Since I haven't really posted here before let me give you a little background just to say Hello!:
I'm a 21 year old 4th year engineering student. I used to stay in pretty decent shape without a gym, because I worked at the Home Depot in Lumber/Concrete department. After I quit my job in september '06, I was fairly unsatisfied with myself by new years. I read a lot and started bulking up some muscle. I made good progress till march, when I decided to lose some of flub I had packed on from my post-job break. I went on the AD and dropped about 15 pounds without really seeing consequence in my lifts (sometimes it's good to be a beginner). Now for the summer since I have serious free time to dedicate to hard lifting, I want to go back into a mass phase.
The problem is, All the work I've done so far with lower body has been incline press/leg curls/etc. I really want to incorporate squats and deadlifts. So today was my first time in the gym actually working this and here are some problems I encountered:
1) During squat, I found I have a tendency as I get down to parallel or a little below, my upper body tends to lean forward, which shifts my weight off my heels, and makes me feel like I'm going to topple. Also, on the decent my spine feels a large amount of compression. Is this normal? Is this possibly a standard newbie mistake? My feet are slightly wider than shoulder width? Is this too narrow, should my stance be wider?
2)During deadlift, I find that my stance feels fairly comfortable on the ascent, but on the decent I kept having to correct myself from rounding out my back. Is there a trick putting the weight back down that I'm not getting? Is it just muscle memory to keep the back straight or weak stabilizers since I've never worked freeweight before? Also, when you do reps for a deadlift, do you put the entire weight back on the ground, reposition yourself and lift again, or do you go down to the weight almost touching the ground and hoist back up?
Sorry about the lengthy post, thanks in advance!