There is no debating the fact that the free-weight squat is the king of all leg exercises. One method of doing barbell squats that has caught on particularly among powerlifters is the box squat. To do this, you place a box or a bench behind you, at a height that allows your thighs to be parallel with the floor in the bottom position of the box squat. Then you simply squat down until your glutes touch the top of the box, then squat back up. This form of squatting allows you to perfect the squat as it also teaches you to really sit back. Plus, many world-class powerlifters swear by it for increasing their squat strength.
The barbell squat is the premier leg exercise. It is perfect “as is” for building big, strong legs, no box required. You squat down and stand back up. Best way to train legs, period!
While the barbell squat is the perfect exercise for building big, strong legs, using the box squat as an adjunct to regular squats has been shown to produce numerous world records in the squat.
Louie Simmons, of the famed Westside Barbell, has championed the box squat for many years now. Numerous champion powerlifters who train with the box squat in his gym hold world records in the squat. All credit box squats for making significant gains in their squat strength.
Researchers at Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) wanted to see if there was any measurable benefit to box squats as compared to standard squats. To do this, they tested the muscle power and force produced by trained male lifers when performing a regular squat or a box squat. They reported in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that when the guys did the box squat, they were able to produce more muscle force (strength) and power than when they performed the regular squat.
Both research and real strength athletes prove that the Box squat can significantly Boost leg strength and power.
Consider adding the box squat to your leg training. It can help to boost your squat strength by allowing you to squat with more strength and power, which over time can carry over into more strength and power on regular squats. And that can translate into a bigger squat and bigger legs.