T Nation

Help With My Squat Form


#1

This high bar 245x5 was taken a few months ago. I've since switched to low bar. I've been stalled on squats for half a year now (about 1.5 years powerlifting experience) despite training diligently on lower body as often as I possibly can, wide variety of squatting and assistance exercises included. Any advice?

6'0" 185lbs


#2

You video’s set to private boss.


#3

Can’t view the video.
What does “stalled” mean in this case?
How often is “often as I can”?
Details on your programming and accessory movements would be handy.
Why have you chosen a video from a few months ago using a form you no longer use?


#4

Stop constantly changing your stance and the style of squatting your using and force your body to learn the movement instead of constantly confusing. Stop training so many asst moves. Its easy

Squat: What ever stance 5x5
Pick 2-3 asst moves that hit weak areas. Most likely posterior chain. So for example

Day 1
Your Standard Squat: 5x5
Stiff Leg Deads: 4x8-12
GHR: 3x5-20
Core

Day 2
Your Standard Squat: 80% of weight you used on Day 1 for 5x5 speed.
Front Squat: 3x4-6
Hip Thrust: 3x10-20
Core

Make sure your eating and your golden.


#5

Vid should work now.

I squat ~3x/week 5 sets of 3-6 or 4-8 depending on the day. Assistance includes front squats, lunges, hip sled, etc. Deadlift 2x/week switching between sumo and conventional, 4x6-10 some days and 5x2-4 others.

When I squat, I don’t feel strong. The movement just feels off, which is why I’ve been switching stance and bar position. I also sumo deadlift more than conventional, despite not having particular success low bar squatting.

I should also note that I’ve put on weight and significant lower body mass, but 1rm and work sets have been stagnant for months.


#6

Eat more. In the weightlifting world 6’ and 185 is tiny. Anything other than 6’ and a lean 198/94kg (Olympic Lifting) is going to struggle to move serious weight especially if you’re not built for it. You need to get bigger. You can make strength gains without weight gains, but in my experience it is much slower if you’re eating at or below maintenance as opposed to a good surplus.


#7

Your shoes suck, your not bracing your core very good at the start of the decent, your going out on to your toes enough to actually cause your heel to move slightly. All that is making for a piss poor power transfer when coming out of the hole. Making you feel weak.


#8

[quote]Reed wrote:
Your shoes suck, your not bracing your core very good at the start of the decent, your going out on to your toes enough to actually cause your heel to move slightly. All that is making for a piss poor power transfer when coming out of the hole. Making you feel weak.[/quote]

Exactly what he said. There are a lot of little things done incorrectly. Where your holding your air, and the bar drifting all over the place.


#9

[quote]amayakyrol wrote:
Eat more. In the weightlifting world 6’ and 185 is tiny. Anything other than 6’ and a lean 198/94kg (Olympic Lifting) is going to struggle to move serious weight especially if you’re not built for it. You need to get bigger. You can make strength gains without weight gains, but in my experience it is much slower if you’re eating at or below maintenance as opposed to a good surplus. [/quote]

Don’t tell me this when I’ve just decided to drop down to the 198s!

OP, listen to Reed. Find a squat position that works for you, and use that position and that position only. Then upload a form video again.
All I think about whenever I’m trying to talk someone through the basics of squatting (Reed squats differently to me, and is stronger, he may have different advice here) is to: - push your ass back slightly

  • almost immediately push your knees out (“show your crotch”)
  • then sit between your legs.
    If you can do that with your weight moreso on your heels than on your toes and your core and upper back tight, you’re golden. I learnt to squat using high bar, and I think that helped get this pattern down, but I moved to low bar after about a year. You may just want to start with low bar. Take the time to find something that works, but then focus on practising that something over and over.

#10

If you want advice on your low bar squat form then it’s probably best to upload a video of you low bar squatting. Lots of things change when you change your bar position.


#11

I’m going with ‘eat more’ on this one. Even with less than ideal technique, you should be able to improve past where you are now if your nutrition is adequate. At 6’0 185, this seems not to be the case.

At the risk of disagreeing with someone who is a far more accomplished squatter than me (Reed), I don’t see changing your stance frequently as such a big problem, particularly at your level. You’re still new to lifting, and you’ve gotta figure out your best squat stance/ leverages. I’ve read plenty of Elite-level strength athletes who advocate training multiple stances/styles, much in the same way that one should probably train both sumo and conventional deadlift, regardless of which one is used in competition.

Definitely agree on the shoes though. Chuck Taylors are cheap. Get some.


#12

Maazer- If he squatting with a high bar those cues are perfect l, with a low bar it cause some issue depending one his leverages.

Flip- Some one at your level or mine switching a stance can be very beneficial especially if it means a form that is less advantageous and will strengthen his weaknesses. How ever at his level he has no idea what squat oa best and is very inefficient because he is constantly changing the movement. Me and you have been at this long enough that if we switch our stance weekly we ould easily come back to familiar movement patterns and be golden maybe even better off. The OP on the other hand not so much . Just my opinion. He needs to figure out in general how to squat for his body and then after its familiar then sure add in different stances and form.


#13

[quote]Reed wrote:
Maazer- If he squatting with a high bar those cues are perfect l, with a low bar it cause some issue depending one his leverages.

