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Lean Forward on Squat

I feel that I lean forward too much when doing squats. I can feel the strain in my ower back when I lift the weight. Funny thing is, this is the way I feel comfortable to do it. I have done 20 reps with 95 kgrs (I was doing the 20 rep Squat routine).

Now I try to improve my form. I use only 60 kgrs. I try to look at the ceiling, very high. People tell me my form is better, but still too much forward.

I try to “SIT BACK”. And many times I give in the when I am at the lowest, the weight remains on the pins. And this happened with just 70-80 kgrs.

I don’t even go to parallel. I set the pins so that the bar touches them when my legs/knees are at 90 degrees. So it cannot be a flexibility issue.

I can DeadLift 5x140 kgrs. So I think my lower back is strong.

I will try but it is not easy to have someone take me on video.

Anybody can help on this?


Try lifting pounds, it’s easier.

Not sure, but if you are leaning foward you are transfering the weight to your quads instead of your hamstrings and glutes

Doing overhead squats helped me with my forward lean problem. You can’t lean forward too much on overhead squats without becoming unstable.

Your glutes and hamstrings are probably weak, so you are leaning forward to shift more of weight to your stronger muscles (back and quads). Focus on really contracting your glutes and hamstrings when you go up. You should definitely “feel the burn” there if you are doing it right.

I believe Mike Robertson gave this advice to someone with the same problem.

i would try out box squats for a while so you can get the feel of sitting back. instead of sitting down you go down and back. also, imagine lifting your toes off the ground. if you cant do that then actually lift them off the ground a little bit. this will force the weight on your heels.
good luck

i had this problem and found that doing heavy abs like pulldowns or with a roman chair? helped alot…also staring up at the ceiling helps from falling forward so much…good luck

If you’re looking for less forward lean and more quad work, try front squats for a while.

[quote]novagreg wrote:
If you’re looking for less forward lean and more quad work, try front squats for a while. [/quote]

I agree with this front squats force you to keep the chest high head up shoulders back etc or you fall on your face or drop the load.

That and like others pointed hit the weak spots, your low back, glutes hams and hips,

learn how to bow squat right sit back not down. Your body follows your head lift your head and psuh that chest out first Keep a tight upper back as well SQUEEZE|that bar.

Practice practice.

Strengthening the Abs and concentrating on them during the lift is a great way to improve squat posture.Using lifts like good mornings, reverse hypers,and glute ham raises along with weighted side bends and weighted crunch movements are very effective powerlifting assistance exercises to strengthen the core and improve squat performance. Check out Westside Training for more complete info.

You can also try using a belt but keeping it a ring or two looser than normal then expand and contract your abs to tighten it before you descend into the squat. Nice little tool to improve core activation and thus posture while squating and the belt can be eliminated once it becomes second nature.

I also agree with trying front squats for a while. The leverage of the movement forces posture and core activation improvements that will help teach your body.

Overhead squats and box squats work in a similar way but I have less experience with them.

Here is a link you may find helpful too. Good luck.


[quote]Heliotrope wrote:
Strengthening the Abs and concentrating on them during the lift is a great way to improve squat posture.[/quote]
I am already doing this.

[quote]Heliotrope wrote:
Strengthening the Abs and concentrating on them during the lift is a great way to improve squat posture.

Here is a link you may find helpful too. Good luck.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459389 [/quote]

I had already read the article. So the fact that I lean forward is the same problem with “Caving Over”, that is mentioned in the article?

I’ve heard that staring too high while squatting may cause you to overarch your back… You could pinch something that way.

Work on strengthening the weak links (gltues and hams). Be sure you you do this work either after the squats or on another training day.

Is it mechanical?

I mean, would you fall backwards if you didn’t lean?

[quote]vroom wrote:
Is it mechanical?

I mean, would you fall backwards if you didn’t lean?[/quote]

That’s the problem I had, and I noticed it even with no weight, sitting down on a chair.

Changing my foot position helped with it so my torso was a lot straighter. I put my feel wider and more under me. I also notice that I use my glutes and hams more when I do this.

I’m personally stronger with my feet a little closer, and am able to use my lower back to get the weight up even after my legs can’t do any more.

I was doing well with stiffleg deads and lunges to help strengthen my hams and glutes. Lunges seem to be the only thing that gets my glutes sore.

I can’t really assess whether or not your problem is the same as the “caving over” he describes in the article without actually seeing you squat.

The mechanical question is valid. Some people just have levers that make keeping there torso upright very difficult when squating. The level of forward lean is going to vary among individuals.

Do some experimentation with bar only squats and see how upright you can get with that.

If you are happy with the form gradually increase the weight untill you reach a resistance that causes your posture to degrade and start rebuilding your squat strength from there. You could just need to relearn the lift.

If you can’t maintain a reasonably upright posture even with bar only back squats then see what type of posture you can maintain with a bar only front squat.

If your front squat looks good then start building strength with that lift and go back to back squats after you achieve some reasonable progress.

If even your bar only front squats are unable to meet the form you want then perhaps you should seek professional opinions about your body mechanics and how to improve or work around them.

Let us know how the deloaded squat tests turn out.

The workout I did yesterday, I had my feet closer than shoulder width, (trying to do a variation). When I open my feet more and I have more flare (toes more apart), my posture looks better, at least with no bar.

I tried the movement with no bar. If I try to straighten my torso more, then I do fall behind. When I sit on a bench and I want to get up, then I have to lean forward, isn’t this normal?

My hams and glutes are weak? But I feel very much stronger at DL. Shouldn’t they be strong? Also, since I only go down up to 90 angle, most of the work is done from the quads. You need to go much lower to shift most of the work to the hams and glutes.

When I press myself to squat, then I feel my quads sore. Then again, my back is always tense from lifting.

OK, I will try today and get a video of myself. With and without weight. Then maybe you can tell me.

Also, can you give me a link of a good video, or at least photos demonstrating perfect squat form form the sides. Once again, I only go down up to the point that my knee becomes a 90 degree angle.


Here is a link that has video and descriptions of many exercises including squats


No, according to http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/glen23.htm :
"The more upright the individual remains the further the weight will be from the knee, like wise the further forward they lean the further the distance from hips and therefore the greater the loading on each musculature respectively.

As you descend deeper into a squat you have to lean forward to keep the center of gravity over your base. Therefore descending deeper into a squat will usually mean more hip involvement as the leverage increases for the hip musculature"

So, if I lean too much, I involve more the hips, which means are relatively stronger. Probably because of the DL I have been doing. So, if anything, then I need to strengthen my quads.

Hey Bob, try doing some hack squats or rear deads to strengthen your quads. Also use your heels to push through the floor… instead of your toes to push up into the air.

What I do is use my ass and try to make a perfect verticle line up and down and this seems to keep me in the right position the whole time.

I used to lean forward quite a bit while squatting and like you, it felt fairly natural to me. What helped to clean up my form was to significantly drop the weight and concentrate getting my butt to sit back and then to push my upper back into the bar before coming up out of the hole. A very exaggerated ‘chest out and butt back’ posture from beginning to end helped quite a bit too. Mixing in box squats and front squats were good training tools as well.

It is important to check your ego a bit though and drop the weight off the bar. Your mind is most effective when it’s allowed to concentrate on one thing at a time and it’s difficult to work on your problem when pushing heavier weights. And it definitely feels like taking a couple steps backwards before moving ahead; I had cleaned up my form yet the strength wasn’t there. It’s all about learning a movement and it takes some time to groove it in but I feel I’ll be much stronger in the longrun.

There’s a lot of lean in both of the squat videos…