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Comments on My Squat Form Please!


#1

Just need some advices. Check out my form- depth, knee and toe alignment, back, hand position on the bar, shin angle, stance, hip drive, racking and unracking the weight, position of the bar on my traps, etc.

Some additional info. I'm squatting 190 which is my 5RM at the moment, and yes I know that's not a good squat. I have mild thoracic scoliosis. I can dumbbell squat 200lbs for 4.

Bench 5RM= 205

Deadlift 5RM= 230

Legpress 5RM= 725


#2

your heels are lifting, push through them, not the balls of your feet


#3

Ya gotta ditch the squishy shoes. You’ll feel much more stable with a solid pair of shoes.

And work on your hip mobility. Your stance looks good, but your knees aren’t quite making it out far enough. It will also make it easier to ‘sit back’ and keep your shins more vertical.


#4

Form looks great to me. A lot better than most.

But if you want nit picking: Hip Mobility needs just a tad more work, a dynamic warm up to start your workout or on your off days should be enough.

Also your pelvis is rotating just a tad before you hit parallel try adding 1-2 sets 15-20 reps of side lying clams to help with that.


#5

I don’t see your heels lifting at all, I have no idea what that guy is talking about.

Don’t worry about the weight. T-Nation is a strange place; 99% of the posters on here started off squatting 315 and deadlifting 405, most of them with no pictures or videos, even though that’s nothing like what you see in real life. 190 is decent, especially if you’ve got back issues. I had some weird back pain for a while too that kept my squat down.

Your form looks pretty good. I think your knees are fine. I think you need to open up your hips a little more, and try to think about sitting between your legs, instead of sitting back. I’m not really the best at giving form advice, but I told my buddy to check out your thread and give you his opinion, he’s better at putting this stuff in to words than me. Hopefully he’ll give you his two cents.


#6

Looks pretty good but I would echo what eeu is saying about opening up the hips to sit down more.

Things I would fix: You look like you might be taking the typical advice people always give about squatting which is to “sit back” as far as you can as you descend, but all this is really doing is making you lean forward more. Instead of doing this, bring your feet in slightly, keep your toes point out at an angle, and sit straight down into the squat by imagining a rubber band connected by your hip flexors and your heels.

You don’t have to squat like an equipped powerlifter in order to have a big squat, and you definitely shouldn’t do that if you want big legs. Here is a good example of what powerful raw squatting can look like:


#7

[quote]mr popular wrote:
You don’t have to squat like an equipped powerlifter in order to have a big squat, and you definitely shouldn’t do that if you want big legs. [/quote]
Lol. Yeah, I have to agree with this. Squatting like a powerlifter gave me a big ass and quads that measured almost 26" at the glute-ham tie-in and only 19" @4" above the knee. Not exactly my ideal leg shape.


#8

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]mr popular wrote:
You don’t have to squat like an equipped powerlifter in order to have a big squat, and you definitely shouldn’t do that if you want big legs. [/quote]
Lol. Yeah, I have to agree with this. Squatting like a powerlifter gave me a big ass and quads that measured almost 26" at the glute-ham tie-in and only 19" @4" above the knee. Not exactly my ideal leg shape.[/quote]

Can I ask what exercises you did to bring up the area above the knee? I also started with an extra wide stance(comfortabler due to long legs) and have been trying to work on bringing my feet closer. Probably why I never feel much Quads when I squat. Mostly just glutes and hams.


#9

[quote]Bmad wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]mr popular wrote:
You don’t have to squat like an equipped powerlifter in order to have a big squat, and you definitely shouldn’t do that if you want big legs. [/quote]
Lol. Yeah, I have to agree with this. Squatting like a powerlifter gave me a big ass and quads that measured almost 26" at the glute-ham tie-in and only 19" @4" above the knee. Not exactly my ideal leg shape.[/quote]

Can I ask what exercises you did to bring up the area above the knee? I also started with an extra wide stance(comfortabler due to long legs) and have been trying to work on bringing my feet closer. Probably why I never feel much Quads when I squat. Mostly just glutes and hams.[/quote]

If you want to bring up your quads, start squatting with a 25 lb plate under each heel (or start off with like a 10 if that’s too much) and narrow the stance, toes-out. It also really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really helps put emphasis on the quads to not lockout and going fairly heavy. I don’t know what you’re training for but it may not be the worst idea to drop the weight a bit (you’ll have to) and just start squatting that way for a while, it can’t hurt.

Or, if you don’t like that, pre-fatiguing the quads before the heaviest exercises always seems to do the trick. I’m in the camp that doesn’t naturally get much quad involvement, so I’ve had to go out of my way to learn some of things. A lot of its is TUT-based or has a lot of things to do with tiny variables. For instance, which direction your toes are pointed on a leg extension will affect which portion of the quads it hits best, etc.


#10

Thanks SSC

Basically I train for hypertrophy. So what ever weight/reps/exercises help me to grow the best. Since I’ve started I’ve noticed my upper body responding better than lower. Well as far as quads go. Glutes and Hams have improved alot. Hack squats give my quads a great pump but kill my knees. I’m gonna give those tips a try and see what happens. Thanks, Again!


#11

Regarding mr popular’s advice up there ^^

Definitely agree regarding too much sitting back… but would have to disagree with the sitting straight into the hole thing. I still ‘personally’ believe its easier, especially in the beginning, to continue breaking the squat the hips as you do, but after breaking back a little…spread the knees. Sort of like… imagining opening the groin up… Needs a bit of mobility, but it keeps you a bit more upright and helps with depth normally.

