vertical jump training

Sting Ray Front Squat Support

Written by Jack Woodrup for VerticalJumping.com

The Sting Ray front squat support from Adfit is another brilliantly simple yet amazingly effective training aid. Like the back squat, the front squat is one of the very best exercises you can do to improve your strength and power for vertical jumping. The Sting Ray helps make performing this exercise botheasier and more comfortable. Read on for our full review.

What Is the Sting Ray?

The Sting Ray is a moulded high tech polyurethane polymer shaped in such a way that when it is clipped onto the bar for front squatting (see attached picture below), it provides tremendous comfort and support. Like Adfits other great squatting aid, the Manta Ray, the Sting Ray makes performing the front squat significantly more comfortable.

Why is this useful for an athlete looking to improvetheir vertical jump? The front squat is one of the ultimate exercises for developing your quads. The quads are obviously an extremely important muscle group for jumping in that they are the main drivers of knee extension.

The front squat is also a great exercise choice for other reasons too. As the weight is placed at the front you cannot lift as much which means there is much less spinal compression. The other thing having the weight at the front does is reduce the amount of spinal flexion. You literally can't lean too forward or you will simply fall over.

Finally, the front squat aggressively recruits the muscles of abdominals and core making it an awesome exercise for developing mid-section strength.

Below is a picture of how the Sting Ray attaches to your standard bar ready for you to position yourself for the lift.

Sting Ray Front Squat Support


Is It Any Good?

Without a doubt. As is the case with the Manta Ray I can't imagine front squatting without it now. It spreads the weight across a greater surface area on your shoulders, and it helps hold the bar in place during the lift. These two benefits are not insignificant when it comes to front squatting.

Value For Money

I am divided on this. On one hand, it really is a fantastic device that genuinely does what it is supposed to. It is the same price as the Manta Ray ($39.95), which is actually pretty cheap, but unlike the Manta Ray, it can only be used for the one exercise.

The Manta Ray is very useful for not just squats, but also lunges, step ups, box squats, and it is outright fantastic for jump squats. The Sting Ray is just useful for front squats.

So is it good value for money? This will depend on how much you like doing front squats. If you never do them then you clearly won't get any value. However, if you never do them because it has been in the past uncomfortable, then you might want to give the Sting Ray a look.

Conclusion

When it comes to vertical jump training, the various forms of squats are brilliant choices. I lovedoing them and have had great results with a lot of athletes using these exercises. The front squat version is a highly effective choice to build up strength and power in your legs.

It is our opinion that if you are not including front squats in your program you may be missing out. We would suggest trying them first with a towel or some other form of padding. If this works for you, excellent, keep front squatting. If you still don't like them, then get yourself a Sting Ray. \


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