T Nation

Fixing a Squat


Sorry if this is out of place in this forum, but I’m trying to fix someone’s squat (pictured) but can’t figure out how.

I’d say that the person has too much forward body lean, but when I try to straighten them up they topple over backwards. I think their flexibility is alright (can touch their toes, etc.).

Any key words people could suggest? I’ve tried telling them to “arch your back”, “pull your shoulders back”, and “stick your chest out”, all causing him to fall backwards.

Any thoughts? Is this forward body lean even a problem if they do not complain of feeling it in their back?

Cheers,
E

you can have them sit between their heels more… this may or may not help.

Try other types of Squatting? Front, zercher? If they can do those properly then after a while they might be able to better support themselves in the types of sqauts they are usually bad at.

Third world squats as well

holy shit that is a painful looking squat.

What type of backsquat are you trying to teach this guy? Because the position he is in would have to be low-bar, in which case the easy answer is to simply have him widen his stance considerably and arch his back more.

However if you are trying to teach him a deep high-bar squat, he needs to learn how to break at the knees and hips simultaneously from lockout, and sit DOWN rather than back. Think bringing the inside of your hips to touch your heels… Keeping the weight on the back half of the foot driving up.

Incidentally, the way a person squats with a heavy bar on the their back, and the way they squat with no weight at all added is going to be different because its an entirely different center of gravity. That is generally why people have their arms out in front of them when squatting with just their bodyweight (play the piano!), and not unnaturally behind their ears…

If you can work with the guy face-to-face, my advice is to get a sturdy box that comes up to mid-shin height, and tell him to stand over the box with it between his legs, with a comfortably wide footing, and simply squat down to grab it with his hands (hands hanging down at all times) and stand up with it.

This should give him the idea of sitting DOWN in order to drive UP. The added benefit of the box is, he can stop in the hole and stretch out the bottom position as much as he needs to, since he probably has tight inflexible hips as everyone does…

Once it looks solid and he is used to the movement it shouldn’t be too hard to repeat that form with a barbell on his back.

hm… thats all i got i guess… i was sort of obsessed with squat form for a while. go figure.

good luck

watch these videos, squat rx #1 onwards

I’m no expert obviously, but my guess would be that it’s hip-related, since he looks to compensating with excessive low-back flexion.

[quote]eigieinhamr wrote:
Try other types of Squatting? Front, zercher? If they can do those properly then after a while they might be able to better support themselves in the types of sqauts they are usually bad at.

Third world squats as well[/quote]

Goblets. Then he won’t fall back and he’ll be able to feel what it’s like to sit back into a squat.

I know I already said it, but Third World squats for as long as he can like 3 times a day. Get him to put his knees under his armpits to stabalise (his arse needs to be resting on his calves, and all weight on heels) and then as he gets used to it his back will start to straighten in that position.

[quote]eigieinhamr wrote:
I know I already said it, but Third World squats for as long as he can like 3 times a day. Get him to put his knees under his armpits to stabalise (his arse needs to be resting on his calves, and all weight on heels) and then as he gets used to it his back will start to straighten in that position.[/quote]

Yea, I think it’s mental or something. If he’s flexible what else could it be really?

[quote]beebuddy wrote:

Yea, I think it’s mental or something. If he’s flexible what else could it be really?[/quote]

Well we don’t know if he is flexible through all the muscles in his legs. It could be a big weakness in certain muscles meaning others have to compensate. It would help if we had a picture of him squatting with either his hands out, or a weight on his back (the counterbalance would show his actual squatting position).

Try telling him to point his toes out slightly and then tell him everything about keeping his chest out, etc. As a catcher I had a problem with falling over and movement/flexability. Simply changing the angle of my feet fixed it. He can give it a try if nothing else is working.

Gerdy

This is a great video with lots of cues. The first 10 minutes should give you lots of help. Like other people have said it’s a matter of sitting down, and having the guy’s hands in the pictured position is sort of awkward without a bar.

Dan John - Fitcast.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

I have a hard time squatting with great form without weight yet with weight I can sit comfortably full squat. Lets see how he looks with a bar under him.

Terrible Flexibility. This guy needs assloads of stretching. One thing I have learned over the years is that dancers can hit pretty much any position necessary to perform the most taxing (flexibility wise) lifts, obviously because they are flexible. He needs copious amounts of hamstring, glute, hip flexor, calf and inner thigh stretching.

Like the other poster said having him sit between his heels might be ok, but I doubt he could even do it. If he did he would be up on his toes. That whole Dan John thing improving flexibility spending alot of time in a squatting position might work alright, but it has to be done in conjunction with isolated stretching on every leg based muscle group.

When doing the prolonged bodyweight squatting to improve flexibility, the tightest muscles will yank around the relatively loose muscles, i.e. the glutes will pull on the pelvis and the lower back will go where ever the stronger glute and hamstring muscles yank it. You need to anchor them in a position the cannot squirm out of.

Doing dynamic stretching consistently will also help.

Mine was like that when going ass to the grass… so i used a wide stance instead and came in slowly from there… and i also use heel lifts… its a question if you think they are “bad” or not… but they can help to improve the flexibility/proprioception of that specific movement, by using differing thicknesses…

Joe

Easy.

He needs a much wider stance (shoulder width or more) with the feet pointing out more (try 45 deg out from parallel). On that pic, it looks like his heels are almost touching not the best squating stance.

Like someone alluded to previously, he has no weight on his back, so his center of gravity is shifted forward.

Your friend may actually have problems with ankle mobility. Have him put some plates under his heels and see if that helps fix his form. If it does, then I can almost guarantee it’s an ankle mobility problem. Widening the stance would also help, but if he wants to actually tackle the problem, then he needs to start working on his ankle mobility.

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
eigieinhamr wrote:
Try other types of Squatting? Front, zercher? If they can do those properly then after a while they might be able to better support themselves in the types of sqauts they are usually bad at.

Third world squats as well

Goblets. Then he won’t fall back and he’ll be able to feel what it’s like to sit back into a squat.[/quote]

2nd. Goblet squats helped get me to sit back and between the heels.

I know what you guys are saying about no weight on his back so he’s compensating. However, do ths yourself with just your hands behind your head. If you have a decent squat form you WILL NOT look like this guy.

I just tried it and my shoulders come down at least 5-6 inches behind my knees. His are in front of his knees.

It’s a flexibility/strength issue.

cueball