Late December, I switched to the high bar back squat, after spending six months trying and never quite "getting" the low bar position. (Remember the back squat portion of my CFT, during which Struck said I was in serious danger of getting taco-ed?) So I started playing around with the high bar position, and immediately fell in love. My form immediately got better, and I'm increasing weight with decent mechanics pretty quickly. Trouble is, my form is still pretty inconsistent from one rep to the next.
I haven't been able to meet with my Trainer in the past month, so he hasn't been able to actually coach this new high bar position. And most of the tutorial-style material I found on CrossFit and You Tube relate to the low bar position. So I've been relying on my Trainer's video coaching and our telephone talks about how the high bar position is different. It's tough, however, because I have six months of low bar burned into my muscle memory... and low bar CUES burnt into my brain.
That was why I was SO excited to find this Squat Rx #21 video clip. For those of you who don't know, Squat Rx is an amazing series of You Tube videos, designed to address every aspect of the squat (and related exercises). The videos demonstrate proper form, common form issues, corrections and assistance drills. They are genius, and I've watched many of them several times.
Trouble is, there are a TON of these tutorials - 26, to be exact. So I hadn't worked my way up to video #21 until yesterday. After watching it, I cursed myself for not having sought it out sooner. In this short clip, Boris talks about how the "sit back" squat cue works very well for a low bar position... but not so hot for a high bar. And damn if I haven't been trying to FORCE that cue to make sense with my last two squat sessions.
My Trainer has been trying to talk to me about proper high bar form, but I am very much a hands-on learner. If you physically put me in the correct position, I can then duplicate that form consistently. Barring that, if you can show me a "this is good" versus "this is not good" demonstration, I'll have a decent shot at picking it up. So while he's been trying to get me to "see" what I need to do during our phone conversations (essentially telling me exactly what this video demonstrates), once I SAW it, I feel like it totally clicked.
Check out yesterday's squat session below. My form is still inconsistent - one rep is good, the next, not so good - but I can SEE myself trying hard to "sit back" and not being able to make it work. And when I forget about that cue and just focus on maintaining tension and getting my ass down (like the first rep of the second set)... I think it looks MUCH better.
Take some time to review Boris' squat series - starting from the beginning. Because I'm pretty sure no matter how good you are, everyone could use a little Squat Rx from time to time.
P.S. I have received some complaints that black pants make it difficult to check out my "form" in these videos. I am going to generously assume that these are legitimate concerns by those attempting to assess my lumbar curve, hamstring tension and squat depth, and will address this issue in future videos.