T Nation

Help Getting My Squat Up


Hi guys as my first post here after lurking since I started training almost a year ago I continue to have the same problem before and after I injured my SI joint skiing and wasting time and money on doctors and physios for 5-6 months until finally going to a chiropractor... turned out the joint was just locked forcing my right hip forward. The Squat. My progress in the lift is excruciatingly slow and frustrating compared to the Deadlift and Bench. When I was able to resume full training just over a month ago I started slowly to let the joint fully recover. I started out easy for me just squatting/ benching 135 and deadlifting 315. Quickly my progression recovered quickly My current best post injury sumo deadlift is 405x1 or would rouhly be about 95% of my max. My bench I did 195x2 which for me was even better than what I could do pre injury. Both are still steadily rising every time I try them out by about 5lbs everytime I go into a max effort range.

For reference im 6'3'' and weight 220. With a wing span that is about 3-4 inches longer than I am high.

The squat on the other hand is not progressing well. Current best is a measly 185x3 Front Squat with a comparable one with back squat as well. I can front box squat to parallel 225x2 but free squat I always go below parallel. After I do free squats as well my knees don't hurt perse but maybe a little sore below the knee cap at the front of the knee.

I started out truly a much weaker person than I am now and I am happy with most of the progress I have made. My current goal is a 500 DL, 250 Bench and wish every night for a 300 squat someday. I started out at a 100 bench, 225 DL and Squat about 100 weighing in at 185-190.

Any help or tips for squat would be appreciated. I currently try and do all the cues like spread the floor and sitting back.

One last side question sometimes when I bench it feels like some one is plucking a violin string from my right elbow up into my hand. A physio said something about it being the ulnar nerve but really didn't provide any help on how to solve it.

Current training is 3 days a week because of rugby. One Lower body, one upper body and one final full body day typically 2 days before my matches on the weekend. I pick and choose my excersizes based upon the week wise for games and training. Taking 3-4 lifts depending on the training day.

Lower Body Lifts
- Deadlift(sumo/conventional and never on the training before a match and going to start from defecit to)
- Squats Front/Back, With and without Box
- Bulgarian Split, RDL and pull throughs.
Uppoer Body Lifts
- Bench Press
- Standing Press
- Land mine press or when you stick the barbell in a corner.
- Pullups/ rows

Heres links to the lifts.
Front Squat

Back Squat

Sumo Deadlift
I recently switched to sumo figuring since I can't squat that much I'd at least activate the legs more doing Sumo even though it is weaker than my conventional


First observation: You got some long legs, bro.

If you havent tried doing heavy partials in the rack or supra-maximal holds, it would be worth a shot.

You do play rugby so you probably KNOW how to Xplode and such.

Is there a certain rep range you like to train with?

You get CAFFINATED before you lift?

You do any of them (Lol, Nesley) QUik Lifts? (ie power cleans/ jump squats/ snatch variations)

When i saw this guy on youtube i thought he was pretty cool:
Good video which might make you want to throw stuff around and be an A-Hole in the gym:

Just one angle to look from


I sometimes do a bottom up squat from below parallel but have never tried a hold.
No I never caffinate before lifting just eat a lot 2-3 hours before hand.
I typically fall into 3-6 range for any assistance work/ squats. Dead lifts are always <3.
Yes my best clean and jerk is 190 lbs.


Should I forgo free squats for a bit and just focus on increasing groin flexibility and use wide box squats to parallel and one below?


First time poster, long time lurker. I just thought I could help as I had a similar problem.

Do more ab exercises and lower back exercises. There’s tonnes of exercises you could do, have a look at the squat articles on this site.
I was stuck at 300lbs for ages; ab work, good mornings and leg presses (from stationary every rep, no bouncing) helped me go up to 380 in about 5 months. Also, squat at least twice a week, make it a priority, once heavy, once lighter at 50 - 60% your max (to grease the groove and get more comfortable with the movement).


Just a couple things I noticed.

  1. Your shoes appear to be soft, running type shoes. This makes it hard to maintain stability while squatting. You’d be better off getting shoes with minimal soles like chucks or hard soles like olympic shoes.

  2. You’re leaning forward and slight gming the weight, I think this is primarily due to not focusing on keeping your chest up and a lack of abdominal bracing.

  3. You’re not bracing your abs right. I personally like to take a deep breath into my abdomen and push my abs outwards, like your trying to breaking a belt off your waist, to brace your core and maintain tightness. Hold this breath till you get to the top of your rep.

I just recently learned how to brace properly, and my squat shot up as a result.