T Nation

Low Bar Back Squat Feedback


#1

I've always done hbbs and I'm going to give the low bar squat a try. Looking for some feedback on my form. I'm not really sure if I should be thinking about hip break/knee break or just let it happen. Thanks.

wfs


#2

Range of motion looks really good! Only thing I can add (And it may have something to do with the amount of weight you’re using), but you seem to halt your hip movement at the top of the squat. In other words, you’re not pushing your pelvis out at the top of the squat, and/or you’re leaving your butt out too far.


#3

You should be locking out your knees and hips at the top of the movement. Good depth.


#4

Exactly what the two above said. Also look up more not at the roof but nuetral. On top of your upper back being loose as the weight gets heavy your gonna crumble over. Lastly I can’t tell what kind of shoes they are but they look shitty for Squatting. As good as your mobility is I’d get a pair of chucks or something along those lines.


#5

Not mucht to add to the above posters, but also want to know – what kind of footwear are you wearing there?


#6

[quote]Reed wrote:
Exactly what the two above said. Also look up more not at the roof but nuetral. On top of your upper back being loose as the weight gets heavy your gonna crumble over. Lastly I can’t tell what kind of shoes they are but they look shitty for Squatting. As good as your mobility is I’d get a pair of chucks or something along those lines.[/quote]

Regarding your “look up more not at the roof but neutral” comment; after reading the Mark Rippetoe article focusing on low bar squatting. He states that one should stare down in front of them, because “Looking up when squatting does nothing but fight against the correct back angle. Look down.” Which is what the OP was displaying in the video. I am working on my low bar squat, and have been reinforcing my technique with his article and seeing OPs video really helped bring the movement to life.

Although I am having a tough time staying tight throughout the whole movement, it seems I lose tightness once I get out of the hole. Which is what we may be seeing in the video? Any tips on how to alleviate that? Besides keeping intra-ab pressure high, back tight and chest high.


#7

Those are just generic Nike “cross training” shoes. I usually squat in Oly shoes, but I thought I read those were not as conducive for low bar squat.

Dane - when you say lock my knees out… Does that mean my knees should not travel forward at all throughout the movement, as they do a little in the video?


#8

[quote]bigfundy wrote:
Those are just generic Nike “cross training” shoes. I usually squat in Oly shoes, but I thought I read those were not as conducive for low bar squat.

Dane - when you say lock my knees out… Does that mean my knees should not travel forward at all throughout the movement, as they do a little in the video? [/quote]

That looks pretty good, but ditto on the locking out at the top: at the top of the movement make sure your hips and knees are dead straight.

I use Oly shoes for my squats, and your squats looks VERY similar to mine - so give your Oly shoes a go I’d say.


#9

[quote]bigfundy wrote:

Dane - when you say lock my knees out… Does that mean my knees should not travel forward at all throughout the movement, as they do a little in the video? [/quote]

No. He’s saying that you’re not completing the squat at the top. You need to lock your knees (or straighten your legs if this makes more sense to you) at the completion of the squat. Pause your video at the end of each squat, and you’ll see that your knees are still bent when you initiate additional squats.


#10

Ok, I got you. Thanks.


#11

If you want flat shoes, converse chuck taylors are fairly inexpensive and will do the job. I actually do have some Wu Rei Oly shoes and I love them for certain assistance squats but I still prefer my beat up falling apart with holes in the sides where I try to claw my toes into the ground chucks for my main squat.

I find with the Oly shoes, my quads are engaged more but I can’t use my hamstrings as much. They also let me stay more upright which is related to the quad vs ham engagement. Oly shoes will also cover up ankle mobility issues but that doesn’t look like a problem for you.


#12

[quote]jzy50309 wrote:

[quote]Reed wrote:
Exactly what the two above said. Also look up more not at the roof but nuetral. On top of your upper back being loose as the weight gets heavy your gonna crumble over. Lastly I can’t tell what kind of shoes they are but they look shitty for Squatting. As good as your mobility is I’d get a pair of chucks or something along those lines.[/quote]

Regarding your “look up more not at the roof but neutral” comment; after reading the Mark Rippetoe article focusing on low bar squatting. He states that one should stare down in front of them, because “Looking up when squatting does nothing but fight against the correct back angle. Look down.” Which is what the OP was displaying in the video. I am working on my low bar squat, and have been reinforcing my technique with his article and seeing OPs video really helped bring the movement to life.