Flip- Some one at your level or mine switching a stance can be very beneficial especially if it means a form that is less advantageous and will strengthen his weaknesses. How ever at his level he has no idea what squat oa best and is very inefficient because he is constantly changing the movement. Me and you have been at this long enough that if we switch our stance weekly we ould easily come back to familiar movement patterns and be golden maybe even better off. The OP on the other hand not so much . Just my opinion. He needs to figure out in general how to squat for his body and then after its familiar then sure add in different stances and form.[/quote]

That’s a good way to look at it, I’m pretty sure I agree with all of that. My main point was that he needs to eat more, anyway.

What would you suggest his ‘standard’ squat should be then? Do you think he should just pick one and run with it, or do you believe a particular squat width is best for most novices?


#14

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]Reed wrote:
Maazer- If he squatting with a high bar those cues are perfect l, with a low bar it cause some issue depending one his leverages.

Flip- Some one at your level or mine switching a stance can be very beneficial especially if it means a form that is less advantageous and will strengthen his weaknesses. How ever at his level he has no idea what squat oa best and is very inefficient because he is constantly changing the movement. Me and you have been at this long enough that if we switch our stance weekly we ould easily come back to familiar movement patterns and be golden maybe even better off. The OP on the other hand not so much . Just my opinion. He needs to figure out in general how to squat for his body and then after its familiar then sure add in different stances and form.[/quote]

That’s a good way to look at it, I’m pretty sure I agree with all of that. My main point was that he needs to eat more, anyway.

What would you suggest his ‘standard’ squat should be then? Do you think he should just pick one and run with it, or do you believe a particular squat width is best for most novices?[/quote]


#15

Son of a bitch I just wrote a full length paper and its not showing up.

  1. Foot placement allowing the squatter to break a decent depth, Knee stay out, and knees don’t track excessively over the toes. Forward knee movement is ok but there is a point that it can take away from leverages. Also I don’t care who says it anytime I get FKM my knees kill me. Sure some people can do it but its not me therefore I wont teach it.

  2. Bar placement should be in correspondence to the foot width. If your wide chances are lower to mid bar is for you. If closer 9/10 a mid to high bar is for you. Pretty easy to tell. If your squatting down and the hips are shooting up faster than the bar the chances are one your squat stance is to close or bar placement is to high. Could be muscle weakness as well but you can at least minimize the effect.

Last answer was 1000x more in depth.


#16

I know you didn’t ask me and I’ve only squatted 405 HB/455 LB at 200 so my squat is far from impressive, but I think as long as you are deadlifting, high bar with a narrow stance is the best for beginners. You don’t need to go ATG, just breaking parallel is fine. Doing a good low bar squat is actually harder than high bar (to parallel) at least, even though most can move more weight that way. There’s more technique involved, it requires more total body awareness, and it requires a surprising amount of mobility in the hips to execute a wide stance, low bar squat to parallel.


#17

[quote]Reed wrote:
Son of a bitch I just wrote a full length paper and its not showing up.

  1. Foot placement allowing the squatter to break a decent depth, Knee stay out, and knees don’t track excessively over the toes. Forward knee movement is ok but there is a point that it can take away from leverages. Also I don’t care who says it anytime I get FKM my knees kill me. Sure some people can do it but its not me therefore I wont teach it.

[/quote]

Do you have long femurs? Everyone in the weightlifting community spouts off that squats don’t hurt your knees, but I think that’s complete bullshit. It wasn’t until I started using knee sleeves that I reduced nagging pain in the patella tendon.


#18

I still say for a novice powerlifter that from the beginning they need to find and use the best stance for them. If it was a general athlete yes I agree with the above. But this being a PL forum then there is no reason a wide stance squat if it is beneficial can not be implented. If its damn,near impossible to hit depth in a wide squat chances are its just not for you but some like my self with minimal stretching and warm up can smash a wide squat.

With that I don’t really see how it is technically harder. In both squats you should…

  1. Initially break at the hips less for HB more for LB but none the less
  2. Push knees and feet out.
  3. Chest tall
  4. Come put of the hole its just a matter of which muscles are firing.

#19

Articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/sports-training/dave-tates-free-squat-manual/

Excerpt from the article:

If you have shoulder issues, choose a medium to wide grip.
If you have a short back, choose a medium to wide stance.
If you have a long torso, choose a medium stance (the longer the torso, the closer the stance).
If you have long legs and a long back, choose a close to medium stance.
If you have long legs and a short back, congratulations. You can squat any way you want.
If you?re using gear, obviously a wider stance is best as the gear supports the hips.


#20

[quote]amayakyrol wrote:

[quote]Reed wrote:
Son of a bitch I just wrote a full length paper and its not showing up.

  1. Foot placement allowing the squatter to break a decent depth, Knee stay out, and knees don’t track excessively over the toes. Forward knee movement is ok but there is a point that it can take away from leverages. Also I don’t care who says it anytime I get FKM my knees kill me. Sure some people can do it but its not me therefore I wont teach it.

[/quote]

Do you have long femurs? Everyone in the weightlifting community spouts off that squats don’t hurt your knees, but I think that’s complete bullshit. It wasn’t until I started using knee sleeves that I reduced nagging pain in the patella tendon.

[/quote]

I have never actually measured them before. But I know anytime my knees move forward in the hole I start to get patella pain. I don’t think squats hurt your knees squatting with a stance that does not agree with how you are built is,what hurts your knees.