T Nation

Squat Form Check


#1

Hello all,

Long-time lurker here, but new user. I'm looking to get some advice and tips on my squat.

A few things:

  • I'm about 6'4 with long legs, so squats have never come easy for me
  • I have the bar set up on my rear delts (low bar)
  • I noticed that my heels come off the ground a bit. Could that be due to ankle mobility issues?

Any help is greatly appreciated.


#2

Depth is good. Shoes are fucking you up big time. Get some flats with a good sole. I do not like how you are bent over so much from the get go of the lift even during the walk out just do not feel that is very optimal but, I mean I guess it is working atleast with not incredibly heavy loads.


#3

It looks like the forward lean is excessive. The amount of forward lean you had just before racking the weight is fine. Throughout the reps it looks like you can push your hips forward to lockout with your glutes. Getting your glutes involved will help for bigger weights. Get shoes with a hard sole.


#4

So I guess I should keep my chest and back up a little more? Should I lockout at the top of the movement? A few people have told me I should.

Also, do you recommend any type of shoe?


#5

[quote]nyr111019 wrote:
So I guess I should keep my chest and back up a little more? Should I lockout at the top of the movement? A few people have told me I should.

Also, do you recommend any type of shoe?[/quote]

With weight on your back, you’ll have a natural tendency to lean forward to keep your center of gravity over your mid-foot. There is no need to exaggerate the forward lean. Just make sure to keep a rigid torso by getting your entire upper body tight. It may help to remember that the weight should be centered between the ball and heel of your feet.

Some people don’t fully lockout their hips and I’m not sure how much it matters if they still use their glutes. IMO, it looks like your forward lean could be a problem in the future because it’s not allowing you to get more glute strength into the movement. Getting your glutes involved will help with heavy weights and provide carryover to other lifts.

Any shoes that aren’t squishy like running shoes will work. The best shoes for you are ones that allow you to lift the most weight without injury. I recommend trying shoes with and without heels to see what works best.


#6

Converse Chuck Taylors are an effective and affordable solution.


#7

[quote]Reed wrote:
Depth is good. Shoes are fucking you up big time. Get some flats with a good sole. I do not like how you are bent over so much from the get go of the lift even during the walk out just do not feel that is very optimal but, I mean I guess it is working atleast with not incredibly heavy loads.[/quote]

This. Obviously if that much lean works for you, there’s no reason not to but I’d recommend at least trying a more upright position to see how it feels. Give it a good go, because chances are the first few times your back will get very tight just from keeping you more upright.

Flats are a good call, or you can try Oly shoes with a raised heel. I’d try flats first because they’ll be cheaper and you can use them for deads too.


#8

Yes, get new shoes. Also, I recommend walking backwards more slowly after you unrack.

Experiment with a more neutral head position.


#9

Thanks for the help everyone.

I’m going to pick up a pair of Chucks today and see how they work out. Next time I do squats, I’ll focus on neutral head position, standing a little more upright, and locking out at the top.

Another question, do most people squat with toes straight or pointed out? I keep them straight and try to tighten my hips so that my knees are in line with my toes. Any time I point them out, I feel like I get a little more depth, but also get butt wink.


#10

[quote]nyr111019 wrote:
Thanks for the help everyone.

I’m going to pick up a pair of Chucks today and see how they work out. Next time I do squats, I’ll focus on neutral head position, standing a little more upright, and locking out at the top.

Another question, do most people squat with toes straight or pointed out? I keep them straight and try to tighten my hips so that my knees are in line with my toes. Any time I point them out, I feel like I get a little more depth, but also get butt wink.[/quote]

You’ll have to experiment to see what works best. When my feet are straight, I sit back too much and can’t get as much quad drive. When my feet are pointed out too much, I can’t get enough drive from my hips early on. Stance width affects my feet angle too but in general I just want my knees to track in line with my toes.


#11

Those seem like running shoes? Get flat ones as per an earlier recommendation. No need to look too high, just have a neutral neck stance looking at 6 feet in front of you.


#12

[quote]lift206 wrote:

[quote]nyr111019 wrote:
Thanks for the help everyone.

I’m going to pick up a pair of Chucks today and see how they work out. Next time I do squats, I’ll focus on neutral head position, standing a little more upright, and locking out at the top.

Another question, do most people squat with toes straight or pointed out? I keep them straight and try to tighten my hips so that my knees are in line with my toes. Any time I point them out, I feel like I get a little more depth, but also get butt wink.[/quote]

You’ll have to experiment to see what works best. When my feet are straight, I sit back too much and can’t get as much quad drive. When my feet are pointed out too much, I can’t get enough drive from my hips early on. Stance width affects my feet angle too but in general I just want my knees to track in line with my toes.[/quote]

This. Personally I keep my toes pointed at about a 45 degree angle but I squat fairly wide (nearly touching the edges of the power rack with my toes) and my squat is super ham/glute/hip dominant sitting back quite a bit. My shin angle is also pretty upright, and has gotten more so over the last month or two as I work on my squat technique. That just works for me, though.


#13

Before you squat stand upright, squeeze your ass, and use your abs to pull your chest down (like your bracing for a punch in the stomach). How you start is usually how you finish.