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  • Squat tips

    I'm trying super hard to keep good form doing squats. I seem to do best when I use an exercise ball behind me against a wall up near my shoulders (any lower and I can't stick my butt out). But I still can't seem to get good hamstring and glute work. I feel it mostly in my quads even though I try to keep my weight in my heels and push from my heels. Any tips?
    Don't let anybody tell you, "You can't" just because they can't.

  • #2
    Originally posted by GeorgiaPeach View Post
    I'm trying super hard to keep good form doing squats. I seem to do best when I use an exercise ball behind me against a wall up near my shoulders (any lower and I can't stick my butt out). But I still can't seem to get good hamstring and glute work. I feel it mostly in my quads even though I try to keep my weight in my heels and push from my heels. Any tips?
    I was actually just reading this yesterday, and I think it contains the answer to your question (and the answers to several dozen hundred other questions).
    The Champagne of Beards

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    • #3
      I've been trying to improve squat technique for a while. I've found "Squat Rx" on youtube ( Squat Rx #1 - YouTube ) helpful.

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      • #4
        I think Mark tells you to do it against a pole at the park or something. Check his Squat Progression video out.

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        • #5
          Just for the record - I have never found squatting with your back against a ball (or anything in fact) to be helpful in learning proper technique. If anything this causes the torso to be too upright and doesn't allow proper glute activation.
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          • #6
            Go to youtube and look up a video series called 'So you think you can squat.'

            I used a low box to do box squats to fix my form. Most people have issues "sitting back" in a squat.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 2tall View Post
              Go to youtube and look up a video series called 'So you think you can squat.'

              I used a low box to do box squats to fix my form. Most people have issues "sitting back" in a squat.
              I was lucky, I could squat ass to grass with perfect form first time I tried.

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              • #8
                A big tip I have to share, and this will save you a lot of trouble and keep you safe:

                I can't stress this enough:

                Keep your abs as tight as you can when you squat so that you will protect your back, I really can't stress this enough.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Coach Palfrey View Post
                  Just for the record - I have never found squatting with your back against a ball (or anything in fact) to be helpful in learning proper technique. If anything this causes the torso to be too upright and doesn't allow proper glute activation.
                  Then maybe this is the missing link... If you don't use some support, how do you progress? As in if I'm too weak for full, real squats, how do I work up to them?
                  Don't let anybody tell you, "You can't" just because they can't.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Return of Dado View Post
                    A big tip I have to share, and this will save you a lot of trouble and keep you safe:

                    I can't stress this enough:

                    Keep your abs as tight as you can when you squat so that you will protect your back, I really can't stress this enough.


                    THIS.

                    Only time I've ever hurt my back squatting was when I wasn't mentally focused and relaxed my abs. Once resulted in three weeks away from the bar, and great difficulty in moving for a week.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GeorgiaPeach View Post
                      Then maybe this is the missing link... If you don't use some support, how do you progress? As in if I'm too weak for full, real squats, how do I work up to them?
                      If you're strong enough to descend and ascend using the ball behind you then it's quite likely that you have the strength to perform the movement. If you are still struggling then perhaps it's more of a balance issue - a box squat (as suggested) or even having a chair behind you as a safety precaution could be useful.

                      Is there anyway you can film yourself squatting and post it? Or put it in a private message?
                      Sandbag Training For MMA & Combat Sports
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                      The Complete Guide To Sandbag Training
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                      http://fitedia.com/ - Health and Fitness eBooks, video, audio and workshops

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                      • #12
                        Ok, wateched the youtube videos and he talked about the quad dominance. I tried all the check points making sure my form was exact, and I did a few (20) reps. My quads burned! No glutes. I dont really have a way to film it, but maybe I can find someone with a fancier phone than I have!

                        So I have head up, chest not slouched, curve in lower back, butt sticking out, chair behind me, knees do not pass over feet... In fact my shins pretty much stay perpendicular, and my feet are shoulder width apart. But I still feel myself utilizing my quads bc my glutes/mind connection is not there. Its like learning to activate the transverse abs... If your brain/body connection doesnt work with those muscles,myou end up sucking in and thrusting your ribs vs activating the TVA. That seems to be me and my glutes. I'm calling them, but they aren't answering.
                        Don't let anybody tell you, "You can't" just because they can't.

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                        • #13
                          have someone push down on you where your spine enters your hip bones and provide resistance as you come up. Good training cue.

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                          • #14
                            I'm glad someone posted this. Rippetoe has some great tips about squats as well as other movements. There are many tips based on actual physics of the lift and form that may help with squats.

                            The main thing to keep in mind is: stay on your heels (if you can't, work first on a solid air squat. If it's a flexibility issue, use a medicine ball but try to at least go to parallel in terms of depth of squat. Doctors will tell you squats are bad for you. That is incorrect and not based on any empirical support).

                            Other things to keep in mind are: neutral head position, looking a few feet in front of you and not tilting your head up, keeping your lats (shoulder blades, basically) squeezed together as much as possible, with a tight core and your chest "up" essentially. Up here means upright and not bending forward.

                            Then there is a whole debate on low vs. high bar position. I say, do whatever works better for you. I personally find a middle position comfortable, then again I know some people who love the low bar position and others do not because it makes them go forward too much. Work with your body, good luck and keep squatting!

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                            • #15
                              Also, don't focus so much on what part of your legs you feel the most. I find sometimes my quads will hurt more and sometimes my glutes and hamstrings. Focus more on proper form!

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