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Front Squat Video...Form Okay?

Let’s get one thing straight, I’m not trying to be impressive with this amount of weight, lol.

With that out of the way, is the form in this set okay? I think I’m going deep enough, as if you pause it at the lowest point, it’s pretty low.

As well, I used a different arm holding technique than the olympic hold or crossed arms hold. It’s hard to explain, but i basically held the bar in the center with a grip like I was doing a closegrip curl (palms facing me), lifted the bar up and went to work. This is the only grip that I’ve found to not aggravate my shoulders at all. Is there a name for this technique/grip?

Okay, here’s the video:

Keep your elbows higher at the bottom of the squat. It looks like the bar is throwing off your balance and causing you to start up in the wrong sequence.

Watch Pyrros’ front squats (at end). He’s coming up in one piece. You’re coming up in two pieces i.e. ass going first with upper body starting second.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=xVB_rQFSsEg

[quote]PGA200X wrote:
Keep your elbows higher at the bottom of the squat. It looks like the bar is throwing off your balance and causing you to start up in the wrong sequence.

Watch Pyrros’ front squats (at end). He’s coming up in one piece. You’re coming up in two pieces i.e. ass going first with upper body starting second.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=xVB_rQFSsEg[/quote]

He is incredible.

Are you suggesting that by my butt going up first then my back, that I’m bent over a bit too much half way up at my back, and then to get it up the other half i lean back with my back to get it up, and instead lean back from the beginning to go up in one motion?

Are you talking about leaning back with my back from the start while going up, whereas what i was doing not leaning back until halfway up? Just trying to clarify exactly what you’re suggesting.

[quote]relativelyfunguy wrote:
Are you suggesting that by my butt going up first then my back, that I’m bent over a bit too much half way up at my back, and then to get it up the other half i lean back with my back to get it up, and instead lean back from the beginning to go up in one motion?[/quote]

You’re definitely decreasing your angle when you start up. It seems as if you have to fight to hold the weight in place and its throwing off your balance. Try keeping your upper body more vertical out of the hole. This could also be because of a weaker lower back because your first rep or two are good. But looking at how low your elbows are it may just be a case of balance.

Just a quick tip that helped me with a similiar elbow problem on the front squat.

It’s a little challenging to describe but it is very usefully for maintaining proper back alignment throughout the motion.

Take a pair of lifting straps and wrap them around the bar. The loose end of the straps should hang about shoulder width apart. Grab the bottom of each strap with a traditional grip - like you would if you were grabbing a steering wheel. Now wrap the strap so it’s taught with about 2 inches between your hands and the bar with your fists/knuckles now facing you. Settle under the bar like you normally would and go for it. Start light until you get used to it.

This method is really beneficial when you start going heavy and can’t really afford to let your elbows drop too low.

Hopefully you got the jist of what I was trying to explain. If not, I think one of the authors may have a pic on the site somewhere.

Cheers,

Sasha

Actually I think I get exactly what you’re saying. The straps you hold on to almost like one of those safety bar things (the squat bar that has the handles coming out of it so that the top of your clenched fist if facing you), and use the loose ends of the straps to hold on like those bars, have the bar on the front of your shoulders for a front squat, then go down. That is actually an excellent idea. Guess I’m gona have to find a place to get a cheap set of wrist straps now… lol

I take it that could help also in 2 ways…if the bar was getting really heavy on your shoulder, you could just pull up on the straps some to alleviate that pressure…and in return that would inevitably make your arms raise even higher, for better form. Right?

How do you mean aggravate your shoulders? Do you have problems or does it just hurt having the bar rest there?

-Fireplug

I would have to say I believe I have a problem with my left shoulder. Every single morning when I wake up, it is really pretty sore on the rotator cuff. As I go throughout the day it loosens up, but usually when I do olympic grip style front squats, it aggravates it a ton, along with the cross armed style. That’s the only reason I’ve shyed away from front squats all summer long, because when I did them just once a week, the workouts for the rest of my week would be affected in some way by this pain. This new grip style is the only one that has yet to cause any pain on that shoulder. I’ve done the “fixing the rotator cuff conondrum” workout, and I can say it basically did nothing for my shoulder.

