T Nation

Back Squat & Conventional DL Form Check


ATG Back Squat 245*5

My depth seems okay, although I'm not sure how my t-spine looks coming out of the hole on the last rep or two.

DL 315*5


Squat: first rep looks decent. second rep you start losing form: legs slow down, back takes over, legs return. etc.

DL: Gotta get those shoulders behind the bar right off the bat. DL is a pulling movement, not a "lifting" movement. Shoulders behind the bar will solidify that difference.


It will help you if you push your elbows forward and get them under the bar . They don't need to be perpendicular to the floor but the act of forcing them forward will help keep the weight from drifting forward, keeping your chest higher taking stress off your lower back.

Also, it appears (hard to tell with the t-shirt) that you are losing the arch in lower back when you are in the ATG position. Personally, I see no reason on back squats to go that low. I would rather hammer heavier weight and stay a bit higher. Heavy RDLs etc. for hams and glutes.


You're right, I'll have to post another vid with a tighter shirt and a better angle.


For deads how do I focus on keeping my shoulders behind the bar... Other than that does my back look like it's in a good position?


Dude. You're training at CFC, right? Awesome!


If you start with your shoulders behind the bar and pull, your shoulders should stay behind the bar without much focus on the task. Take a look at this Dave Tate article: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_dead_zone&cr=

It helped me tremendously. The whole "shoulders behind the bar" thing allowed everything else to fall in place.

As far as your current back position, I'd recommend sitting back further and tightening up your lower back arch (increase the arch, chest out and up). Starting with your entire back parallel to the ground will force you into pulling a good morning. A tighter arch will decrease the distance you have to move the bar with your lower back.

I hope that helps a bit. I'm no DL master, but I've been steadily increasing my weight with no injuries or lower back issues.


The deads are pretty good. But, if you look carefully at the video you will see that you lead with your glutes which gets you leaning forward over the bar. Initiate the lift by driving with your legs, keeping your back angle constant, the bar dragging up your legs, as the bar passes your knees drive the hips forward and think about pulling the weight back towards you. My form looked just like yours and it wasn't a problem until I hit 405 and then the stress on my lower back would really bother me.

One of the best ques I got (from Marauder Meat on this site) was that the bar speed should increase through the lift. break it from the floor and explode up.


Those DL plates are ugly. I am sure you cant fit more than 5 on the bar


Thank you for the responses, I'm actually training at my brother's high school and I like it a lot there. I can use chalk and be loud and obnoxious, it's great!

As far as the plates, they are meant to be cleaned and dropped.

I will post another squat video Monday and a DL on Wednesday, hopefully they will look a little nicer!


I'm from Chicago too. What gym is that where you have that track in the background and the bumper plates? Thanks.



If you look at the last rep of DLs you actually started with your shoulders just slightly in front but as you started to pull you rolled forward even farther in front of the bar.


Huh. Looked like Chicago Fitness Center. Home of Da Myth.

2 things on your squat. Lose the staggered stance unrack. Get both feet under the bar. You need to tighten up a lot before the unrack. Your upper body looks loose as hell.

Also, on a couple reps you do a decent job of returning to an upright position before you initiate the next rep but if you watch the reps where you kind of push your hips back and drop your chest (it is very obvious) you lean quite a bit more and have a tougher transition out of the hole.

Basically tighten up and go.

Also agree about you not needing to kill yourself getting depth.

On your pulls, you are pulling from the front of your feet. Shift back to the middle to heel of the foot. Raising your big toe as you are setting up will help you find this spot and keep it.


Agree on the upper body tightness. My upper / mid back is usually a little sore the next day just from contracting to stay tight. It also helps me greatly if I take a narrow grip position on the bar.

Good tip on lifting the toes as a que not to have your weight forward on the pulls.