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Pelvic Tuck Issue During Front Squats

I’m new to lifting, and have been doing Wendler’s 5/3/1 program, with front squats instead of back squats. My heaviest lift is 77 kg for 11 reps ATG.

My problem is that as I approach parallel/more than that, I find that I have a pelvic tuck, which was incidentally noticed (my training partners never saw it) when doing bodyweight squats next to a mirror. I wish to be able to do full ATG squats with good form, as squatting is natural for me living in the East, with the squatting toilets. I guess the tuck may be dangerous as the load increases.

Here’s a video attached, showing my bodyweight squat going ATG, as well as a demo of my current ankle and hamstring flexibility. Even though I’m not wearing gym attire, the tucking is pretty visible, and my back rounds when doing hamstring stretching.

  1. is it an issue with my squatting groove? In general I front squat with the same groove as my bodyweight squats.

  2. or is it a flexibility issue? I think it’s more of this being the problem. If this is the case I’ll be more aggressive with my foam-rolling and dynamic+static stretching for my hips/hamstrings.

  3. Or maybe I’m too fat and need to slim down.

Thanks in advance. I figured since front squats are done more by olympic lifters I should post here.

Your ankle mobility is fucking fantastic.

Your hamstring flexibility sucks.

I’d recommend that before you lift, take a band around your foot while laying on your back and pull your straight leg towards you for 30 secs, towards you and to the inside for 30 secs, and towards you and to the outside (way outside) for 30 secs so that you stretch the outer/inner hamstrings too. Do this again before bed and see how your tucking is after a couple of weeks.

Ok, I’ll get right to it. Thanks.

I think its not just about flexibility but about keeping your back tight too. I can’t tell for sure but from what it seems, you don’t seem to put much effort in keeping your back tight. Since you said you are a beginner, I can only relate with the problems I had as a beginner and that was one of them.

Keeping my back tight(especially in the bottom of a squat) is REALLY uncomfortable, especially at first. It feels like your back will break, but thats how it is. In fact every time I squat, the thing thats mostly on my mind at the bottom of a squat isn’t to push back up, but to keep my back tight tight tight!

Still you could use more hamstring flexibility too(as could I). But try the above if you don’t do so already.

Actually, that is the tightest my back can go; if I let loose, the tuck is even more pronounced at a higher level. Predictably, I’ve found that the issue disappears when I lift my heels, imitating Olympic lifting shoes. I currently lift in Nike Frees.

I’ve incorporated the hamstring stretches almost every day when possible especially before going to bed, and I think that it’s improved much as my friends have seen it disappear, though I’ve no intention of stopping to get more flexible in this aspect. Here’s one done 2 weeks after my original post, 1 week ago. Not completely gone, but much better.

Thank you all for the advice.

I wonder how bad it is to tuck…i’ve done 405 for 10+ reps on squat wearing oly shoes…and I’ve had tuck…so far no problems and I’ve never had back pain. My tuck looks like yours in the 2nd vid.

Hey there,

I’ve found that “prising” of “prying”, I think it’s called, has been helpful when I front squat. After I’m warm but before I start with the bar I’ll grab the rack or something fixed in front of me and lean back and slowly work into an ATG squat position (working my hands down the rack of course). If I feel tightness or that any phase of the movement is jerky I’ll go over it a few times. When I get to the bottom I’ll hang out there and shift around a bit to make sure things are loose and where they need to be: hip flexors, achilles tendons, etc. If not I’ll do more flexibility work and then do another. Breathing into my lower back ribs and trying to get as much air as low as I can in the bottom position I find helpful as well.

It’s not a big time killer and a good check-in for me before I start with the weight.

Not directly related to your question but perhaps you’ll get some value out of it.