T Nation

Question about My Squat and Bench

Could someone please give me advice on my squat. I’ve been squatting 3 times/week in the past 7 weeks following Starting Strength program.
Here’s side view video


Here’s back view

To be honest I don’t even know if my form is right? From personal point of view a couple things are still wrong: 1) I should put the bar a bit lower; 2) I still don’t understand how hip drive works even though I watched Rippetoe’s videos over and over.

Here’s my bench:

Not sure if anything’s wrong with the bench, I was quite pleased with the lift, but I’m a noob so it prolly means something’s wrong :slight_smile: Any inputs are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

My current lifts:
Squat: 95kg, Bench: 85kg, Dead: 100kg, OHP: 40kg, Clean: 50kg.

Bench looks really good to me, with one glaring exception. When you unrack the bar, and then shift your hips around, thats a dead giveaway that you arent tight at all pretty much anywhere below your upper back. Think of the bench as a full body movement and get everything tight and learn to use leg drive. A good cue for me is to squeeze glutes, everything else tends to follow that.

I cant say for sure with a video, but it looks to me like your upper back is doing better keeping tight, but theres always room for improvement there as well.

Edit: a little more back arch and getting the pressure up on your traps wouldnt hurt either. Check out dave tates videos on bench setup.

For your squat ill let other people discuss, but one cue i think might be helpful is to think ‘chest up’ while squatting.

Thanks man i’ll check out dave’s videos. As for the chest up in the squat I’m really confused cause Rippetoe said in his coaching video about looking down and drive the hip up. I personlly feel more comfortable doing chest up as well.

your bench looks good i agree with mkral keep it tighter engage lats. squat u seem to break first at the knees instead of the hips . a small amount of tail tuck at the very bottom. big air before u unrack + proud chest. play arouns with ur stance width from the behind shot it seems ur adjusting your stance a bit. narrow ur grip to engage tighter upper back (squeeze traps) and force knees out they seem to wobble in the bottom. strip weight work on form. good luck man!

Thanks wheelman. This is the second time i stripped 10 percent weight t work on form.o

The first thing that sticks out to me would be your stance. It seems your right foot is further in front.

THanks for advice man, I’ll have a look and draw feet position on the floor next time I squat, lol damn the squat, peeps keep saying it’s just as natural as sitting on the toilet and I now I’m confused in the morning when I go to toilet whether I squat or take a dump. :slight_smile:

You need to get your back tighter for the squat. Chest up could help. Also pinch your shoulder blades together before you even unrack.

As far as whether you break at the knees or hips and how much with the squat, you’re going to have to play around with that one and see for yourself which is strongest. One thing that beginners tend to lack is posterior chain strength so bring that up to par before you decide what style of squat works best for you.

What exercises would you recommend for posterior chain strength? I’m currently doing row, chins and pulls to strengthen my back. My routine is a modified Starting Strength: Workout A Squat, Bench, Hyperextension and chins. Workout B: Squat, press, deadlift. I throw in rows and dips after workout A and B as well.

[quote]tazui1982 wrote:
THanks for advice man, I’ll have a look and draw feet position on the floor next time I squat, lol damn the squat, peeps keep saying it’s just as natural as sitting on the toilet and I now I’m confused in the morning when I go to toilet whether I squat or take a dump. :)[/quote]

The best thing I would recommend would be to stop trying to fix your squat in one session. It’s going to take a considerable amount of time. I would focus on one aspect of the lift and continue to work on that until it’s second nature. Once you are completely comfortable with that part, move on to the next. Just remember that your squat will start with your neck. If your traps and shoulders are not tight and being pressed into the bar it will be hard to get the rest of your body tight. Keep at it, repetition is the most important thing.

[quote]tazui1982 wrote:
What exercises would you recommend for posterior chain strength? I’m currently doing row, chins and pulls to strengthen my back. My routine is a modified Starting Strength: Workout A Squat, Bench, Hyperextension and chins. Workout B: Squat, press, deadlift. I throw in rows and dips after workout A and B as well.[/quote]

That sounds like it could work. My only concern is if your hamstrings are getting enough stimulus.

