PDA

View Full Version : Squat Foirm


Charles Johnson
05-10-2007, 01:00 PM
Hi guys Im trying to squat as described in Starting Strength, could anyone here please comment on my form and offer any tips. thanks in advance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnMmAe641VI

Ive been told I am leg pressing and this is my attept to fix it. So how does it look!!

Garrett Smith
05-10-2007, 01:19 PM
Charles,
It would appear that you're doing a "high bar" position on your back. Need to get that bar lower, across your rear delts and scapulae. Re-read the part about bar position.

Pull yourself down into the squat. Doing some wall squats, described decently here (http://www.powerathletesmag.com/pages/roadrage.htm) will help. I personally do mine in my proper back squat stance (the "land" stance per Coach B), reaching between my legs for the floor with only my arms, and my toes are 1-2 inches away from the wall. Doing some knees-to-elbows prior to the wall squats will also help wake up your hip flexors so you'll know when you're really using them.

Chest out (forward), butt out (backward).

All in all, not really bad, it just needs some tweaking.

Steve Shafley
05-10-2007, 01:30 PM
It's just a lot of things vaguely off. Nothing jumps out, and nothing that's not fixable with some work. Garrett's suggestions are good.

BTW, here's a vid of me doing a face-the-wall squat, if you need a visual aid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31z5DR9P1kw

Dave Van Skike
05-10-2007, 01:37 PM
It's just a lot of things vaguely off. Nothing jumps out, and nothing that's not fixable with some work. Garrett's suggestions are good.

BTW, here's a vid of me doing a face-the-wall squat, if you need a visual aid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31z5DR9P1kw

I love these.

I use overhead "face the wall" squats with broomstick to warm up and get all the bits talking to each other.

Derek Simonds
05-10-2007, 01:51 PM
Shaf thanks for the video of the wall squats. As soon as I saw it I jumped out of my chair went to the only clear wall at our office and started squatting.

What is the wall squat actually ingraining? Is it to lead with the butt backward, to get the hip flexors firing, all the above?

I did them reaching for the ground like Shaf in the video and arms over head like the guy Garret posted. I didn't notice a significant difference either way. I am definitely going to incorporate them into my warm up.

Garrett Smith
05-10-2007, 06:42 PM
Nice demo, Shaf.

I don't use any extra weight, so I'm a tad further from the wall that he is when I do them...all in all that's what mine look like too. Later in the warmup I do my PVC OHS.

Derek, the wall squats are mainly to get your butt going back, which then necessitates the firing of your hip flexors to maintain your lumbar curve, so your nose doesn't go through the wall. It also helps emphasize the balance towards the heels and makes you keep your chest out. Basically, it teaches you a proper squat or you won't be able to do it anywhere near a wall without MAJOR form lapses...

Charles Johnson
05-11-2007, 01:05 AM
Hi guys Thanks alot for the help. I will be honest here Im struggling to get this Squat Form thing down pat!!

Garrett good observation mate!! I have watched that video a hundred times and didnt pick up that the bar was drifting up on me.I tried tonight to get it lower down, and my upper back and shoulders were truly hammered!! I am always stiff in the shoulder are aswell (probably from years before of bad bench form and behind the neck presses!!) so if anyone knows where I can find a good stretching routine to get some flexability and ROM back in them Id be forever in your debt.

Thanks for all the replies guys I will upload a new vid soon and we will see if Im any better.

Charles Johnson
05-11-2007, 02:14 AM
LOL I just noticed the Flexability and stretching section here!! Sorry Im a NEWB to this forum! Ill take a look there to see if I can find some good info.

Charles Johnson
05-30-2007, 05:53 PM
Hello everybody Ive been working on the squat form diligently since last post and I am hoping some good progress has been made! I have been trying to get the bar lower on my rear delts and scalpula, but I must admit it is a challange for me.My shoulders and upper back are still quite tight despite daily stretching, you will see me figit a little with the weights on my back trying to keep the bar low, I will get there though!! I also practiced some wall squats as suggested.Here is the link

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

Is there any other coaching ques you guys could suggest for me? Is my hip drive ok?, does this look like the form described in starting strength by Mark Rippetoe? thanks in advance for your time people!!

Derek Simonds
05-31-2007, 05:19 AM
Definitely looking better. I will let the coaches comment.

It looks like you have a generator sitting in the foreground of the shot, are you down here in hurricane land (FL)?

Robb Wolf
05-31-2007, 07:46 AM
Charles-
MUCH improved! Two things I'd recommend:
1-get "very" tight. You have quite a bit of wiggle when standing between reps. Get tight and stay tight...that wiggle is what will drop numbers and lead to injury.

