View Full Version : Rebuilding FS technique

Martin Bonn
01-31-2010, 07:01 AM
Hi all,

so my squatting sucks (badly) and I've decided to rebulid my technique, otherwise I'll never make any progress in Oly lifting.
I'm looking for some advice, not just for me but in general, on how to rebulid a FS when you have bad motor patterns engrained.

Here's what I'm doing atm:
I still need to FS somewhat heavy, otherwise I lose what little strength I have, but then I'm dropping back to ~50% and do a couple of sets of 3 with a pause at the bottom. focusing on keeping my back extended and my torso straight when recovering. i also stretch after every workout for about 20min.

My particular problem is the butt coming up too quickly, I then lean forward and lose the bar.
I've tried different things like chest up, elbows up etc but that doesn t seem to work for me.

what do you guys suggest in terms of exercises etc?

Here's an example of the sets of three: 60kgx3 w5sec pause (http://www.youtube.com/user/weightliftingmedic#p/a/u/0/R-MgIji2l0g)
and here's one with max weight (funnily enough it looks the same with about 100kg): 111kgx1 (http://www.youtube.com/user/weightliftingmedic#p/u/6/3nMUmpX80B4)

thanks for your help!

Brandon Oto
01-31-2010, 07:16 AM
Just what is making you think about "motor patterns" rather than thinking that your hamstrings are strong and your quads/glutes are weak?

Martin Bonn
01-31-2010, 07:55 AM
That's another thing that doesn't help! I've always deadlifted way more than I squat! So do you think that's the main issue, rather than bad technique itself?

Brian DeGennaro
01-31-2010, 08:48 AM
What do you deadlift?

It looks to me, that you break at the knees early rather than a simultaneous hip/knee break.

Martin Bonn
01-31-2010, 11:52 AM
I used to DL 170x3x3 ...never really maxed out. this was high hip, Rip style (which works well for me having long legs and all that).
HBBS is 120kg at the most...with really bad technique, more of a good morning tbh!

I dont DL anymore...just do pulls. My clean pulls are up to 150x3 with good form and a decent second pull (lots of power, i just can't stand up with the weight!)

do i break early at the knees even when i do the 60kgx3? they felt better on the way down, much more upright! i just can't maintain that on the way up, even with lightish weights.

maybe brandon is right and i just have extra weak quads (which i do) and i always try to compensate using my hams!

Brandon Oto
01-31-2010, 12:30 PM
Shrug. I can't tell you your own body, but lousy quads compared to hamstrings was the story for me for a long time and I had the same issues. Just something you gotta work on.

Some glute activation MAY be somewhat helpful.

Martin Bonn
01-31-2010, 01:09 PM
i know what you mean, all these things have been going through my head for a while. it's just difficult to put your finger on it yourself sometimes and it's that outsider viewpoint that does the trick.

tbh, it's probably a combination of quad weakness and bad form (the former maybe due to the latter), i just wanted to know if there is something i m doin fundamentally wrong.

Brandon Oto
01-31-2010, 01:22 PM
Well, as far as form meets strength, you basically have to pick a certain amount of lean you'll allow in your squats (and whatnot), and stick to it. I wouldn't say everything has to be perfect or you won't be moving much weight, but if you're turning your front squats into good mornings the problem is going to self-perpetuate.

Front squats, highbar backsquats, and safety bar squats did good by me. Find your poison.

Gant Grimes
02-01-2010, 09:45 AM
so my squatting sucks (badly) and I've decided to rebulid my technique...I'm looking for some advice...on how to rebulid a FS when you have bad motor patterns engrained.


I still need to FS somewhat heavy, otherwise I lose what little strength I have

Your methods are inconsistent with your goals.

Arden Cogar Jr.
02-01-2010, 01:50 PM
Last week, I agreed, with myself, to partake upon a major commitment to improving my front squat.

I don't know if my own goal will help Martin any, but I wanted to share with the hope that it would.

I recently started backsquatting heavy again and the decrepency between what I can front squat and what I can back squat is quite amazing. So I'm dropping the back squats (which I currently do twice every six days) and doing a front squat varient instead.

Day 1 - low box power snatch, OHS, front squat 5 sets of 3 - top sets will be triples 3 sets of 3 with no more than 75% of 1 RM
Day 3 - low box squat clean, push press, front squat - this will be my stoopid day where I will set the pins high and 1/2 and 1/4 front squat weights that would make most buckle.
Day 5 - snatch, clean and jerk, front squat - this will be my 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 day. The 1 will go up and down and range between 95% and 85% depending upon the work load for the week. If I feel strong that day, I may try close to PR, but only on my heavy wave weeks.

Days 2, 4 and 6 are event training. In case anyone cares.

The idea is to expose my body to the movement more. Day 1 is searching for perfect technique. Day 3 is searching for absolute strength while limting the ROM (I've done in the 6s this way before). Day 5 is bring the full ROM pain.

Just a thought.

The more you do a movement, the better you get at it. If you want to improve your front squat. Front squat more.

all the best,

Martin Bonn
02-01-2010, 02:19 PM
Gant, I can see what you mean! I find it hard to remove all 'heavy' squatting in fear of it all going down the drain! The last thing I need is for my clean to go down! But I suppose I might have to do that in order to benefit in the long run! I guess you are right: I'm not doing myself any favours by squatting near a max with crappy form!

Arden: I think you hit the nail on the head as it were! I think GE said this recently somewhere as well: if you want to be better at something do it more often!
Your advice is good, I'll use it in a slightly different way. I like your simple 5x3. I'll do that maybe 2/week with moderate weights and then two sessions with 3x3, slightly heavier, no maxes for a while. I'll drop the BS as well for the time being, that will need addressing in the future!

Gant Grimes
02-01-2010, 02:34 PM
Taking a couple steps back to take ten forward is a no-brainer. You don't have to be training at near-max to get stronger. Even though you're dropping down in weight, you won't necessarily lose strength. I imagine you'll find that, after a few weeks of practice, your FS numbers will increase.

Martin Bonn
02-01-2010, 02:43 PM
You are right with that! I can just get a little obsessive over numbers and everytime they go down i make a massive deal out of it. I just need to pull my finger out!
It's just got to hear this from other people, sometimes you need that little bit of pushing to do the right thing (God that sounds deep, we are only talking about FS after all!)!

Brian DeGennaro
02-05-2010, 01:07 PM
Martin, you can also try looking up when you front squat, like so: http://sportivnypress.com/documents/69_kg_front_squat_ezg_1.jpg

Shane Skowron
02-06-2010, 07:30 AM
Sorry to hijack this thread, but I have a question on FS technique I haven't seen answered.

When I FS close to my max, I have a tendency to push my knees out really far. All the cues I read say to push knees out, and I'm always careful not to let my knees cave inward, but how far outward is too far? The knees go a little bit outside my feet. I usually feel it in my aductors almost as much as everywhere else.

Brandon Oto
02-06-2010, 07:39 AM
You're recruiting your glutes... I don't think it's a problem. You can angle your feet out more if you're worried about knee torsion.

Martin Bonn
02-08-2010, 12:14 PM
Martin, you can also try looking up when you front squat, like so: http://sportivnypress.com/documents/69_kg_front_squat_ezg_1.jpg

That's an impressive squat! I'm experimenting with something like that atm, I'll defo give it shot, I'm willing to try almost anything!