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Weight question about the Top Squat

I want to know where the majority of weight is placed when using the Top Squat. Is it placed on the back of the neck or shoulders or back or where?

The weight is distributed evenly throughout the bar across the shoulders or as low on the back as one chooses. The user determines the position.

The great feature is the extended handles that allow comfortable grasping for total bar stability. Further, the handles can be raised or lowered during the squat, a movement that positions the bar in safest and most advantageous placement. This is the best way to use it — let the handles move instead of holding them stiffly out in front.

Many people love it because of shoulder limitations and an abhorrence of the bar-on-the-back pain. The rotation of the bar to a likable position mid-movement is most agreeable for power reps or directing the resistance for quad engagement and performance.

Two out of 100 buyers (or so) are looking for something else and it doesn’t work for them. Unfortunately, shipping has gotten crazy expensive these recent years and we have no distribution, so buyers are unable to test the unit before buying.

Most people say their squats improve in effectiveness and that pain in the back and knees has been eliminated — less wrong stress — since using the TS. And, of course, many people could not squat ‘cuz of shoulder limitations…and now can.

Feels high and goofy for the first few sets.

Takes the usual daring and open mind to accept.

dd


Top Squat question

I’ve heard about your Top Squat and am interested in getting one because a regular bar is uncomfortable on my back. Can you tell me a little more about it?

The Top Squat is super device designed especially for those with shoulders suffering limited range of motion. The unit does not alter the squat’s integrity; it, in fact, improves the weight distribution and the squat’s effectiveness due to the user’s ability to rearrange the bar’s position on the back mid-movement by rolling it a half-roll lower during the squat.

However, in your case, I suggest padding your bar with a layer of folded towel to see if that alone provides sufficient relief. You can also buy a simple bar pad that slips over the bar for extra padding. That might do it and save you money.

The Top Squat is useful in achieving uprightness in the full squat. It’s difficult to discuss technique details without being on the spot, looking, showing and telling. More often, these things are often discovered by trainees themselves as they concentrate on the repeated practice and exercise performance.

Basically, the action of the Top Squat is to start with the handles in a downward position as you locate the bar comfortably on your back. Step into position, stand erect and drop slowly into your squat, raising the handles slightly upward as you descend. This turns the Top Squat with your bar about a quarter to a half roll back and into a more advantageous position for a perfect and more upright squat as it engages the thighs mechanically to assist your strengthening goals.

For people who have constantly tight shoulders from years of training or benching, give it a good go with confidence in learning its qualities and benefits. It takes some dialing in and finesse. The device is cool, and like everything else, it takes a few tries to overcome change as you adjust to the subtleties of feel.

Anything to carry us forward without pain and bad strain.

DD


Top Squat and leg routine question

I recently ordered your Top Squat and love it! I haven’t been able to do squats because of shoulder tightness, and now I can. Brilliant, thank you! I had a couple of questions if you don’t mind. I have access to a squat rack and extension and curl machines, but not leg press or hack squat machine. I’m concerned about excessive butt size using only squats. What do you think?

Thanks for the favorable Top Squat report.

Stick with the squats, using the extension to warm up the thighs and knees for a few sets of 10-12 reps.

Hit the leg curl between squats (superset) for some 80% effort for hamstring stimulation (say for a month) or hit 3-5 sets x 8, 10, 12 reps after your squat routine (an approach for another month).

Mix the reps in the squats from time to time (sets 0f 12 to 15, or 12, 10, 8, 6 – my favorite sequence), try some doubles and singles when you feel secure and muscle mature.

Squats will build up glutes — powerful muscles — only to their prescribed size. Some lifters have a greater propensity of this muscle growth.

Don’t worry. Nothing builds so fast that you don’t have control over it.

You don’t need a leg press or hack machine. Squats do the job.

dave


Will the Top Squat work for me?

Because my knees hurt, I haven’t been able to squat in three years, and am interested in your Top Squat. I want to squat again. Will it work for me?

I and many others love the Top Squat, but I don’t want you to buy it and be disappointed. Sometimes those knees complain no matter what we do.

