T Nation

275lbs Squat Form Critique


I'm not a powerlifter, but I know the guys in here are knowledgeable. I typically use a high bar squat. Any pointers would be great. I know its not an astounding weight lifted but for me its come a long way, as strength has never come easy. This was my 3rd set of 3 reps.


Hmm, I always wondered how people could screw up loading a video... Let me try YouTube first instead of straight from my phone.


Hmm, I always wondered how people could screw up loading a video... Let me try YouTube first instead of straight from my phone.


One more try


Hey buddy. The squats don't look like they are bad at all. You don;t look like you're coming too far forward, you seem like you aren't way quad dominant or hip dominant, and you seem to be right around parallel, maybe a touch higher than ideal. But honestly, with the video being sped up its hard to give a very good critique. BEing able to see how fast you move the weight (both up and down), how smoothly, where it slows down, etc is important. plus it's just easy to miss some of the smaller things when it's all a sped-up blur haha.

Bottom line, no glaring issues but if you post a better video (normal speed, better angle to see depth, not sideways, maybe a couple sets instead of just one) people on here could probably help you a lot better.


Thanks for helping out. I used some video editing stuff to try and fix it. Last vie didn't work, maybe this one will


Loading videos onto this forum is always screwed up. All but one of mine has been at super speed.






I know it took a while, but the last posted vid works. Some experienced insight would be awesome. N.K.?


Okay here's what I got for you:

Overall, as I said before, it is a pretty good squat. No glaring issues. I think the thing that will help you the most is catching a stretch reflex out of the bottom. Right now, you are descending kind of slow (first rep especially), stopping right at or just above parallel, and then squatting the weight up. What I think you need to play around with is descending a little faster (just as much control and tightness, just more speed), and go a few inches lower. There is a point, when you have reached full depth, where you catch a stretch reflex and you can shoot right out of the hole. I'll post some videos so you can see what I'm talking about, if you don't know already (I just don't know your level of experience). But anyways, I think that catching that rebound is the thing that is going to make the biggest difference in your squat strength. You have the basics down and you have some solid strength, so now you have to work on speed and catching that rebound at the bottom. Once you get that figured out, just put in your time and hard work and you'll make some nice gains.

Here are a few videos of lifters who really use the stretch reflex.

Max aita is the best for you to watch I think. See how he descends a little faster and lower than you, and how he pops out of the bottom.

And here's a kid who REALLY uses his stretch reflex

Anyways that's my advice. Maybe other people have more or better things to say, but good luck.


I guess I've been going that speed to try and help stay tight in the bottom range. In the past I've had a problem with my chest caving over out of the hole. I just got that imzer belt I'm wearing. It may just be a bNd aid for a a weak core, bit it has helped a lot.

Also, something I was thinking about lowering the bar to possibly low bar. Since my problem was/is cave over, I wonder if by lowering the bar would shorten the lever, and theoretically (in my head any way) make caving less likely as the bar isn't so far away from midline


I would argue the opposite, depending on what you mean by caving over. If you just mean that you let your chest drop and sort of "good morning" the weight up, then I think high bar is better, because it allows you to keep your torso more upright. Low bar sort of forces your torso to come forward more.

If you mean your chest caves in because your upper back rounds over, switching to a lower bar position might prevent that in the short term, but in the end a stronger upper back is the only answer.


Ya, that's what I'm referring too. GMing the weight up after hips come up and upper back basically stays put on the way out of the hole.


I keep a log, and noticed when I had good mornings in my routine, my squat and deadlift were progressing nicely. I just recently started doing them again and my squat already feels more solid. Thanks for the input. I'll just keep plugging away. After I hit 3 sets of 5 @275 ill be working with 285. I'm hoping that very shortly ill hit 315 for a single. Thanks again NK


You don't have to have a lot of speed to use the stretch reflex, but you should feel really tight hamstrings at the bottom of hte lift then explode up.

Also, don't walk it so far back. Taking that many steps to and from the rack wastes effort (not to mention if you failed, the bar might miss the rack entirely). One step back and set your feet.

Lastly, the rack was in the way of seeing whether you hit depth. It looked close but can't be sure either way.


thanks for commenting scj. I don't know if anyone noticed, bit I walk back and put my heels on a board. I think of it as poor man's oly shoes. When I started doing that, it was simply to shift the focus to my quads a bit and help me get lower. Just makes squatting feel more natural to me.

I try to avoid blaming height for depth and shitty squatting because I'm only 6' and I know there are taller guys hitting deeper, bigger squats. But its a process, I'm continually working on it all. I would put up a vid from a while back where I was doing 245 for a tough triple and my hips shoot up right out of the hole and I GM it the rest of the way, but it would probably take 10 tries to get it uploaded right. But from that squat to what o posted, 30lbs improvement and form looks much better.

I'll check back in I'm a couple months, hopefuly with a 315 squat for a single or a double.


I used to blame height for my depth until I lifted with VTBalla who is 6'5" and outsquatted me by 200lbs with room to spare on his depth.

Play with foot width and positioning. For me I have a much easier time hitting depth having moved my feet in just slightly wider than shoulder width, and have a very minor toe flare.

As Jim Wendler wrote in a recent article, the key to hitting depth with this setup as a raw squatter is to break at the knees and hips simultaneously. I used to try to have my knees not shoot forward even one millimeter, now I let them come out close to my toes (hard to do with a wider stance if you have tight hip flexors like me). The key is to make sure you are still sitting backwards as your knees shoot out. There should be both sitting back AND knees forward (just a bit)... only doing one or the other will make it hard to squat with long levers.

Here's a vid of the first time I hit 365. Obviously it's not perfect form since it's a max, but notice how by the time I get to the bottom, 1) my knees are over my toes, 2) my ass has gone from 6" in front of the frame to being partially obscured by it at the bottom.

Edit: yes it's debatable whether I hit depth here, but I got three whites with 374lbs at a meet not long after this.


I usually start with hip break and followed right after are my knees. Thanks for posting. I was thinking of skipping a single with 315 and just continuing up by 10 pounds at a time for triples or fives until I'm repping 315, thereby blowing past my goal.