Although I am having a tough time staying tight throughout the whole movement, it seems I lose tightness once I get out of the hole. Which is what we may be seeing in the video? Any tips on how to alleviate that? Besides keeping intra-ab pressure high, back tight and chest high. [/quote]

Yeah stop looking at the ground. Rippetoe teaches the squat from a safest movement possible aspect not the most effective at moving weight. Also Rippetoe is not the be all end all in any way especially when regarding squatting. Next go look at the majoritu and I mean large majority of world record holders and top guys. They are not looking down they looking straight ahead in more neutral position. Looking down causes a tendency to lean forward as you come out of the hole ad then will dump you forward.

I am not the sole authority on squatting and neither is Rippetoe but I do what works for me and with a 600 plus squat at under 220 pounds I am slightly advanced atleast enough to atleast chime in on this subject. What you and or any one else does with this critique I could care less. If he or some one else tries it and it helps your welcome if it doesn’t sorry it didn’t.

To reiterate however I am not saying look “up” look nuetrally ahead. Until Rippetoe produces a squatter who is out squatting my coach and other top squatters then I’ll continue to listen to them.


#13

[quote]jzy50309 wrote:

[quote]Reed wrote:
Exactly what the two above said. Also look up more not at the roof but nuetral. On top of your upper back being loose as the weight gets heavy your gonna crumble over. Lastly I can’t tell what kind of shoes they are but they look shitty for Squatting. As good as your mobility is I’d get a pair of chucks or something along those lines.[/quote]

Regarding your “look up more not at the roof but neutral” comment; after reading the Mark Rippetoe article focusing on low bar squatting. He states that one should stare down in front of them, because “Looking up when squatting does nothing but fight against the correct back angle. Look down.” Which is what the OP was displaying in the video. I am working on my low bar squat, and have been reinforcing my technique with his article and seeing OPs video really helped bring the movement to life.

Although I am having a tough time staying tight throughout the whole movement, it seems I lose tightness once I get out of the hole. Which is what we may be seeing in the video? Any tips on how to alleviate that? Besides keeping intra-ab pressure high, back tight and chest high. [/quote]

Yeah stop looking at the ground that would help a bit.

Rippetoe teaches the squat from a safest movement possible aspect not the most effective at moving weight. Also Rippetoe is not the be all end all in any way especially when regarding squatting. Next go look at the majority and I mean large majority of world record holders and top squatters. They are not looking down they looking straight ahead in more neutral position. Looking down causes a tendency to lean forward as you come out of the hole and then the bar will dump you forforward especially if your elbows are chickened winged like Rippetoe says to do. I am not the sole authority on squatting and neither is Rippetoe but I do what works for me and with a 600 plus squat at under 220 pounds I am slightly advanced atleast enough to chime in on this subject. What you and or any one else does with this critique I could care less. If he or some one else tries it and it helps they are welcome if it doesn’t sorry it didn’t.

To reiterate however I am not saying look “up” look nuetrally ahead. Until Rippetoe produces a squatter who is out squatting my coach and other top squatters then I’ll continue to listen to them.


#14

I’m relatively new to all this and just inching toward a 400lb squat, but I found looking down caused me to lose my arch in the hole. With lighter weights you end up good-morning the weight up, with heavier weights you just fail miserably.

I found head position slightly above neutral to work for me.

Your vid didn’t look anything near a max lift. I bet a vid of your 3RM would reveal more notable form breaks and would likely be more instructive of what you should change and what accessory work you should focus on.

But good depth. These old man hips cause me trouble getting depth.


