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So I was just thinking I got a home gym set up, and I can't really approach the bar under a power-rack as of I just clean it up over my head. I was interested in doing a back squat.

But this got me thinking - I know it's much easier to unrack the bar from a standing position, but would there be any benefit to having your starting position being at the bottom?

I think it would help activate your glutes and really force you to use those muscles and really "find" your hole...

What do you guys think? Any benefit? Any negatives? Other than the trouble with unracking the weight in a hole?

Thanks in advance!

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It would help you train some explosiveness out of the bottom but beyond that I doubt it will help you put up a higher number on the squat. – Christopher Bruce May 10 '14 at 0:30
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Starting from the bottom position is quite differen from 'normal' squats, as you're not using the stretch-shortening cycle. This means your muscles and tendons are not already pre-loaded when you're going up, which will result in the getting up being much harder than it normally would be.

The main benefit of starting from the bottom position is that you'll be forced to 'get out of the hole' without the stretch-reflex. So if the bottom position is your weak spot when squatting, this would be a good way to train that exact portion of the squat

The only negative I can think of is that you won't be able to use as much weight, when starting from the bottom position.

In general, starting from the bottom position is a very specialized variant of the squat that is commonly used by advanced lifters to adress a specific weak spot.

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Very good answer. Another variant is to start from the standing position, squat down for an isometric squat for 1-3s and then up. This method also does not utilize the stretch-shortening cycle (a lot less at least; the longer you pause, the less it is activated). Furthermore, in order to do several reps, you must apply this principle as well. By simply starting from the bottom position, and doing several reps, there is only one quality rep (the first), with respect to your goal of improving your bottom position. – Darko Sarovic May 10 '14 at 10:56
Bottom up squats and pause squats are very useful at building squat strength and correcting form problems. Big thing is to make sure you get a deep breath and brace before standing up if you start at the bottom position. If you don't you risk injury from not starting in a strong braced position. That's the primary reason I would recommend bottoms up for intermediate or advanced lifters. – Berin Loritsch May 10 '14 at 19:40
Learned something new today – Yasky May 13 '14 at 17:51

I don't think there are any benefits. The up and down cycle is still being performed. I think it is advisable to unrack the weights from a standing position. That way, you can make sure you have a right and stable posture before starting

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Actually, yes, there are benefits that you won't get with regular squats (see my answer). – LarissaGodzilla May 10 '14 at 9:30

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