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Squat/Deadlift Form...


I know I should know the answer to this as I have been working out a while now. Anyway, I always thought when you squat you should "stick your butt out" and have your back basically in "extension" to support the most weight. A physical therapist has told me that your back should be in neutral position when lifting. Which is it, neutral or extension?

thanks, no commentary on my lack of knowledge please :slight_smile:


the shins and torso should create 2 diagonal parallel lines.

I added on to this with my next reply, for when it shows up that, will be more detailed to your specific question.


Forgot to add, I would say neutral, meaning having a natural lower arch, but not going into extension as this will place undo stress on the lumbar region.


thats the position you should be in for the squat.


It depends on how you want to squat, olympic style is different from powerlifting style.


Ask him how much he squats, if he does squat at all.

Not saying he doesn't know his stuff, but experience does speak volumes for lifting.


what does weight have anything to do with the proper form? One doesn't need to squat 500 lbs to know what's going on in the body.


Uh maybe not 500, but an amount of weight that would do damage to your spine. You can talk about and study form all you want. Until you put the weight on your back and test those theories yourself you don't know shit.



I have to disagree. My squat form has changed quite a bit and has been forced to adapt to heavier loads. You have to have experience with what you are teaching in order to be able to know the subject.

I have seen so many jacked up PTs teaching horrible squat form, why?, because they have never squatted more than 300lbs.


Ghost22 - i want to squat pl style.

viking69, AverageJay, and Eidolos - what do you guys consider proper form? I'm guessing you guys are saying I should have my lower back in "Extension"/stick my butt out?

And the PT doesn't squat or deadlift at all, but he still seems knowledgeable on the body.

Thanks guys


There will be different squat forms for different bodies. Some people use more forward lean than others, sometimes different stances, bar positions, etc. Things like this come into play. Perhaps you are leaning too far forward, but we have no way of knowing. I would try to find knowledgeable people that either squat a lot safely or have gotten others to squat a lot safely to work on your form with.

There are videos available online if you search a bit to figure out what works, and I'm SURE there are several articles here on squat form. Actually, a good article might be to have a complete run-down of a couple of major forms of the squat. Not sure if they've run anything like that yet or not.


Here is a couple tips to add to what you find and what u already know:

Make your upper back tight, a tip that helps is to squeeze the bar.

Arch your lower back, take a deep breath and push your lower abs outward.

Right before you start a rep, lift your toes off the ground, this will help you keep the weight on your heels.

Break at your hips before your knees and dont let your knees come inward during you ascent.

I think box squatting is a great learning tool, it allows you to learn to sit back properly. Sit slowly on the box, lean back a little, and come straight up. Eventually you will learn to sit back into the box and then you will have it.

Your squat stance width will come to u, play with it... and in a couple years you will find what is best for you with heavy weights.


That's ridiculous. So that means because you've never swallowed a razor blade, you have no credibility in telling me that it's bad for me?
I'm getting tired of all the academia bashing. If it wasn't for doctors and scientists of the past, you wouldn't even know what a hip adductor is.


It's the difference between a guy straight out of college versus a seasoned professional. The college boy might be 'educated,' but he still doesn't know his ass from his elbow in terms of the real world.

Doctors and scientists don't lift weights, i.e. they're the 'educated' college boy that doesn't know shit about real weightlifting. While we don't ignore them, they're not a great source for weightlifting information.


I certainly consider a PT, or MDs opinion valuable. But if they don't lift, I wouldn't ask them questions about lifting technique. Why is it whenever I visit a doctor and mention some type of injury, they ask "Do you lift heavy weights?". Heavy is relative. I get the impression from them that I shouldn't be lifting heavier weights (that ain't gonna change ahhahah).

Don't think that I am bashing education, in fact I start a doctor of physical therapy program this summer.


ok lots of opinions here, but it seems that most of you think it is safe and necessary to arch your lower back when lifting versus having it in neutral. I'm assuming you arch as much as you can, correct?


Arching again will put a lot of stress on the lumbar vertebrae. If anyone here says other wise, just take a look at a spine up close (model one of course, and put it into extension), and you'll see that when going into extension the vertebrae are tightly compacted on the posterior side.

There's a difference between doing back extensions and doing a squat with 300 lbs on the bar and going into extension with the back.



I'm not even going to argue this point, other than to say if you truly believe this you have never squatted 500 lbs. I'm not saying that this is some divine truth that is revealed to you upon squatting a big weight, simply that you won't believe me until you put up big weight and realise what form changes are necessary to do that.


The spine naturally has three curves, shouldn't we want to maintain that position, the "power position", where the discs are aligned and can handle the most weight? I think a straight back may put more stress/pressure on the spine than a naturally curved spine.


There's a difference between neutral and straight back.

Neutral means you keep the natural curvature, and straight means just that.