2-make sure the hips are not going up before the bar. I know the cue is "drive the hips up" but that must be in concert with the shoulder/bar complex going up...or a heavier weight will cause you to face plant. Again, remaining tight will help this but think about the whole operation going up at the same time.
Keep us posted!

Charles Johnson
06-01-2007, 12:58 AM
Definitely looking better. I will let the coaches comment.

It looks like you have a generator sitting in the foreground of the shot, are you down here in hurricane land (FL)?

Hello Derek thanks for the input and no thats not a generator Im down in the good old land of OZ, Australia!! but with the weather here lately it may break out into a hurricane LOL!! :D

Charles Johnson
06-01-2007, 01:06 AM
Charles-
MUCH improved! Two things I'd recommend:
1-get "very" tight. You have quite a bit of wiggle when standing between reps. Get tight and stay tight...that wiggle is what will drop numbers and lead to injury.

2-make sure the hips are not going up before the bar. I know the cue is "drive the hips up" but that must be in concert with the shoulder/bar complex going up...or a heavier weight will cause you to face plant. Again, remaining tight will help this but think about the whole operation going up at the same time.
Keep us posted!


Hello Rob thanks for the excellent cues I must say that this is the best source for technique issues on the web,I made sure I stayed as tight as I could squatting tonight and I am amazed that it made the whole squat feel so much easier, I am really glad to be a part of this site, everyone here has helped so much and I thank all for your input!!! if it was possible to Email you all a round of beers I sure would!! And you can bet that I will keep you all posted.Thanks again guys:)

Robb Wolf
06-02-2007, 12:46 PM
Right on Charles! Careful buy drinks around here...Ron is NOT a cheap date, no matter what he sez.

John Alston
06-02-2007, 12:51 PM
Nice improvement between the two videos!
Any reason you don't go to full depth?

Charles Johnson
06-02-2007, 10:49 PM
Nice improvement between the two videos!
Any reason you don't go to full depth?

Could you elaborate please mate??

My understanding of full depth is when the hips drop below the level of the knee,going below paralell.

John Alston
06-03-2007, 08:22 AM
Could you elaborate please mate??

My understanding of full depth is when the hips drop below the level of the knee,going below paralell.

I mean good ol' ass to ankles depth, like
http://weightliftingexchange.com/wusa_files/thumbs/t_reding_71c_613.jpg
I know that's a front squat (actually, a clean rack), but I can't seem to find a backsquat to olympic depth pic online.
I am a big fan of the deep squat, whether front, back or overhead.

Greg Everett
06-03-2007, 05:38 PM
I can't seem to find a backsquat to olympic depth pic online.

from the PM front page today...

http://www.performancemenu.com/daily/images/squatDepths.jpg

Derek Simonds
06-03-2007, 05:43 PM
John my front, overhead, sotts press and clean rack are all A2A. On my back squat I don't usually go that deep, still below parallel just not quite that deep when the weight gets heavier for me.

I am guessing that you see a transferance in muscle movement going that deep on the back and you also probably are doing a more upright O-Lift style instead of powerlifter style. So would you go slightly lighter and really drop down low versus going heavier and not getting that deep? I am asking the question relating to training in O-Lifts specifically.

By the way that is an awesome picture!

Charles Johnson
06-04-2007, 01:09 AM
Well I dont even think my body would let me get that low on squats!! But the other reason I dont is because I bought Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore and am trying to squat like that.Is it safe on the knees back etc to get that low? It looks painful!

Allen Yeh
06-04-2007, 04:48 AM
Well I dont even think my body would let me get that low on squats!! But the other reason I dont is because I bought Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore and am trying to squat like that.Is it safe on the knees back etc to get that low? It looks painful!

They are just different types of squats, John is a Oly guy so he of course prefers the ass to ankles version(high bar squat). What you are doing is just fine, it is more akin to a powerlifter squat(low bar squat). There are pros and cons of both types, IMO neither is superior and done correctly both are safe.

Greg and Mark Rippetoe had a great discussion on the Crossfit boards about why even an Oly lifter might want to train with the low bar squat. It was a few pages long but a good read.

Robb Wolf
06-04-2007, 06:17 AM
It's funny...when I switch from one style to the other...PL to A2A I ALWAYS say "THIS! THIS is the way to squat!"

They are just so different yet both are highly beneficial. I DO maintain that in a hierarchical sense once one has developed the attributes for the A2A the PL squat is relatively easy.

Greg Everett
06-04-2007, 08:04 AM
safe-ish. with the knees so far forward, you can't fully engage the hamstrings, so you don't get quite as much stabilization of the knee (check out o-lifters quad vs ham development--they are all quad). but no more risky than any other sport, and if the stats are correct, actually fewer injuries in o-lifting than any other sport contested in the olympics.

which is better i think really depends on the application and other training. for example, if you're a non-olifter and just want to get butt-ass strong and move more weight, rippetoes approach is good. if you want to kick ass at the o-lifts, you need to squat accordingly. if you just want to be generallly cool, do both, or oly squat and deadlift regularly to get both depth and posterior chain work.