Do you warm them up with extensions and curls (3-4 sets of 10-12 reps — moderate weight) and some freehand squats to get the juices and groove goin’? Works for me. Any time we return to squats after a long lay off, things everywhere hurt for days. The knees can take weeks to adapt.

The Top Squat does have a great advantage in that the user can locate the bar across the back into a favorable position to engage different regions of the thigh or alleviate load where one doesn’t want it (the knees). It aids in maintaining proper body-over-knee positioning. A good lifter can access and appreciate this advantage. Another thing to consider is femur and tibia and torso proportions — some us have more vulnerability to knee overload if these are in disproportion.

But really, the Top Squat was designed to relieve an issue with my tight shoulders. The idea of the Top Squat is to maintain the true squat movement while affording relief to dysfunctional shoulders. An added benefit is the ability to advantageously position the bar on the back by rotating it slightly with the TS.

Carry on the good fight… DD


What is the name of that bent bar you used to squat with?

I’ve seen pictures of you squatting with a bar that looks bent. Did you bend that bar, or did you buy it?

The bent bar is called a Buffalo Bar, made by IronMind. Very comfortable and effective, and not a new toy. It’s been around for ages — I saw one advertised in a 1950 Perry Rader Iron Man.

IronMind also has another bar I loved called the Apollon Axel, and that was real popular around the gym.


Top Squat vs Front Squat

I have a question about the Top Squat product. I don’t really like regular squats. When I do regular squats, the deeper or heavier I go, I tend to lean forward. When I do front squats, I don’t have this problem and can go deeper and stay more erect. I use the method posted that uses wrist straps as handles (see here and here), which is not bad. Does the Top Squat make it more like a front squat or will I still have the forward lean problem?

Thanks for your interest in the Top Squat.

I believe the unit will accommodate your squatting preference. Imagine using your strap arrangement that allows comfortable hand positioning and relieves stress on the shoulders, but provides no control of the bar as you squat. With light weight you won’t lose it, and to assure its security you no doubt lean forward more than you like.

With the Top Squat you’re in complete control of the bar:

1) Where you place it on the back is not determined by fragile externals (floppy straps or injured body parts), but by your choice for thigh and back loading, safety and development.

2) How you move the bar as you descend — forward on the back by lowering the handles (more lean), or lower on the back by raising the handles (less lean) — is again your choice.

3) Super heavy weight if used is no problem.

4) The unit requires little practice before it’s comfortable and its unique benefits are efficiently applied.

We have a 97.5% success rate thus far (how’s that for a made-up estimate?). The less-than-satisfied may have been in their early stages of training and it was beyond their needs.

Carry on… God’s speed… Dave


My Top Squat arrived

My Top Squat arrived today. It’s everything you said it was and more. Perhaps it could be made so that the handles screw off or can somehow be separated from the bar so that it could fit into a gym bag?

I’m as happy as you are that the Top Squat is a winner.

The very first Top Squat prototype was made with removable handles as you suggested. It was costly and I was never comfortable knowing the handles were not absolutely permanently attached. We quickly went with the one-piece version.

Thanks for the encouraging note… God’s speed… DD


Top squat fit

Just got my new top squat bar attachment. Why doesn’t it fit snugly on the bar like the earlier model? I know the new design helped on cost, but is it supposed to be that way? Any suggestions on how to make it snug?

Lifters have bars of different diameters or even thick bars to accommodate. If yours is what’s called a standard bar, it’ll be looser than average. The larger holding tray works for all bars, is broader on the back for comfort, and with the rubber inserts, the bars won’t shift unless user is inattentive.

Takes a few sets to appreciate its action and worth.

You can use rubber inserts for extra slip-freeness… a modified length of inner tube multi-layered would provide more snugness, and can be modified to fit each specific bar.

Carry on… Dave


Top Squat suggestion

I just got your Top Squat and like it a lot. It would be even better if the handles were removable so it would fit into a gym bag.

Thanks for the note and pleased you like the Top Squat.

We made a TS prototype with collapsible handles and a canvas tout bag, but the costs skyrocketed. So here we are carting the thing around like some battlefield gear and weaponry.

