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Flipcollar Can't Squat

I can’t squat. Here is video proof. Weight is 365. Suggestions? How does my setup look? I successfully lifted 405 and failed at 425 later in this session. I’ve been playing around with different bar positions and stance widths, and to this point I’m not really sure what works best for me…

Your knees are moving forward over your toes, which is preventing you from pushing heavier weight. Nothing wrong here, but are you a crossfitter? Reason I ask is the form they teach is generally different from a powerlifter, and it should be, as their squats / lifts are all oriented around some sort of clean, or so it seams, and mixing different forms on different lifts seems to be too confusing, but just a guess.

I cant’ quite tell if you are high bar or low bar, but it looks like high bar.

Try changing your form this way, just to see how it goes. Widen the stance, kick your feet out a little more, low bar stance, and drop straight down, not move yoru chins forward. Here are a couple videos of my own to show you the difference.

Example of chins moving forward, and I think this is high bar also, my last session before fully going to low bar. My max at this point was around 450:

Here is one with low bar, and form “corrected” (never always right). A little forward movement is ok and essentially required. For reference, this is a 2 month difference and a 100 lb increase in max squat performance, max here is 545. Gym PR, not meet PR mind you.

You will notice the knees stay in instead of pushing forward. I contribute this to widening my stance, going to low bar, and sitting down during my descent opposed to, well, basically just trying to make depth. The actual lift itself is way shorter. Push your knees out as part of the lift, engages more “stuff”.

It took me a good month to get used to the new form, but it has paid off greatly.

Give that a try, videotape it with like 225, that’s a good weight to give you good form checks.

That’s mostly what I expected to hear.

A few things:

I’m not a ‘crossfitter’ or a ‘powerlifter’ or a ‘strongman’, although I have dabbled in all 3, competing in 2. I also have some experience with Oly lifting, but I’m not very good at it.

For awhile I was squatting exclusively low bar, and I had my hands closer in than they are in this video. As a result, my elbows were destroyed, and I’m still in the process of recovering from that. I’m also doing mobility work to help ensure that when I go back to low bar, this doesn’t happen again.

I agree that a lower bar position should help me keep my shins more vertical.

I also plan to play around with a wider stance for awhile. I used to squat wider, but have brought my stance in over the last year. I’ll try that out for awhile though.

Ya, the narrow stance is what made me think of crossfit, you can’t clean with a wide stance too efficiently I don’t think hehe.

My elbows get wrecked also, doc calls it “Golf Elbow” and he won’t give me any more cortozone shots, probably for the best. It only affects me when I wake up in the morning, and when I do bodybuilding movements like flys, so I just don’t do them anymore.

I have found a way to combat it a bit though. I widen my arms out, almost to the point where they touch the collar where the weights are. Fixes the elbows, but brings in shoulder mobility. And, sometimes you can cramp in the pec, so be careful. But, I find it helps with tightness also.

Then, instead of actually grabbing the bar, I just rest my hand behind it, and sometimes on top of it. On my 495 squat in the vid, front view, it shows I have wrist straps on, which help get the bar off the rack. Then, the bar is hitting my palm, but I don’t actually grip it. Give that a try also to see if helps with the elbows. I got his idea from watching Derek Kendal squat, if you watch his videos, you will see his very wide grip.

I tried that far out and my shoulder cramped too much, so I go in the middle. But it looks like he would have no elbow problems with that wide of a grip.

I also got the wide stance idea from this video:

1 minute in, Robot, he squats so wide that it looks like his range of motion is around a 2 foot squat.

Just for a different perspective, you may want to also re-post this in the Olympic Lifting forum.

There are definitely a lot of wide squatters out there.

One trend I’ve noticed, however, is a lot of lifters in lighter weight classes (guys without much of a gut), squatting narrower. Jesse Norris is closer to my body type (although he’s obviously a freak of nature), and squats pretty much hip width. He’s also a world record holder.

That being said, I definitely agree that I should give squatting wider another chance.

It sounds like we approached our elbow problems similarly. Mine is also golfer’s elbow, and it’s the reason I bough wrist wraps, which I’m wearing in my video. I’ve also found the thumbless grip on squats works pretty well for me.

I’m not comfortable with an ultra-wide grip though. I think I’m simply not a broad enough human for this approach to work well for me, bringing my grip in for max effort lifts is definitely best for me. I’m only using a really close grip for 1rm’s now though. Any rep work is slightly wider.

hey, what helped me really was at first box squats ( a little bit wider then shoulders, and toes pointed out a bit, like a semi-sumo stance), and i started squating 2 times a week, one going to 90% rm, second being 5x5 with 60-70 % rm with 5 sec pause at the bottom, and a third workout where i did 400 bodyweight lunges (200 per leg, 40 per set). start was brutal but after few weeks i incresed to squating 3x wee, and my weight skyrocket, also alot and i mean ALOT of stretching, both glutes and iliopsoas

[quote]dodo888 wrote:
hey, what helped me really was at first box squats ( a little bit wider then shoulders, and toes pointed out a bit, like a semi-sumo stance), and i started squating 2 times a week, one going to 90% rm, second being 5x5 with 60-70 % rm with 5 sec pause at the bottom, and a third workout where i did 400 bodyweight lunges (200 per leg, 40 per set). start was brutal but after few weeks i incresed to squating 3x wee, and my weight skyrocket, also alot and i mean ALOT of stretching, both glutes and iliopsoas[/quote]

Interesting. That’s a lot of training volume, particularly the lunges. What do your squat numbers look like as a result of this type of training?

i went from 330 to 400 in 10 weeks, now i didnt test my max squat recently but i can do 375 for 8 reps

[quote]dodo888 wrote:
i went from 330 to 400 in 10 weeks, now i didnt test my max squat recently but i can do 375 for 8 reps[/quote]

Impressive. I recently switched out my deadlift day for an extra squat day for the next couple months, so I may use a similar template. Thanks!

