I am on stronglift 5*5 and as the weight is increasing with each workout, squats are getting challenging, while the program is really good, I want to keep doing it and avoid any injuries. The other day after squatting I felt some pain in my left shoulder, it got me worried about my form. After watching a few videos, I think my bar position might be causing this pain.

The Mark Ripetoe Video says that the elbows should come back to create that shelf with the posterior deltoid, while this video by OmarIsuf very clearly demonstrates that elbows should be inline with the body.

My question is how do I figure out what is the correct bar position for me? And how does it feel when the bar is correctly positioned.

Another complication is that guys in these videos have fully developed deltoids so they can create that shelf very easily, I am very skinny with almost no deltoids, so it hurts my bones with the weight gets heavy and is wrongly placed. As it had happened while doing high bar on local trainers advice. So please tell me how to perfect the low bar squat.


1 Answer 1


The Rippetoe video is fairly comprehensive, and I use it as the basis of my setup.

The bar should feel almost like it's locked into your back when you find the spot. When you squeeze the shoulders together and get the bar in the right spot, there's sort of a groove that forms (or will form after some delt development).

I take my grip, squeeze my shoulders together and down as hard as I can, get under the bar way too low, and slide the bar up my back until I feel it lock into place. Then I unrack and squat. You can sort of see me doing that at 1:02 in my video here.

The variables you have to play with are the bar position and the position of your hands on the bar. I'd watch the videos you linked to, put some light weight on the bar, and experiment using the setup I describe with various grip widths and bar positions, trying to get one where your wrists are straight and the bar feels really locked in. Videotaping yourself will be very helpful here, as you can compare yourself to the reference videos and/or post a question in a forum.

Within the StrongLifts universe, another useful resource is the StrongLifts squat setup page. An even more useful resource is the SL Inner Circle but that costs a fair bit of money. I'm a member and I feel it's worth it, but I can see that it's not for everyone.

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