CF board link here:
http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/22/37350.html

Pierre Auge
06-04-2007, 09:28 AM
everything has its advantages its how and when we use them that counts.

John Alston
06-04-2007, 10:32 AM
John my front, overhead, sotts press and clean rack are all A2A. On my back squat I don't usually go that deep, still below parallel just not quite that deep when the weight gets heavier for me.

I am guessing that you see a transferance in muscle movement going that deep on the back and you also probably are doing a more upright O-Lift style instead of powerlifter style. So would you go slightly lighter and really drop down low versus going heavier and not getting that deep? I am asking the question relating to training in O-Lifts specifically.

By the way that is an awesome picture!

Yeah, I am o-lift oriented so that frames my exercise approach all around. With Going deep you can still go heavy but the limit will be what you can get out of the hole with. It will be lighter than the PL depth squat, so you'll have to learn the range with light weights first.
I like the deep squat. I feel it builds strength over a greater range of motion and the challenge of getting up from a heavy squat - front or back - that's really deep is just kind of awesome. It's deinitely a magnitude more intense than the higher squat.
And yeah, Serge makes a nice image in that position, no? More here
http://weightliftingexchange.com/we1752.html

Derek Simonds
06-04-2007, 06:37 PM
I don't care how you do it anyway you move that much weight is just down right impressive!

Those pictures tell show a whole ton of iron being thrown around. The 403 snatch ain't too shabby.

Charles Johnson
06-05-2007, 01:20 AM
WOW that is a mountain of a man!!!

Charles Johnson
06-20-2007, 01:48 AM
Hi everyone Ive been plugging away at squats and hopefully its still improving Im getting real sore in the hams and glutes now aswell as the quads.I am a little worried about my knees, do they look like they are coming too far forward? I cannot seem to stop them moving a little even with a light weight.I am shoving my knees out to the side as much as possible.I upped a new video if anyones interested in commenting feel free, thanks guys!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSCvZI4XZiI

Regards Charles

Dave Van Skike
06-20-2007, 12:23 PM
Looks better to me. Depth is consistent if not rock botton...not that rock bottom is necessary for it to be legit.

Do you have kinda long legs? and a short torso? Looks like your sticking point is the same as mine. I have to keep thinking high chest, keep that upper back tight. In fiddlign around with it, i actaully had to raise the bar higher on my back to find a comforatble goorve that I could go deep and heavy (relatively) with.

Charles Johnson
06-21-2007, 01:12 AM
Hello Dave

Im not too sure about the short torso and long legs I never looked!! but I definately have to remind myself about keeping the chest high and tight.Way back at the start of this thread, in my 1st vid I was high bar squatting and I always had a sore lower back the next day! so Im quite comfortable keeping the bar low at the moment!! Im finally getting good muscle pumps and nice and sore hams and glutes so I think im on the right track.Now too hopefully start adding some weight!

Greg Everett
06-22-2007, 01:24 PM
chaz -

looking pretty good. couple things i would say:

1. lead with your chest. that is, coming out of the hole, don't let your hips rise first - you're doing this only slightly, but as the loading increases, it will likely be exaggerated. and when you have high loads and premature hip rise, you end up rounding the back and fighting to not fall forward. keep the chest/shoulders rising at the same rate as the hips.

2. watch your arm/elbow position. i realize rippetoe's thing is really driving the hands against the bar, but you end up lifting the elbows back and up, which encourages rounding of the upper back. if you can instead secure the bar with the elbows down and under it, it will be easier to maintain a tight, upright back.

3. still getting a little soft in the lower back, but not horrible. keep stretching and working on maintaining a super strong lower back arch (and whole spine arch, really).

Charles Johnson
06-22-2007, 08:59 PM
chaz -

looking pretty good. couple things i would say:

1. lead with your chest. that is, coming out of the hole, don't let your hips rise first - you're doing this only slightly, but as the loading increases, it will likely be exaggerated. and when you have high loads and premature hip rise, you end up rounding the back and fighting to not fall forward. keep the chest/shoulders rising at the same rate as the hips.

2. watch your arm/elbow position. i realize rippetoe's thing is really driving the hands against the bar, but you end up lifting the elbows back and up, which encourages rounding of the upper back. if you can instead secure the bar with the elbows down and under it, it will be easier to maintain a tight, upright back.

3. still getting a little soft in the lower back, but not horrible. keep stretching and working on maintaining a super strong lower back arch (and whole spine arch, really).


