T Nation

Squat Check (Help)


Hi all,

Looking for some help fixing my squat, figured this was the place to come. I have been lifting roughly 3 months at this point.

This is the first time I have filmed myself squatting, I appear to be very hunched over... not arching my upper back? (I thought I was)

I am going to say the fact I was filming myself was a distraction, causing problems in the 4 and 5th rep.

Anyway any help would be appreciated.


Are you squatting in jeans?


No not jeans, their a light cotton chef pant.


If you have not done so already, I would google the "so you think you can squat" series from EliteFTS. I'll let the more experienced squatters give advice on your technique.


Should try posting videos of squatting with a view from the front or the back, it would be more informative


Thanks for the info, will check the EliteFTS squat stuff now.

Sorry I was under the impression side was the best angle, will film again next session.



side is the best, it just needs to be either more forwards or backwards so that the plates do not get in the way of your entire body


Your depth is good just doesn't seem like quite strong enough yet to use that amount of weight IMHO.

On your way up very apparently in rep # 2 your form starts breaking.

If I was on my working set and I did a rep with a break in form like rep 2 that would be my cue to make that my last rep.

My advice for what it's worth: lower the weight to avoid doing something that looks like a squat / good morning hybrid movement.


hey man, nice squats, 225 for 5 is awesome and you look about 160-180... I'd say you have a ton of potential in the squat. Overall, your execution was wonderful, you're going very deep, as you should and you're keeping you're chin up.

to get into your erros could be a little discouraging, but let me say it again, you're doing great.

First, your overall posture is pretty rough, I won't get into details, but immediately start static stretching your shoulders, hips and calves. Also, do some upper back work, hamstring work and abs. This will help pevent your pelvis from rounding so much as you go past parallel, which is one of the reasons why you're falling forward the way you are.

Your descent needs to be more controlled and much tighter. It looks like you're just falling down, think about taking twice as long to descend and really feel your hamstrings stretch as you go down, when they can't stretch anymore, go back up.

Your arms are pointed back, pull your shoulder blades together very tight and pull your arms down and a little bit forward, think big chest.

My last piece of advice isn't what you want to hear, but ditch back squats for 6 weeks and front squat 3x's a week for triples. If you're serious about this 6 weeks isn't a huge deal and it will do a lot to help correct your back squat as well as teach you to stay more upright.

Best of luck and feel free to send me a PM if you have any other questions.


Thanks for so much feedback and information in one post here mate.

Regarding the posture, this is something I am currently trying to work on. Working as a chef I spend a lot of time working on benches that are lower than ideal for my height (6'4). So remedying that area is key at the moment. Recently have been going to the physio because my upper back became so tight it was restricting movement of my left scapula causing a lot of pain.

I started front squatting after my back squats last week, guess Ill have a go at swapping all together!


Larry is correct on everything. I want to repeat the part about going down to the bottom too fast and not being controlled. You're "tucking" your butt at the bottom. Keep your abdomen and back tight the entire way down so that you're not "crashing" on the bottom. You want to be controlled all the way down on the descent, there's a pause at the bottom (well, sort of), and your posterior remains tight and solid the whole time. If you do this, your butt shouldn't tuck under you at the bottom.

Slowing your descent will help understand the mechanics of it, but try to be mindful of the descent the entire way down, maintaining strict control of your torso. Lots of people think that a squat is strictly a leg movement -- it's not. This is, I think, why Larry said to do some front squats. They'll force you to stay more upright and control your upper body. Please do those correctly and go light at first because a front squat is a good way to get good and sore or even hurt yourself.


Keep at the front squat man, they'll help you a ton, and when you go back to back squats you'll blast past where you were.

The big thing with a shoulders rolled forward posture in my personal experience is a ton of upper back work, and plenty of static stretching for the shoulders, pecs and lats, do not stretch your upper back or get it massaged, that just makes it worse, you want those muscles to be tight to pull your shoulders back.

Let me know if you need any more help with it.


So Im going to as you suggested Larry completely switch for the mean time to front squats (may need to do a front squat form check video!). I have noticed when doing them that Im able to get what feels like a lower depth while maintaining the more upright position you talk about.

Regarding upper back, massaging hasn't been done but I was given a band to work with. I will try and stretch the pecs, shoulders etc as mentioned, any queues on best stretch selection would be great.

Again thanks alot, more than I could have asked for info wise..


Hey, this is a video from Joe Defranco that should really help you out. He does some foam rolling of the upper back I don't especially agree with, but it works for his issues. The foam roller of the lats will be great for you though. The shoulder capsule stretch should help you out a ton, as well as the band stretches.

This is a modified version of agile 8 I found on youtube, but it's excellent and I would advise you to do this routine daily, if not 2-3x daily.

Work at this stuff, and you'll have much improved posture in no time at all.


Thanks for those videos Larry, will check out now!

Just finished a front squat session as suggested, have to admit I got a bit excited and went heavier than I should have.... My bad on that one.

Got a video of the set, maybe not the most useful regarding form considering its too heavy but any advice would be great.

Again thanks so much for all your help.


good videos larry thank you




Hey dude, heavy is good, you wouldn't be a man if you didn't want to try to lift heavier that you should...

What I noticed right away was that you almost paused in the bottom position, I'd suggest hitting the hole/bottom and standing up as explosively as possible right away, try doing that and you'll probably be able to lift heavier next time.

Thing is I saw a dramatic improvement in your form, solid work man. You're not picthing forward even a little bit, you're staying nice and tall, your elbows aren't dipping forward, knees are travelling beyond the toes as they should, this is a quad lift.

Your low back is rounding suggesting tight hamstrings, and that warm up I posted should really help with improving that.

The other thing that will have another dramatic effect is to get weightlifting shoes, these make such a difference it's retarded, I'm not sure where you live, but they usually have some on ebay, addidas and nike shoes are amazing, do wins aren't bad... but in general just get anything. They're run between $100-$200 and if you're serious about this they're worth every penny and will last a lifetime. If you can't do that, I'd start with a 5lb or 10lb plate under your heels.

If you can, consider your video at 90', try to post one from 45' and straight on, that should give me all the info I need on your squats.

Overall, excellent improvements, and I think in no time at all you'll be hitting some big numbers.


You should also make sure you stretch out the groin as well as the hamstrings. It has made squatting wider and deeper with much less tuck for me as well. I think its the adductor magnus but foam roll up and down the inside of the leg all the way deep into the groin (get the sack out of the way) it'll probably hurt but worked great. I also lay on the ground as close to a wall as possible and kick your feet up on the wall. Take a wide stance(no toe flare) you should really feel it in the groin just try and sink as low as possible just like a wide geared squat.


Try some Box squats to tighten your form and build up some of that core strength you need to explode out of the 'pit'

Other than that I expected to see something shitty and was very pleasantly surprised to see you (if nothing else at all) go down far enough. thats 9/10 for a newbie. work your way up the weights, focus on mind-muscle connection rather than how much weight you're moving. Watch some Kai Greene Leg Day videos and try those high volume sets once or twice a month, they do wonders for me as far fixing little kinks here and there.