T Nation

Falling Forward In The Squat

[quote]Modi wrote:
Hanley, a couple of thoughts here.

First, like APW mentioned it looked like a PR attempt, in which case there’s a damn good chance that it isn’t going to look pretty.

Second, I think you could have taken a bigger breath before you squatted and shoved your gut out against your belt. Granted you don’t have a gut, but I’d still try to push out against that belt as hard as you can.

Third, I was at a point not too long ago where I missed a weight 2 or 3 times in about a months span (430 or 435). I would get about half way up and then stall and fold over. The two things that really helped were HEAVY weighted abdominal work, I mean heavy enough so your only getting 5-10 reps before failure, and I also started incorporating the Safety Squat Bar with and without chains, and it really built up my upper back strength. My squat jumped by 50lbs pretty quickly and continued to climb over 500.

So if you’ve got access to a SSB bar, I’d try using it, as well as incorporating some kind of accommodating resistance to help explode off the box. And heavy abs if you aren’t already.

Just my .02.[/quote]

I think we are starting to say the same thing with different words.

STRONG ABS + STRONG BACK = NOT GETTING FOLDED\LEANING EXCESSIVELY

[quote]Pemdas wrote:

I think we are starting to say the same thing with different words.

STRONG ABS + SRTONG BACK = NOT GETTING FLOODED\LEANING EXCESSIVELY [/quote]

See, that’s interesting b/c I respect both of your opinions but I don’t really see anything in that vid that makes his abs or low back strength suspect to me.

Really his form and approach to the ascent looks real similar to what some of the guys I know who train RAW 5x5’s year round will turn a free grinder into b/c their hips come up and transfer the weight to their low back turning the finish into more of a good morning.

It always make me cringe but the reality of things is there is no rounding of the low back and they hold position very well. They have built tremendous low back and ab strength from all the high volume RAW squatting and pulling and their bodies have a tendency to transfer the weight there.

I see no evidence of him rounding and to me it looks like his torso stays very stable.

Not to say heavy ab work is a bad idea. It should be cycled through everyone’s training.

There’s been so many good replies that I genuinely don’t know who to specifically quote and reply to!! Thanks a million everyone.

[quote]apwsearch wrote:
Pemdas wrote:

I think we are starting to say the same thing with different words.

STRONG ABS + SRTONG BACK = NOT GETTING FLOODED\LEANING EXCESSIVELY

See, that’s interesting b/c I respect both of your opinions but I don’t really see anything in that vid that makes his abs or low back strength suspect to me.

Really his form and approach to the ascent looks real similar to what some of the guys I know who train RAW 5x5’s year round will turn a free grinder into b/c their hips come up and transfer the weight to their low back turning the finish into more of a good morning.

It always make me cringe but the reality of things is there is no rounding of the low back and they hold position very well. They have built tremendous low back and ab strength from all the high volume RAW squatting and pulling and their bodies have a tendency to transfer the weight there.

I see no evidence of him rounding and to me it looks like his torso stays very stable.

Not to say heavy ab work is a bad idea. It should be cycled through everyone’s training.
[/quote]

I think my lower back and abs ARE strong enough to squat that weight and then some. As a frame of reference I could probably pull 500lb any day of the week without a belt and I can do hanging leg raises bringing my feet close to my hands for sets of 8-10. Of course making them stronger would probably help anyway, but as a specific fix to the problem I have at the moment, I’m not so sure.

Like here’s a vid of 230kg in full comp gear where I’ve no problem supporting the weight (I did 245kg in comp 7 days later with 5-10kg still in the tank) http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=cKkXrfeBPSM

apw, do you think it would be fair to say for the guys that run the raw 5x5’s that their back and ab strength is probably ahead of their legs, and that’s where the weak link is??

I still think my upper back is a problem tho… A stronger upper back should help my deadlift lockout too right?

Sorry to hijack this thread but can someone help me out.
I’ve been doingweightless squats (not even a bar) and looking at my form sideways at a mirror.
When i get to the bottom (ATG), my back rounds out. I try to stick my chest out and stick my ass out a bit but it still does this.
Is it normal at the bottom?

I know i’m not the most accomplished squatter in the world, and maybe i’m crazy, but… it looks to me like your glutes and hams aren’t firing at the same time as your quads. It looks like you came off the box with all quads, which is why you have the forward lean going on. Then you were stuck until your glutes and hams pulled you back under the bar.

So basically it looks to me like your hams didn’t fire until too late in the squat. And your hams should be the first thing to activate in a squat that low. So concentrate on pulling with the hams when you come off the box. But like i said i’m not as advanced as most.

