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Back Squat Form Check


was wondering if any of you could watch this short clip to see if I'm squatting properly. it's my first year squatting so I don't want to develop any bad habits that later on lead to herniating/bulging discs or shit knees.

mainly just concerned with lower back form and the tracking of knees to toes (of what little you can see here). also wondering if I'm squatting deep enough. my femurs are ridiculously long (i am 6' 8") which is why I have to bend over so much to counter-balance the weight.

any thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated:

thanks, yo


Overall not bad considering your height; long femurs do nake it hard to maintain a straight back as you reach depth. I have long femurs too, so here are some things that helped me:

-I would try widening your stance a bit and push your knees apart while gripping the floor with your feet. This should make it easier to get a little more depth while also potentially hitting the adductors more(good for leg thickness and hip health).

-Don't freak out too much if your knees move forward, posibly even passed your toes. For the average person, yes, try to avoid passing your toes with your knees. You're 6'8"; you're not the average person. I had "knees-over-toes" anxiety when I first started, fearing that I would fuck up my knees. Think more about the bar path; it should stay over the midfoot throughout the movement. If your knees move forward in order to maintain that, so be it.

-Give some attention to shoulder flexibility and upper-back/trap tightness. In the heavier weights your wrists would cock back; you want them straight and flexed. If you can't do this, widen your grip for the mean time and work on what was mentioned above.

-Good mornings. Do them. Gives very good attention to the posterior chain and good awareness of the glute-hamstring relationship. I personally do them with a wide stance but experiment to see what works for you. Jim Wendler wrote an article on them recently, read it.

-Get bigger legs. Squats help build bigger legs, but bigger legs also help the squat by contributing to the lever advantage of the legs. Getting your legs bigger overall will contribute to the mechanics of your squat.

Hope this helps. Getting a video up of your upper body from a side angle would help, too.


Only thing I would add to the previous post is to lock out at the top by squeezing your glutes. You have to pull your hips through by squeezing them hard. Alot of ppl overlook this, because its honestly not likely to help you squat more weight.... however the more your hip extension is being completely controlled through your hammies, the more likely you are to get anterior hip pain, or what Eric Cresser refers to anterior femoral glide syndrome.

Look it up, I had to. because my hips started hurting like hell.. other than that, nice squat. Work a little more on flexibility and you might get well below parallel.


^this [/thread]


  • will try this

  • duly noted

  • yeahhh. i definitely need to work on this. watched the first half of magnificent mobility and got all of the spinal flossing techniques and hip flexor exercises but never got to the upper body stretches. ahha. i'll check those out now.

  • just read wendler's article. very informative. when would you recommend doing GM's? i'm doing an upper/lower body split over 4 days (M/W/F/S) with legs on M/F and deads on F, upper body on W/S. i would guess after deads on F or even after squats on M? i suppose i should just try it and see what works.

  • yeah, rofl. i know i have stick legs. stick arms. that's why i'm doing squats!

  • Skeme: yeah. definitely. i went through a relatively stagnant/lethargic period of my life in the last year of hs and two years after that. i would sit in front of the computer all day and, naturally, my hip flexors shortened. i just now got back into lifting and exercising, so i've had a pretty brutal/painful time lengthening the flexors to the extent where i'm not in pain every time i stand up. i'm at the point where i only have issues like once a week at most, though. i just keep doing my reverse warrior lunges, prone scorpions and leg swings on a daily basis, hehe. i'll have to check out what you listed, though.

i really appreciate the responses, guys. thanks.


you need to get your elbows under the bar. squatting efficiently is about keeping the bar as close to over your hips as possible. allowing your elbows to drift back allows the upper body to get loose and the weight ultimately get's in front of your hips. forcing the elbows under the bar locks the upper body into the proper position. it will also help you with your ROM. it's really hard to get to parallel or below if the weight is in front of your hips. your hips stay high to maintain balance during the squat. if you can keep the bar over your hips then you will find that you can drop lower into your squat. as you squat down, force the knees out and also as you reverse the movement.

here's one of mine as an example. it's a decent angle to see the elbows throughout the lift.


I'm a full foot shorter than you, but this might help.

My first year of squatting I had trouble getting depth without bending over. Basically I had tight ankles (dorsiflexion was impaired) meaning my knees would have trouble passing my toes. Consequently, every time I hit parallel, I'd have to bend at the hip to keep from falling back.

The remedy to this was simple stretching. You go to a wall, and push on it off one foot (sort of like a calf stretch, but with knees bent).


The bar just doesn't feel stable and starts to slide down my back if I'm not pulling my elbows back and making a shelf with my lats. It's entirely possible that I could just need more muscle mass, though. I'll experiment with a wider grip and getting my elbows under my wrists, though. I may just be doing it wrong.



It may help to think about your elbows and wrists. When getting into position with the bar on your back before the initial lift off, grasp the bar and roll your fists forward and flex your wrists(this should have an immediate effect on upper back tightness). Then, while maintaining the wrist flexion, tuck your elbows towards the underside of the bar and act as though you are securring or fastening the bar your back and push your ribs forward. Breath work is important, too; take a deep breath before the decent and think about filling up the ribs.


Yeah. Squatted today. Good session, but I don't think I have the shoulder mobility to do what you guys are saying. Just going to work on the MM stuff for now and see where I'm at next squat session and take it from there. I did experience minor elbow pain during my squats today (gone now), so that's definitely a sign that something needs to change.

Going to stick to working out my shoulder mobility for now, but if all else fails, I think I'll just go back to doing front squats.

I also sort of injured my left shoulder roughly a month back just due to me being a retard. The pain subsided quickly (2 days) and hasn't been back since but I don't think I've ever had proper mobility in my shoulders, so that's definitely something I'm going to work on.

Again, I really appreciate the input.


One last thing would be to incorporate some deadlifting(if you aren't already). It won't necessarily help with the shoulder mobility but it is good for individuals in our situation(tall, long arms, long femurs, etc.) Point is deadlifts have always felt more comfortable and almost as though I was "built" for the movement(I say that because my 5'8" friend with a 65" reach says he's 'built' for bench pressing).

Point is, focus on the big lifts but recognize where your strengths are and what could potentially be limiting your strength/size gains. I only say that last part because I wanted more than anything to dominate the squat; never gave deadlifiting a second look. After taking an insane amount of time trying to perfect the squat I realized my time would better spent dominating my deadlift. Don't give up, but again, recognize where your time can be best spent. Best of luck with your iron game. Best advice I can give is "know thyself"


I love to deadlift, although progression has stalled as of late due to cns fatigue from sprinting for sports. I think the start of classes also has something to do with it. My current pr is 345 (working on it, lol).


I'll only add that you might want to rack the bar lower, you shouldn't be on your tiptoes while unracking it.