Eric Lillibridge also does a semi narrow stance on his squat, and he just missed a 1000 lb squat last weekend, just goes to show it works for some, and not for others. He is a big dude, not a gut, but still 275 weight class, so he’s gotta have some thickness there.

Also, if you want to just push weight, toss on some knee wraps, you can gain anywhere from 50 to 100 lbs I’ve read (I think I get around 50) out of them. They won’t make you stronger using them, but you will, for sure, push more weight.

My increase in squat was the exact opposite of dodo. I went from around 450 to around 550 in about 3 months by the following:

225x5
275x4
315x3
365x2
405x1
4xx x 1
4xx or 5xx x 1

Then, on the last set, just increase 10 lbs each week.

Before that, I went from around 365 to 455 or so in about 3 months also by sort of the same thing. 5 sets of squat, last set was a set of 5 on MOnday, then on Friday, squatted again, but last set added 5 lbs from MOnday, and did a set of 3. Next week, add 5 lbs fro Friday set and do 5, and repeat.

The ultra wide grip for me didn’t work either, shoulder would cramp up and I’d have to rack the weight almost immediately.

I think it looks just fine man. How long have you been back to squatting with that style? You probably just need some more time with the motor pattern.

Personally I don’t think your squat looks to bad at all def different for what I would suggest if moving max weights were your main priority. Mainly the knees traveling so far forward. I think one thing though and I say it very cautiously is that I think for this close of a stance you are squatting way to slow to get the rebound that guys like Jesse and Oly Lifters are able to get. Try a good knee sleeve or even a knee wrap and take the same decent until just about a quarter way from the bottom and then essentially free fall and use the momentum to come out of the hole. I bet with a pair of wraps and me wrapping you :wink: your good for 480plus after just a week or two of getting used to them. That really slow decent works amazingly for big wide squatters like me and others as it allows us to really load our PC and and explode out. Much harder for you top this. How ever I still recommend you externally rotate the hips at the start and slightly rotate your toes out just a bit and I bet you get a nice pop out of the bottom almost instantly.

As for the elbow pain I used to recommend just widening your hands out but since I said fuck it and found a away top pull my hands in my upper back has been 10x tighter and have yet to even come close to dumping forward 550-600. Use a Elbow Neoprene Sleeve with a Bicep band you can get a pair for about $20 at academy or dick and they work great just tighten them down before your set and your golden. Also wrist wraps as you are and the two together your elbow pain is practically gone. How ever continue or start doing shoulder dislocates, free Hangs, chest stretches and soft tissue work on the Pecs, front and side delts and the problem will take care of its self in just a few weeks.

It looks fine. Knees out more maybe. Make sure you’re driving back through your heels not up.

[quote]csulli wrote:
I think it looks just fine man. How long have you been back to squatting with that style? You probably just need some more time with the motor pattern.[/quote]

x2, looked pretty good to me

Thanks guys. Good to have such a variety of opinions in here.

Csulli: I’ve been using this stance width pretty much all year I think. And fwiw, I’m squatting as much as I ever have, I just haven’t increased my max in quite awhile. I did take some time off from back squatting over the past few months due to the elbow pain I was/am having, so I probably need to take that into account.

Reed and Dzirk: I may start using wraps eventually in some of my training. It’d be nice to have that tool in the bag to compete in meets that allow them. I ordered the SBD knee sleeves today, and I’m hoping that helps me do what you suggested Reed, with getting more pop out of the hole and a quicker descent. I didn’t really realize how slow I was going down until I watched the video. I do the same thing on bench press, which is why I think my paused bench PR is pretty much the same as TNG for me.

Also to Reed: I realize I still need to improve my hip rotation. Working on this.

Nobody mentioned depth, so I guess that’s good :slight_smile:

I would guess you don’t have the hips for wide squatting, which is why I think people like Jesse Norris squat so narrow. Us little narrow-waisted guys aren’t built for that. Do you get soreness/tightness in the hip flexors when squatting wide?

We seem to have similar squat styles; I squat mid-to-low bar with a semi-narrow stance. I’m not going to claim that I’ve found the silver bullet for squatting, as it’s still my weakest link, but after having tried several things to improve it, I can claim the following:

For me, performing a faster eccentric and getting a rebound out of the hole is important. Still, doing paused squats to work on strengthening the position in the hole helps a lot.

I’ve tried every kind of stance from very wide to very narrow and cannot claim that a wide stance suits me, even though my leverages (very long femurs) might hint at that. I’m best off with a stance at shoulder width or slightly less. Similarly, I’ve tried to focus on not having my knees travel as far forward, to basically no avail. For me, it’s unavoidable. I don’t think you have the same problem I do with femur length, but on the same token, I don’t think knee position is the be-all-and-end-all. That said, I’ve had success trying to focus on initiating the eccentric by moving my hips back for a split second and on working on opening my hips and strengthening this position (not just opening the knees; I find this cue insufficient).

What’s your FS / BS?