#15

[quote]Reed wrote:

[quote]jzy50309 wrote:

[quote]Reed wrote:
Exactly what the two above said. Also look up more not at the roof but nuetral. On top of your upper back being loose as the weight gets heavy your gonna crumble over. Lastly I can’t tell what kind of shoes they are but they look shitty for Squatting. As good as your mobility is I’d get a pair of chucks or something along those lines.[/quote]

Regarding your “look up more not at the roof but neutral” comment; after reading the Mark Rippetoe article focusing on low bar squatting. He states that one should stare down in front of them, because “Looking up when squatting does nothing but fight against the correct back angle. Look down.” Which is what the OP was displaying in the video. I am working on my low bar squat, and have been reinforcing my technique with his article and seeing OPs video really helped bring the movement to life.

Although I am having a tough time staying tight throughout the whole movement, it seems I lose tightness once I get out of the hole. Which is what we may be seeing in the video? Any tips on how to alleviate that? Besides keeping intra-ab pressure high, back tight and chest high. [/quote]

Yeah stop looking at the ground. Rippetoe teaches the squat from a safest movement possible aspect not the most effective at moving weight. Also Rippetoe is not the be all end all in any way especially when regarding squatting. Next go look at the majoritu and I mean large majority of world record holders and top guys. They are not looking down they looking straight ahead in more neutral position. Looking down causes a tendency to lean forward as you come out of the hole ad then will dump you forward.

I am not the sole authority on squatting and neither is Rippetoe but I do what works for me and with a 600 plus squat at under 220 pounds I am slightly advanced atleast enough to atleast chime in on this subject. What you and or any one else does with this critique I could care less. If he or some one else tries it and it helps your welcome if it doesn’t sorry it didn’t.

To reiterate however I am not saying look “up” look nuetrally ahead. Until Rippetoe produces a squatter who is out squatting my coach and other top squatters then I’ll continue to listen to them.
[/quote]
Appreciate the advice, and welcome all the help that someone of your experience can pass along. Do you have any videos or informational sources regarding low bar squatting that you can pass along? I am currently focusing on my front squat, but am always looking to better myself in any aspect. Thanks for your time and advice


#16

Look at anything Chad Wesley Smith and Chris Duffin have on YouTube. Other than that I suggest getting a video of your squat from a few different angles and posting up. Me and many others would gladly help.


#17

FWIW I spent many months applying Rippetoe’s squatting principals to good effect. Recent belt-less sets with that style (which looks a LOT like yours) include 405x6, 425x3 and 380x8. I believe the style works fine. Other than locking out at the top, which you already know about, yours look like very good Rippetoe squats. Your bar path is very good. Straight up and down, right over your foot. Nice work.

I no longer believe Rippetoe’s style is the BEST for moving the most weight, as others here have alluded to, Reed included. On the advice of Reed and others here, plus the advice of a powerlifting coach I worked with on Saturday, I will be changing several things about my squat.

  1. Full grip on the bar instead of Rippetoe’s thumbs-over grip. I was doing this on Saturday and it seems to help me get/stay tighter.
  2. Head in a neutral position. As I’ve gotten stronger I’ve noticed that my head has a natural tendency to assume this position during my heaviest sets of max exertion. I’ve caught myself moving my neck up three times under heavy load, and I don’t want my neck to be moving at all during a squat.

So, in short, I’ve had success with Rippetoe’s principles but I am pleased to be trying new things and figuring out what works best for me. I would encourage you to do the same, but if these squats are feeling good and feeling strong, there’s nothing wrong with keeping your foot on the gas for a while and getting stronger with this style, assuming your body likes it.

Good luck!


#18

To both twojarslave and Reed, I appreciate your input as I am sure the OP does as well. I will take the advice to heart, and will be sure to watch the two above squatters that Reed mentioned. I have never uploaded a video to have my form critiqued, but it seems to be very beneficial. I will be sure to PM you once I get around to doing that. Thank you


#19

Hey man PMs don’t work on here just make a thread and we will most likely see it. Im on Facebook as well if you are on there just send me a request.


#20

[quote]Reed wrote:
Hey man PMs don’t work on here just make a thread and we will most likely see it. Im on Facebook as well if you are on there just send me a request.[/quote]

Appreciate it, unfortunately due to my security clearance in the Air Force its highly advised I don’t have a Facebook. I’ll do my best to make sure the title/thread grabs your attention. Again, appreciate your time and help