T Nation

Squat, Bench, & Deadlift Form Check

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1P-Lm3k2ZE

critique plz!

Kinda hard to tell on the squat because of the angle, but you might want to try a slightly wider stance with your feet turned out some. The first thing I really noticed was your head was down. Always have your head back. Also, you are getting stuck just out of the hole because you are free-falling down, so try to have a little more control on the way down.

Thanks! I will keep note of the free fall thing; control will keep the tension in better?

I keep my head down because Rippetoe says to :slight_smile:

You’re rounding your low back on the DLs (obviously, you’re pulling heavy weight so some of this is expected). I couldn’t tell on the bench - you need an above camera angle. You rounded at the bottom of your squats as well as your chest started to sag instead of being kept high.

Yea my lower back rounds at bottom of squats, i cannot seem to fix it! called buttwink>:[
I forgot about chest up for squats, will keep that in mind, thanks!
am i rounding my low back or upper back on dl?

[quote]kickureface wrote:
Yea my lower back rounds at bottom of squats, i cannot seem to fix it! called buttwink>:[
I forgot about chest up for squats, will keep that in mind, thanks!
am i rounding my low back or upper back on dl?[/quote]

Low back. When you start to get the bar up, remember to start squeezing your butt so that it starts the forward thrusting motion. The upper part of the movement involves a lot of butt, so think “bring the butt forward” as soon as possible.

The thing that helped the mobility for me was doing a lot of mobility work like leg swings and those superman walk exercises. Also, mobility in the hip flexors is very important for the squat. I still don’t quite have the mobility to do a standard DL. I’m almost there though.

Cressey’s “Magnificent Mobility” is usually the standard recommendation for that.

I’m no expert but it looks like you have some hip flexibility/mobility issues based on squat/dl. I have same problem in squat but it’s almost gone of rounding back at bottom, I started doing hip mobility work every day and it has helped. Search youtube for squatrx, the first in the series deals with this problem.

Also during squat push your chest out and your head back against bar. You also have a some sort of knee wiggle at the bottom, it looks like you shift your knees forward to start out of hole – I’d guess this is because your hamstrings/glutes are in a bad position to fire with a rounded back and your body is getting your quads to help.

On deadlift your back is rounded a lot like people are saying, part of the reason is your setup, I think your hips need to start lower and you should accentuate your lower back arch and pushing your hips forward during lift. You’re also not locking out fully but that happens a lot when doing deadlift for reps.
My 2 cents, good luck.

[quote]kickureface wrote:
Thanks! I will keep note of the free fall thing; control will keep the tension in better?

I keep my head down because Rippetoe says to :)[/quote]

Well…dont do that. lol. Your head position generally determines your balance while exercising. I promise if you drive your head back, it will help keep your chest up as well as ensuring you don’t fall forward.

thanks for the responses guys!
anyone else?
i think my chest is up on reps 1 and 2 of squat, true?
also how can you tell i have mobility issues?

yeah. your arms aren’t even when you bench.

[quoute]
also how can you tell i have mobility issues?[/quote]

your inability to keep a lower back arch during entire squat/deadlift points to hip mobility (although it could be other things).

[quote]jpuck wrote:
You also have a some sort of knee wiggle at the bottom, it looks like you shift your knees forward to start out of hole – I’d guess this is because your hamstrings/glutes are in a bad position to fire with a rounded back and your body is getting your quads to help.

[/quote]

Watch it a little closer. What’s actually happening is his knees come forward as he finishes the descent and sits down. The stretch reflex then helps him out of the hole and his knees come back to put his hams and hips back into a strong position to finish the lift. This is all good and if you slow your descent you will only lose the stretch reflex and likely get stuck in the hole. It does look like you could use a bit of lower body flexibility work. I’m actually having a bit of the same problem lately, I have been hammering my squat and dl and have been on my feet all day, as a result my hams, calves and hip flexors are very tight.

The biggest problem with your squat is your setup. I haven’t read all of Rippetoe, but does he advocate a neutral spine, or does he really say to look down? Just look straight ahead or slightly up. If you are worried about neck problems because of the extension, throw in some extra neck flexion work, just quit looking down. It is causing you to lose tightness in your upper back. You also need to work on getting your elbows forward. This should be helped by fixing your neck, but you also need to make sure you are pulling them down under the bar and squeezing your back hard. If need be you can widen your grip and switch to a thumbless grip if you aren’t already.

