T Nation

Back & Front Squat Form Check Please


Here's a warmup set for back squatting at 225:

Here's a couple front squat videos, first a side view @ 205:

Then here's a back view @ 225

thoughts, critiques, etc?


Chest a bit higher, and try to 'sit down' instead of back.


couple things- don't squat facing a mirror. save that for flexing hawt abzz:) seriously though, i would use that cage down from the rack you are using and put the hooks on the other side so you are facing away from the mirror. it's much better to learn to feel the correct way to squat than to watch yourself squat and try to correct issues.

with that said, i think your front and back squats look pretty good. BUT, warmup sets should look good. it's when the weight get heavy that form issues usually come out. get another vid of some heavy sets.


For front squatting that's about as high as I venture right now. I hit 280 last week for a single. I have one other video of me front squatting 245, here it is:


Hey there,

I'm definitely NOT a world record front squatter or anything, so grain of salt this advice.

1) I like to grip the bar less than you currently are, it encourages me to get the bar back more closer into my neck and more balanced by my shoulders. Plus, helps keep bodyweight back (which is key for me front squatting).

2) I like to have my elbows out wide at the top for a couple of reasons....a) helps me get a tight thoracic spine (important for controlling trunk posture)....b) cause at the bottom I like to drive up with an initiation from driving my elbows closer together (kindof where you are) which helps keep my tight and back (stops me tilting forward).

3) I try not to muck around so much with my feet getting set-up. You narrow up then go out again prior to squatting - waste of time and energy IMO.

Again, grain of salt my advice, there are much bigger front squatters on here than me to give you advice. Try and find a cool vid of H4M doing a 180kg front squat with arms out parallel - then listen to whatever he says :slightly_smiling:


In the front squat from behind, it looks like you need to force your knees out more. If you can't keep your knees out, bring your stance in an inch or two.


Try to get more depth, keeping your lower back tight squat till you feel your hamstrings touching the calf. The setup should be more under control and tighter.
What helps me in squatting is it for reps or for 1-3 max is to amp up and squat agressive. CT says to dominate the weight. The squat is a brutal lift. Some rage would do your squatting good.


Ill play.. ok several glaring things i see that WILL cause you significant problems in the future for your front squat.. First and most important why arent you belting for squats? Good rule of thumb, anyting over 40% of your 1rm you should be belted.. plus a lot of your power comes from the pressure you create by expanding your core when belted and squatting. Second and maybe more important because I cant see your feet I cant figure out what the problem is.. it is one of three or four things and I will explain. You either set your feet unevenly. By that i mean one is in front of the other which I doubt. Another possible problem is that your ankle mobility is considerable different in one leg. Or your legs are different lengths and I mean your lower leg from the knee down and im talking by an inch or more. Or you have hip problems.. In your second video look at how crooked you are on the bottom of your squat..either your right foot isnt under you which could be because that ankle lacks the mobility to get enough forward flexion so you shift your whole body to the left.. or your leg is longer which i dont think is the case but your right knee and upper leg is much higher on the bottom of your squat than your left..It doesnt look like a flared out knee either.. This shift is going to end up catastrophic if you cannot correct it. My guess and my hope for you is this is an ankle problem.. but seriously you have to fix this and SOON...


Do you think the main problem with this is developing imbalances over time? Because I have something similar. My right foot angles out noticeable more than my left. And when lying down in a bed with my knees up (for example if reading) my left knee looks about 0.5-1in higher than my right knee.


Probably an ankle or hip issue, my right leg is about 1/8" longer than my left apparently.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?


That's interesting, I always though you were supposed to keep your knees in....I actually am forcing them in on every rep I take.


Like mauradermeat said squat in that power rack next to you and set the safety bars an inch below the lowest point of your squat and never worry about missing a rep. That security helps man.


Look up older articles on hip or ankle mobility stretches on the forum.. If this is ankle it shouldnt take too long.. If it is leg length a wide stance like a powerlifter stance will allow you to take some of the play out of it for back squats... But won't help much for front squats. I've seen hitching like this and it usually ends up as a back injury over time.. Fix it if you can.


No one is perfectly symmetrical. Everyone has imbalances of they don't dramatically affect your form then you should be fine.. Sometimes they come from your skeletal structure not being even such as the case with leg length discrepancy:. Btw everyone has different length legs it's more matter of how much a few mm no big deal.. And inch in the upper leg causes big problems with squats. If your form is good live with the muscular balances I'm sure you are the only one who notices.


Force your knees out so they track with your toes. Watch the two different squats in this vid

In the first one he doesn't keep his knees out. In the second one he does.


You can check if your leg length is structural or functional (bone length vs muscle shortness) be standing in a mirror and looking at your hips. If one side is higher than the other, you have a leg-length difference, and if you spread you stance and it remains uneven, it is structural, if it evens out it isn't, and can probably be resolved through stretching and single-leg exercises. The culprit muscles are often the quadratus lumborum, hamstring, hip flexor, piriformis, and adductor, basically everything near the hip. The problem is aggravated by poor posture, prolonged sitting, running, and leaning excessively on one side. It's best to fix this asap, as it will create a severe muscle imbalance that can cascade from top to bottom along your body. I know because I've been there.


Anyone else notice the guy beside him doing half RDLs with straps and a belt? Made me laugh

Also, I noticed on your back squat that your toes lift off the floor when you start the lift, which, assuming you plan to compete, can get you a no lift.

EDIT: I think he's wearing gloves AND straps


Just a few observations from the rear aspect of your front squat....
1.) Foot placement-it looks as if your right foot is a bit farther forward than your left, maybe only a few centimeters causing your left lateral side to drop just a bit more.
2.) The left hip drop-muscular imbalances or mind muscle connection issues. Are you right leg dominate? I am assuming so. If your left leg is a bit weaker, it is typically going to be a bit more lax/flexible, this could be one of the reasons for your left hip to drop a bit more than your right side.

-So in short....quick tips: Think about both glutes firing synergistically. Second, make sure foot placement is paramount. Also, the leg length discrepancy is a possibility. It looks solid to me and if your not experiencing any pain in the low-back, mid back or knees...it sounds good to me. If you are doing 2 to 4 high intensity reps, it doesn't hurt to put on a weight belt. I don't condone the use of a weight belt, I think it can be a great piece of safety equipment, but only under certain conditions. And lastly, I am being very critical of your form. It looks decent to me. I will take further looks at it and see if I notice anything of significance or anything I can pick apart.


This guy's observations are definitely something to consider. I was just adding to his explanation b/c I think it is pretty solid. I think muscular imbalance can be a big issue, his left pelvic girdle muscles, esp. posterior chain, may be weak.


AAAAAND the inflexibility issue in your right gastroc. Start stretching that baby out. That could also be attributing to the left hip drop issue.