T Nation

'Big 3' Form Checks

Today went very well indeed by my starting strength standards, with new PRs in the squat, bench press and deadlift.

104kg bar Squat, 67kg bar Bench, 135kg bar Deadlift. I also weighed myself today at 167.4 pounds, the highest i’ve ever been and the first significant jump in a good while, this is since ive upped my milk intake and that is basically the only change in diet.

Squat:

Bench:

Deadlift:

Want to ensure my form is acceptable for these lifts, then i will attempt a press, BOR and power clean video next session if possible, as they are the lifts i feel are definitely not right.

The camera angle on the squat video is awful.

Squat: down WAY too fast. elbows forward.

Bench: if your doing it for power, tuck your elbows in. and you go down too fast here too

Deadlift: Make your grip closer, stick your chest out (shoulder blades back) and stop rounding your lower back. Oh also, put the bar to the ground each rep.

Squat:

  • lower back rounding,
  • neck hyperextension;

DL:

  • lower back rounding,
  • “touch and go” reps (you should actually start each rep from a dead stop on the floor - hence the name “DEAD lift”),
  • not sure because of camera angle, but it seems you didn’t retract your scapulae at lock-out;

BP:

  • elbows flaring a bit too much (keep them closer to your torso);

For all the three lifts, lowering portion seems a bit too fast…not a real issue on DL, maybe, but you should control the weight as it goes down.

My 2 cents!

B rock, you type way faster than me!!!

By the way, I’ll add that OP core seems a little weak on Squat and DL…he doesn’t look any “tight”.

Neck hyperextiension is frigign’ awful on the squat, fix it immediately…

Loose elbow’s while lifting the DL off the ground. An exellent way to pick up an injury

The rest has been pointed out by fabiop and B Rock

B Rock hit it best with a Fabio in a close 2nd … just felt like sharing :slight_smile: … like where your heads at OP.

Another tip: can you post a pic of your back, in a relaxed condition? From your avatar, it looks like you’ve got a freakin scoliosis…hope it’s just the posing!

Squat: Stop freefalling, the lowering portion builds elastic energy/tension in the hamstrings which is crucial for getting you out of the hole. Go down slower. And go deeper.

Bench: Press in a straight line, with every rep you were pushing the bar at an angle toward the rack.

Deadlift: Reset the bar on the floor after each rep and there is no reason to use a mixed grip at this point in your training. Learn the hook grip. Also make sure that your arms stay completely extended throughout the lift to protect your biceps.

[quote]tom8658 wrote:
The camera angle on the squat video is awful.[/quote]

Thanks for the post! But seriously it’s because I work out at home and there is limited free room around the power rack, that is literally the best angle I could get using my phone camera.

@B rocK: Thanks I will definitely try and squat slower and tighter with my elbows in… thought they were in but once someone points it out its clear to see. Bench I shall try tucking the elbows a little, assuming you mean on the lowest point of the push they went to be just by my sides? Deadlift: ill sort it thanks

@fabiop: Again ill try it, and definitely try and slow down my lowering, that neck hyperextension looks horrible now its been pointed out! I also agree I need to remember to think “be tight” all the way through my lifts.

@Jereth127: well noticed on the elbows, I wouldn’t have thought i’d been doing it at all but ill glad you pointed it out, I will fix this.

@polo77j: i agree and thanks man

@absolute3: Will do, it’s odd to think from a beginners point of view that slower will actually mean being able to “bounce” out of the hole more effectively, but i will definitely slow down and make sure I still keep sticking to going deep.

I’ve learned that the bench isn’t a straight up and down movement unless I was doing a “westside barbell bench”, which i’m not. I’m pushing from my strongest position at the bottom to locking out at my strongest holding position at the top. Mixed grip is prescribed as fine to use on your max effort lifts, I don’t use it on any of the warm up’s… but even with plenty of chalk I can lift well over 10kg less without using mixed grip, I will reset the bar and keeps my arms straight though from now on.

Thanks for the advice, the back image is below.

http://img102.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc01843.jpg

[quote]jake_j_m wrote:

I’ve learned that the bench isn’t a straight up and down movement unless I was doing a “westside barbell bench”, which i’m not. I’m pushing from my strongest position at the bottom to locking out at my strongest holding position at the top.