For your DL, you need to work on getting your glutes into the movement quicker. It looks to me that what is happening is that you have your shoulders to far in front of the bar to start, and you are pulling straight up instead of up and back on your heels. This is one reason why your back rounds. Your body is trying to get your shoulders back, and to do that it makes your back shorter by rounding it.

Some things that might help are to get your hips back more during your setup, this may actually make them come up higher, but I don’t think your hips are too high right now. Flexibility might make this an issue. You can also try pointing your toes out a bit more, and working on pushing out your knees during the lift. After that, it is just a matter of pulling back as you pull up, and thrusting those hips forward as quick as you can. If you have access to bands, you are at the point where you might benefit from a little bit of work with them, as they will help reinforce the notion of pulling back and getting your glutes back under you.

Overall, you are really pretty close. Good luck.

Holy crap excellent post!
actually my knees are supposed to STOP coming forward at the bottom 1/3 of the squat, as if it does, it loosens the tightness in the hams. oops.

I rewatched and rechecked, i guess i do look down TOO much. rippetoe advises looking 6 feet on the ground in front of you, and there is a wall there…i’ll work on it.

I do have a thumbless grip, but wouldn’t widening the grip only make me looser?
yes, my dl setup seems to not be good. i will flatten my back. i think my hip height will not be a problem if i keep my back normal.

My shoulders are forward since my scapula are supposed to be directly over the bar (rippetoe). i do not know if they are TOO forward, though.

[quote]kickureface wrote:
Holy crap excellent post!
actually my knees are supposed to STOP coming forward at the bottom 1/3 of the squat, as if it does, it loosens the tightness in the hams. oops.
[/quote]

Then tell me, how are you going to get below parallel if you insist on keeping at that particular tightness? Are your hams so unbelievably strong that you can continue to sit back all the way into the bottom of the squat? Or at some point do you have to sit down to reach parallel or below? If so, then when you sit down, your knees must come forward at some point.

When you come out of the hole and use up the energy from your stretch reflex you are in just about the exact position that you should be in.

Yes and no. If you can get your elbows under you without widening your grip that would be great. If not, there is a certain trade off. Right now you are erring on the wrong side and your elbows are pointing too far back. It’s up to you to find the happy medium, but I can tell right now that you are not there.

[quote]
My shoulders are forward since my scapula are supposed to be directly over the bar (rippetoe). i do not know if they are TOO forward, though.[/quote]

With all do respect to Rippetoe, and I know that he is very intelligent on the subject, there comes a point where you have to vary a bit from what is written to do what fits your body type the best. Overall, you do have decent form, but you are now at the point that if you want to improve your form you will have to experiment a bit to figure out what fits your body type the best. It is all part of the game.

my knees do come forward, its justs if it slides nearing the hole, you lose posterior chain activation. just a misunderstanding i guess.
any tips on what i should be looking for about the grip width, since i dont even know what its advantages are and such.? currently im just stretching my thumbs out to touch the knurling, and thats my width.
i agree with the dl. i’m gonna play around since im at a weight that makes my upper back round near 5.

Well - the first thing that jumped out to me is your DL grip. It may be the camera angle, but it looks pretty wide to me. Ideally you want your grip to be as narrow as possible, which = less distance to travel on the lift. Try and get your hands as close to your legs as possible.

[quote]masonator wrote:
kickureface wrote:
Thanks! I will keep note of the free fall thing; control will keep the tension in better?

I keep my head down because Rippetoe says to :slight_smile:

Well…dont do that. lol. Your head position generally determines your balance while exercising. I promise if you drive your head back, it will help keep your chest up as well as ensuring you don’t fall forward.[/quote]

I think Ripptoe’s point was to not hyper extend the neck when doing squats, or any exercise. Don’t look down, but don’t have your head all the way back looking up at the sky. Keep it in a neutral position. But yeah, what he said, keep your chest up, but you can do that while keeping the neck neutral.

they actually are touching my legs. if i straighten my elbows, they push my legs in! i dont know how else to get it closer.