T Nation

Sick of my Squat Being Crap, Help?

Hi, i fucking hate my squat. Im sick and tired of it being shit and would really appreciate some help in bringing it up. The video is a side and backview of it. I really did not realise it was as bad as it is in the video. Video is with 82.5kg and 92.5kg and to compare a week ago i 3repped 180kg in the deadlift so this is the only lift lagging behind and it is really far behind.

Any help would be appreciated.

Side view;

Back view;

Kind regards, V

Check out the adductor moves they do with the foam roller between the legs. From 3:25 until about 7:00 minutes in.

They are small and silly, but they will help with your motion.

I’m new, and my squat sucks bad too and I am also trying to correct it. One thing I noticed that looks familiar to my squat is being bent over fairly far. I’m guessing you can’t do a body weight only squat and stay centered? For me it was my ankle flexibility is trash. Lifting shoes helps hide the problem for me but it’s still a giant problem. I do ankle mobility drill everyday and I’ve yet to see an improvement in 2 months. I think all my ligaments are made out of concrete unfortunately.

Stop looking down, look straight ahead or slightly up. Don’t squat in front of a mirror. Get tight, much tighter than you are in these videos. Slow down the descent, stay in control of the weight. Slowing down and really being careful with where your hips are going can help fix that hip shift too.


Thanks guys, ill work on those things. After i had taken the videos i read the posts on someone elses squat video and i looked forward/up instead of that downward look. Someone suggested it to someone else and mentioned that it dont work for most to look down like mark rippetoe suggests, squats feelt much more upright after that.

Is there somewhere i can post updates on my form after ive worked on some things mentioned? Make a new post?

Exactly what @chris_ottawa said,
Plus, squat twice a week at least, 5x5 heavy, even add in a light session in the middle of the week after something else.

I do 531, on my squat day im currently doing the 531 sets then 5x5 after the 3 main sets on squat. Gonna try to add some light squat sets after deadlift on deadlift day, think quad strength is something i really need to focus to bring up more.

1 Like

The regular 5/3/1 setup is not good for the majority of powerlifters/aspiring powerlifters. It also isn’t an actual PL program. You should be squatting and benching at least twice a week, at least until you are at a very advanced level. If your squat technique is lacking then I would recommend either having 2 squat days per week (in addition to your DL day) or some light squats before deadlifts, like 60% for 4-6 doubles and keep the same weight until you set a squat PR, recalculate off that.


Form: You avoid using your quads pretty much completely by keeping your hips really high. This usually starts as muscle weakness in quads and looks like now for you it is a learned motor pattern. Front Squats will force you to use those quads and get you more used to a more upright position. Also Tempo/Pause Squats will help build better motor patterns. I prefer a fast descent but you could slow that down a bit.

Set Up: Slow that down a bit and be more aware. You have the mirror but still load the bar lopsided? Get set up and form locked in then get hyped…and in general avoid getting hyped at all (until late in preps).

Programming: Increase Frequency. 2x a week to start then add in a 3rd after you become accustomed to it. I would also go to scripted sets rather than AMRAPs. AMRAPs encourage you to get hyped and push it into poor form and just move weight and although technically as PLers that is what we do, we move a lot more weight with better form.

*By Scripted I mean 3x5 3x4 etc. I f you want to continue using the 531 template for simplicity just dont AMRAP your top set and do an extra top set. So for 5s day it would be 5@65 5@70 5@75 5@75 and done. Do some Front Squats 3x10ish and Quad Extensions.

SIDE NOTE: If you are focused on PLing do a 2nd Bench day rather than your 2nd Press day be OHP.

Sample Program…I didnt feel like working this morning so I built you a program. Its rough but it will give you some ideas of where to go. You have your own tab and there are some other programs in there too.

1 Like

Formwise, two things come to mind.

