T Nation

Identifying a Weakness on a Lift?


I just wanted to get some insight on this to help me figure out what assistance exercises I may or may not need in the future.

I was wondering, what are the key things to look out for to see what muscle groups are lagging behind in a lift?

For example, In the squat - with heavier weights coming out of the hole, I have trouble getting out, then I have a tendancy to lean forward. Would this be a quad, hamstring or lower back weakness?

It's more simple with bench/deadlift I suppose so I think I have those two covered if I get sticking points.


Squat, lean forwards = weak quads or glutes imo. You should never lean forwards out of an oly high bar squat. Work hard on keeping your 'hips UNDER' the bar.

The best thing is to get a video and see where you are failing. This will tell you where you are weakest.



Thats prob why I am having trouble with front squats also, my quad strength... It's definitely not my glutes!

Would front squats be ok as an accessory for my back squat? Or would lunges/leg press be a better option?


For the very same reason, I've been doing front squat since I started 5/3/1, and I must say I'm really more upright out of the hole.

EDIT: here's a few Robertson articles on assistance work:

DL: http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/articles/Understanding+the+Supplemental+Exercises%3A+The+Deadlift/

Squat: http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/articles/Accessory+Onslaught+%231%3A+The+Squat/

BP: http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/articles/Accessory+Onslaught+%232%3A+The+Bench+Press/

DL (II): http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/articles/Accessory+Onslaught+%233%3A+The+Deadlift/


If your leaning forward it could mean a weak core. I use to lean forward on almost every heavy set, until I started doing sit-ups, band crunches etc. Ive also found that things like...

1) sticking your chest out

2) Sucking in a gut of air, and holding it

3) Keeping my elbows under me

have helped tremendously, and I no longer lean forward.


Front squats are pretty damn awesome for quads.

I'd go with those. I do when I work on my quads.


i have the same problem with leaning forward in the squat i really don't think it's weak quads cuz i have very strong quads compared to my hamstrings/glutes. when u lean forward that naturally involves the quads more cuz ur body is trying to use the stronger muscles. with me it's weak core (do all the things black label said) and for u i think it'd def. be a weak core especially if u have strong glutes like u said


If your getting stuck at the bottom of the lift then hamstrings/glutes are the problem but definitely not your quads