As you are going about your workout routine, one exercise you may come across and decide to perform is the box squat. Box squats are ideal for anyone who is looking to build strength in their lower body and who may not be fully comfortable doing a full squat yet or who simply needs to find an alternative to full squatting for the time being.
The box squat offers a number of benefits when done properly and should be included in just about every workout routine. Sadly, it often gets overlooked and the benefits get missed.
Let’s give you the 101 on what the box squat is and how to integrate it into your workout program plan.
What Is The Box Squat And What Benefits Will You Get
The box squat is, as the name suggests, a squat that is done on a box. Essentially you are placing the box behind you and then lowering the body down onto the box, sitting on it and then standing up from there.
What benefits does doing this have?
The first big benefit to the box squat is the fact that it allows you to reach back more than you would otherwise be able to do so. Because you have the box there to catch your back, you can sit back into the squat, whereas if you were just doing a free squat, you would likely fall to the floor doing the same movement. This can target your muscles from a slightly different angle, giving you unique results that you otherwise would not get.
Second, the box squat also forces you to come up out of the squat position without using the stretch reflex that you get when doing a normal squat. This stretch reflex can be very powerful and can help you get up through the movement, reducing how much total strength is required.
By sitting back on the box, you take all momentum out of the picture so the only thing left to power you through the exercise is your own sheer muscular force.
Another nice benefit about the box squat is that if you aren’t squatting as deep as possible but rather choosing to squat to parallel, the box squat keeps you more consistent. With this exercise, you are going to be squatting down to the same height each and every time you do the box squat. Since the box height doesn’t change, this ensures that you are able to gauge progress better.
Performing The Box Squat
So now that you can see the benefits of the box squat, how do you perform it?
First, you’ll get a box to your desired height level and set it directly behind your body. The lower the box is, the harder this box squat is going to be. Most people will position it so it’s right around knee height or slightly lower. This way, your knees will hit a 90 degree bend as you lower yourself down.
Once the box is behind you, then you simply bend the knees and sit back onto it, keeping the back as upright as possible as you do. Most people will place a barbell across their back as they do this, however you can also do it with just your own bodyweight if you prefer.
Sit down on the box momentarily and then press back up to complete the rep. Repeat from there until all reps are completed.
Adding The Box Squat To Your Workout Routine
The box squat can be done as the major focal point of your workout routine or as an accessory exercise depending on how you want to structure it in. If doing it as your main focus lift, you’ll want to perform it early on in the workout routine when you are feeling fresh.
Doing it as an accessory? If so, perform it later on after your other compound exercises are done, focusing on using a lighter weight and a higher rep range.
So there you have the key points to know and remember about the box squat. When done properly, it can be a very effective movement for building lower body strength.