If you’re looking at changing up your Back Squat routine then try adding in some Box Squats. These can be done with a Barbell on your shoulders or if you find that’s too much or your shoulders and upper back are tight and you can’t grab the barbell, then go for a kettlebell or dumbbell.
Advantages of the Box Squat Technique I’ve chosen Box Squats because the movement teaches proper squatting technique. Many initiate a squat with a break at the knees instead of simultaneously breaking at the knees and hips. Box Squats will force you to push your hips backwards rather than drop down and push knees forward. This takes the load away from the quads (think knee joint) and onto the glutes and hamstrings (hip joint).
Power With a normal squat you can use the elasticity in the bottom to bounce out (referred to as the stretch shortening cycle), but with the box squat because you literally sit on a box the elastic energy is now non-existent and pausing on the box forces you to begin the ascend from a dead stop. This will increase power and explosiveness of the glutes and hamstrings ie. it’ll help develop strength to get you out of the bottom of a normal squat.
Depth You want to choose a box height that allows you to hit parallel depth (hips to knees) but of course you can start higher and bring it down the better you get at it. It is a great drill to improve depth because you either sit on the box or you don’t.
Body Tightness A box squat will teach you to keep your body tight because you’ll be sitting on a box with a barbell on your back and if your body isn’t tight you won’t be getting off it.
Stay Awesome Coach Angela Gawthorne