and smash your face. It's similar with just resting the bar on your chest, you can't completely relax or it will roll down to your neck or your belly.

I'm mostly thinking of a way to relax entirely.

09-13-2009, 10:14 PM
Also the boards don't allow for a full ROM.

09-13-2009, 10:48 PM
If you can relax entirely doing box squats, you are doing them wrong. imo

Mike Marcano
09-14-2009, 01:14 AM
You are correct lil fella, the point is to reduce any momentum as most people bounce out of the hole. And doing the bench inside a power rack has been done as the O.P. mentioned but it is a great way to do them.

09-14-2009, 03:15 PM
If you can relax entirely doing box squats, you are doing them wrong. imo
Define "relax entirely"? Obviously if we relaxed entirely we would be in a gelatinous pile on the ground with the barbell across our crushed spine.

Louie Simmons (who has to be considered an expert because none of us would know about the exercise had he not popularized and perfected its use) feels we must maintain a tight arch but relax our hip flexors in the seated position. This breaks the eccentric/concentric chain and means the exercises is initiated by hip contraction.

Thats the way to use them to build explosive squatting power. I think many people confuse the goals of athletic/powerlifting protocols with what they are used to in bodybuilding. If you are trying to build huge quads, Box Squats are not the tool of choice. Somerthing that keeps tension on the front thighs would be a better choice. It's all about using the right tool for the job.

The board press gained popularity because it is similar to the feel of benching in a shirt. The lifter must absorb the weight on his chest (through the boards) and press it from a point that the becnch shirt starts to lose its effect.

09-14-2009, 03:36 PM
The board press is NOT meant to work like a box squat. It is meant to work weak/sticking points created by the shirt (where it leaves off and the tris take over).

The exercise you are thinking of for bench press (that would mimic a box squat), is the floor press. No, it is not a full range and yes it hits the tris more, but it works the same as a box squat would. your elbows hit the ground just like your butt on a box. Some muscles stay tight while others relax and then you are forced to overcome a static load.

Floor press = Box Squat

09-14-2009, 05:16 PM

You didn't come up with an innovation but its good to see you thinking deeply about these things. (Doing those papers won't get you any where anyhow. Just buy a degree online from some Caribbean University).