Just my opinion :slight_smile:


#12

get different shoes squat shoes preferably with a bit of a heel lift… get a belt anytime your over 40% of your 1rm… Pick up a dumbell and do a few sets of goblet squats to the floor (ass on the floor)your feet wont and shouldn’t be as wide when you do these but you get your elbows between your legs and inside your legs which is what the squat should look like… … your back squat should track in exactly the same line…which means your torso will end up much more upright and you will find instead of doing two lifts (a squat and a good morning which is what it looks like now on a few of your reps… not horrible just a bit.) Im pretty sure someone just posted a great how to squat article… and I have heard many of the nation level trainers say the easiest way to teach someone to squat correctly is to give them a dumbell and get them to do goblets… feels different but correct. good luck.


#13

[quote]Bmad wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]mr popular wrote:
You don’t have to squat like an equipped powerlifter in order to have a big squat, and you definitely shouldn’t do that if you want big legs. [/quote]
Lol. Yeah, I have to agree with this. Squatting like a powerlifter gave me a big ass and quads that measured almost 26" at the glute-ham tie-in and only 19" @4" above the knee. Not exactly my ideal leg shape.[/quote]

Can I ask what exercises you did to bring up the area above the knee? I also started with an extra wide stance(comfortabler due to long legs) and have been trying to work on bringing my feet closer. Probably why I never feel much Quads when I squat. Mostly just glutes and hams.[/quote]
I’ve gone through three or four routine changes over the past year, of course. Went from:

High touch-and-go box squats (about 20" stance width and letting the knees drift forward)
Trap bar hack squats
High box step-ups
Lying leg curls

Tried front squats for a while. One of my favorite quad movements, but my left knee won’t tolerate them for very long.

Then:
Full-depth back squat (narrow stance)
Lunges
Stiff-legged RDL
Leg curl
Leg ext

Then:
Leg ext
Leg curl
Reverse lunges
Stiff-legged RDL
Full squat

Put almost 3" on my lower quad measurement and, sadly, dropped almost an inch from the upper measurement.

I have recently been introduced to chain and band work. Reverse-band full squats with the EFS Short silver bands takes off ~180lbs on the way down, so I can really load the top of the movement without sacrificing depth. Each rep is a struggle from beginning to end, and it’s awesome. Can’t wait to see the results in about six months


#14

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]mr popular wrote:
You don’t have to squat like an equipped powerlifter in order to have a big squat, and you definitely shouldn’t do that if you want big legs. [/quote]
Lol. Yeah, I have to agree with this. Squatting like a powerlifter gave me a big ass and quads that measured almost 26" at the glute-ham tie-in and only 19" @4" above the knee. Not exactly my ideal leg shape.[/quote]

Thanks for all the advice everyone! keep it coming. What do you mean by squatting like a powerlifter though? and dont those guys have monster legs anyway!? oh and can anyone recommend a good brand of squat/deadlifting shoes?


#15

[quote]Swolle wrote:
get different shoes squat shoes preferably with a bit of a heel lift… get a belt anytime your over 40% of your 1rm… Pick up a dumbell and do a few sets of goblet squats to the floor (ass on the floor)your feet wont and shouldn’t be as wide when you do these but you get your elbows between your legs and inside your legs which is what the squat should look like… … your back squat should track in exactly the same line…which means your torso will end up much more upright and you will find instead of doing two lifts (a squat and a good morning which is what it looks like now on a few of your reps… not horrible just a bit.) Im pretty sure someone just posted a great how to squat article… and I have heard many of the nation level trainers say the easiest way to teach someone to squat correctly is to give them a dumbell and get them to do goblets… feels different but correct. good luck. [/quote]

Much appreciated! I really want my legs to be a strength. I hate dudes with huge arms, chests, backs, and arms and little tiny chicken legs that they always cover up with sweats. So I’m trying to get my squat form down as fuck


#16

Hm I can just recite those advices which have aleady been given. It always helps a lot to loosen up your hips, and do mobility stuff before squats. After that I think you should only focus on sitting between your knees. Like olyfters.

I think you’d be fine with just regular flat heeled shoes as long as you have plates under your heels :slight_smile: But definitely get some shoes which allow you to be perfectly firm with your stance.

Just for fun:

I’m aware that it had been linked like million times, but still one of the best squatting vids on youtube. Looks so natural and easily flowing movement. You should aim for it. Once you got comfortable and stable with the form, you can move some heavy ass weight and have great legs. =o)


#17

I took your advices, narrowed my stance a bit, opened up my legs as i descended, kept my heels planted as balls, and tried to keep a solid arch. the stance definitely a much greater pump in my quads, and the depth that i was able to achieve meant that i was still able to have great glute and ham involvement. However, squatting this way definitely made me realize that while my hip mobility has greatly improved, it still needs some more work.


#18

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#19

Another thing to consider is what “rack” (high or low) position you choose. A high rack position (like Olympic lifters use) places the bar on the upper trapezius, keeping the bar closer to the center of gravity and allowing for a more vertical spine throughout the movement (better for ATG/quad development). The low rack position (like powerlifters use) places the bar across the rear deltoids, keeping the bar further from the center of gravity and thus forcing one to lean forward further during the movement (better for glute/hamstring development).

It looks to me like you might be somewhere in the middle, but closer to the low rack position. Perhaps it’s just camera angle though.


#20

Some inspirational vids posted so far. I’ve always thought this one was a great squat form (with heavy weight) vid as well: