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  • Squat form check



    I just posted this on the StrongLifts forum, but am hoping that fellow Groks and Grokettes might also be willing to critique the form of my now very unpretty squat.


    I'm looking for all the help I can get!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_HZhP4ByGE&feature=youtube_gdata


    Here, I'm only "squatting" 105lbs (I may need to drop the weight even lower to master the form).


    Thanks in advance to anyone willing to offer me some tips!


    In the past, I've tried (and tried) squatting, gotten frustrated and just abandoned the exercise entirely. I'm hoping to stick with them this time, but would love to finally make some progress.


  • #2
    1



    Your lower back rounds a bit on the bottom and turns into a good morning somewhat on your ascent. Try and get more hip drive in, hold your breath, clench your abs, clench your butt.


    Squats are a manmade game. The deadlift is much more functional, progress is quicker, it is far safer, and it is more fun. Consider them instead.

    Comment


    • #3
      1



      Thanks for your reply, mstrudle.


      I love deadlifts. They are my favorite of all lifts by far. I can easily deadlift multiple sets of 5x185, for example, but can scarcely squat 3x100.


      Squatting w/ the barbell on the back does seem to me totally unnatural. It requires a lot of choreography as you highlight in your post. I'm just kind of worried that if I don't squat I will develop muscle imbalances or something (possibly a totally invalid fear).

      Comment


      • #4
        1



        One thing that really helps me is to pick a point on the wall about 7-8ft off the ground and look at that spot during the whole squat. Next you want the bar to be on your back shoulder muscles, you shouldn't be bearing any weight with your arms. Like mstrudle said, you need to keep your back flatter if not more inverted roundly of how you are doing it. You also want to keep your knees behind your toes. check out this video (take notice of her form, specifically her back and knees/toes). I think you should practice with the medicine ball until you get the hang of it, then switch to the bar.

        Comment


        • #5
          1



          I admire you for squatting and practicing it and asking for help. Squatting is easily one of the greatest exercises you can do for functional strength and THE exercise for the lower body. It also develops character since it takes guts to squat heavy instead of leg pressing.


          Personally, I would ask Mark Rippetoe on startingstrength.com and upload your video there in the forum.


          Your squat looks pretty good to me. You have a bit of a butt wink at the bottom and it would be better to look down during your squat so that you emphasize using your ass more to move the weight up. Looking forward has a tendency to emphasize raising the chest which brings your knees forward. Also your grip. It looks like you have your thumb wrapped around and are holding the bar up with your hands. With grip, you just want to push the bar into your back and keep the thumb outside. Then fix your wrist angle like this =\ instead of =/ ..if that makes sense.


          Overall you are doing great and please do not take any advice to stop squatting.


          These videos will help


          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kawBY5p29fQ


          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yha2X...eature=channel

          Comment


          • #6
            1



            If you are tall I would say the front squat is a much better option. It spares your lower back and is much easier to keep good form.


            Other than that...I'd say you need to place more of your weight on your heels. Lift on your heels and sprint on your toes as they say. Make sure you're really sitting back and using your hamstrings and quads together. A great way to perfect your form is to perform box squats. Makes sure you get it right every time.

            Comment


            • #7
              1



              That's really a very nice squat. You have the low back bar position down nicely, your torso stays in proper position for the most part, you drop to parallel or below.


              The one thing I notice is that your weight is a little forward on your feet. You want to think about keeping the weight on your heels more. That will also help keep your knees back relative to your toes.


              Nice squat!

              Sooze

              Comment


              • #8
                1



                while we are talking natural movement: Zercher squat?

                Itīs like lifting heavy rocks or something. Its also a great stabilizer for your torso.


                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdylzDG17KA

                Comment


                • #9
                  1



                  Hi hfox! If you haven't already, search for "Mark Rippetoe squat" on you tube. He's the informal master of squat technique. If you want to go hardcore his book "Starting Strength" has an very in depth and detailed look at how to do it right, along with the other basic powerlifting and strength building exercises.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1



                    Yes, as said above, your weight is forward, which is bringing the bar too far over your toes, which changes the whole dynamic, pulling your weight even farther forward, emphasizing the butt wink. (Don't know about your flexibility, but if your hamstrings are tight, that will also lead to the butt wink and impinge your form.)


                    Your squat starts when you pick up the bar. Before you load yourself, get under the bar, tighten and pull in your abs and squeeze your butt; THEN, pick up the weight. Keeping everything tight, assume your squat position. Try looking at a point straight in front of you on the wall, then push your chest out by pulling your shoulders back and down, keeping your abs tight. As you squat, try to keep your weight as far back on your heels as possible, keeping your chest open and up. The bar should track over the arch of your foot, not any farther forward.


                    Do this with a weight light enough so it's not a strain, and keep practicing until it feels second nature to keep your chest up and the weight back.


                    Something we can't see from that angle in the video is your knees. Make sure that they are tracking with your toes, not dipping in, particularly on the way up. This will really zap your power, so push those knees out!


                    But don't stop squatting! Squatting is the most fundamental movement of an active person. I'm a CrossFit and Rippetoe follower, and with proper form, nothing is better for you than some weighted squatting. Keep it up!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1



                      Thank you all for the encouragement and helpful (and detailed) suggestions!


                      I will continue to work on improving my form and will likely stay at this weight until I feel I'm truly ready to increase.


                      JustinKN, I have thought about trying the front squat, but haven't yet actually dared.. I may ask one of the trainers at my gym to give me a demo in a couple of days.


                      I've checked out the Rippetoe videos before, but will try to study them again (thanks, blazeKING, for those links). They are certainly the best squatting instruction I've ever come across.


                      Maravilla, thanks for the especially great analysis.


                      Take care, everybody.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1



                        hfox, do not give up on the squat, and yes, include the deadlift in your workout routine. Both are beneficial in total body strength. Your body will respond with visible changes that you will be very pleased with.


                        My suggestion is to master the back squat before moving to the front squat. The front squat is a great alternative to incorporate into your lower body routine as you progress. That's just my opinion. Good luck.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1



                          I have to second what gregandbeaker said. Get Rip's book, it explains everything, gives examples and really helps.


                          I'm no expert but I would suggest picking a spot on the ground about 6ft from your feet. Keeping your head up does nothing for you. Do you feel like you're standing on your toes? Could just be the camera angle.


                          I would also be very cautious of asking a "trainer at the gym" for any advice regarding power lifting. I've seen trainers at my Globo Gym do the dumbest things with their clients when trying to teach them Oly lifts and Power lifting. They're usually qualified to show people exercises, not power lifts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            1



                            Good for squating in Chucks.


                            Look up "Goblet Squat" on youtube. You can use either a kettlebell or dumbbell to perform them. It will raise your center of gravity allowing you to stay more upright and will teach you to squat between your legs.


                            Use them to "grease the groove" and teach yourself the correct pattern of movement. Do them before squatting with a bar and use a light to moderate weight.


                            best of luck

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1



                              Not a bad squat


                              kind of repeating what people have said in that your weight is towards the mid portion of your foot instead of your heel from start to finish.


                              It has helped me and some people at my gym to get a light weight, maybe just the bar, and hold the bottom of the squat position and slowly try to dig for a deeper hole. This should help increase some mobility and make it easier to get full depth at the end of your squat.

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