Your back to me seems to be staying tight, the only time it loosened is when you actually were on the box, as soon as you came off, it tightened again.

From what I see it looks like the box is a little low. This will cause you to drop straight down instead of breaking at the hips and driving them back first not just down. Try raising the box and learn to sit back. Only lower the box when you have perfect form. It also looks like you are driving through the balls of your feet to much. Remember live on the balls of your feet but train on the heels.

This looks like it will lead to a lot of pain in the patella tendon down the road. (The reason I learned to box squat originally). Try to spread the floor with the chucks. I might try squating wider. When your legs come together you will fall forward a bit. Focus on driving those Knees apart.

EX
Arched back good mornings
glute hams
Lunges
Goblet squats (Dan John)
RDL

[quote]apwsearch wrote:
Pemdas wrote:

I think we are starting to say the same thing with different words.

STRONG ABS + SRTONG BACK = NOT GETTING FLOODED\LEANING EXCESSIVELY

See, that’s interesting b/c I respect both of your opinions but I don’t really see anything in that vid that makes his abs or low back strength suspect to me.

Really his form and approach to the ascent looks real similar to what some of the guys I know who train RAW 5x5’s year round will turn a free grinder into b/c their hips come up and transfer the weight to their low back turning the finish into more of a good morning.

It always make me cringe but the reality of things is there is no rounding of the low back and they hold position very well. They have built tremendous low back and ab strength from all the high volume RAW squatting and pulling and their bodies have a tendency to transfer the weight there.

I see no evidence of him rounding and to me it looks like his torso stays very stable.

Not to say heavy ab work is a bad idea. It should be cycled through everyone’s training.
[/quote]

APW, I don’t think either of us mentioned low back strength. I pretty sure we were both talking about upper back strength, since we both specifically mentioned the upper back.

I know for a fact that using the SSB greatly increased my upper back strength and has helped keep me from folding over. I relayed my story because I was having the exact same problems as Hanley, with a very similar weight.

As far as ab strength goes, you are probably right that he is strong enough, but that’s why I said if he wasn’t already doing heavy ab work, he might want to add it in.

[quote]Modi wrote:

APW, I don’t think either of us mentioned low back strength. I pretty sure we were both talking about upper back strength, since we both specifically mentioned the upper back.

I know for a fact that using the SSB greatly increased my upper back strength and has helped keep me from folding over. I relayed my story because I was having the exact same problems as Hanley, with a very similar weight.

As far as ab strength goes, you are probably right that he is strong enough, but that’s why I said if he wasn’t already doing heavy ab work, he might want to add it in.
[/quote]

Man. Slow day today. Feeling like the Maytag repair man at work…

I’ll tell you what. We rotate the SSB through typically 2 times per year for 6 weeks. One session 3x8, the next 3x5.

I am never more exhausted than I am during that 3x8 session. We used chain last time and by the 5th or 6th rep almost regardless of weight I was in agony.

It’s good input and overall I agree. I was only bringing it up the ab/low back thing as a point of conversation b/c I was wondering if you were seeing something I wasn’t. I look at a lot of our lifter’s videos during the week and probably have a pattern of what I look at and evaluate.

Anyway, keep training hard, my man.

[quote]Hanley wrote:

apw, do you think it would be fair to say for the guys that run the raw 5x5’s that their back and ab strength is probably ahead of their legs, and that’s where the weak link is??

[/quote]

Hell, I don’t know. I was pondering that this morning and I think it all depends on how you run the cycle. The lifters I was referring to are guys who basically are local lifters who stick with 5x5’s b/c that is what they were brought up on and frankly aren’t real ambitious or sophisticated from a training standpoint.

They really don’t do any front squatting or other movements. Pretty much come in 5x5, stand around and bullshit and leave. In their case, yes because although their volume is high they have developed some nasty habits as fatigue sets in and their bodies become creative in getting the weight up. As you know, a heavy 5x5 can be very taxing both mentally and physically and if you don’t watch it and if form is not necessarily a priority you can start doing some undesirable things.

On the other hand, you take a guy like Gillingham or Tylutki and they rotate other stuff through, use front squats frequentlyveven going through phases of front squatting 3X per week, RDL’s, etc and I would nobody could state they don’t have some of the most massive, powerful legs out there. I am always astounded by the size of Tylutki’s thighs when I see him. Tony Williams who is a junior 165’er and a really strong kid pretty much does 5x5’s for both squats and pulls and pound for pound I would state the RAW volume he performs on his peak 5x5 squat days makes me feel like a pussy. I wouldn’t view his legs as a weakness, either.

