Box squats and barbell hack squats

First off, I just read a new e-book by Jim Steel of Bas Barbell Club called the Book of Programs.  It's an excellent compendium of programs that will get you strong.  It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the over-marketed programs one commonly sees but what it does have is a creator that has actually been in the trenches and gotten thousands of people stronger, not just internet strong but real-life strong.

Second, a fellow lifter whose training log I follow recently posted a video with his latest training session of some barbell hack squats that he has incorporated into his routine.  It's such an old-school exercise that I literally haven't done it in over 20 years but after seeing it again, a lightbulb went off in my head and I decided I needed to try them again.

Today is my supplemental training day so I added not only the barbell hack squats but also some box squats.  I added the box squats because I need to re-train my squat pattern and the box squat is an excellent method for training the hip thrust/drive in the squat.  Before when I had done box squats, I had done them using my prior squat form and, of course, doing them that way doesn't add anything that a pause squat doesn't already do.  Now, when I tried them, making sure to try to pop my hips forwards off the box instead of just raising them up (imagine taking that Rippetoe hip drive video and over-emphasizing that hip drive move so that the hips stay back as they rise).  I got good at pushing at the invisible hand on my low back but never actually drove the hips forwards back under my shoulders--which is where the hip drive really is.

Squat-Morning example:  hips going up, staying back and not coming forwards until too late in the movement

Since I haven't been hip driving properly--taking that Rippetoe video too literally trains quad drive and a squat-morning rather than a glute powered squat, my strength in this movement pattern is terrible.  I expect it to improve quickly like a plant suddenly watered and fed, but for now, working hard with 185 lbs is a huge dose of humble pie.  The movement I'm trying to re-train is a feeling that, if there were a towel on the box, my hips would be trying to scootch the towel off the front of the box as I hip thrust off the box.  Instead of my hips going up and staying back, they're cued to power forwards right out of the hole.

The barbell hack squats were very interesting.  I kept the weights light in order to get used to the movement but the burning in my quads told me that they were working in ways not familiar.  Since the bar is behind your body, it's very easy to get the hips through, in fact they need to be through quickly or the bar hits and hangs up on your hamstrings.   Aside from added stress on the quads, I think this will be a good tool for me to train my hip thrust on pulls and squats.

I was also very happy to find that my back gave me zero issues during my overhead presses.  I should be able to push up the poundages now that it seems there are no limiting issues.

Front Squats:  135x10, 185x5, 225x5, 245x3, 265x2, 285x0, 285x1  missed the first single because the bar hit the safety bars and threw it off balance, lost the rack and dumped it.  Re-loaded and got it easily after I lowered the safety bars.

Box Squats:  185x5, 185x5, 185x5

Overhead Press:  135x5, 135x5, 165x5, 185x4, 155x8

Barbell Hack Squats:  135x10, 135x10, 155x10, 175x10  super-setted with snatch grip SLDL
Snatch Grip SLDL:  135x10, 135x10, 155x10, 175x10  used light weight and just did these to stretch out



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