T Nation

Squat Form Check

I posted a while ago about my squat being really weak http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_strength/squat_much_weaker_than_deadlift and got very useful feedback.

There were pretty much 2 problems with my squat: weak lower back and just not enough squatting. I’ve recently started addressing both problem by back squatting once a week (3x8-10 as a substitute for jumps on second leg day of WS4SB3) and doing GMs. The weight has started going up and I’d like to check my form.

Above is me warming up with 135. In the next post is me doing 215.

I can see that my left knee is buckling inwards with heavier weight (I didn’t realize it before the video). Could my stance be too wide or should I just concentrate more on pushing knees out?

Another concern of mine is losing the arch as I hit the parallel. How bad is it in this video?

Thanks a lot for your feedback.

I’m gonna get crucified for saying this, but your stance probably is out too wide. I know everyone’s gonna go “westside this, westside that, 1000lb squats, chuck vogelpohl, posterior chain blah blah blah…” but look at the middle weight raw, oly and single ply squatters, where’s their stance??

What you’re basically doing is a wide stance oly squat. You are breaking at the hips first, but your body’s staying pretty upright, and as a result you sit down instead of back (as you must, or you’d fall over!!!).

Take your stance in some (maybe just outside shoulder width) and try it out for a few weeks. Overall tho, they look pretty good. Keep it up.

215

Your form looks good to me. But I agree with the previous poster that it looks like a wide stance olympic squat. (I do olympic style weightlifting.) I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, though. But, regardless of wide or narrow, your technique looks healthy!

Hanley, thanks for replying (I think you had something useful to say in pretty much each of my threads in Strength Sports).

Yeah, I probably got a little bit influenced by the whole wide-stance craze. I didn’t realize that raw middle-weights don’t use very wide stance much.

The stance this wide does feel a little bit uncomfortable, but with narrower stance my lower back starts to round (tucking in) above the parallel. I also find it much more comfortable to keep low bar rather than high bar placement. Flexibility is the main problem (and I sit a lot in front of computer); hip flexor stretching and dynamic warm-up have helped but not much. I even front squat with pretty wide stance to avoid lower back rounding.

Would it be better to bring the stance in and not go to parallel? (stop when lower back starts rounding and continuously work on flexibility). Safety is my first priority followed by strength.

It looks pretty good. I would probably move my stance a little closer in and like you said yourself, push your knees out, not forward.

[quote]skor wrote:
Hanley, thanks for replying (I think you had something useful to say in pretty much each of my threads in Strength Sports).

Yeah, I probably got a little bit influenced by the whole wide-stance craze. I didn’t realize that raw middle-weights don’t use very wide stance much.

The stance this wide does feel a little bit uncomfortable, but with narrower stance my lower back starts to round (tucking in) above the parallel. I also find it much more comfortable to keep low bar rather than high bar placement. Flexibility is the main problem (and I sit a lot in front of computer); hip flexor stretching and dynamic warm-up have helped but not much. I even front squat with pretty wide stance to avoid lower back rounding.

Would it be better to bring the stance in and not go to parallel? (stop when lower back starts rounding and continuously work on flexibility). Safety is my first priority followed by strength.[/quote]

Getting below // with a tight arch and a close stance can be hard. Especially in flat soled shoes. I do my wider stance work in cons but switch to my Adidas weightlifting shoes once I get near shoulder width for that reason. I can get down below // with flat soles and a shoulder width stance, but it pitches me forward more than I like.

Whatever you do, don’t stop above //. It’s just lazy!!

I don’t think a slight tuck near the bottom’s gonna kill your back (I know a lot of guys squatting 300-400lbs for sets and reps doing it that way) but you’re probably better off safe than sorry.

For an oly style squat you seem to place the bar fairly low on your back. Have you tried placing it higher on your traps to help you stay more upright (especially on the ascent)?

I’ll look into buying weightlifting shoes in the long run and for now I’ll concentrate more on flexibility and maybe allow some lower back tucking while the weights are low. Which technique raw middle-weights use with a medium stance? Sitting back more or more of a olympic style?

dfreezy - before the video I was sure that I was doing a powerlifting low-bar squat :). I’ll try the high bar, though in the past I found the bar placement very uncomfortable. But that was before I developed upper back a bit.

Hard to tell from those angles, it looks like your stance might be a bit wide, you can usually tell when you look at where your knees look comfortable tracking in relation to the plane your toes are pointing in. They should ideally be able to stay the same.