Manta Squat Assist [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Green_Manelishi
11-05-2008, 12:40
Does anyone have any first hand knowledge of this product?
http://www.armblaster.com/mantaraysquat.html

It seems a valid concept, and a btchn way to prevent my neck from abuse but ....

BCR
11-05-2008, 13:48
I personally have never used one.

But Louie Simmons over at Westside Barbell has his guys use it (mixed in with low bar squats, zercher squats, front squats, safety bar squats). He is one of the most respected trainers in the power lifting community.

They use it to change the emphasis of the squat versus the other versions they do, since it holds the bar so high.

Why do squats abuse your neck? I've never really heard of that before.

Are you doing low or high bar squats?

California Jack
11-05-2008, 17:22
Why do squats abuse your neck? I've never really heard of that before.

Are you doing low or high bar squats? Yeah, that's the real question. Heck, I do high bar squats and don't have a problem.

What gives?

Green_Manelishi
11-05-2008, 17:48
I'd say high. "What gives" is a chronic neck condition that became acute about 4 years ago. To make a long story short the Manta seems ideal for making certain the bar is "locked" and cannot roll onto my lower neck under any circumstances.

DBradD
11-05-2008, 18:28
Why not use low bar squats? Folks routinely put 500 lb across their backs without any kind of pad without any real pain (well, not from the bar bearing pressure anyway).

California Jack
11-05-2008, 19:18
If you have an injury, I say try it.

Green_Manelishi
11-05-2008, 19:22
Why not use low bar squats? Folks routinely put 500 lb across their backs without any kind of pad without any real pain (well, not from the bar bearing pressure anyway).

I'll give the lowbar a whirl and see. It might be nice to no longer be a sissy :wow: If that does not work I'll manta myself.

California Jack
11-05-2008, 19:52
Take it easy when first trying it. It really is different. I may be hard on your shoulder or elbows. It will requie more lean.

Something else to do is just do front squats. I seldom do back squats. I'm no powerhouse either though so take that with a grain of salt.

DBradD
11-05-2008, 20:07
GM, CJ is right, of course. Low bar squats put "strange" stress on your wrists, elbows, and shoulders, especially if you do them wrong. I don't suppose you have a copy of Starting Strength, do you? Rippetoe describes how to do these in the least uncomfortable way on the wrists and elbows.

CJ, I did some front squats tonight -- very nice. I actually think I'm built better for these than regular squats because my torso is so long. It's natural for me to stay very upright. I'm going to work FS and OHS in place of squats and deadlifts during some of my workouts.

Also did 15 chinups, which is close to a PR for me (18). I was already pretty drained, so I think I could give 20 a good shot at this point or sometime soon. Golfer's elbow is weird. It's definitely still there, but it doesn't seem to be getting any worse. If anything, it's improved a little. I can usually not feel it now. Just every now and then, it reminds me that I'm not alone. My chinups are without straps now, so I don't look like a squat bar pad, even if I am one!

ateamer
11-05-2008, 20:34
Olympic weightlifters don't need a manta ray, and the only back squats they do are high bar style. Those guys can often squat over 600 with the bar pretty high, and don't need a Manta Ray.

I bought a Manta Ray years ago, and used it a couple times. It sucked - puts the bar way too high, and is not as stable as proper Oly squat bar position.

Just squat a lot with a high bar and you will get used to it.

California Jack
11-05-2008, 21:11
CJ, I did some front squats tonight -- very nice. I actually think I'm built better for these than regular squats because my torso is so long. That's me too. I a Dachshund for sure. You'll most likely like high bar squats better too. And congrats on both the pullups and ge.


ateamer, the dude has a bad neck.

DBradD
11-05-2008, 21:20
GM, what's wrong with your neck, BTW? I'm interested in neck problems because I have a weird one. Two of my vertebrae in my neck are fused together--just born that way. My neck has been very stiff and uncomfy for as long as I can remember. Not bad enough to keep me from doing anything, though. I try stretches, mobility drills, bridging, etc. and some of these might help just a little.

ateamer
11-05-2008, 21:48
I missed the bad neck. The Manta Ray might work for you in that case. For Oly squatting, though, the bar isn't exactly on the neck, but just high on the traps.

California Jack
11-05-2008, 21:57
I agree about the traps instead of the neck. But I am fearful or tentative perhaps to give people with neck or back injuries anything but conservative advice. If I had some sort of serious neck problem I wouldn't even screw around with a Manta. I'd stick to front squats.

Green_Manelishi
11-05-2008, 22:00
GM, what's wrong with your neck, BTW? I'm interested in neck problems because I have a weird one. Two of my vertebrae in my neck are fused together--just born that way. My neck has been very stiff and uncomfy for as long as I can remember. Not bad enough to keep me from doing anything, though. I try stretches, mobility drills, bridging, etc. and some of these might help just a little.

I injured it, no one knows exactly how, in 2004. What I thought was a pulled muscle was (if I remember correctly) actually a nerve injury due to a slipped disk and the muscles in my neck/back seizing to hold the disks in place. To make a long story short I ignored it for months until one day my left arm "went numb"; it was so bad that I could not drive, brush my teeth or stand with my left arm at my side without being very uncomfortable.

I was in therapy of one type or another between 2005 and 2006, under orders to no bench pressing or squating. It's only been the past year or so that I finally could start trying to increase the bench presses and squats but I need to be careful. I also need to accept that I might never be as robust as I was when I was younger. Even now there is still a noticable difference in between my left and right triceps.

Easterbrook
11-05-2008, 22:10
My college weight room had a Manta Ray Squat Assist with each squat set-up and most of the athletes used the Manta Ray while doing squats. I used it and it's a good product, imo.

Willard
11-05-2008, 22:18
GM: If it hurts your neck, you have the bar too high. Feel of your shoulder blade - there's a horizontal ridge of bone about 5 inches wide. It's just below the upper belly of the traps.

When you get under the bar in the squat rack, pull your elbows and shoulder blades down and back. Then, rub your back up and down against the bar. You will feel the ridge of bone with the bar. Put the bar right across the top of this ridge. You will have the bar sitting on the 10-12 inch "shelf" of your scapulae, with _no_ bar pressure on your spine.

BTW - Try front squats, too. They _really_ hit your quads (and abs) more than back squats.

NoGo
11-13-2008, 19:21
It's worth a try, just as the other bar placement options. I've thought of trying one for the higher position it offers. I tried the high position to vary things up a bit, but it put pressure on an old C7-T2 spinous process injury that made it not so fun.

I've seen them go for under $30 on ebay. Cheap enough to give it a whirl...

Ex: http://cgi.ebay.com/MANTA-RAY-for-Bar-Lifting-and-Squats_W0QQitemZ230307155717QQihZ013QQcategoryZ44081QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Green_Manelishi
11-14-2008, 07:03
For the "time-bean" I am sticking with what I have at hand. So far no problems. I appreciate all the advices but unless you've experienced what I've experienced (and I hope you have not and never do) it's no fun to watch muscle mass and strength ebb away because of progressive nerve damage. The "neck thing" is strangely reminiscent of the long term effect of my bout with Bell's Palsy in the late 1980s; twenty years later I still have incomplete use of the right side of my face.