I guess the point I would make is that, as a general rule, people who do a high volume of beltless work are going to need much less direct ab work than those who do not and tend to have excellent low back strength.

That’s why I get such a case of the ass about all these belt vs. no belt threads as they relate to ‘core’ strength. Simply stated someone who utilizes a belt more frequently in their training will likely require more direct ab work than somebody who does a high volume of beltless work.

[quote]apwsearch wrote:
Modi wrote:

APW, I don’t think either of us mentioned low back strength. I pretty sure we were both talking about upper back strength, since we both specifically mentioned the upper back.

I know for a fact that using the SSB greatly increased my upper back strength and has helped keep me from folding over. I relayed my story because I was having the exact same problems as Hanley, with a very similar weight.

As far as ab strength goes, you are probably right that he is strong enough, but that’s why I said if he wasn’t already doing heavy ab work, he might want to add it in.

Man. Slow day today. Feeling like the Maytag repair man at work…

I’ll tell you what. We rotate the SSB through typically 2 times per year for 6 weeks. One session 3x8, the next 3x5.

I am never more exhausted than I am during that 3x8 session. We used chain last time and by the 5th or 6th rep almost regardless of weight I was in agony.

It’s good input and overall I agree. I was only bringing it up the ab/low back thing as a point of conversation b/c I was wondering if you were seeing something I wasn’t. I look at a lot of our lifter’s videos during the week and probably have a pattern of what I look at and evaluate.

Anyway, keep training hard, my man.

[/quote]

APW, I wholeheartedly agree with the feeling of agony from SSB and chains, it’s like your whole body wants to shut down after a day of those.

I didn’t see anything specific in his squat that would indicate any low back weakness. I do think that the upper back strength would definetly help, as well as staying tighter on the box. I know that when I was learning to box squat, I would relax too much on the box and either be stapled to it, or have to rock to get back up. It wasn’t until I learned how to relax my hips while keeping everything else tight that I started to see improvement.

I’ve said it before, you have way more experience evaluating other peoples lifts. I can only offer advice based on what has worked for me in my training.

Thanks, and now back to training…

[quote]blazindave wrote:
Sorry to hijack this thread but can someone help me out.
I’ve been doingweightless squats (not even a bar) and looking at my form sideways at a mirror.
When i get to the bottom (ATG), my back rounds out. I try to stick my chest out and stick my ass out a bit but it still does this.
Is it normal at the bottom?
[/quote]

Someone answer please.

Maybe you should start a thread about it?

Hey did you order that box from EliteFTS? If you did is it any good, does it feel stable, etc?
Any ways, sit back more, and start the lift(from the box) by pressing your back/traps into the bar so your head goes up first. Maybe you could try arching your back more on the way down.
Edit: cut the first 30 seconds out of your video:)

I fall forward sometimes.

I think its a issue of a weak posterior chain, your moving forward to use your quads more.

If you watch dave tate or chuck V box squat its ALL posterior chain, purely hip extension. Your used to normal squats so of course your gonna want to use your quads somewhat when going for a max.

To fix the box squat problem, I would just lower the weight, and do the reps exactly how you want them to be done, then slowly work back up from there.

[quote]blazindave wrote:
blazindave wrote:
Sorry to hijack this thread but can someone help me out.
I’ve been doingweightless squats (not even a bar) and looking at my form sideways at a mirror.
When i get to the bottom (ATG), my back rounds out. I try to stick my chest out and stick my ass out a bit but it still does this.
Is it normal at the bottom?

Someone answer please.[/quote]

1, if your going real low its hard not to round your lower back, weighted stretching with the bar for a few sets of as long as you can while maintaining decent form would help.

2, when is quat without weight I have to lean forward more or I fall backwards, your ass and hips are behind your feet in a squat and thats where the bulk of your weight is, when you put a bar with weight on your back it might not be rounding, video take it.

3, foam role your lower back, hamstrings etc, most people dont squat with a arch at the bottom of a squat, I squat with a neutral spine at the bottom because Im not flexable enough to maintain the arch, and Im not hurt.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
Maybe you should start a thread about it?[/quote]

Sorry :stuck_out_tongue:

edit: Thanks to everyone who is helping out. I’ll take some videos or some pics with some light weights on the bar and make a thread or else Hanley will beat me up :"(

Interesting thing; I’ve been doing raw 5x5’s off a box at parallel for the last little while and I have little to no problems with forward lean off the box. Free squatting I tend to lean over a bit more, but it’s still not that big a deal. It’s only when I put on wraps that it becomes pronounced. I’m thinking about putting up a video so you guys can critique.

