T Nation

Squat Form Check


#1

Hello, first post here but I’ll cut right to the chase. I’ve been having trouble with getting my squat form down lately and it’s to the point where I’ve dropped tremendous weight off of my work sets to get the right form down. As I see it, I break at the hips first and then squat down. But reading all over the internet most people say you should break at both hips and knees simultaneously. But I feel as if I do that it turns into a really quad dominant movement. I’m training for strength and trying to squat the most weight possible.
(Stats, age:21 weight:170lbs lifts:365/265/480)


#2

It’s certainly not bad. Anything wrong with it by me is nitpicking. I think it’s just a matter of practice, practice, practice so you’ll feel more comfortable.

Was that a challenging set at all?

I could probably say more if you go heavy so I could see when and how your form begins to break down.


#3

It was only 135 pounds. But it was my 25th set of a triple with that weight. My legs were feeling a little fatigued. I should have mentioned that my 365 squat was an Olympic squat and I’m current transitioning into low bar wider stance. I’m really trying to learn how to activate my posterior chain in the lift. It doesn’t hurt when I go heavy. But my form really breaks down and I’ll extend my butt backwards and then Break at the knees. It feels like one movement but looks like two.


#4

It was 135. Wasn’t at all difficult. I should’ve mentioned my 365 squat was an Olympic style squat, and I am transitioning to Low Bar squat with a slightly wider than shoulder width stance. Here is a Video of what my squat first looked like when I tried to go low bar, its not as bad now but I feel like its going back to that.

With that form I squatted 315 for an easy Single.


#5

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
It’s certainly not bad. Anything wrong with it by me is nitpicking. I think it’s just a matter of practice, practice, practice so you’ll feel more comfortable.

Was that a challenging set at all?

I could probably say more if you go heavy so I could see when and how your form begins to break down. [/quote]

My responses don’t seem to be visible


#6

How much is your low bar squat? Why are you switching to low bar? And wide stance? If you can’t squat more with a low bar position then it is of no advantage. Bar position or stance is irrelevant to powerlifting, the only thing that matters is how much weight you lift.

The first video looks fine, except your descent is too fast - divebombing. If you can maintain your back position like that with maximal weights then you can do it, but if not then you are likely to get thrown forward at the bottom position. Technique with 135 doesn’t prove anything though. Just for contrast, there is a video on youtube of Mohamed Bouafia (IPF record holder) squatting over 700 at some African championship, his descent takes about 4 seconds - looks like a tempo squat.

Your second video looks terrible, good morning into a squat. You can sit back and then drop into a squat- whatever works for you- but don’t do it like that.


#7

I’ve been lurking forms and watching a ton of videos lately. Everytime I hear about squat form it’s a wider stance w/ low bar. This enables lifters to lift the most weight because of muscles involved and the mechanical advantages it offers. That is what I’m in pursuit of. To lift the most weight possible. Right now my Olympic squat is higher than my low bar but I’m still trying to master the form. I’ll put the time and effort in if it will eventually enable me to squat more weight.

I guess people will need heavier weight to really be able to judge my form but it will have to wait until Monday morning.


#8

Check out these videos. These are of high caliber PLers each of whom uses very different squat styles. That is, pick a squat style best suited for you. If you look at a lot of Eastern Europe and Russian IPF lifters, you’ll see a lot more high bar, oly shoes, and vertical . This is in part because IPF has strict standards and its easier to reach depth this way. Also, PLers from this area of the world often have a background in Oly lifting.

You can actually squat in a Oly style doing low bar and I see this a lot in IPF squats a lot. Just because the bar is lower on your back doesn’t mean you have to sit way back with a lot of torso lean. Granted if you go low bar, your going to start with a little more torso lean before you even descend so you can keep the bar over your mid-foot.


#9

[quote]Awolled wrote:
It was only 135 pounds. But it was my 25th set of a triple with that weight. My legs were feeling a little fatigued. I should have mentioned that my 365 squat was an Olympic squat and I’m current transitioning into low bar wider stance. I’m really trying to learn how to activate my posterior chain in the lift. It doesn’t hurt when I go heavy. But my form really breaks down and I’ll extend my butt backwards and then Break at the knees. It feels like one movement but looks like two. [/quote]

I think you might be taking it to the extreme. Both your posterior and anterior chain should be doing some work if your’re doing front squats, high bar, or low bar squats. All muscles should be working to some degree and it changes based on where the loading is place.

Let’s say your upper back, abs, glutes and quads are maxed out when hitting 365 high bar. In general when switching to low bar, a person should be capable of handling more weight because the increased loading is offset by the reduced moment arm seen by the upper back and knees (quads). The hip extension demands increase and this is picked up by more hamstring and lower erector recruitment. In summary, all of the muscles in high bar should still be working hard in low bar and the additional help is supplied by greater recruitment in the erectors and hamstrings. If you treat them as completely different movement patterns, you won’t get any carryover between the two lifts.

Try making the lifts feel similar, aside from the erectors and hamstrings doing a bit more work.


#10

Thanks for the input. I did my squat workout today and I really think I’m getting the groove. Warm up sets felt like there was nothing on my back. Here’s a video of 255 for a triple. It felt okay, I think I’m going to drop the weight a little and do a linear progression back up to my working weight.

I’ll continue to do Olympic squats. But for the next month I’ll really emphasize the low bar wider stance. I’m pretty sure I was over thinking things. I’m gunna keep filming my squats as too make sure my form doesn’t stray back to my initial transition.


#11

You’re about 4 inches below parallel. In some respects that’s a testament to your mobility, but if you’re training for a meet you’ll want to consider a shorter range of motion.