T Nation

Squat Critique

This is my first time recording my squat. I need to stop lifting in front of a mirror. I’ll start looking away starting next cycle. My lower back was still sore from high rep sumo squats last week. I’m doing high reps because I’m transitioning from conventional deads and have been working on form. Let me know how I can improve!

It looks like at the bottom you dip your but in too much, at least too much for a low bar squat. Try to keep your butt pulled back, and then pushing forward with the hips while driving up. It looks like you release tension off your hamstrings at the bottom. I would suggest working on hamstring flexibility, but otherwise looks great. Is 4 reps considered high reps?

Also, why do you lockout so hard, that just looks like you are gonna snap some shit up. You gotta be careful handlin that weight

Thanks for the reply JC. I’ve always dipped my butt down to try and break parallel. What do you mean by keeping my butt pulled back? Maybe I should start doing box squats again because that helped me with technique in the past but I haven’t done them in a long time.

I’ll use them for assistance work next cycle instead of doing normal squats after the main squat workout. (I’ve been doing 4x10 after my main squat work.) I think you’re right about releasing tension in my hams because sometimes I feel like my hams aren’t fully engaged and I feel much more soreness in my quads than hams. In regards to hamstring flexibility, I thought that I’m pretty flexible. Are you saying I should do hamstring stretches before lifting?

No I definitely don’t consider 4 reps as high reps. I did a set of 295 x 15 on sumo deadlift the week before. I initially thought I would get less than 10. I switched from conventional because once I started lifting over 385, I felt like I used too much lower back in the movement and almost did stiff leg deadlifts. Instead of dropping the weight down to relearn conventional, I dropped my training max to 335 and learned the sumo dl. I just wanted to try it out while also saving my back. Now I’m starting to make quick progress on it and was surprised to get 295 x 15.

I’m not sure why I lockout hard. I always just tried to bring the weight up as fast as I could. I’ll try to remember not to do that next time lol.

I think the first rep looked better than the remaining ones. On the rest, I felt like my hips started to rise faster than my chest. Besides doing box squats, do you know anything else that will help with the tendency to turn squats into good mornings?

Well are you trying to do a low bar or high bar squat? Because i just noticed that you are trying to do a low bar form, but you have the bar high on your back.

When doing a low bar squat, you have the bar lower on your back, and as you are doing, you use your lower back alot. But you need to have the bar low on your back, or it will cause your back to round a little like yours is, and cause most of the problems here. It would be much easier to sit back and not have your hips rise faster than your back if its lower on your back, because then less of your back is being used and the range of motion from the back is reduced making it quicker.

Now if you are in fact trying to do high bar squats, then you will need to be much more upright and let your knees come more foreward as a high bar squat involves more knee bend rather than purely a hip bend.

me personally, I am not a fan of box squats for many reasons. I think you can and should work these problems out without a box just fine. I believe that a box squat does not translate as well as many say. It is more for equipped powerlifters in my opinion

And locking out hard really isnt too bad, but its just something thats a bad habit to get into, because it looks like you know pretty well how to train, and once the weights start getting real heavy (im sure you will be handling big weight soon), locking out like that could be dangerous. With 400 lbs, little mistakes can turn into big mistakes very quickly. So its just precautionary, still finsih the lift strong, just make sure you are in control at all times.

Overall though it does look really good, and you are right your first rep was much solid

Oh and when i said keep your butt pulled back, i mean you sit back, but at the bottom your butt comes in foreward a bit, when the hamstrings are disengaged. If you just keep your butt moving back on the way down until you hit depth, then drive foreward it is more efficient.

That’s the lowest I feel comfortable placing the bar without straining my upper back (the muscle toward the inside of my shoulder blade). I’ve tweaked that muscle a couple years ago and found that moving my grip a little bit wider and doing face pulls and band pull aparts help tremendously.

It may look like I’ve placed the bar high but my high bar placement is actually 1-2" higher. I’ve typically done narrow stance high bar squat for accessory work but now I’ve been doing low bar squat so I can keep practicing my form. I have a feeling that I’m not recovering in my lower back because I’ve still been getting used to lifting 4x week with a busy schedule.

Working overtime and averaging 5-7 hours of sleep a day isn’t helping. Come to think of it, I should have saved these extra 20 mins for sleep rather than going on T-Nation lol. Anyways, my schedule will free up a bit by next week so that should help. Thanks for the advice on the bottom portion of my lift. I’ll try to keep that in mind the next time I lift that I shouldn’t dip at the bottom.