[quote]Hell, I don’t know. I was pondering that this morning and I think it all depends on how you run the cycle. The lifters I was referring to are guys who basically are local lifters who stick with 5x5’s b/c that is what they were brought up on and frankly aren’t real ambitious or sophisticated from a training standpoint.

They really don’t do any front squatting or other movements. Pretty much come in 5x5, stand around and bullshit and leave. In their case, yes because although their volume is high they have developed some nasty habits as fatigue sets in and their bodies become creative in getting the weight up. As you know, a heavy 5x5 can be very taxing both mentally and physically and if you don’t watch it and if form is not necessarily a priority you can start doing some undesirable things.

On the other hand, you take a guy like Gillingham or Tylutki and they rotate other stuff through, use front squats frequentlyveven going through phases of front squatting 3X per week, RDL’s, etc and I would nobody could state they don’t have some of the most massive, powerful legs out there. I am always astounded by the size of Tylutki’s thighs when I see him. Tony Williams who is a junior 165’er and a really strong kid pretty much does 5x5’s for both squats and pulls and pound for pound I would state the RAW volume he performs on his peak 5x5 squat days makes me feel like a pussy. I wouldn’t view his legs as a weakness, either.

I guess the point I would make is that, as a general rule, people who do a high volume of beltless work are going to need much less direct ab work than those who do not and tend to have excellent low back strength.

That’s why I get such a case of the ass about all these belt vs. no belt threads as they relate to ‘core’ strength. Simply stated someone who utilizes a belt more frequently in their training will likely require more direct ab work than somebody who does a high volume of beltless work.[/quote]

Spot on as usual.

Still reading with interest guys. I’m up to my neck in study at the moment and in danger of drowning so when I’ve time to put up a constructive reply, I will!!

didn’t read the rest of the thread

but your abs are weak. hammer the fuck outta your abs

best way to do that imo, zercher squats, front squats.

from the position you’re at your legs have done they’re work but its like you’re not kinetic linkin properly to your core…yea yea i hate that term but u know what i mean. its like somethings not firing in the right order… i dunno maybe your quads are firing late and thats why you’re going forward and not staying balanced or vice versa of that. firing too earlier, contracting and sending you forward.

either way best exercise for this is good mornings and front squats imo, so hammer those… Front squats are going to bring up your abs like none other so i dont think you need to do too much other specific abwork than those. and good mornings will hammer your pchain and correct the problem of going forward in your squat (thats they’re specific purpose)

honestly i think who you should talk to is matt kroc i believe he had the same problem as you and is stronger than any of us so he might have some ideas for you.

he’d probably reccomend good mornings more abwork and 1 arm rows.

[quote]Hanley wrote:

Outside of addressing this by working harder on my box squat and normal squat technique, what exercises can I do to improve the muscles that are weak?

SSB squats would be cool, but I don’t have access to a bar. I’m thinking perhaps power shrugs? I already do alot of face pulls, bent over lateral raises, chest supported rows and dumbbell powercleans so I’m looking more towards “big” heavy exercises that I can load a lot of weight up on and hit hard.[/quote]

Hanley, just skimmed through this thread, and while I see a lot of theories as to the muscles responsible for this (abs, or whatever) I’m going to focus on your request for “big” exercises.

Honestly, I would go up as high I could with good form (I’m assuming you’re not falling forward with, say 170-180 kg - see below if you are) and then hit a bunch of singles/doubles there, focusing on keeping the chest up basically looking to increase the volume at weight you can handle. This goes hand in hand with the guys who basically said “it was a near max, it aint gonna look pretty.”

However, if you ARE falling forward with anything less than, say 150-160kg, then I’d say it’s a technique problem, not a muscular one. Two responses to this 1) it’s a box squat, which for some peopel carries over, for you it may not. I wouldnt tell you to throw the box squat out, but I would tell you to see if theres a good reason not to (again, I just skimmed, so I dunno if you’re in love with them or what) OR 2) Verbal cues. About a year ago the bar was rolling around on me like crazy, which , among other things, caused me to get thrown forward. Just reminding myself to pinch my shoulderblades together really, really hard in teh bottom helped, as did forcing my elbows forward and my head back (not up) as I transitioned from eccentric to concentric. As an added bonus you could video tape this and we could hear your training partners yelling ‘elbows forward’ and ‘head back’ in those crazy accents

hope this helped.