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Squat Form Check, Drifitng Back Out of Hole


#1

Hey all, just need some advice with a weak point.

I seem to stall a little coming out of the hole. Upon inspection I noticed that I don't stall right out of the hole, but as soon as I hit 90 degrees and above. When I feel the stall my tibia and hips drift backwards and my chest kind of stays in place (see video). This happens a wee bit so I would like to fix it before it becomes a huge issue.

I focus on leading with the chest and the "frozen knees" cue.

Anyone have a good fix for this?


#2

I remember seeing Rippetoe mention this in the last article he wrote. Give it a read if you haven’t yet.


#3

One thing that might help is doing pause squats at the bottom. But as your priority is centered around form try not looking up but rather keeping the chin a bit tucked. The other thing is work on breathe and keeping it in your gut until you are out of the hole. You may already be doing this but it is an important form issue that can be overlooked. Another way to combat that sticking point is to do dead stop pin squats beginning at the height you have that drift. One other practical factor is to strengthen your posterior chain with reverse hyperextensions, good mornings, glute ham raises etc. Stay strong.


#4

Keep working your posterior chain accessories like your life depends on it. Also work on hip activation. Make sure you drive those knees out even on the way up from the hole.


#5

Looks like you are shifting your balance forward in the hole and correcting it when you come out. Could be a mobility or weakness issue?


#6

I’m no expert, but I’d experiment with a wider stance, point toes a bit more outward, drive the knees outward keeping your shins more vertical and get your butt back more. All designed to engage your posterior chain more and move away from a squat that is quad dominant.

Anyway, that’s how I’ve been coached and my squat numbers are increasing nicely.


#7

Just my opinion but:
Try flexing your legs on the way down while keeping everything locked in
Try speed work with both heavy percentages and lighter ones (80-90%, and 60-75%)
Give 5 sec pause squats and high bar heavy chain squats a go for a few months

Just from what I am guessing from the video is that you are trying to get the most rebound out of your sleeves/wraps and because of that you are losing tension in your quads, which when you explode out of the hole shifts the weight to the muscles that are still tensed (posterior chain).

What I would do is build up overall leg strength in your stance, focus on keeping everything firing, and building the capacity to explode all the way through your squat in the correct position. Once you get that down, bump up the percentages to learn to accelerate heavy weight out of the hole.

The high bar heavy chain squats will teach you NOT to shift the weight to your posterior chain because if you do, with both increasing weight as you go up and the disadvantages bar positioning, youll be screwed.

5-sec pause squats will build up positional strength at the bottom and overall core strength.

Just my 2 cents.


#8

[quote]kjmont wrote:
Just my opinion but:
Try flexing your legs on the way down while keeping everything locked in
Try speed work with both heavy percentages and lighter ones (80-90%, and 60-75%)
Give 5 sec pause squats and high bar heavy chain squats a go for a few months

Just from what I am guessing from the video is that you are trying to get the most rebound out of your sleeves/wraps and because of that you are losing tension in your quads, which when you explode out of the hole shifts the weight to the muscles that are still tensed (posterior chain).

What I would do is build up overall leg strength in your stance, focus on keeping everything firing, and building the capacity to explode all the way through your squat in the correct position. Once you get that down, bump up the percentages to learn to accelerate heavy weight out of the hole.

The high bar heavy chain squats will teach you NOT to shift the weight to your posterior chain because if you do, with both increasing weight as you go up and the disadvantages bar positioning, youll be screwed.

5-sec pause squats will build up positional strength at the bottom and overall core strength.

Just my 2 cents.[/quote]

I’ve been doing pause squats and most of what gorillavanilla wrote and that’s helped me out of the hole.

I’m actually interested in the pin squats from the weak point it sound like it might be effective.

Also the chain squats seem like a good idea, I think you might be right about the rebound, when I’m squatting up to 90-95% I feel my hamstrings working a little more than they should.

Thanks for all the input.


#9

[quote]Haldor wrote:

[quote]kjmont wrote:
Just my opinion but:
Try flexing your legs on the way down while keeping everything locked in
Try speed work with both heavy percentages and lighter ones (80-90%, and 60-75%)
Give 5 sec pause squats and high bar heavy chain squats a go for a few months

Just from what I am guessing from the video is that you are trying to get the most rebound out of your sleeves/wraps and because of that you are losing tension in your quads, which when you explode out of the hole shifts the weight to the muscles that are still tensed (posterior chain).

What I would do is build up overall leg strength in your stance, focus on keeping everything firing, and building the capacity to explode all the way through your squat in the correct position. Once you get that down, bump up the percentages to learn to accelerate heavy weight out of the hole.

The high bar heavy chain squats will teach you NOT to shift the weight to your posterior chain because if you do, with both increasing weight as you go up and the disadvantages bar positioning, youll be screwed.

5-sec pause squats will build up positional strength at the bottom and overall core strength.

Just my 2 cents.[/quote]

I’ve been doing pause squats and most of what gorillavanilla wrote and that’s helped me out of the hole.

I’m actually interested in the pin squats from the weak point it sound like it might be effective.

Also the chain squats seem like a good idea, I think you might be right about the rebound, when I’m squatting up to 90-95% I feel my hamstrings working a little more than they should.

Thanks for all the input.
[/quote]

No problem, just have one more tidbit that might be helpful or atleast a little fun.

After I would work up on the chain squats I did a contrast superset of the following:

Say you worked up to a 400 lb squat with 120 in chain (ie: roughly 500-520 at the top)

B1. Negative Only Squats (as slow as possible) - 500-520 x 1
B2. Pin Squats - 325-345 x 1

Also I set the pins a little above parallel so I did’t get hurt taking a weight I wasn’t ready for into a stretched position.


