T Nation

Crooked-Ass Squat. Help?


#1

Hey everyone,

I've been working hard on getting up my rather weak squat, and it seems to be bearing fruit. At the moment I'm running the six-week Russian squat program again, which I've done in past years as a sort of boost to my training.

Today, I decided to film my squat from behind. I was shocked to see how crooked the bar lay on my delts and how much my right knee caves in. I'm thinking that these two problems are correlated (i.e., my poor right hip mobility means that my entire right side gets "less deep" in the hole, thus pushing my right shoulder up and my left shoulder down).

I've attached the video (a set of 5 at 130 kg) for you to check out.

What do you make of my problem? I've got to work on my hip mobility one way or another, but it'd be interesting to hear from those of you who have experienced this yourselves and/or the squat technique experts amongst you.

Thanks very much in advance!


#2

My brother had this same issue and what ended up fixing it was squatting with a very wide stance and really focusing on the cue “knees out”.


#3

Thanks for the tip! I’ve experimented with many different stance widths in an effort to improve things and still seem to do my best/feel most comfortable at about this width. Needless to say, “knees out” is something that I’m always focusing on, but it doesn’t seem to be getting through to the right side. :wink:


#4

Are u sure right foot is in line with left foot after walk out? Not clear from this angle but it seems behind it


#5

[quote]kalb wrote:
Are u sure right foot is in line with left foot after walk out? Not clear from this angle but it seems behind it[/quote]
I’d agree something’s off with your feet, it looks like your left foot is pointed outwards more than your right foot too?

Also it looks like your body is staying over your right foot. Sorry I don’t know how to fix that besides just dropping the weight and making sure you’re doing them all right.


#6

Thanks for the feedback, folks. I think the fact that I can’t open my right hip up as much as my left contributes to the fact that my body is “turned” a bit towards the right side, as you pointed out, tylerkeen.

I’ll have to watch out for my foot placement, too. Instinctively I want to keep my right foot about 1 cm behind my left. No idea why.


#7

Another thing is it could be mainly because of your anthropometry. Not everyone has an awesome skeletal structure.


#8

I found switching from a narrow stance to a wide stance, my weights went down, then up past where I was. Knees driven outward, focus on loading the hips and away from the quads. Also more knee friendly.

Narrow stance + knees caving + losing your form in the hole = shift in load to your quads, away from you glutes and hams.

Based on my experience.


#9

My right hip (IT band) is always tight. I tend to squat into my right side when this happens.

Mobility and orthopaedic massages definitely help. I can tell when it’s time for a massage or graston work when my squat starts to look funky. filming your lifts reveal what’s right and potentially wrong.


#10

I’ve been dealing with the same issue myself. I tried all kinds of ab stuff, single leg work. hip exercises, etc. No squats for 12 weeks. I’ve been doing all kinds of lunges and front squats.

Today I said ENUFF! and just back squatted. I asked a big dude at the gym to watch me squat, and the first thing he said was “move your feet out.” I moved my feet out, and BAM everything felt better. I could feel my glutes and hips working, and the guy watching said my squat was no longer crooked!

So I would totally agree with the advice to widen your stance. Like so wide your feet touch the bottom of the power rack. Try it, and see if it takes the stress off your back, and if you feel the glutes and hips more.

Also, maybe try to pull your elbows more forward and under the bar. This should help you stay tight and upright, so you don’t lean forward in the hole.

Like knobby says, weights will probably go down at first. It may even be tough to get to parallel the first time, it was for me today.


#11

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:

I asked a big dude at the gym to watch me squat, and the first thing he said was “move your feet out.” I moved my feet out, and BAM everything felt better. I could feel my glutes and hips working, and the guy watching said my squat was no longer crooked!

So I would totally agree with the advice to widen your stance. Like so wide your feet touch the bottom of the power rack. Try it, and see if it takes the stress off your back, and if you feel the glutes and hips more.

Also, maybe try to pull your elbows more forward and under the bar. This should help you stay tight and upright, so you don’t lean forward in the hole.

Like knobby says, weights will probably go down at first. It may even be tough to get to parallel the first time, it was for me today.[/quote]

All of this.


I’m an old fekker. It took literally months to gain the hip flexiblity to get into the hole with a wide stance.

As you come out of the hole, don’t lean forward like in your video, especially with such light weights. Drive the knees outward and keep the weight on your heels and outer part of your feet.


#12

Good stuff, folks – thanks!

I’m going to focus on hip mobility as well as really cueing myself properly during the movement – i.e., to keep my weight on my heels and force me knees out – over the next few weeks. Will re-evaluate after I finish this mesocycle.

P.S.: Thanks, knobby, for the compliment! “Such light weights” is a bit of a stretch, as my estimated max at the moment might be only 170 kg or so. :wink: But I want to crack that 180 kg/400 lbs mark soon!


#13

Sorry man wasn’t trying to be a dick. Today we did SSB squats. This is 298 + 80 lbs of chain. I think my form was OK thought a bit of crooked lean like you. But this is a wider stance that gets your glutes and hams in the mix.

Here’s fucked up form where I lost my arch at 328 + 80.

I’m now 9 months into training so I’m still learning. But what I can say is all the GHRs and Reverse Hypers + wide stance + a lot of box squat training has been helping me move my squat steadily upward.

I think I can hit 440 to 450 this year.

With a 570 to 590 deadlift I might just make up for my shitty bench. LOL


#14

What everyone else said about going wider, and working on foot placement. I didn’t have a crookedness problem, but squats became much nicer under heavier weights when I went wider; but going wider meant I had to pay more attention to aligning my feet when walking the bar about. I don’t think it really gave me much more poundage, just made me feel way more stable.

If its a help, I found putting my heels as wide as my elbows and keeping my toes fairly straight makes the squat for me (and I grip the bar quite close in, so that puts my heels only a bit over shoulder width apart). It does make my hips work much harder though, so if you’ve got IT tightness you might need to work around it.

That being said, you look lankier than I do so you might need to go wider than just above shoulder width.


#15

Looks like a cool place to workout. I like how the mono faces away from the mirror.


#16

[quote]knobby22 wrote:
Sorry man wasn’t trying to be a dick.
[/quote]

Don’t worry, I didn’t take it that way at all!

Great training vids by the way, and, as already mentioned, nice gym!


#17

Yeah, great facility. It’s a personal training facility for powerlifters.

Owner, who is my trainer, tells me he regrets putting mirrors in. His next location will not have mirrors.