Thanks for the advice, the back image is below.

http://img102.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc01843.jpg [/quote]

For your shoulders health, you’ve better bench press in a straight line, keeping your elbows at 45° to your torso ALL THE TIME (and trying to keep your scapulae fully retracted and depressed - like at the end of a bent-over rowing).

Your back looks better than in your avatar, although you may need a few sets of DB Y-T-W-L to correct your sligthly winging scapulae. All the best!

[quote]jake_j_m wrote:

@absolute3: Will do, it’s odd to think from a beginners point of view that slower will actually mean being able to “bounce” out of the hole more effectively, but i will definitely slow down and make sure I still keep sticking to going deep.

I’ve learned that the bench isn’t a straight up and down movement unless I was doing a “westside barbell bench”, which i’m not. I’m pushing from my strongest position at the bottom to locking out at my strongest holding position at the top. Mixed grip is prescribed as fine to use on your max effort lifts, I don’t use it on any of the warm up’s… but even with plenty of chalk I can lift well over 10kg less without using mixed grip, I will reset the bar and keeps my arms straight though from now on.

Thanks for the advice, the back image is below.

http://img102.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc01843.jpg[/quote]

You DO NOT want to “bounce” out of the whole when you squat. That equivalent to bouncing the weight off your chest when you bench…dangerous and not the most effective way to do it. I can guarantee that you are not as tight as you should be if you can bounce out of the hole. All the people that told you slow down really just want you to stop uncontrollably dropping and bouncing out of the bottom.

You don’t have to bench strait up and down, but your bar path is a little unstable. You’re probably not squeezing the bar or keeping your back tight.

[quote]fabiop wrote:
jake_j_m wrote:

I’ve learned that the bench isn’t a straight up and down movement unless I was doing a “westside barbell bench”, which i’m not. I’m pushing from my strongest position at the bottom to locking out at my strongest holding position at the top.

Thanks for the advice, the back image is below.

http://img102.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc01843.jpg

For your shoulders health, you’ve better bench press in a straight line, keeping your elbows at 45° to your torso ALL THE TIME (and trying to keep your scapulae fully retracted and depressed - like at the end of a bent-over rowing).

Your back looks better than in your avatar, although you may need a few sets of DB Y-T-W-L to correct your sligthly winging scapulae. All the best! [/quote]

Even the westside guy’s now agree that you should flair at the top and let the bar drift towards your head. The point of benching in a strait line as westside used to subscribe to it was merely because it was the shortest range motion. It had nothing to do with shoulder health. Tucking your elbows does however.

Thanks Pemdas, that just about clears everything up i think, i’ll make sure i slow down my lowering portion of the squat and also make sure i tuck my elbows, i’m glad i was at least most of the way towards a correct bench though, i think my main two points are to:

-slow down my lowering of the weights

  • get and stay as tight as possible through gripping the bar as hard as possible

and obviously i will avoid any rounding/hyperextension, this should hopefully clear up as a result of going tighter and slower though i think.

[quote]Pemdas wrote:

Even the westside guy’s now agree that you should flair at the top and let the bar drift towards your head. The point of benching in a strait line as westside used to subscribe to it was merely because it was the shortest range motion. It had nothing to do with shoulder health. Tucking your elbows does however.
[/quote]

Thank you, Pemdas! I’m going to try flairing at the top on my next bench day!

Pemdas, you rule man! Your my hero!!

[quote]B rocK wrote:
Pemdas, you rule man! Your my hero!![/quote]

He really is a hero!

Update- Did Squats today with new PR of 106kg… first set of five my form was much better and it felt better doing it too, still had to remember to correct neck hyperexension and i think the reason for doing this is the window that i am facing when squatting, which makes it hard to keep looking straight when my starting eyeline is on the plain wall above it, managed 4 reps on the second set which isn’t all too bad for training late when i was abit tired, whilst using a new PR and proper form, next time i should be able to get 3x5 or very close.

I didn’t have a partner to film but i will be making a post in the next week that features my revised squat as well my ‘form’ for the press and the high pull, which will need lots of work.