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Old 09-23-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
Dan Appert
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Default Advice for beginner weightlifter

Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forum, and weightlifting in general, and I have a question about developing my squat, so here is a quick(ish) introduction to me and my problem.

I have never been athletic and after ACL surgery I have been slowly building my strength up from total atrophy. Kettlebells have been my primary training the last few months until I saw a youtube video of some barbell snatches and became obsessed with Olympic weightlifting. I started a training log august first and my focus has shifted to perfecting my deep squat form. Using drills, exercises and stretches I've found through Greg Everett, Glenn Pendlay, Dan John, and even Pavel, I can now get all the way into the hole with no pain (in July my patella and tibia would grind upon squatting to any depth). I bought a barbell and started front squatting and overhead squatting with very light weight. My depth is solid and since buying oly shoes my posture is better, but when I watch videos my back still rounds and my pelvis still tucks at the very bottom.

All though almost all the of information I can find on the internet suggests that ankle/hip flexibility is the issue I am beginning to suspect the problem is less about flexibility and more about strength and stability (my flexibility has gotten pretty good). I have been diligent with all the common squat drills and stretches and they have provided me huge gains in mobility. However I think I am lacking posterior core strength. I just don't know if I am utilizing my spinal erectors. I want to incorporate back extensions but I don't have access to the proper equipment. Will weighted good mornings be a sufficient substitute in conjunction with the posterior chain work I'm all ready doing (single leg RDL, snatch/clean grip deadlifts, Cal strength death march)? I'm going to continue with my daily squat drills and stretches (barbell on knees in bottom of squat, goblet squats, lots of hip stretches, ect) but I'm looking for any pieces of the puzzle I might be missing.

Thanks and sorry if I bored anyone off the forum with my long story.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:58 AM   #2
Allen Yeh
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RE: Squat form
Have you taken a look at the videos from Mobility WOD?
Here are a few of the hundreds that Kelly Starrett has done, his pro videos are pay only but he has 400+ free a well:
http://www.mobilitywod.com/2011/10/e...atcleansnatch/
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-m...#axzz2foIdbCca
The Marks Daily Apple link is basically an excerpt from Kelly's book as well as links to more videos.

RE: good mornings
It can as long as you do then in the manner you need to, by this I mean there are many variations on the good morning, wide stance, pulling stance, squat stance, legs straighter, legs bent more, seated good mornings, arched back, neutral back...etc as you can see there are a lot of possibilities. Any way of doing reverse hypers or reverse hyper holds?
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"And for crying out loud. Don't go into the pain cave. I can't stress this enough. Your Totem Animal won't be in there to help you. You'll be on your own. The Pain Cave is for cowards.
Pain is your companion, don't go hide from it."
-Kelly Starrett
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:36 AM   #3
Charlie Reynolds
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you're probably right but would be good to see a vid too.

with both back and front squats perhaps try some pauses at the very bottom for several seconds or so and do some work from full squat to parallel to get comfortable/strong down there/in that position. re OHS try it with a shoulder width/narrow grip and do likewise lots of short movements deep in the squat and pauses (light to medium weight 3-5 reps for multiple sets with very strict form)

basic good mornings ie knees slightly bent/just unlocked, feet shoulder width/receiving position stance are very useful IMO

another movement to try is deep squat holding a disc out in front at arms length just to activate/warm up key muscles etc, you won't handle much weight unless your shoulders are bigger than your head!
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
Dan Appert
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Default Thanks!

Thanks for the replies. I watch a lot of Kelly Starrett's videos but I haven't seen either of those yet. I'll definitely read through that article when I get some time.

Should I do reverse hypers on a swiss ball or a bench with no weight? I don't have a reverse hyper machine and I train in my garage.

i appreciate form clarification on the good mornings as I've never done them before.

So today I took my first video after getting my oly shoes and it's not nearly as bad as it was before or as I thought it was. There isn't so much rounding but I'm not maintaining an arch in my low back, and I definitely experience some lumbar pain as the weight goes up (that's what concerns me most). Here are videos of my first and last set this morning, and you will get an idea of just how weak I am. At 135 lb body weight I have the unmatched ability to make a 115 lb front squat look like a 400 lb front squat lol. I don't have a rack or stand yet so I have to start my front squats from a really bad power clean, and my overhead squats from an even worse hang/power/muscle snatch. I edited that part out because I'm looking for squat critique and I'll have some stands within the next month or 2.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHirtvg6OOM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFCPH2xljmQ



Thanks again!
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:08 PM   #5
Charlie Reynolds
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get your elbows much higher, this will help tighten your back. control the descent and consciously tighten your spine from top to bottom before moving and keep it tight throughout, push your hips/butt back too. maybe widen your stance slightly too (tricky viewing angle).

re back pain, i'd get that checked and only do movements/weights that don't aggravate for now
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:58 PM   #6
Dan Appert
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Solid advice, thanks for the analysis. I have trouble pushing my hips back while maintaining vertical posture. I go more diagonal when my hips are back, but I think this is the lack of core strength/spinal erector activation coming into play. I have a lot to work on. I did good mornings in my afternoon training session and I'm going to keep them in with my posterior chain work.
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:05 AM   #7
Charlie Reynolds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Appert View Post
Solid advice, thanks for the analysis. I have trouble pushing my hips back while maintaining vertical posture. I go more diagonal when my hips are back, but I think this is the lack of core strength/spinal erector activation coming into play. I have a lot to work on. I did good mornings in my afternoon training session and I'm going to keep them in with my posterior chain work.
You're welcome. Try some narrow grip OHS to help erectors etc but be very careful about your back. Focus on form first then work on transition, speed, weight later; plenty of 3s and 5s.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:55 AM   #8
Keith Miller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Appert View Post
Solid advice, thanks for the analysis. I have trouble pushing my hips back while maintaining vertical posture. I go more diagonal when my hips are back, but I think this is the lack of core strength/spinal erector activation coming into play. I have a lot to work on. I did good mornings in my afternoon training session and I'm going to keep them in with my posterior chain work.
When you're squatting for Olympic lifting, you should not consciously try to sit back. That was the only real issue I noted, and probably the reason for the sore back. Sit DOWN!! And, as was said already, get those elbows up more to keep the upper back tighter.

Overall, not bad, I was expecting much worse. The sitting back is causing your body to rock forward and back so you're not keeping your weight balanced on the mid-foot towards heels.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:54 PM   #9
Dan Appert
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Thanks, I did overhead pause squats today and really tried to stay tight in my core. All ready it felt better. After I buy some squat stands I'm going to save up for a personal training session as soon as possible. I can't wait to get some professional help in person, but I really appreciate the help from folks with much more experience than I have in the meantime.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:35 AM   #10
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Glad you're making progress! Maybe stick those in at the start and end of every session with empty bar for a few 5s and/or 10s. Might be worth looking up a lifting coach/club on your national governing body website instead of a PT/CF coach?
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