Thanks for cool tips guys, I’d definitely look into issues with hamstrings, prolly throw some RDLs in as I really like that exercises anyway and chill and just workout for the time being. I might come back with more videos in a few more weeks when I think the form is right.

HEAD BACK!
CHEST UP!
ELBOWS DOWN!
(sit) BACK, BACK, BACK!!!

Great advice already given, but nothing will help you if you continue to train to the music in that second video.
Good luck with your goals man! :slight_smile:

Front squats have helped me keep the chest up on the back squat.

[quote]tazui1982 wrote:
Thanks for cool tips guys, I’d definitely look into issues with hamstrings, prolly throw some RDLs in as I really like that exercises anyway and chill and just workout for the time being. I might come back with more videos in a few more weeks when I think the form is right.[/quote]

In addition to what you’re doing? RDL’s are a pretty big movement and require a lot of recovery. You might be able to handle it, but if you find yourself dragging, you might find your better off just adding GHRs and different types of hamstring curls (standing cable, lying machine, sitting machine, swiss ball, bw with a bench and hanging onto a bar, etc), or cable/band pull throughs. I can’t really tell you it will or won’t work for sure though.

[quote]panzerfaust wrote:
Great advice already given, but nothing will help you if you continue to train to the music in that second video.
Good luck with your goals man! :)[/quote]
oh LoL that is being played by gym staff and I can’t tell them to turn it off tho, luckily I can’t hear shit when I’m so psyched out while lifting :slight_smile:

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

[quote]tazui1982 wrote:
Thanks for cool tips guys, I’d definitely look into issues with hamstrings, prolly throw some RDLs in as I really like that exercises anyway and chill and just workout for the time being. I might come back with more videos in a few more weeks when I think the form is right.[/quote]

In addition to what you’re doing? RDL’s are a pretty big movement and require a lot of recovery. You might be able to handle it, but if you find yourself dragging, you might find your better off just adding GHRs and different types of hamstring curls (standing cable, lying machine, sitting machine, swiss ball, bw with a bench and hanging onto a bar, etc), or cable/band pull throughs. I can’t really tell you it will or won’t work for sure though. [/quote] I didn’t realize it was that demanding since Mark Rippetoe put it in his Assistance exercises section. I did it last week with 180 pounds which is 20 pounds lighter than my normal 1x5 deadlift and my hams and knees hurt for like 3 days :slight_smile: There are a few iso machines for hamstrings at my gym I’ll do some research and get on it. Thanks man.

My actual workout looks like this these days:
Monday: Squat 3x5x210, Bench: 3x5x190 pounds, Hyperextension: 3x8x45pounds, Chin: 24reps
Wednesday: Deadlift 1x5x240, Press: 3x5x100, Row: 3x5x135 and Weighted dips: 3x5x45
Friday: Squat, Bench, Hyper and Pullups

So I pretty much do hyperextensions 2x a week. Would you advise a Saturday workout where I can get 3 more assistance exercises done like: 1x5 RDL, 3x5 Leg curl, 3x5 Cable rows, BB Curls?

[quote]Max8950 wrote:
Front squats have helped me keep the chest up on the back squat. [/quote] I tried front squats but still having problems with my clean grips plus I feel I have so many other form issues that need to be address first before jumping into new exercises. But thanks for suggestion

[quote]tazui1982 wrote: I tried front squats but still having problems with my clean grips plus I feel I have so many other form issues that need to be address first before jumping into new exercises. But thanks for suggestion
[/quote]

For what its worth, my back squat form was a lot worse than yours but by temporarily swapping to front squats it has helped a lot with my posture for back squats.

As I said mine was a lot worse and Im no expert but it seems to have helped a few guys here with their back squat problems.