T Nation

Squat Form Check


#1

Squating 265 for 4 reps. I know the angle isn't the best but could you guys let me know what I could be doing better with my form. Also, it would be nice to know what I'm doing right. I've never had any training on the squat so I would appreciate any feedback.


#2

I’m not so familiar with High bar squats, but there are alot of things the same as with low-bar that I can help you out with.

The squat actually looks pretty good, I’m assuming that the weight was close to your 4rm, which means slight breakdown in your form is expected.

The only thing I would say you are doing wrong, is that you are breaking/bending at the knees first instead of the hips. Your hips should break/bend and go backwards and almost simulatneously your knees should bend.

So on that same note, your hips should go backwards and down, rather than straight down. The famous cue is “sit back”, picture sitting down onto a chair behind you. Some people tend to over-do this cue, you only need to introduce it a little bit!
And because of this problem- are kind of squatting down ontop of your legs, you should be squatting inbetween your legs.

The video shows a low-bar, but I’m sure the same principle applies.

Really focus on keeping your knees forced outwards, they looked pretty good except for a wobble on the last rep or two, but as I said, this is one of the main things you expect on a heavy attempt.

Things that you are doing right-
Looks like you’ve got your breathing technique pretty much right, making sure you take a real big deep breath in and brace those abs!

Your knee placement is really good! Alot of people get their knees into position late, and as a result their knees will “slide” forward as they drop below parallel. This kills hip drive/ham involvement in the squat. But your knees look good.

That’s another thing you’re doing right- hitting below parallel!!

And looks like your using good hip drive, the hams are doing their job.

Which leads me to believe that the weight is staying back on your heels, so that’s another tick.

And you’re squatting a good amount of weight, so that’s another plus!

Hope this has helped abit, like I said, looks pretty good to me, others with more experience esp. with the high bar will be able to help more I’m sure!


#3

[quote]tassietaekwon wrote:
I’m not so familiar with High bar squats, but there are alot of things the same as with low-bar that I can help you out with.

The squat actually looks pretty good, I’m assuming that the weight was close to your 4rm, which means slight breakdown in your form is expected.

The only thing I would say you are doing wrong, is that you are breaking/bending at the knees first instead of the hips. Your hips should break/bend and go backwards and almost simulatneously your knees should bend.

So on that same note, your hips should go backwards and down, rather than straight down. The famous cue is “sit back”, picture sitting down onto a chair behind you. Some people tend to over-do this cue, you only need to introduce it a little bit!
And because of this problem- are kind of squatting down ontop of your legs, you should be squatting inbetween your legs.

The video shows a low-bar, but I’m sure the same principle applies.

Really focus on keeping your knees forced outwards, they looked pretty good except for a wobble on the last rep or two, but as I said, this is one of the main things you expect on a heavy attempt.

Things that you are doing right-
Looks like you’ve got your breathing technique pretty much right, making sure you take a real big deep breath in and brace those abs!

Your knee placement is really good! Alot of people get their knees into position late, and as a result their knees will “slide” forward as they drop below parallel. This kills hip drive/ham involvement in the squat. But your knees look good.

That’s another thing you’re doing right- hitting below parallel!!

And looks like your using good hip drive, the hams are doing their job.

Which leads me to believe that the weight is staying back on your heels, so that’s another tick.

And you’re squatting a good amount of weight, so that’s another plus!

Hope this has helped abit, like I said, looks pretty good to me, others with more experience esp. with the high bar will be able to help more I’m sure!

[/quote]

I’m not familiar with Low bar squats. I just get under the bar and place it where it feels comfortable. Are there any advantages to squating with a low bar or is it generaly a matter of preference?

Thanks for your advice. I’ve heard that you should start with your hips but I’ve never realy seen it. So in order ot achieve this I should feel like I’m sticking my butt out and then my knees should start to bend?


#4

The thing about enabling hip drive with a high bar squat is that if you stick your butt out and down, many people have a tendency to lean forward. It would probably be a better idea to do a low bar squat. I think the main difference between low bar and high bar squats is that low bar help you hit your posterior chain more but high bar squats hit your quads mostly.


#5

I can relate the description of ‘on top of’ your legs vs. ‘in between’. Sometimes when I’m fatigued I don’t get that in between the legs feel and just get pissed, but don’t know exactly what I did wrong. When doing box or front squats it’s almost always there without any problem though. The on top feels weak to me, like I’m not going to get a good push out of the effort.

It happened to me Sunday morning and I was frustrated toward the end of my squat sets and was muttering to myself about feeling on top of the legs. I got the feel back with some box squats at the end of the work out. It was quick, but the comment at the end of the video about rotating the legs out slightly at the hip w/ the high bar was new for me, so hopefully that can be a cue to get back in the zone next time.


#6

You look pretty good. Quit with the hands opening thing and pull the bar down into your back and really squeeze your shoulder blades together. Get a lot tighter on the bar.

Also, get more aggressive with closing your hips. As soon as you come out of the hole the movement should be all about pushing your hips forward.

Tighter on the bar and more hip drive. Squeeze your ass.


#7

[quote]apwsearch wrote:
You look pretty good. Quit with the hands opening thing and pull the bar down into your back and really squeeze your shoulder blades together. Get a lot tighter on the bar.

Also, get more aggressive with closing your hips. As soon as you come out of the hole the movement should be all about pushing your hips forward.

Tighter on the bar and more hip drive. Squeeze your ass.[/quote]

The hand opening thing is the first thing I noticed when I watched the video. I didn’t even know I was doing it untill I saw the video.

I’ll work on being more aggressive with my hips. I already do that when I’m deadlifting. Is it basically the same feeling for squats?


#8

[quote]Brett295 wrote:

The hand opening thing is the first thing I noticed when I watched the video. I didn’t even know I was doing it untill I saw the video.

I’ll work on being more aggressive with my hips. I already do that when I’m deadlifting. Is it basically the same feeling for squats?[/quote]

Yes. You are basically optimizing leverage where instead of trying to stand up with the weight at that point in the lift (or pull it in a DL) you are driving the hips forward.

The good news is you are tight in the hole so once you get the timing down it should help quite a bit.

Also, when you feel the lift slow in that transition let out a little air. That should speed things up.


#9

[quote]Brett295 wrote:
I’m not familiar with Low bar squats. I just get under the bar and place it where it feels comfortable. Are there any advantages to squating with a low bar or is it generaly a matter of preference?

Thanks for your advice. I’ve heard that you should start with your hips but I’ve never realy seen it. So in order ot achieve this I should feel like I’m sticking my butt out and then my knees should start to bend? [/quote]

The low bar vs. high bar argument will rage on forever I’m sure,
It’s not really a matter of preferance, although that is why alot of people go for one over the other, because they do as you do- get under the bar and squat, however it is comfortable.
I certainly don’t think there is anything wrong with a high-bar squat, but I choose low-bar for the following reasons-
It allows you to handle more weight,
The PC is more involved,
Less compressive forces on the spine,
And just personally, I feel alot “tighter” in my set-up with the bar low.

As to the other question, yeah, your hips should be pushed backwards, then your knees should bend. Watch video’s of box-squats to see an over-emphasized version of this.