[quote]relativelyfunguy wrote:
Actually I think I get exactly what you’re saying. The straps you hold on to almost like one of those safety bar things (the squat bar that has the handles coming out of it so that the top of your clenched fist if facing you), and use the loose ends of the straps to hold on like those bars, have the bar on the front of your shoulders for a front squat, then go down. That is actually an excellent idea. Guess I’m gona have to find a place to get a cheap set of wrist straps now… lol

I take it that could help also in 2 ways…if the bar was getting really heavy on your shoulder, you could just pull up on the straps some to alleviate that pressure…and in return that would inevitably make your arms raise even higher, for better form. Right?[/quote]

That’s exactly right. It really makes a difference with your form and function of the exercise.

Good luck,

Sasha

It looks like you’re popping your knees into a hyperextended position at the top. That’s not good for them, especially as you start upping your poundages.

Decelerate slightly at the top and stop at a point when your knees are still very slightly bent (tension still on the quads). Pause briefly and lower.

Your bouncing a bit at the bottom too. I would lower more slowly and pause briefly at the bottom. Your quad size and shape will be better for it, trust me.

You are letting your upper back collapse. It helps to drive your elbows up towards the cieling as much as you can and try to arch your upper back aggressively in the same way that you try to maintain an arch in your low back when you squat.

It might help you to go a descend a bit slower into the squat; for me, anyway, it’s rather difficult to stay tight in the way I describe above if I go as fast as you’re going on the way down. Loosening up the upper back just a bit and going a bit faster makes it easier with this weight, but if your try to do heavy triples this way your upper back will round over and you’ll end up having to do a lot more work to squat the weight.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t bounce out of the bottom; just that you might try lowering down until you’re RIGHT above the bottom (less than an inch) and only then catching the bounce. Just something my coach taught me.

Simon,

I’ve never known anybody who doesn’t lock out their knees when they squat. I’m not trying to be a jerk, but what makes you think that locking out is dangerous. It seems like that position is just a about as strong a position for supporting weight over the body as the knee is ever in.

[quote]Ross Hunt wrote:
Simon,

I’ve never known anybody who doesn’t lock out their knees when they squat. I’m not trying to be a jerk, but what makes you think that locking out is dangerous. It seems like that position is just a about as strong a position for supporting weight over the body as the knee is ever in.[/quote]

I second that.

As you fatigue your knees are coming in. Possibly meaning you need some abduction work, but focusing more on sitting between your feet when you descend will help you point your knees in the right direction.

Roland

[quote]bruinsdmb wrote:
Ross Hunt wrote:
Simon,

I’ve never known anybody who doesn’t lock out their knees when they squat. I’m not trying to be a jerk, but what makes you think that locking out is dangerous. It seems like that position is just a about as strong a position for supporting weight over the body as the knee is ever in.

I second that.[/quote]

I think he’s referring to the way he snaps his knees at the lockout, I picked up on that too. Just doesn’t seem necessary to me.

[quote]shorty_blitz wrote:
bruinsdmb wrote:
Ross Hunt wrote:
Simon,

I’ve never known anybody who doesn’t lock out their knees when they squat. I’m not trying to be a jerk, but what makes you think that locking out is dangerous. It seems like that position is just a about as strong a position for supporting weight over the body as the knee is ever in.

I second that.

I think he’s referring to the way he snaps his knees at the lockout, I picked up on that too. Just doesn’t seem necessary to me.
[/quote]

From a powerlifting point-of-view, perhaps the lockout is SOP, but from a muscle-building standpoint it takes tension off the quads. Quad focus and development is the main point of front squats isn’t it?

The snap is the main point to which I was referring. There’s a big difference between a straight-leg lockout and hyperextending the knees as this lad is doing.

Slowing and controlling the movement more will help stop the hyperextension, as well as the back problem that Ross pointed out. Much of this should improve as he gains more confidence in his leg strength.

I watched the video again, but I don’t see what you’re referring to as the hyperextension. Since both of you have noticed it, it’s quite possible that I’m just not recognizing it.

I guess stopping short of lockout would be good for quad hypertrophy. It never occured to me to do that because I’m coming at the exercise from an oly lifting perspective: We always try to drive through the top of the squat with enough juice to get the bar coming off our shoulders a little.

I’ve seen some freaky quads built from heavy front squats and full cleans. Of course that definitely doesn’t mean that it’s the only or the best way to do it.

ah man, thanks a ton guys for all the help. it’s amazing how much there is to work on on something you thought was somewhat okay, lol. i’m really glad i got all the advice i did. now i’m gona make sure to work on everything that’s been said.