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Fletch's Form Check Thread

I figure I wanna make sure I’m doing things right even if that means an ego check and what better way to do that than post some lifts here. Today are some chins and presses. The chins are way rougher than I thought. Here, take a look if u will. Thx for all ur tips, advice, and time!

edit: I renamed the thread title since I wanna do form checks on several different exercises and didn’t want to make a zillion threads cluttering up this forum. Further below are front squats, box squats, and a way to do leg extensions at home that work a lot better than typical banded leg extensions.

I’ve gotta agree that the chins are a little rough, you need way more control. Obviously you are risking injury a bit more with that form but I think the biggest issue is you are losing all tension and it turns in to a swing up and then dive bomb back down.

I would drop the added weight, concentrate on keeping your lower body completely still and then a slower more controlled concentric, pause at the top and then look at a 4 second eccentric. You may only get 3 or 4 reps each set but concentrate on maximum muscular tension rather than just getting up and down. So concentrate on initiating by contracting the lats, rather that just “get chin above the bar”

I would gip narrower for palms facing personally, as it will be easier to fully contract the lats. If neutral grip is an option that would be easier on the shoulders at your current width.


I thought your form on both was fine in that you did not seem to me to be doing anything that put you at significant risk of injury.

OTOH, as I don’t know what your goals are, I can’t say as to whether I think what you’re doing is advancing the ball for you.

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The press is something I working for it’s own sake. Short/Medium term goal and to work up to a working weight that would conservatively predict a max of my own bodyweight and longterm make my bodyweight on the bar something I can do reps even if it’s just low reps.

For chins and pull ups, I want to get stronger in them in both how much I rep my own bodyweight in and how much additional weight I can add while building my back and arms.

I think my form on chins is leading to me to stall out on progress so I’m thinking I need to take a step… or a few steps back to iron that issue out. I find a narrow grip is actually rougher on my shoulders in the bottom but that might be b/c of my form.

The chins are a little sloppy. The best improvements I’ve ever made to form were when I added more frequent practice chin up sessions throughout the wee, whether it was just practice sessions or a specific progression.

One specific progression I followed is the Russian Fighter Pullup program; it was on an external site so I can’t link it.

If you don’t want to do that, just add a few submaximal chinup sets on multiple days throughout the week. Don’t think of them as workouts or even push yourself too hard on them, just practice the reps, focus on tempo and ROM, etc.

Also if chins ever bother your shoulder, you might look into finding ways to do them with a parallel grip. You could probably get gymnastics rings that could strap onto your pullup bar and set them at whatever width and angle is most comfortable.

The lockout on your press looks good. It looks like you’re leaning backwards a little bit but its hard to tell. So, if you are leaning back too much, you might need to get stronger at initiating the press. In the long run leaning back can put a lot of stress on the lumbar, especially when you get stronger. OHP is actually the only lift that has ever caused me back pain, because of my own failing in this regard

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Not perfect, but a lot better. Mostly I focused on making a not slow but controlled descent and I tried actively extending my hips and trying to keep my feet behind me.

I can tell already this will be much easier on my shoulder, there’s tension on my lats the whole time and that peak contraction at the top is wicked doing them like this.

Rather than pushing sets close to and to failure, I think it’ll be a better idea for now to do several to many sets with fewer reps and I’ll include a couple to several sets of a couple to several reps every day.

Doing them the sloppy way I had been doing led to some pretty good lat and arm development compared to where I was, but I think doing them better will take me even further.

This one?

Why such a wide grip on press?

Right now, it’s where I feel the safest. If I go too narrow mobility restriction make the lockout sketch. I’m working on it and improving but it’s gonna take some time. Where I’m at is doing OH carries with a narrower grip and light db presses with a narrower lockout.

Here’s a bonus exercise you might wanna try if you have a home gym and limited equipment or find that a regular leg ext. machine is rough on your knees.
Almost no shearing force, lots of tension, something that works the rectus femoris, and an intense pump for the quads!
A little something that I hope someone who’s taken the time to check my lifts out might find useful. I call it the Sissy Leg Extension, but call it whatever you want!

I’m feeling really good about the way the front squats look but maybe someone with a keener eye than me can see room for improvement.

I felt the same way about the CAT box squats. I just wish I had a box that put me at just slightly higher than parallel.

My goals with these exercises is to get stronger at different positions and angles at different ends of the speed spectrum while building some muscle in the process.

Looks right to me. I originally read about it on Pavel’s website; this program looks pretty much the same