T Nation

Having Squat Issues

formcheck

#1

I used to squat like a pecker head doing quarter squats , however since ive changed up my ways and go ass to grass now im finding it very hard to progress. Once i get to 185 during my warm-up sets , the weight just feels god awful heavy coming out of the hole. Im also a tall fuck (6’2) and tend to have some pain in my upper quad , pelvis area (pretty sure its the tendon but after some foam rolling its gone) any help ? i tend to lean forward a bit coming out of the whole , especially when doing high rep sets , my back and core just get so fatigued , as well as running out of breath , before my legs even give out. Hell i can superset a leg press and leg extension and feel as if i got a better workout in my legs than heavy squatting. Any experience with this , tips ? Thanks !


Squat Form Check
#2

Nobody will really be able to help without a video. Can you upload one?

Why did you decide to go so deep?


#3

Do you high bar or low bar squat? If you low bar squat with a wider stance bending over at the bottom would be fine. If your bending during a high bar squat that’s definitely causing you an issue.

Tightness in the quad could be causing issues especially if high bar squatting, try stretching before you squat and warming up with some light cardio or lunges to activate the hips prior to starting.

If your problem is at the bottom, I’d say it’s likely that it’s a hip flexibility issue, or a stance/form issue.

Also, as stated, a video would help as I’m flying blind here.


#4

i can tomorrow. I attempt going to parallel , however i feel as if when i get to parallel i pause for a second to i guess see if im actually at parallel and it throws me off , however i feel like i can somewhat get a better explosion from such depth rather than 90 , it in all honestly feels like a quarter squat to me. Hard to explain.


#5

I do high bar. I dont bend i keep a neutral spine , but i sort of incline my body. Again hard to explain. I do warm-up before my sessions for about 5-7 minutes but i for the life of me cant figure out the reason. I use a “medium stance”
if you will , toes pointed out. I found that squatting without shoes helps tremendously for me. However , when i do low bar and widen my stance , it really pressures my adductors , even though i deadlift sumo. Will post a video tomorrow. Thank you for the reply.


#6

I’m not positive but I think what @jharrow meant by “bending over” was just leaning, or as you say, inclining your body. Not sure though. He can clarify.

A low bar squat, or powerlifting squat, typically is done with hips dropped back, and a forward leaning torso. A high bar squat is typically fairly similar to a front squat - straight down, and upright torso. Everyone’s different though. I could never find a way to low bar squat that felt natural, so mine is more of a hybrid of the two. The pros all have different styles as well. No style is really better than another.

As a tall person, yeah, squats tend to be tough. Harder on the lungs than the legs. Read articles by Lee Boyce on here. He’s a tall lifter, and has managed to become pretty big and strong, as has great tips for other lifters with similar builds. I think front squats tend to be easier for tall guys to do than any type of back squat. My cousin is like 6’2" or 6’3" and just got into lifting. Couldn’t figure out how to back squat very well but he picked up front squatting very quickly and easily. Maybe consider making the switch. If you don’t intend to compete in powerlifting, there is no absolute need for back squats.

And if your goals are more physique related, I believe you could even make the argument that front squats are superior for quad developement, and that there are many, many movements better for your hamstrings & glutes than back squats. So as I said, if not interested in powerlifting, you can still get plently big and strong without back squats.

I’m assuming you would like 185lbs to begin feeling light, haha. How much do you weigh? Gaining weight would almost certainly help you. How often do you squat? If doing it once a week or less, upping the freqeuncy to twice a week would probably help. Squats seem to be helped by high(er) frequency. You could have a strength day, where you do 3-5 sets of 5 reps, and a hypertrophy day where you do 2-5 sets of 8-20 reps. Something around those vague guidelines. Or if you want, follow a 5/3/1 program. Try this:

Do you have any knowledge of 5/3/1? Read this to understand the basics:

That’s a good template for building both size and strength, provided you eat enough and recover well.

If you want to strengthen your back and abs so they don’t get fatigued, squat and deadlift and get strong at those. Weighted back extensions and good mornings are good for the lower back. Weighted situps and loaded carries are good for the abs. There’s tons of other movements but those are the basics that tend to work. Do reverse hypers if you have access to a machine.

I think sitting in a deep squat, or a 3rd world squat, for at least 5 minutes total a day, every day, is huge for hip mobility. Do that.

Stretch your quads, hip flexors, and glutes. Do your hips and hamstrings as well. Have you done Joe DeFranco’s Agile 8? That’s a good warmup. You can do it daily.

I think if you get stronger (duh haha) and stretch potentially tight muscles, that will solve almost any issue you have. You just need to plan it properly. Upload a video and others can see if there’s any glaring issues with your form.


#7

That’s exactly what I meant. Very well said.

I second the recommendation to sit in a deep squat for minutes at a time. Holding a deep squat for time really helped me with my squat depth and hip flexibility, as well as the mental battle of simply becoming comfortable in that position.

