T Nation

Critique My Deadlift and Squat Form Please

Hi everyone!

I am looking for some help with my squat and deadlift. I know there are problems with my form (especially my deadlift) and where I am situated finding powerlifting-related help quite difficult. So I am hoping that those experienced may give me a few pointers.

Deadlift:

Squat:

This was a max out session and I know that my deadlift form suffered badly (definitely ugly rounding there) and my squat depth - well, I didn’t hit depth.

I am looking to compete in a Powerlifting Australia event early next year which is affiliated with the IPF and thus uses IPF guidelines.

Thank you very much,

Caleb

Don’t have a good angle to make a great judgement on the squat. Don’t seem to have a good arch in the low back, and you have a fair bit of forward knee drift, which I’d guess is from not sitting back much. Can’t tell for sure from the vid.

Deadlift seems to be a bit stiff-legged and you don’t lock out your knees at lockout; you’d probably get redlighted for it. Deadlift definately has more in the tank though. Whereabouts are you based in Australia? What meet are you looking to do?

Hi smokotime. Thanks for your input.

I am in Sydney and if things run the same in 09 as they did this year there should be a Sydney Open sometime in February. I would compete sooner but I will be potentially away for the second half of the year so my schedule is really not known at the moment. Basically I want to compete fairly soon so I can get a feel for it.

You may not be able to see it but on the deadlift my overhand grip on my left is struggling at lockout and admittedly I didn’t feel the lockout was complete. I previously thought it was purely a grip strength + hip extension issue and have never looked at the knees. Thanks for pointing it out. I have always pulled somewhat stiff-legged because I feel stronger with the hips a tad higher - is this a problem?

Prior to this I had only trained the deadlift heavy twice in the last 5 months so I was somewhat surprised at even getting to 170.

How much further would legal depth be on the squat based on your experience at comps?

Your lifts are very impressive! It is actually really cool to see a fellow Aussie lifter!

  • Caleb

Nice straight back in the dead. But it seems like you could use your legs more.

The squats look like they should be a bit deeper.

Squats:
You place the bar fairly high on your back, you’ll get more out of those strong hips if you lower the bar across your rear delts and sit back more, otherwise you need to do more of an olympic squat. Try holding the bar lower and doing some box squats, try to keep those shins vertical.

Deadlift:
Stiff-legged, you’ll still get power out of those hips if you drop you butt a little lower, keep that head up and squeeze those shoulders back. Also, can’t really tell but is that bar starting on your shins? Make sure you drag it up those legs and push through your heels.

Other then that you look pretty strong! Keep up the good work and God Bless brother.

Form looks OK for general strength and fitness purposes. For powerlifting consider this.

Deads- high hip postiion might be OK for you. I feel like it is usually better for lanky, long-limbed guys. However, you look like you are trying to pull with your upper back. Try getting a big gulp of air, tense your abs, and slouch your shoulders. You probably just shaved 2 or 3 inches off your stroke.

Squats- the poster above is right. You can probably squat more with the bar lower on your back. Give it a try. Also, when you set up- after you walk the weight out- wait a second and let the bar “settle”, then squat. This will improve your control of the bar and you will need to hold th eweight for second anyway like that in a meet situation.

Deadlifts actually look pretty good. It is apparent that you are pretty quad dominant, but you are still able to maintain good form with a flat back. My biggest suggestion would be to find a gym where you can lift from the floor. That 1-2" elevation for the deadlift can have a major effect on your positioning. When you start pulling from the floor, you may or may not find that you need to lower your hips, or it may just happen naturally. If you can maintain the same form from the floor, I don’t think you will benefit much from lowering them, but it still might be worth a shot.

The reason you are having so much trouble hitting parallel in the squat is because you are using your quads/knees so much that you go through the joints entire range of motion before you hit depth. Your solution is to initiate the movement with your hips and sit back more. You may want to experiment with a wider stance and lower bar placement, but the first thing I would do is to make sure the first movement on your decent is to push your glutes back.

he’s doing a shoulder stance high-bar squat, starting with a knee bend is completely standard and the movement is supposed to be quad and hip dominant, no?

