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How Do I Safely Learn the Form for Big Lifts?

I am interested in doing WS4SB after the end of my soccer season.

I want to learn the proper form for Max Effort lifts; the back squat and the deadlift. What is the best way to approach learning these lifts? I know for a fact that I do both of these lifts incorrectly.

My injury history is the following; I had an articular cartilage repair surgery 2 years ago in my left knee. The goal is to work up (safely) to a point where I am doing 5 rep max effort lifts.

Any input is welcome.

Live coaching from someone qualified to coach is the best way. If you don’t have access to that, post videos of each lift in the PL section and ask for help, just remember you will have to use your discretion on who to listen to. Starting Strength is a good book to have as well.

Ideally it is good to have an experienced lifter watch you and teach you how to lift properly. The benefit of this is they can quickly erase any bad habits you may have.

If you train alone or are in a commercial gym where powerlifters aren’t likely to go this could be a bit more difficult. I would suggest getting on Dave Tate’s web site elitefts and watch his how to lift series. Dave is an excellent coach and is very easy to understand and follow.

If you do happen to be in a gym where a powerlifter trains then maybe approach him and ask if he can take a look at your deadlift for example. I wouldn’t hassle him in the middle of his set but if he looks like he’s done for the day then you may find he’ll give you a few pointers.

How long does it take to learn proper form for squats and deadlifts? I’m actually thinking that I may need to hire a coach to train me. Just trying to estimate the cost…

Actually, I think I found the answer to my question; http://southbrooklynwc.com

It’s taken me 5 years of training to even find a respectable stride in regard to form on heavy compound lifts. Even still, I’m learning new things every day. Try everything and experiment tentatively, but don’t be too bashful! Give it hell, you’d be amazed at what your body can do.

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:
How long does it take to learn proper form for squats and deadlifts? I’m actually thinking that I may need to hire a coach to train me. Just trying to estimate the cost…[/quote]

Form is something you will always work to improve, but it doesn’t take too long to learn to do the lifts safely.

Ok, as a coach I tell people it is always best to have a coach in person. It sounds like based on that link you posted you might be going that route. The second thing I tell people is always, always learn the goblet squat from Dan John–either youtube videos or his website or book, or in person. The goblet squat and the wall squat are two tools that will ALWAYS teach a safe method to squatting. It is impossible to do a wall slide squat without proper form (facing the wall, from about 3 inches away, NOT with your back against the wall). It might not be the most fine tuned powerlifting perfect form, but it is safe and proper, and very close to olympic lifting form. Perfect for athletes. Not as good as a personal coach, but damned better than anything else in the very beginning coming from an incorrect habit.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
Ok, as a coach I tell people it is always best to have a coach in person. It sounds like based on that link you posted you might be going that route. The second thing I tell people is always, always learn the goblet squat from Dan John–either youtube videos or his website or book, or in person. The goblet squat and the wall squat are two tools that will ALWAYS teach a safe method to squatting. It is impossible to do a wall slide squat without proper form (facing the wall, from about 3 inches away, NOT with your back against the wall). It might not be the most fine tuned powerlifting perfect form, but it is safe and proper, and very close to olympic lifting form. Perfect for athletes. Not as good as a personal coach, but damned better than anything else in the very beginning coming from an incorrect habit.[/quote]

Thank you. I will start working on learning the form for the goblet squat and the wall squat, then at the end of the season will get a coach to train me.

KB swing might help with feeling the hip hing