But we’re a tough mob.

dd


Tall and having problems squatting

I’m 6′ 2″ with a long torso and am having trouble doing full squats without bending forward at the bottom. Any suggestions to keep me upright?

How about positioning the bar further from the neck and lower on the back? Changes the center of gravity. Might feel ‘iffy’ at first. Nice ‘n easy does it. Practice.

Check this out, my Top Squat device.

Go… Godspeed… Dave


Top Squat status?

Dave, what’s the status of your new Top Squat? I’ve been waiting to order.

The Top Squat is in production at Sorinex, and we’re [patiently] waiting for the good word. They were supposed to finish up last week (late August), and hopefully we’ll have them in the warehouse soon and be back on track.

The new unit will be all metal, meaning a little smaller and lighter…and cheaper.

We’ll let you know…soon, I hope.

dd


Top Squat in a Smith Machine

Do you have an opinion on using the Top Squat in a Smith machine? Or is it best to go freehand like you did in the video?

The Top Squat is a wonderful, marvelous and fantastic apparatus to enable the lifter with tight or injured shoulders to squat pain-free.

Moreover, the unit enables the lifter (that’s you) to manage the weighted bar on the back as you descend and ascend to locate the sweet spot of resistance to advance squatting joy and effectiveness.

Freehand full squats beat all other squatting methods by a million… unless the lifter has limitations.

“Top Squats are for real men and women,” said Jane to Bob.

“They sure are worth the hard work,” Bob, winking, exclaimed to Jane.

God’speed… DpD


Long-time squatter, loving the Top Squat

MY GOODNESS!!!!! Do I love that Top Squat!! I haven’t squatted that low in that much comfort in a long time. By the second set I had the motion and form down pat. The next five sets I was like a well-greased piston going up and down. I’m very….very pleased.

Most long-time squatters, unless damaged, are attached to tradition. There’s no replacement for the original real squat. I tend to fall into that hardcore category. The TS I find encourages squatting efficiency and effectiveness, safety and comfort. And it gets better with usage.

I was never a powerhouse, but four plates is a lot for a non-powerlifting musclebuilder and I postponed such attempts for a long time. When squatting with the Top Squat, I regularly got four low, no-bounce reps with 400 and let a fifth go by ‘cuz I didn’t have a spot. The worst part is backing the bar from the rack and walking it forward to re-rack. No back or knee pain during the set or over the next days.

Be curious to hear about your progress and the Top Squat applications over time.

DD


Forward lean when squatting

I have a question on your Top Squat product. I don’t really like regular squats. I’ve been using a Manta Ray and it’s fine. With regular squats, the deeper or the heavier I go, I tend to lean forward. I’ve tried your wrist strap suggestion and it works okay. When I do front squats, I don’t have this problem and can go deeper and stay more erect. Does the Top Squat make it more like a front squat or will I still have the forward lean problem?

Thanks for your interest in the TS.

I believe the unit will accommodate your squatting preference. Imagine using your strap arrangement (straps on the bar, bring the hands forward). This allows comfortable hand positioning and relieves stress on the shoulders, but provides no control of the bar as you squat. With light weight you won’t lose it, and to assure its security you no doubt lean forward more than you’d like.

With the Top Squat you’re in complete control of the bar.

1) where you place it on the back is not determined by fragile externals (floppy straps or injured body parts), but by your choice for thigh and back loading, safety and development

2) how you move the bar as you descend — forward on the back by lowering the handles (more lean), or lower on the back by raising the handles (less lean) — is again your choice

3) super heavy weight if used is no problem

4) the unit requires little practice before it’s comfortable and its unique benefits are efficiently applied.

We have a 97.5% success rate thus far, well… more or less. I believe most of the less satisfied were in the earlier stages of training and it was beyond their needs. But of course, depending on the actual problem, the Top Squat may not solve it.

Carry on… God’s speed… Dave


Will the Top Squat fit a ‘standard’ bar?

Thanks for your newsletter — I’ve been reading it since 1999. I’m interested in trying your Top Squat because my shoulders just can’t take it any more, but I’m wondering if it will fit my smaller Standard bar.