  1. I am aware it is a lowbar squat but you squat very low bar. This results in a very low hip angle and can do quite some damage on your lower back. See if you can keep your torso slightly more upright with a strong flexed back. Maybe move the bar up a tiny notch.
  2. Knees could go (spread) out a bit. It will also help to shorten the femur, which in turn will allow you to keep a more upright torso as well. This is visible from the rear view

Thanks ill work on that today

Thanks for such a chomprehensive answer, current program ive been running is 531 but a variation that goes 2 cycles with all the sets on all the weeks being done with 5 reps, after the first sets i do 75/80/85% of the training max for 5x5 percentage depending on the week in the cycle. Then the third cycle is regular 531 with ramping up to the training max following those first sets. After all 3 cycles are complete therese is a second deload (i deload once during those 3 cycles) where i test my maxes and adjust the percentages for my next 3 cycles. I also dont really train to total failure atleast its really rare, i train til something in my technique fails or i dont think the next rep will look clean, on squats that requirment is met quite often since i really suck at them.

Im gonna use your template and follow it, would it be okay to use the principles i have in my current program eg the 3 cycles and the deloads. I will be following your layout starting so it now looks as following

*Squat 531(3sets5reps in this cycle im on atm)
*80%tm 5x5
*Front squat and or a quad movement

*Bench 3x5
*Bench 5x5 @80%
*Rows and pulls


*Squat 3x5
*No more volume 5x5? (uncertain about how much volume i can handle atm so im wondering if i should do more sets as i think getting that 3rd squat day in would benefit more instead of burning out)
*Front squat and or quad movement (will se how fatigue gets as i get here, might do front squat on one day and quad move on another or both who knows)

And then basically the rest as you have laid out in the program, i will be squating twice a week from now on and 3 times a week when i feel i can handle it, bench 2 times and no ohp, deadlift stays pretty much the same.

Does this look good and im wondering what do u guys think about shoulder health in relation to no ohp and benching twice? The rows should keep that in check? And as far as paused squats etc for assistance are there any other accsessories that could be added after squat when a third day gets introduced? Thinking safety bar or anderson squat maybe?

Sorry about all the questions but thanks so much for the input, its been a long time since i have looked forward to a squat workout and now i am. Cant wait to fix this shady squat and make it comparable to my deadlift.

OHP is a tricky one. Some swear by it, others completely disregard it. I personally belong to the latter ones as OHP has done nothing for me. For shoulder health I do face pulls at least once a week. 3x12 with supinated and pronated grip.

Go easy on the volume, when you increase frequency you need to reduce volume per session at first or you won’t get far. If you want to squat 3x/week then first do a month or two squatting 2x, make gradual changes. If you already have a whole bunch of squatting in your program then stuff like leg press and hack squats can be useful to get some more quad hypertrophy, but again start with less.

You can still do OHP, just not as a main lift because it is not a competition lift. That is if you intend to compete in PL, or you just want a big bench, otherwise you can do whatever. I would do OHP for 2-3 work sets once a week in the range of about 4-12 reps.

I don’t really see a correlation between OHP and shoulder health, OHP just makes your shoulders stronger and they are obviously important for benching. I once stopped doing OHP for about a year and still made progress on bench, zero shoulder problems. I eventually stalled for a while and aside from other changes I started doing OHP again, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle.

yeah ill go easy on the volume ,at the start ill atleast complete 3 full cycles before i start squating 3 times, that will be a little less than 3 months in time. Then ill start conservative with the assistance, if i go one full cycle and feel like shit ill cut back a bit then just carefully try to up the volume.


Here is my squat during some of the last sets after trying to improve on the feedback, lowered my training max for squat also, still a shittoone to improve on but a tiny bit better. Any tips for that buttwink?

Yes. Like with everything see what works and back off when it is too much.

Yes and you dont have to stop OHPing. Just do it lighter after bench. Dips are another great upper body accessory. And if you think your shoulders arent as healthy as they could be back off bench and add back in OHPing…or side laterals or what ever you think might work.

you are welcome, thats what we are here for.

For your current form issues I think Safety bar is best. I have never used one but from what I have heard it mimmicks a front squat quite well. You could do those instead of front squats. The reason for the front squat is to make you maintain a more upright posture and get into those quads you are avoiding. Short term your Squat will feel weaker but long term the gainz will be worth it.

1 Like

Unless you are proficient with front squats, SSB is much better if you have that as an option. Just try to keep form reasonable.

1 Like

when adding a third squat day it will be squat both wed and thur is there any dos and donts i maybe havent tought about when squating two days in a row? For when the time comes.

1 Like

Ideally have a day between but I’ve squat for ages 2 days in a row in the past with great results, do your heavy day first, fluff Day the next day. Your legs will hurt like a son of a bitch for a while but your body will get used to it