I think the deadlifts are getting too far in front of you once the bar gets past your knees, I have the same problem sometimes, lats need to be pulling the bar up your thighs to lock it out.

Good suggestions from everyone. I’ll add that on the deadlift, as you’re lowering down the weights, try and not to look to the sides because you can hurt yourself. I once did this and got an annoying pain on my neck.

DEADLIFT
Good
-Back is nice and strong/straight.
-Shoulder blades over the bar

Bad
-Knees dont fully lockout at the top.
-Your shins are not close enough to the bar. The bar should drag along the shins and quads.
-No initial leg drive at the start of the movement.

Most of your problems result from an incorrect starting position. To fix this:
1 Stand so your feet are halfway under the bar (half your foot on each side of the bar)
2 Bend over, grabbing the bar just outside your legs.
3 Bend your knees until your shins are in contact with the bar.
4 Straighten your Back.
5 Pull

Smitty

[quote]tedro wrote:
The reason you are having so much trouble hitting parallel in the squat is because you are using your quads/knees so much that you go through the joints entire range of motion before you hit depth. Your solution is to initiate the movement with your hips and sit back more. You may want to experiment with a wider stance and lower bar placement, but the first thing I would do is to make sure the first movement on your decent is to push your glutes back.
[/quote]

Try pointing your toes out a little as well. Also, I couldn’t really tell, but are your heels coming off of the ground? There seems to be some movement suggesting that they may be in the second lift.

scubasteve - no, you are right the bar is a probably an inch or two too far from my shins.

tedro - can you please explain what lifting from the floor means?

hoosegow - I don’t think the heels are coming off the ground in that particular lift but sometimes I have the problem of falling forward in the squat. I thought it was due to tight calves (and maybe it is?) but i really need to work on sitting back in the squat.

Thank you for all the input - it is very very valuable to me. I will experiment with a lower bar squat position and probably start box squatting to help me sit back a lot more.

For the deadlift I have always felt stronger with the hips higher and basically pulling with my back (all my max effort pulls seem to go down this route). But I’ll drop the weight and try and get a bit more leg drive and see how it feels.

Thanks again everyone, really appreciate it.

[quote]calebcaleb wrote:
tedro - can you please explain what lifting from the floor means?

[/quote]

You have the plates sitting on a 2" platform to protect the floor, yet you are still standing on the floor. Set the weights right on the floor, or use a solid 8’ platform.

[quote]calebcaleb wrote:
Hi smokotime. Thanks for your input.

I am in Sydney and if things run the same in 09 as they did this year there should be a Sydney Open sometime in February. I would compete sooner but I will be potentially away for the second half of the year so my schedule is really not known at the moment. Basically I want to compete fairly soon so I can get a feel for it.

You may not be able to see it but on the deadlift my overhand grip on my left is struggling at lockout and admittedly I didn’t feel the lockout was complete. I previously thought it was purely a grip strength + hip extension issue and have never looked at the knees. Thanks for pointing it out. I have always pulled somewhat stiff-legged because I feel stronger with the hips a tad higher - is this a problem?

Prior to this I had only trained the deadlift heavy twice in the last 5 months so I was somewhat surprised at even getting to 170.

How much further would legal depth be on the squat based on your experience at comps?

Your lifts are very impressive! It is actually really cool to see a fellow Aussie lifter!

  • Caleb[/quote]

With the squat, I can’t really say from the angle. You seem to be around parallel, and if you were not drifting your knees as much it’d be a lot closer. Hips high in the deadlift is not necessarily a problem, so long as your leverage and ab strength is good.
If you have access to a car, basically every 2 months there is a competition near Newcastle, or in Sydney. Next one is the Nationals though, so theres the whole qualifying total thing. Drop me a PM, let me know your situation vis-a-vis transport and your area as either myself or some of the other Sydney lifters might be close by. Just getting a couple of pointers and knowing what you need to be competitive in your class helps a hell of a lot!