T Nation

Squat Form Check. Any Tips?

strength
powerlifting

#1

Hi, I was wondering if anyone can give me any tips on how to fix my squatting form. I’m expierncing lower back soreness from heavy squats but I believe it’s a normal cause due to strengthening the lower back from squatting heavy. If I’m NOT, somebody please tell me if I’m wrong, thank you.


#2

You might be rounding your back, but your shirt is too big and loose to tell. Wear a closer fitting shirt and make another video. Your technique looks OK, but you are doing one of those high bar “atg” things that are often a red flag these days.

Are your spinal erectors sore or does your bak just hurt?


#3

My lower back just feels sore, I feel like I’m not rounding my back because I do keep my chest up and pinch my back. I only tend to feel lower back soreness for a few days. And what do you mean by “High bar atg” things??


#4

There are some people around here going on about atg (ass to ground, grass, maybe gurney, I’m not sure) which basically just means a very deep squat. Often these people got most of their training ideas from youtube comments and have some severe technique issues.

The only way to know if you are rounding or not is to squat with a regular sized t shirt, not necessarily tight but not way too big, and make a video or have an experienced person watch you.


#5

It means that you are squatting high bar instead of low bar, and that you are squatting as low as possible rather than when the hip crease is below the patella. ATG can cause rounding of the lower back and if you listen to some guys, it allows the hams to go slack and lets you use less muscle over a shorter ROM than a low bar past parallel squat.

At least that’s what I’ve read, lol.


#6

I just prefer a high bar, I’m not better than anyone else but it seems like I’m lacking flexibility, it’s a common mistake for high bar atg squatters. Thanks anyways


#7

Six of one, half a dozen of the other - they both serve a purpose.


#8

Stay with what is comfortable to you, looks like your breaking at the knees first which is good technique for high bar. Looks fine to me, some may wonder if elbows pointing more down to the floor would make any difference, but minor of course.

Tight clothes or a singlet for form videos is always the way to go.


#9

There is nothing wrong with high bar, although most people can squat more low bar. Just don’t go deeper than you can without rounding your back. Again, post another video.


#10

I squatted yesterday, heavy low bar squats+down sets, followed by paused high bar squats. My back is sore, but not injured or hurt because I didn’t round my back.


#11

I feel the same way, my back doesn’t hurt but it’s sore. I need to fix my mobility before doing anything heavy. I will again post another video soon.


#12

#13

Here’s my new video


#14

OK, so you have some spinal flexion at the bottom AKA butt wink. First of all, you are squatting as deep as possible, which isn’t bad if you can do it safely but it’s not really necessary. Try cutting your squat a few inches higher, before your back starts to round. Another thing you can try is to forcefully attempt to extend/arch your back as you approach depth. In addition to keeping your back from rounding, it should also have the effect of making you catch the stretch reflex at a higher point. And finally, you can also do some pause squats after your heavier squat sets to get used to having a neutral (or slightly arched) back in the bottom position. Go light on those for now, heavy paused squats with a possibly rounded back sound like a dangerous idea and you need to work on technique more than anything.

Another thing that comes to mind, which I can’t really tell from watching your video, is that you might not be bracing properly. Chris Duffin has a few videos explaining how to brace, look them up because I can’t explain them better than him.

Also, what exactly are you training for? Do you plan to compete in powerlifting or are you training for some other sport? If you intend to get into powerlifting then wearing a belt (but not necessarily on everything) could be a good idea and will also help you learn to brace more effectively. If you are training for another sport then a belt probably isn’t much use except for real heavy sets because you don’t wear a belt in any other sport.


#15

I’m curious where does that “most people can squat more low bar” statement comes from? Not trying to be a dick or anything (comes without trying really).

There was an interesting read on powerliftingtowin-site, where the squat stances and bar positions of 40 top American lifters from all-time American rankings were analyzed and compared to deadlift stance. Turned out from those 40 lifters 25 squatted with a medium (17) or narrow (8) stance and the rest (15) with a wide stance. High bar was the preferred bar position for 17 of the lifters (vs. 23 low bar).

I don’t know if most people squat more with a wide low bar squat but clearly most all-time record holders have squatted with a shoulder width, or narrower, stance and about half have squatted high bar.


#16

Well, first of all, 23/40 is still a majority. Who’s to say that some of the lifters who squatted high bar wouldn’t have squatted more if they had gone low bar instead? And what about all the other lifters that didn’t set records? Or records from other countries?

I’m tired of arguing, watch this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXS9kbmsB60


#17

This guy is on T-Nation.


#18

I’m lifting just for strength and muscle development for myself. Maybe when the time is right I’ll compete.


#19

I’m bracing properly. I have a small waist, I don’t need a lot of air to fill my belly.


#20

Acting like I called you a retard or something. Was just asking a simple question and providing some interesting data (for me at least) and somehow you figured out we were arguing now. Other records were not included because I did not do the analyzing myself nor am I going to. Would like to see it though.

Video is interesting indeed and I might try out some low bar for a few weeks myself to see how it goes.

PS: Calling 23/40 a majority is technically correct but using that data as proof for low bar being better for force production is like saying that a coin toss usually ends up tails after getting 6 tails from 10 tosses.