When that becomes comfortable start doing it with a loaded barbell on your back for 30 seconds at a time. Like super long pause squats as deep as you can go.


#8

my squat max is 275 , i can easily rep 185 , just feels god awful heavy starting there and i cannot explain why. thank you very much for your reply however , always apprecaite any help !


#9

Video would be helpful. Improving your form will go a long way I think if you’ve just started trying to squat deeper

Out of the hole is where squats should be hard but probably exacerbated by poor technique like loss of tightness/position of your back and core and/or “good morning” squats where you get pitched forward out of the hole

Pinching at the front of the hip is something a lot of people get so google it.

High rep squats at high intensity are gonna gas you.

Maybe don’t go to max all the time either.


#10

Sounds like hip flexors.

So you went from half-assing squats to overdoing them. I don’t squat heavy anymore, and do ass-to-grass squats for quad development, but it’s with weights that I can rep for 15-20+. Going just below parallel is an adequate, healthy squat. If your goal is strength, there’s no reason to be sitting your ass on your ankles.


#11

High bar, ass to grass squatter checking in. Why does the amount of weight on the bar matter if it feels heavy or not? If you cared solely about how much you could squat why squat high bar and deep? Doesn’t make much sense to me.

Also it just sounds like while you think you can squat 275, it is most likely a hernia inducing prolapsed colon time bomb gym max type rep. Start over with lighter weight and relearn the movement, build slowly from there


#12

honestly ive tried many other ways. High bar seems comfortable to me. I hate being tall


#13

I am slavic and an expert in the art form of slav squats. Sitting in the slav squat position in public and at home will greatly benefit mobility. There is multiple videos of a how to perzform ze slav zscuat.


#14

download download download
You must perform this everywhere you go to develop a deep zquat.


#15

cringggggggggeeeeeeeeee


#16

You must learn the ways.


#17

I second this. I have long legs relative to my torso, and making the switch to low bar felt better and more balanced. I don’t lift a lot of weight (yet) though and I don’t have as much experience as the others, so take it with a grain of salt. But yeah, if you switch, it’ll feel better if you start over again with lighter weights and slowly work your way back up. Felt really awkward to switch while maintaining weight but if you drop and work your way back up slowly, it’ll feel stronger once you get back to that weight. Good luck!


#18

nothing wrong with high bar. Just trying to reinforce the amount of weight you can squat is irrelevant unless for competition. Try taking some of the advice on form others posted about that I wont get into and reset your weight. The lighter the better, hell even just the bar next workout. As you correct form and become more proficient at the movement path, the weight progression will take care of it self.

If you just changed from quarter squats to real squats and didn’t adjust your loading, you are basically trying to go from 1st gear right to 4rth. If you never drove a stick that analogy might have been wasted on you.


#19

You said 185 feels horrible to start from…is that your first warm up set, 185? If so, try starting at 135 and see how that feels. As to depth, ATG may be too deep for your build, parallel or slightly lower might work better. To ‘learn’ parallel (or whatever) get a set of 3 bungee cords, run one one each side of the rack front to back, then the third across between them. They can easily be adjusted for tension, height, and front to back positioning. Set the cross piece so your gluts or hams just make contact at whatever depth you want. This gives feedback on depth, and eliminates the ‘pausing’ you feel throws you off.


#20

you keep saying that, and I’m not understanding why. 6’2 just isn’t that tall. It’s only a few inches taller than average. The strongest two men in the world right now are 6’8 and 6’9. Your height is not excuse for being a shitty squatter, nor should it affect bar position. I know A LOT of people taller than you who can squat low bar with ease.

Anyway, this was my biggest issue with anything you said here. You really need to forget about your height. It’s not a problem. Now, to break down the first post.

is there a reason you’re going ass to grass? if so, what is it?

if the weight feels heavy, it’s not really a warm up. It means you haven’t internalized the fact that, when you were quarter squatting, 185 was warm up weight, but now, it’s relatively heavy. 185 is an appropriate weight for working sets when your max is only 275. I go as low as 50% of my max on some of my own working sets.

How long have you been squatting to full depth? If it’s less than 2 years, you may just need more time to acclimate your body to that depth, that could be why it feels so heavy in the hole: you’re just not strong in the hole yet. It takes time to become comfortable with that. I like long paused squats at full depth to learn to be strong in the hole.

Then do additional core and conditioning work. Don’t rely strictly on squats to build these strength qualities. This makes sense, given that historically you’ve been quarter squatting. It takes a lot more core strength to go deep. It’s also more aerobically taxing. So, your quads may have gotten relatively strong with the quarter squats. Over time, this will work itself out.

That may be the case. Is building your legs your only priority, or do you want to have a high aerobic capacity, core and hip strength to go with it? These priorities should dictate your training style. You don’t HAVE to squat, you know. It’s just a good idea for most goals.

Keep in mind, you can always do both. You could start a workout with squats, then move to the superset you’re talking about afterwards.