#10

[quote]Haldor wrote:
Hey all, just need some advice with a weak point.

I seem to stall a little coming out of the hole. Upon inspection I noticed that I don’t stall right out of the hole, but as soon as I hit 90 degrees and above. When I feel the stall my tibia and hips drift backwards and my chest kind of stays in place (see video). This happens a wee bit so I would like to fix it before it becomes a huge issue.

I focus on leading with the chest and the “frozen knees” cue.

Anyone have a good fix for this?[/quote]

Your hips are shooting up and your chest is rounding over a bit. You are then driving your hips forward after the hips come up from that leg drive. I would work on your hip hinge. Maybe some sumo deads, zerchers squats, pul throughs, wall squats, even atlas stones if you have access to them.

You’re kinda doing this, and Rip will give you some ideas to try. hope this helps man.


#11

Hey all. Here’s a video of an actual stall, maybe this will make things even clearer as to where things go wrong.

I am most likely going to add pin squats from the weak point, my question is where do I program them in? Right after my main squat sets?

I will also be lowering my TM as well to hammer technique in.


#12

How heavy is that relative to your max? Does it feel like the weight is distributed more toward your heels or balls of your feet?


#13

That was a PR attempt so I would say 100-105%.

Weight distribution is pretty even, but if I had to put a number on it I would say weight is 60% back 40% front.


#14

It looks to me like you are off balance, the weight should be centered over you mid-foot and not your heels. Pin squats are normally done with the pins set just below where you break parallel. To work on sticking points you need to target the ROM below where you get stuck, the point where you start to slow down. Otherwise it’s just a partial movement that is more of an overload than anything. As for where to program pin squats, that depends on your current program. If you only squat once a week then do them after the main work, otherwise just do pin squats one day. Simple as that.


#15

If you’ve only been doing the pause squats for a couple weeks then it’s fine not to expect a PR so soon. How long has your squat hit a plateau for?


#16

[quote]lift206 wrote:
If you’ve only been doing the pause squats for a couple weeks then it’s fine not to expect a PR so soon. How long has your squat hit a plateau for?[/quote]

I’ve been doing pause squats for 2 months now. It’s helped me out of the hole. Just plateaued with this lift.

At this point I figure I either need (other than the adjustment of the TM) squats with chains, pin squats from parallel or more pause squats for the sticking point.

At what % should I be doing pause squats? I’ve been ramping up to 80% and then hitting 80% for a 3x5, but now I’ll most likely be doing them or pins on my squat day.


#17

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
It looks to me like you are off balance, the weight should be centered over you mid-foot and not your heels. Pin squats are normally done with the pins set just below where you break parallel. To work on sticking points you need to target the ROM below where you get stuck, the point where you start to slow down. Otherwise it’s just a partial movement that is more of an overload than anything. As for where to program pin squats, that depends on your current program. If you only squat once a week then do them after the main work, otherwise just do pin squats one day. Simple as that.

[/quote]

Yeah it feels like I’m sitting back too much. I get stuck right above parallel. What % should I be using for the pins?


#18

[quote]Haldor wrote:
I’ve been doing pause squats for 2 months now. It’s helped me out of the hole. Just plateaued with this lift.

At this point I figure I either need (other than the adjustment of the TM) squats with chains, pin squats from parallel or more pause squats for the sticking point.

At what % should I be doing pause squats? I’ve been ramping up to 80% and then hitting 80% for a 3x5, but now I’ll most likely be doing them or pins on my squat day.[/quote]

I usually only work up to 80% for pause squats. I use it as a form of auto-regulation to make reps hard when I feel good and try not to compromise bar speed. It’s basically a time under tension progression since I incorporate more pause work going through a cycle as I feel stronger.

Doing only pause squats seem fine. If you’re having to grind through the pause reps too often then I would recommend to balance between pause and straight reps so you don’t sacrifice speed. My training suffers if I’m constantly grinding reps.


#19

I am thinking of doing pin squats with chains. What is your take on this?

My reasoning is that I’m weak within an angle of about 20° between parallel and 70°. So If I set the pins at parallel (or just below) I will start at my sticking point and that will help me solidify my position for when I drift backwards and the chains will help the weight get heavier specifically in that 20° angle. Thoughts?


#20

[quote]Haldor wrote:

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
It looks to me like you are off balance, the weight should be centered over you mid-foot and not your heels. Pin squats are normally done with the pins set just below where you break parallel. To work on sticking points you need to target the ROM below where you get stuck, the point where you start to slow down. Otherwise it’s just a partial movement that is more of an overload than anything. As for where to program pin squats, that depends on your current program. If you only squat once a week then do them after the main work, otherwise just do pin squats one day. Simple as that.

[/quote]

Yeah it feels like I’m sitting back too much. I get stuck right above parallel. What % should I be using for the pins?
[/quote]
If you can fix your technique and build more strength out of the hole you will fly right past your sticking point. I notice you are doing pause squats too, a lot of people benefit from those but personally I find pin squats are better for me. One isn’t necessarily better than another, it’s just about what works for you.

I don’t really use percentages, I mostly base my training off RPE these days. If you have never done pin squats before then they will probably be a lot harder than you expect. I would do pin squats in the 3-5 rep range, work up to a hard set with 2 reps left in the tank (@8 if you want to use RPE) and repeat 1-3 times. Mike Tuchscherer has some youtube videos of himself doing pin squats, check those out to see the right technique.

Another thing that might help you is squatting against bands. If you’re off balance they will make you want to fall over, so your body will learn the right movement pattern fast. Just don’t use too much band tension, only about 15-20%.