The Top Squat was made for a one and one-sixteenth inch bar. It will fit your standard bar a bit loosely, but the slack can be taken up with a section of thin rubber such as a 3″ x 12″ strip of tire inner tube. Once you modify to resolve the looseness, the tubing can be glued in place. The rubberized interior of the unit provides shear resistance preventing easy bar slippage.

Adding inner tube sounds unprofessional, but improvising is the way of iron and steel champions.

The Top Squat is a super addition for squatting. I love it.

Thanks for reading my sometimes convoluted newsletters.

Go strong… DD


Powerlifting Low-Bar Position with the Top Squat

I’m a powerlifter from way back. Will I be able to achieve low-bar positioning with the Top Squat, or will it force me into more of a high-bar position?

Yes. Position yourself under the Top Squat with the handle at 45 degrees. Un-rack and ready yourself for the squat. As you descend you’ll discover you can smoothly adjust the bar’s position on the back with a natural, commonsense up or down movement of the handles. Perfect.

Takes a playful set or two or three to know the unit and its action.

Cheers,  Dave


Praise for the Top Squat

MY GOODNESS!!!!! Do I love that Top Squat!! I haven’t squatted that low in that much comfort in a long time. By the second set I had the motion and form down pat, the next 5 sets I was like a well-greased piston going up and down. I’m very….very pleased.

Most long-time squatters, unless damaged, are attached to tradition… there is no replacement for the original, real squat. I used to fall into that hardcore category. But the top squat encourages squatting efficiency and effectiveness, safety and comfort. And it gets better with usage.

I was never a powerhouse, but four plates is a lot for a non-powerlifter-musclebuilder (I hear they bench 1,000 now) and I postponed such attempts for a long time. Once I started using the top squat, I regularly got four low, no-bounce reps with 400 and let a fifth go by ‘cuz I didn’t have a spot.

The worst part is backing the bar from the rack and walking it forward to re-rack. No back or knee pain during the set or over the next days. I did this regularly for several years.

God’s strength to all the guys and gals… DD


How’s the Top Squat selling?

I saw you Top Squat video on Youtube — similar to the M Freemotion machine. How is it selling?

The Top Squat is a terrific unit to protect and serve the lifter who loves to squat for the action and for the benefits. Great advantages to the forward handle position to enable the lifter with compromised shoulders to squat pain free and perfectly and vigorously.

Further, the handles allow — encourage — the user to advantageously finesse the exertion of the load on the thighs and back by raising or lowering the handles slightly, instinctively or mindfully. I miss the TS like my youth, front teeth and the hair on my head, being no longer being able to squat cuz of balance issues.

The unit is hard to make, ain’t cheap, is very popular with purchasers and users, sells well but not like candy off the shelf.

See ya… here comes my bus… d


Deadlifts and squats

What are your views on deadlifts and squats? Have you found long-term problems with them like you did with shoulders and the bench press?

I love squats and deadlifts and commend them for power and mass. The lifter must be careful, thoughtful, well-fed and rested. Use maximum exertion and muscle engagement rather than very heavy poundages.

Deadlift heavy fewer days per month. Use it as a musclebuilding exercise more often. Throw in unweighted hyperextensions as you please (intuition, desire).

I am wild about my Top Squat… saves shoulders, allows squatting with limited-range shoulders and encourages perfect squatting if you know how.

dave


Top squat after biceps tendon surgery

I tore my distal biceps tendon deadlifting in a meet in November and just had it surgically repaired. I will be a cast or sling for several months. Do you think I would be able to squat using the top squat? I am going nuts to train again!

Tough one!

The Top Squat is an absolutely great device to assist true squatting while saving the shoulders and adding control to movement. You’re limited at the moment (rats) and will invent new and absurd ways to hoist the iron and provide exertion in the days after the repair.

Be sensible… I’d say once you’re on the gym floor post-op and feeling your way around, and your hands can be before you just below the nine position on a clock, you’ll be in action. Practice, light weight, get a spot… good to go.

Getting the arms and hands behind you to stabilize the bar is not smart or necessary…

You’ll appreciate the TS action and application, comfort and safety for good.

Be strong, be grateful, be wise and all that good stuff…

Go… Godspeed… Dave


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