T Nation

Please Critique My Squat

Hey guys, kinda new to the whole strength training aspect of working out. Will you please critique my squat, thanks for the advice guys. BTW: Another from I use (stronglifts.com) says my knees go to far past my toes, I have tried everything in the world trying to get my knees from not going past my toes. I need a second opinion :slight_smile: Thanks. First time poster btw.

Everything looks pretty good. And yes, your knees are going a little past your toes, but not to much. Try widening your stance a few inches, it helped me.

try doing more than one, and heavier - that’s when mistakes come out.

Here is one of me squatting 160 pounds.

Lower the safety pins. There is no way you should be hitting the pins in the hole or that they prevent you from breaking parallel. You could easily go lower and it would probably be a smoother rep if you are not worried about slamming the weight into the pins.

The dip of the head on the first rep is not too desirable - a stable head position will help you keep tight and avoid the back rounding and hint of good-morning that results. Some say look slightly down, some say look up. See what works for you but keep tight and the chest up.

Second rep looks better without the head dip but IMHO, too high.

Btw - have you practised an escape by crawling out from under the pins?

Its worth doing because it lets you know how low you can put the pins (half the height in your last vid) and gives you confidence for trying more weight because its pretty simple to do. The hole will no longer cause fear of getting stuck. I used to do it regularly as part of my warm up when I started.

Since stronglifts is heavily based on Rippetoe’s Starting Strength, they probably got it from him that its a huge deal with knees going past your toes. You look like you have a pretty long Tibia also, which probably doesn’t help.

I have read by many coaches(including CP and CT) it is not a real big deal. I do respect Rippetoe, but he says some silly things.

I’d say that it looks good, apart from not going low enough in the 2nd vid. And second about the head dipping. Fix your eyes on a fixed point helps.

I think even Rippetoe acknowledges that knees beyond toes isn’t a big deal.

Direct quote from Starting Strength…

“Now is the time to notice some important details about the bottom position. Your feet should be flat on the floor, your knees are shoved out to where they are in aparallel line with your feet, and your knees are just a little in front of your toes.”

Worth having a look at the Squat RX videos on youtube too, there’s some excellent information there. There’s also some Rippetoe videos on youtube which somebody posted a link to in a thread earlier today which might help.

EDIT: Here’s the link to that thread

First I’d like to say I agree with the above poster, we need to see 5-6 reps with a relatively challenging weight, but nothing that should in and of itself, cause you to break form.

Here is a video of knees going over the toes in a bad way. The important thing to realize is why the knees are going forward and WHEN they are going forward. A bit before parallel, maybe even at about third squat depth, your knees have hit their furthest point forward. They should not be moving forward after this point. If they are moving forward, this means either you are not pushing back into your posterior chain enough, or you lack the flexibility to push back into your posterior chain. Since you keep going down without the flexibility to do so properly, your body folds the pelvis under (due to tight glutes or hamstrings) and the stress immediately shoots forward to your knees, as they move forward to accomodate your downward descent.

Contrast that video with this one. You can easily see the tension on the tibia from the hamstrings is creating a rock solid knee position. This is what it is really important. You should also feel quite a bit of tension in your glutes. If you have the flexibility to get back into your posterior chain and are consciously pushing back into it, and maintain a neutral spine, your knees basically cant be too far forward.

you aren’t breaking from the hips and you are rocking your weight onto the balls of your feet at the bottom.

If you are simply looking to squat heavier weights then you need to widen your stance and sit back more in order to keep the weight on your heels and break parallel.

If you just want to build up your thighs then your form isn’t terrible, just concentrate on sitting your ass between your legs and keeping the weight over the middle of the foot.

You might have tight hips that need to be stretched out before your technique is on point (most people have this problem).

This is good form (for thigh development):


In the second video set those pins a lot lower. You touched the pins on a couple of your reps. You’re depth isn’t that bad but IMO you could go lower. Your back looked to be in good alignment. Your knees were not that far forward.

Not too bad man. Make a couple small changes and keep it up.

I agree with mr popular. Moreso in your first vid it looks like you’re going knees first instead of hips first. Focus on sitting the hips back before letting the knees go forward.

Push your ass out first. And yeah, you’re not breaking from your hips and your knees seem to move first rather than your ass.

Try pushing your feet wider and maybe try doing box squats with lower weights just to get the hang of it. Go parallel or lower also.

You are definitely breaking from the hips just fine. You even look to have a tight arch so your flexibility looks quite good to me. Your probably pretty short which gives your squat a bit of a quad dominant look although it may not be. Where do you feel them is the main question. Put 135 on the bar and do 5 reps, lets see how you look.

Make sure the pins are set at the height of the first video. It seems like you know how to squat because your definitely pushing back, the only issue may be flexibility of the glutes or hamstrings…

Wow, thanks for all the advice guys, I will take all of this into consideration when I squat tomorrow, I will also post a new video up with the squat. Thanks.