Box Squat Basics-Quick Tutorial

The box squat is a great tool to add to your strength programming.  It  allows you to take control of the squat pattern and fix many bad habits, especially the inability to maintain tension. An important distinction to make is that the box squat is NOT at touch and go squat. A touch and go squat is where you tap the box and come up, which for the most part aren’t beneficial for a stronger squat or improving squat strength or patterning. I rarely if ever use these for squatting with a barbell. A box squat should teach you to sit back under control to the box and to engage your entire posterior chain in the process.

Here are few important things to pay attention to when adding box squats to your routine:

  • If you squat narrow you will want to take on a slightly wider stance on box squats.
  • The box should be set so your hips are slightly below parallel. There is no need to go ass to grass on these. Loading the glutes are a primary purpose.
  • Your lower legs should be pretty strait up and down at the bottom.
  • Control should be maintained in reaching for the box. If you collapse to the box, it is important  to make the box a bit higher and work on sitting back UNDER CONTROL.
  • Maintain tension in the upper back at all times, even when sitting back to the box DO NOT relax on the box. Stay tight, maintain a slight lean forward with the torso and come up explosively.
  • Do NOT rock back while on the box and make your torso more upright then rock forward to stand up.


It will help with accelerating through the squat and make you more explosive. Teach the ability to manage tension throughout the squat pattern and help make your posterior chain and hips stronger.  Many lifters rotate this in their programming or do it solely for a cycle of squat training in the off season. Usually starting at about 70%of 1RM for sets of 5 is a good starting point. You shouldn’t be going heavy and grinding out reps on these.

Here is a quick video on some of the Do’s and Dont’s

There are a couple spots left in our Squat Workshop this Saturday May 11th from 10:30-1:30pm

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