T Nation

Back Squat Form Check



My brother:

I'm not certain if I am getting low enough, I believe if I go lower I loose the curvature in my back.


Your squat looks pretty damn good, depth looks fine. Try to push your hips all the way through at the top, it seems like your stopping short a little. Some may say to push your elbows forward more, but honestly it feels better for me when I have them farther back like yours, so that's just something to experiment with (along with hand width).

Brother's squats look fine. He may want to tuck his chin in a little bit more though, I just say that from personal experience. I've had a few neck strains from looking up too high when squatting. But if it works for him then what the hell.


You're not going low enough in my opinion. Your brother's depth seems acceptable.

As for back rounding + curvature etc, your hips are probably too tight. I'm pretty sure you can go much deeper than that if you wanted to.


Yours is way too high.

Brothers looks fine. If you really want to nit-pick, his back might by rounding a tiny bit in the hole




I certainly can go lower -- here's the same weight in the hole:

Although, my back position beings to get compromised. I'm reasonably flexible and stretch often -- would my squats benefit from stretching the hip flexors daily?


I see two different bar positions here. In your first video, your using a low bar position. This you can still get to below parallel on, just won't be as deep as high bar squat because of balancing. If you have Rips book, do the squat stretch as this helps tremendously with the low bar squat. You should be looking at a point where the wall meets the floor, as this will give you a better positioning of where your body needs to be. Lastly, focus on driving the hips up hard.

However, if you do use the high bar squat as in the second video you posted, I would focus on looking straight ahead, sit straight down between your legs, and keep a tight braced upper back. I think your squat on this one looked great for the most part, now its a matter of keeping a more upright stance and not good morning the squat out of the whole(you can see the back coming forward in the last couple reps). Just remember, the high bar demands a more upright position than the low bar, but it works the glutes and quads more to a degree than the hamstrings and glutes.

Choose whichever your comfortable with. You should be able to make great depth on either squat(full range of motion, which is usually below parallel for most limbs).


no and no.

given the angle of the vid isnt the best, youre definitely cutting the squats higher in your first vid, if only using the vid of your brother's squats as evidence. in your second vid, youre definitely hitting depth. i would say where you want to cut the depth depends on what youre training for. if youre training with powerlifting in mind, a depth lower than your first vid, but higher than your second vid would be ideal.

as far as tucking the chin, thats just not right. you should be thinking about driving your head back into the bar- helps you keep your chest up, which helps to not fall forward with the weight. this actually goes hand in hand with tucking the elbows under the bar, as opposed to chicken winging them back. both of these things help you stay tight and more upright as opposed to the heavy barbell and gravity having its way with you.


Dude... this is a much better video..

It's not a stretching problem then. It seems like you glutes are compensating for some weakness elsewhere.. probably in your quads

Try throwing in some front squats and go heavy on them.


Thanks for the feedback. Although, from what I understand your back position is more critical than depth. I'm suprised my glutes are doing the compensating, I thought my PC needed some work.

I'd like to get the depth without getting my back to round like that.

BTW, I do a total body split: I hit back squats M/F -- front sqats/standard deads on W.


It doesn't look like you lose your lower back curvature at all. In fact it looks like you're in some noticeable anterior pelvic tilt.

You might want to try and focus on extending the hip but squeezing your cheeks at the end too. It looks like you lack some hip extension.




I agree with eveyrone else, you aren't going low enough, your brother is fine.

I dont know if anyone covered this or not, but it looks like you are squatting a lot with your knees and not enough with your hips. It depends on your goals as for squats, but box squats may be in your future.


Your squats are too shallow. If you're having trouble getting depth with good form, I recommend two things:

  1. Get some olympic weightlifting shoes with a hard sole and a heel. This will make hitting depth easier and shift emphasis a little bit towards the quads.

  2. Get stretching your hamstrings, glutes, and hips. One or more of them are probably holding you back.