Monday, July 26, 2010

Squatting With "The Pad"

It is dogma. Simply dogma.

Seriously, are you really any more of a man (or woman) if there is nothing between you and the whopping 135lbs of weight bearing down on you? Does the "maxi-pad" (as many internet bad-asses call it) make squatting worthless? A manta-ray, like the one pictured above, is secure to the bar and allows people new to squatting to have one less thing to worry about. 

Squats of all kinds are great - you just have to understand them. A manta-ray squat places the bar in a very high-bar position and thus requires a more upright squatting style. As long as that is understood and accounted for technique-wise, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the manta-ray variant.

Avoid these...

On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of styrofoam tubes with a nylon and velcro covering. I believe that the padding on the bar reduces proprioception - you can't "feel" the weight until it gets pretty heavy, couple that with a slick nylon covering and the possibility of the bar rolling down your back is greater. Not something I'd ever want to risk unnecessarily. A towel is not any better either. If you are in need of some kind of padding (for whatever reason) and you have a choice, go with a manta-ray, or safety-squat bar, or Dave Draper's Top Squat.


Boris Terzic said...

I am with you on this one. I've don't personally used the Ray but i have little against it other then the fact that it becomes a crutch for people.

The foam padding on the other hand is bad, I've seen it roll off the shoulders and to me that just ain't safe.

Boris said...

You're right Boris, a Manta-Ray is no excuse for not learning to properly rack the bar on your back, but having the bar placed a little higher does put less demand on shoulder flexibility. For people with chronic (and untreatable) shoulder issues, I think it's an option.