T Nation

Humbly Request the Advice of an Advanced Lifter or Coach


I tried making this thread on BB.com misc section but got all kinds of conflicting and discombobulating feedback.

Basically I'm a guy who has done 4-5 years of olympic lifting, quit one year and some months ago, now trying to get back into full squats. High bar of course.

Here is me doing some reps with a relatively light weight.

my goal/ideal technique would be like these guys who are obviously elite level

please give me some pointers on how I am doing it differently than the guys in the videos, and what I should work on

many thanks



Stop looking at the floor and bring your head up to a neutral position, deep breath in at the top. You look fine just keep doing what your doing and work your way back into squatting and lifting. You might want to toss in some light pause squats and sit deep down into the bottom, pause and come back up.


I'm really paying attention to trying to avoid the dreaded "buttwink" phenomena. So I'm not going to go any deeper for now.

When I bend over I can hardly touch the ground, does this mean my hams are terribly inflexible or is it because they are weak?


keep going down, all the way, just use lighter weight. Hammer in that position.

as for your flexibility, start stretching your hams 3-4x a week after lifting. make sure you are doing some dynamic hamstring stuff before lifting to get some range of motion in there.

your squats look fine. however you seem to be focusing on the breaking at the knees alone. What you should do is break at the knees AND hips at the same time.

get some oly shoes.


I hear you on avoiding buttwink. If you toss in some light pause squats and sit deep down into the bottom as texmac suggested then you should be able to push your bottom tight position that little bit deeper over time, though. If it is because of hamstring inflexibility then that is probably the way to help lengthen them that will have the most carryover for what it is that you are trying to do. If it is because of hamstring weakness then they will get stronger with squats.

Bear in mind that you are going to look a bit different because you have longer levers.



x2 for get some oly shoes you'll probably find that oly shoes will be all that's necessary....other than that I might say that your knees may need to go out more. The "butt wink" isn't that big of a deal and it usually only goes away by squatting to that end the thing that helped my squat the most was the goblet squat Dan John has written plenty on the subject. Hangin out at the bottom and driving my knees out was all that was needed.


actually i have adidas weightlifting shoes and used to lift in them all the time. i figured i'd lift without them to increase my flexibility. because the elevated heal requires less flexibility


Also I just don't get the "sit back, not down, break at the hips thing" I don't get it at all, unless you're talking about low bar parallels


You've done OLifting for 4-5yrs and you need advice? TF?!

How tall are you?

Your squats look good. Your depth is nearly there.

When peopel say sit down and not sit back think of it this way.

Stand with your feet as they are, a bit wider then shoulder width pointing outwards slightly. NOW think of sitting your bum inbetween your feet. If you sit and your bum is way behind your hips your sitting backwards.

This is usually a problem for people who have poor mobility in their ankles. Your mobility is very good in your ankles from the angle that I can see in the video. The more flexible your ankles are the further out your knees can track over your toes. If they don't track over your toes much, most people then are forced to sit backwards.

PS it's rude to tell the newbs to effectively STFU. And why post Oly stuff on bb.com?! Go to an Oly forum to post oly stuff.


Hi Koing, first of all, the reason I need advice on this despite my experience level is because my coach never really paid attention to the squat technique. I saw people buttwinking like crazy there thinking they were doing a good job. He was more concerned about the pull technique I guess.

Anyway... I'm 6' tall around 185-190lbs

Sorry if I came across as rude with the noob comment but I just want to know I am taking advice from an experienced guy not a noob. (I've seen your videos, clearly you are an experienced lifter)

So basically when people tell me I shouldn't sit down, I should sit back they are wrong? Is that what you are telling me? They have said my ass shouldn't be over my ankles, more behind of it, but I wonder if that's even possible anatomically.

You seem to say that sitting "down" not "back" is a good thing, so then I just need to improve my depth and I'm set to start going hard?

Many thanks


It seems to me that getting an ATG squat with Oly Shoes would have more carryover for Oly lifting than getting powerlifting depth with sneakers.

There are a lot of people here who most definitely aren't noobs and I know I've profited immensely from discussions with them and really respect and value their experience and knowledge.

That being said I've also learned a lot from noobs who have just struggled through (and maybe come out the other side) or perhaps who are still struggling through issues that are similar to mine. Sometimes I profit because they raise issues that I never knew I had.

Still, if you have trouble assessing the quality of information such that you need to appeal to who said it then to each their own.

If you use the search function you will find several threads on this forum about sitting back vs down on Olympic Squats and the role of ankle flexibility.

Don't confuse breaking from the hips with sitting back btw.


I'll eventually squat atg, but I'm just getting back into deep squatting and this is currently the deepest I felt I could go without losing back tightness/avoiding lower back rounding. I do have weightlifting shoes but I don't want to over-depend on them to reach depth, I want to be able to reach depth without an elevated heel shoe, so that when I do wear those shoes I will be rock solid in the hole if this makes sense.

By the way, do tell me the difference between sitting back and breaking at the hips. Most people seem to imply it means the same thing.


I guess I have a similar aspiration to squat ATG with bare feet or vibrams. The thought being the same as yours - if I can do that then I should be rock solid with weightlifting shoes. I think that by wearing shoes with squishy soles you are making things unnecessarily hard for yourself, though (so chucks or vibrams would be better).

I'm also starting to think that fairly minor adjustments to stance width, heel raise, depth etc can make a fairly big difference with respect to the movement. Enough of a difference that they might interfere with or slow the process of acquiring a smooth and automatic motor program. For myself, the main reason I'm squatting is to help me catch and stand up a clean and a snatch in competition. As such, I'm trying to set up as close to that as possible. Similarly, the best way to have a rock solid catch position with weightlifting shoes might well be to practice a rock solid catch position with weightlifting shoes. Once you have got that sorted then trying to re-achieve that with variations like no shoes might be a fun thing to do. However, YMMV.

Depends a bit on your levers and stance width...

My understanding is that in Oly Lifting you want to aim for your torso to be as upright as possible with the bar over your centre of gravity (midfoot). If you sit your butt back then your torso will have to lean forwards in order to keep the bar over your centre of gravity (so you don't fall over or lose the bar) - but then you are more likely to crumple under the weight. So, sit your butt down between your legs rather than back behind your legs. I think that is what Koing (and others) mean by that.

I think I'm doing a similar thing to you with respect to breaking at the knees rather than simultaneously at the knees and hips. I think the idea of breaking at the knees and hips simultaneously is the idea of setting your lumbar curve (breaking the hips in order to tilt the pelvis) at the same time as breaking from the knees rather than trying to set your lumbar curve on your descent after your knees have broken. But... Maybe Andy had something different in mind.

Was that what you meant, Andy?

I've been experimenting with setting my lumbar curve (breaking from my hips) before breaking from my knees because I'm still working on holding the hard lumbar curve through the ROM. I guess when it comes to dropping under the bar quickly (for snatching, cleaning) how one descends while squatting is fairly irrelevant, though. So long as one quickly hits a tight bottom position. So maybe whatever helps you maintain your lumbar curve (knee break, simultaneous knee and hip break, hip break first) doesn't matter so much. Dunno...

I'd be very interested to hear what others think.