T Nation

Some Help on the Squat


Since I'm a beginner, I do have a little question about squats. When I 'sit' back, should I go back in a way that I really feel my hamstrings getting a stretch? Should I feel some kind of tension? Currently, I am just sitting back, with no 'feeling' at all in my hams..

The day after, I am sore in my legs and glutes, so it isn't that I am not using them at all.
But since I don't know a experienced lifter, I just thought that I'd ask it here..

Because I have shown some video's on other Bodybuilding website, and they say I don't use hip drive. So my question, should I sit back in a way that I really feel my hamstrings getting a stretch? (So that they build up tension?)


I don't ever feel my hamstrings stretching when I squat. If they are stretching, you aren't bending your knees and therefore doing a good morning. You should feel tension in them, that's about it. If you don't "feel" it go deeper, add weight, something.


In my opinion the first movement of a squat from standing is to drift your hips back BEFORE the knees bend or you flex your hips.

This makes sure the weight is over the heals and it makes sure the hamstrings are stretched and firing (which will add stability to the knee). It can also help with hip drive when you finish the lift given that the hips are back.

If your hamstings are flexible you may not feel much tension at the top.

The hip drift will be less with front squats than it will be with back squats.


Thanks for the help you guys. I just figured I'd better make a video..
Will some of you jugde it, and tell me if I do it right?


You'll get lots of good feedback if you post it.


This is it; (im sorry I can't upload it right now)

I am aware of the fact that I lose thightness in the 'hole', but my main question is..
Do I use hipdrive enough?

(I think I'll go box squatting, to increase my flexibility, but hipdrive must be OK then..)


The biggest issue that I see in that video is that your chest is falling forward a bit too much at the beginning of your drop, almost to the point where it's about to turn into some sort of good-morning/squat combination.

I'm definitely not a powerlifting expert, but to me it looks like your form could result in some lower back issues if not adjusted. Your depth is good, and the only other suggestion I'd make is to get some better lifting tunes...unless Lady Gaga is really doing it for you, in which case, carry on sir!


Alright.. Keeping the chest up it is. :slight_smile:
Thanks for your comment, I'll take it with me next time I squat. :smiley:

@ The Lady Gaga comment;

Hahahaha. Well, it isn't my favourite lifting music.. But I'm lifting at home, and I'm still looking for some decent music installation. This one can't play CD's..So I just put on the radio. And yes, sometimes you get some crappy music, haha.


i keep my eyes straight ahead, that helps me keep my chest up, and i set the bar lower down on my back, farther away from my neck and bring my arms in as close to my shoulders as i can, it was uncomfortable at first, but it kept my upper body tight and kept the bar pressure off my back a lot


[quote]NigelJay wrote:
The biggest issue that I see in that video is that your chest is falling forward a bit too much at the beginning of your drop, almost to the point where it's about to turn into some sort of good-morning/squat combination.

From what i can see, that's probably due to you looking down almost allthe time. Keep your head up and it will help stop your chest dropping. Personally Squat days= Disturbed and the 9.0 live version of spit it out by slipknot :slight_smile:


Your squat looks pretty damn good considering your a beginner. Just remember, chest up and keep your arch. Make sure never tail tuck which you might be doing a wee little bit. I would start adding more weight. Your on your way to getting strong. Keep up the good work.


I feel a good stretch in my hams and glutes when I spuat. That is were most your power should come from. I would highly recommend buying the book Starting Strength. The best 30 bucks you will ever spend on getting stronger.


Lift your head up, that'll stop the chest droop.


@ All, thanks for your comments.

@ Chalkup;

Thanks for the usefull tip. I'll encorporate it next time I squat. I am aware of the fact that I should keep my eyes looking forward, but I just forget it. The thing with my arms close to my shoulders is hard, because I am not that flexible, unfortunatly.

@ Pistol Pete

Thanks for the comment, and compliment. I do have Starting Strength, I guess I should read it a whole lot more often. Do you suggest box squats? (For building up flexibility for my hips, so that I don't lose a whole lot of power in the hole.)

@ Undermost

Short, but clear and powerfull comment. Will do.


my first comment is attachted to that first post of mine :stuck_out_tongue: i just cba writing it alla gain. But ye, get some heavy tunes for some heavy lifts. and dont forget the milk to go with the squats.


@ Undermost

Haha, I will. I seriously have some brutal tracks.. Just need to get some good installation..
And off we go.


I like the depth you are taking when squatting. Just listen to the guys about keeping your head up and a tight core and you should be fine. Also, do some research on Mark Rippetoe starting strength. He provides a guide and goes in-depth on squating and many other strength exercises. Good info for anyone from beginner to advance.

Good luck and keep squating!


Thanks SergeantQ. Yeah, the moment I started looking up things about bodybuilding, I heard people say, squat deep, thats the only right way. So I just adopted it. Haha, I will start reading it first thing tonight.. I put that book away for just too long.


Haha, no worries. I was only giving you a hard time! I've only got a tape deck in my car, and days that I forget to bring my iPod for the drive to school can be pretty awful with the limited radio selection in my city. I've listened to my fair share of LG too :P.


The suggestion to lift your head up is a good one. Pick a spot high on the wall and focus on it through each rep. That helped me a lot, and I find when I don't do it now my form tends to break down.

Keep lifting hard!