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Chest Cave/Back Rounding with Squats, Advice? Posture Training Frequency?

Squats technique question, posture question

Currently in anterior pelvic tilt, internally rotated shoulders etc.

Squat question- If I squat without any weight and have my arms forwards (like a zombie) my dorm looks great. The second I pull my arms back (like if I had a barbell on my back) my form quickly goes to shit, I fall backwards very suddenly and my chest caves and back rounds. Would this be a result of just a weak core or is something else lagging? Anything I can do to improve this?

Posture question- Jeff Cavaliere & John Rusin (plus others) have suggested doing core work, glute work, face pulls and band pull aparts daily to help with posture. I have started a 6 days a week drill where I do 2-3 sets for glutes, core, a rowing exercise, band pull aparts/rear delt flies, some lower trap and serratus anterior work.

The resistance isn’t very high and most are performed with TUT to really focus on specific weak muscles. Between sets I’m stretching right antagonistic muscles (pec minor/hip flexors/lats). The idea is to stimulate the inhibited and weakened muscles daily, as opposed to a push/pull/legs split where they get hit hard 1-2x a week but have nothing on rest days to stimulate them. Would something like this be more beneficial as opposed to a traditional push/pull/legs split? FYI there are no push exercises for me (impinged shoulders, I’m not too concerned with missing push exercises for a while).

Apologies for the long post and I’d appreciate any constructive criticism!

How old are you?

You’ll probably need to put up a video for anyone to help you with your squat.

I’m no PT, but I think you need to just practice your posture (squeezes flutes, “crunched” abs) all day until it becomes second nature.

I’m 34.

Video: In squat shoes if it matters.

If I keep my chest a little more upright, the bar path moves back and throws me off balance. I’m flexing my back hard but it doesn’t seem to show much in the video :sweat_smile:

I do my best to keep my hips out of anterior tilt and flex glutes hard throughout the day, and do the same with pulling my shoulders back. I understand it’ll take some time but it’s irritating that I can’t even squat correctly.

How tall are you man?

In the video, with the bar across your shoulders it’s way “back” or like behind your feet. So you have to lean way forward to keep your balance, or to keep the bar over your feet. This is a common problem for tall guys.

You can see in your “zombie squat” your balance is much better and the squat motion is much more natural. You should squat like that. Zombie Front squat style. Just put the bar across the front of your shoulder and work on squatting that way for awhile…


I like your plan for the shoulders. I had similar issues, did pretty much the same work as you’re talking about and it worked out pretty well for me. I can even do push exercises with mediocre weights now.


is there a reason you’re using such a low bar position when you squat?

If you don’t have a specific reason why you’re back-squatting, I would abandon the movement for now and focus on squat forms that will better promote your bracing ability, posture, mobility, etc. Goblet squats are what I use to teach new lifters how to properly squat. Once you get comfortable with the goblet squat, you can move to the front squat. For most goals, the front squat is a better lift overall, and just doing that can take you far.

So, what are your goals?


Im 5’9, just average height. I switched to low bar because high bar requires more ankle mobility and I have an impinged ankle. Low bar requires far less mobility, though I’ve never really squatted any weight with it because I’m learning the movement. Is the bar too low even for a low bar squat?

Front squats are difficult because I snapped my collar bone in two and it fused together sticking out, so even the bar causes a degree of discomfort.

Goals- Id like to be able to squat and deadlift as much as possible, and be strong overall. I used to deadlift 405 at 175lb but this was almost a decade ago. 225lbs now is challenging lol.

Flatsfarmer how long did it takes you before you were able to push mediocre weights afternoon your shoulder issues? I know I’m in it for the long haul but it’d be nice knowing if I’m looking at months or years!

You have tight hamstrings, glutes, and back muscles I think. Stretch those guys out.

Squat high bar, but like flip said, I would honestly just do front squats and goblet squats until you can do some decent weight with them. Front squatting will fix most of the problems people have with back squats.

If front squats hurt too much because of your collarbone (it shouldn’t be resting on it anyway) I would honestly just buy a Safety Squat Bar and just squat with that. If I could pick ONE squat to do for the rest of my life it would be an SSB.

Btw love the squat stand setup, minimalist for the win!

I messed around going 2 steps forward, 3 steps back for a long time with the shoulders.

Finally I was able to put it together, range of motion exercises for the joint itself, then learning to squeeze lower traps, rear delts, rhomboids, And serratus anterior. That was the last missing “piece” for me. Once I figured out how to engage/work the serratus all the other stuff started working better. Then in a couple months my shoulders didn’t impinge anymore.

The shoulder rotation against the band that these guys show at about 2:00 minutes worked great for me, and I’ve never seen it anywhere else. You can progress by just going bigger and faster with the rotations.

These arm circles near the wall are good too. I do them before every workout. You can start easy with small circles, far from the wall and progress by getting closer with bigger arm circles.

I recorded another video, no warm up, of a higher bar squat and I’d say it looks better. Any pointers on this would also be appreciated!

That looks way better my desi brotha!

Squat high bar, do some stretches for hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, ankles.
Hit those abs hard and upper back.

You’ll be good to go if every rep looks like the first 3.

I forgot to mention I switched foot stance several times to see how it looks (regular, wide, narrow) so I guess regular stance works best!

You said your shoulders started improving once you started serratus anterior exercises and learning to use it. I was curious to see what you did in terms of exercises and volume, in case I’m missing anything or doing something wrong, a reply would be much appreciated!

Currently I work my serratus with a static push up plus hold (about 45 secs every morning just to “wake it up”), and hit it three times a week (3 sets of 10-20) with a variety of targeted exercises. I’m also doing wall facing wall slides as a warm up with protracted arms (picked up from a video by Eric Cressey).

-Apologies, I don’t know how to private message so I’m hoping you see this :sweat_smile:

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Make sure you’re stacked under the bar when you unrack. Don’t unrack the bar with your feet behind the bar, let them be under it including your hips


Like you, I did stuff at home a few times a week, to wake it up. Wall slide, door stretch, external rotations, etc. Those band resisted arm circles, starting with and trying to maintain scap position and then build ROM.

And stuff before upper body days at the gym 3-6 sets of little stuff before lifting. I did lots of bad resisted “serratus pushes” with a miniband around my back, similar to the pushup you’re into. Also scare crows,cuban rotations, etc.

As I improved my shoulders stopped impinging during day to day stuff and I really got after rebuilding my shoulders and pressing exercises. It was working so I did more. I’d do a move for the serratus, or scap tilt, then a shoulder or back exercises.


Isometric External Rotation Drill x 3
Rear Delt Raise x 12
for 3-4 sets

Scarecrow x 8
Side Delt Raise x 12
for 3-4 sets

Lower Trap raise x 6
Single Arm Seated Press Machine (starting with like no weight or 5 pounds) x 8
for 3 -4 sets


John Meadows Lat Activation Drill x 3 squeezes
Single Arm Pulldown x 12

Y-Raise x 10
Chest Supported Rows x 12

Here’s way more details

Here’s an article that talks about building shoulders with small isolation exercises.

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I really appreciate the detailed reply, thanks for the effort you put into it!

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I second this… for what its worth.