T Nation

Rip My Squat Form a New One


385 is my pr thus far.

205 for power


nice work, you've got a 4pps squat coming soon for sure.

the angle and the safety stops take some of the visual away. could be just me but it looks like you shift forward onto your toes a bit but nothing crazy.

keep up the good work.


You seem a bit uneasy walking the bar out in the first video. You take three or four steps, and then you mess with your stance a little bit more while you try to get in the perfect position. It's not a HUGE deal, but you're just wasting energy.

Try pausing the video around eight seconds, and to me it really looks like you aren't tight underneath the bar. You're getting a little bit too much of a butt wink at the bottom of the lift, you're shifting your weight onto your toes, and it seems to be causing you to fall forward a bit. Really try to emphasize the arch in your low back, and just think chest up chest up chest up.

Good lifts man. Keep it up.


I'm a nub man. What does pps mean? I looked it up on tnation and got pulses per second. I looked it up on urbandictionary and got: post script after the post script, public piss syndrome, peter pan syndrome,preferred place of sex, pumps per second and various other explanations for the acronyms. I don't know what pulse per second means. Is there a acronym list on the tnation site I can use to look shit up?


I do shift forward onto my toes a little. I used to do it so bad sometimes I'd take a step forward. Maybe I have a muscle imbalance and my quads are doing more work than my glutes and hammies are or something.


When I was in high school I used to look at a spot just above my eyes on the wall. Now I don't look up. In fact I usually look down. If I was looking up do you think it'd help keep the chest up and prevent forward lean?


PPS means plates per side

Looking slightly up or straight ahead as opposed to down will definitely help keep your chest up i think.

A lot of people will point you to the "so you think you can squat" videos on youtube from elitefts.

Also nice job.


There's a delicate balance in where you should look when you're squatting. Rippetoe and Wendler have said that they suggest forward or even looking slightly down, but people with a similar background such as Wendler (Matt Wenning from the "So You Think You Can Squat" video series) say that you should look up in order to keep tightness from all from directions surrounding the bar (neck packing from the top, arch from the bottom, and pulling your shoulder blades together for lateral support).

Here's the thing, though: if you're falling forward even the slightest bit, you're just not going to be able to recruit the primary movers from the posterior chain once you shift your weight forward to rely on your quads. Where you look is not nearly as important as making sure that you keep your chest up. Changing where you set your gaze won't change much, in my opinion, though.

What I would really suggest is to pay attention to what you're doing with your lower back when you get down into the hole and start to explode up. I think the third video of the So You Think You Can Squat series demonstrates what I'm talking about perfectly. Learning how to not let your lower back buckle forward under pressure has helped my squatting technique progress immensely.


Just to elaborate a little bit more as this is a topic that has interested me for awhile, the big thing that is happening when you "arch hard" in the squat is you are taking some stress off of the spinal erectors and transitioning that force into the spinal column via bone stacking where the stability is not coming from the tension in the muscle but from the bone on bone contact. Just like butt winking forward and letting the spine flex under axial loading increases risk of injury (herniated disc) so does the hyper extending of the spine as well. http://www.spineuniverse.com/sites/default/files/legacy-images/facetjoints2_250-BB.jpg

The concern with neck positioning however, has a few other mechanisms relating to it. Robertson has written about the extensor reflex, where the action in the cervical spine is reflected in the lumbar spine, so if you look straight forward the lumbar spine extends as well putting you into anterior pelvic tilt while inhibiting the glutes. Charlie Weingroff explains that by packing the neck into a neutral position but turning the eyes up and "looking through your eyebrows" you can regain the long spine position and better express your hip strength. Even though his writing was more directed at hip hinge type movements, I believe Rippetoe is using this same reasoning in his coaching while ommitting eye gaze.

Alright, I'm done rambling, just food for thought


That seemed like solid reasoning. I just read an article by Rip about lumbar extension and how critical it is to technique.