Hello there Greg thankyou very much for the feed back its always much appreciated.

This is what confuses me about squatting in general,in rips book starting strength it says that one must drive the hips,ie they should actually rise a little before the chest, but you are right it sometimes makes me feel a little off balance,I think this also has a little to do with point 3 and keeping the tight arch and chest up.

I will definately work on these points and Im really starting to see the difference a tight back makes.I know from rep to rep if I come loose because the weight feels like a ton coming out the hole and when I manage to stay tight it feels so much easier.

Ill keep woking and up another vid when I feel Ive improved enough.Thanks again Guys and or Gals!

Regards Charles

Greg Everett
06-24-2007, 08:00 PM
Rippetoe's deal is solid--I don't think he actually wants the hips rising before the shoulders but to encourage the aggressive activation of the posterior chain. I just think that idea gets misinterpreted easily. And I could be wrong about his intentions.

Robb Wolf
06-25-2007, 04:27 PM
Rip has a nice cue where he pushes down on the sacral region of the individual in the deep squat and makes them drive up from there. Nice to work on the hotties and it does cue the posterior chain but the WHOLE unit goes up at the same time///hips, bar,chest...one piece, but the fire and drive are certainly emanating from the hips.

Dave Van Skike
06-25-2007, 10:20 PM
Rips coaching cues are the veritable bomb, like to review the vids from the xfit site.......his texas accent is hypnotic like the ghost of football coaches past.

Charles Johnson
06-26-2007, 12:36 AM
Rip has a nice cue where he pushes down on the sacral region of the individual in the deep squat and makes them drive up from there. Nice to work on the hotties and it does cue the posterior chain but the WHOLE unit goes up at the same time///hips, bar,chest...one piece, but the fire and drive are certainly emanating from the hips.

Oh Ok cool I was under the assumption that the hips must rise a little faster than the rest. LOL you gotta love workin with the hotties!! thats the main reason the wife hates the idea of me ever becoming a personal trainer or something like that! HAHA thanks for the info.

Charles Johnson
09-28-2007, 02:48 AM
BUMP !!

Hi guys I havent been around much lately I been plugging away in the gym tho! I have made some good progress on my squat poundages and recently deloaded and reset my program.

I seemed to have lost my mojo though when it comes to form so I thought I would post another couple vids and get you great guys and gals to critique me.I have always had great advice here before so looking forward to what yall have to say this time round.I think Im still having back errors, upper and lower, but we will see what you think.

Heres the links http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjD2fUdkcJQ

These felt pretty good to me I did these monday just gone.

This was todays effort and I dont think they were too great at all
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms-Z5-oUqmo

The last 3 reps are my main high workset in the 2nd vid. i have done a little more weight than that before.

Cant wait to see what you guys and gals say.

Leo Soubbotine
09-28-2007, 05:29 AM
Work some on your flexibility.

Rip is awesome. The cue that Rob's talking about definately works. Just gotta remember to keep that back angle same while driving out of the hole.
Butt is leading but the whole upper body should be coming up, not the hips by themselves.

After about 30 minutes instruction with Rip my squat jumped 33 lbs a week later (once I tried to max with his technique). Good stuff!

Charles Johnson
09-28-2007, 05:39 AM
Rip has a nice cue where he pushes down on the sacral region of the individual in the deep squat and makes them drive up from there. Nice to work on the hotties and it does cue the posterior chain but the WHOLE unit goes up at the same time///hips, bar,chest...one piece, but the fire and drive are certainly emanating from the hips.

I assume this is the cue you mean? How can I make sure that everything fires at the same time?? or will it just happen when my back angle is better?

2. watch your arm/elbow position. i realize rippetoe's thing is really driving the hands against the bar, but you end up lifting the elbows back and up, which encourages rounding of the upper back. if you can instead secure the bar with the elbows down and under it, it will be easier to maintain a tight, upright back.

Yes this confuses the crap outta me.From reading SS I get the impression that my elbows should rise behind me, but in the pictures in the book I see the trainees arm and elbow position looking more as you describe Ill try it again and see how it goes.

After about 30 minutes instruction with Rip my squat jumped 33 lbs a week later (once I tried to max with his technique). Good stuff!

Soo jealous, Im over here in Australia I got no chance of training with the man!!
Also what areas would you suggest I work on for flexability? hams back ?
Thx mate

Leo Soubbotine
09-28-2007, 12:59 PM
Depth.
Visit youtube.com and punch in - Squat Rx. Excellent videos.

Charles Johnson
09-30-2007, 12:33 AM
Hey thanks Leo those are some great vids

I havent watched them all yet but Im getting thru them.

I will squat tommorow and we shall see how things go.

Cheers Mate!