T Nation

Squat Form Check

Right, I’ve been told my squat form is bad.
I’m 17,
Lifting 1 and a half years,
Powerlifting 9 months,
Am 5 foot 6 tall
98kgs bw
Lifts are 160/92/130 kg

First a max effort competition squat of 130

Second a triple at 110

110 from the side in frame

and finally 95 for 12 reps

Just wanted some help on my squat to continue into the future safely. Thank you in advance.

You’re effectively good morning-ing every rep. From what I can see in each video it’s only a matter of time before you hurt your back. In terms of weight on the bar you’re leaving a huge amount on the table because your technique is so inefficient.

This is what I would suggest

  • move the bar up. It’s probably way, way lower than you need it to be. Doesn’t have to be high bar as such, but certainly higher than it is now
  • stop tilting your pelvis forward before you start your descent. Instead, squeeze your glutes after unracking and keep them squeezed as you descend. This will keep your pelvis from tilting forward, which will take a lot of strain off your back.
  • squeeze your abs hard without losing the squeeze in your glutes
  • sit straight down instead of back and push your knees out while driving your head straight back into the bar
  • as soon as you hit depth come back up by pushing your knees hard out, drive your traps up and squeezing your abs

I’m going to slightly disagree with @MarkKO

This is very much a Steve Goggins squat, right or wrong it can be a very strong squat. ( I personally dislike this style quite a bit )

That said his advice isn’t incorrect but your biggest weakness with this technique is going to be glutes and upper back based on these videos from what I’ve seen.

So what I would suggest is pick a squat technique you like and then master it.

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Finally got the time to watch the videos a couple of times. Keep in mind that this is my uneducated opinion from someone who doesn’t really squat enough weight to give anyone advice. That being said though, here goes!

The first thought that came to mind is…

you should probably watch the rest of the video too but mainly that part

Secondly, it seems to me that you are miscue-ing your hips/legs. They aren’t pushing in sync which is why it looks somewhat disjointed and awkward.

Lastly, it appears to me that you might be dive bombing the eccentric portion of your squat too much. That works to a certain degree but less so with your style of squatting. Typically dive bomb squats are used by quad dominant high bar upright style squatters cause it doesn’t throw them off position as much.

I absolutely agree. My issue, such as it is, is that it is rare for a Goggins squat to be optimal, much like a Konstantinovs deadlift

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Do you do squats without the belt?

I’ve spent a decent amount of time working on this technique and am still improving it.[quote=“corstijeir, post:3, topic:229878”]
your biggest weakness with this technique is going to be glutes and upper back

I spend a decent amount of time doing upper back work but could probably squeeze in more. I do very little glute work aside from back raises, deads and squats.

I’ll spend a more time on this technique with the extra cues Mark has given me and do the extra work you mentioned.

I have a problem with this where I get out of the hole with my hips popping up too fast then the bar staying still. I need to slow down the eccentric and come up steadier.

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I use a belt for most of my worksets.

hips shooting up could also be weak quads.



However, as corstijeir mentioned, some people happen to squat more this way. But of course getting your quads stronger is always going to help your squat because they are providing the initial drive out of the hole, unless you are squatting in a suit like Mr. Goggins. Seeing as the OP is young and not very advanced, the best bet is to just get stronger overall rather than looking for weak points. Chances are his technique will change somewhat over the years as he adds more muscle and becomes stronger. His current technique is not optimal, but it’s not an injury risk either.

Include high bar squat (SSB as well if that’s an option for you) to build the quads - it will also build your upper back due to the higher bar position. RDL’s are a good glute/hamstring exercise. Good mornings will reinforce your current bent-forward squat style so it might be better to use them at the moment, but if you eventually find that this is the best way for you to squat then they will be a useful exercise. Blaine Sumner says that good mornings have helped increase his severely bent-forward squat, I believe he has done around 600 for reps.


Had a go at squats again today and they felt worse but looked better.

Focused on breaking at knees and hips at same time as well as not dive bombing the eccentric.

I do think they look somewhat better. I think it’s more of an ‘issue’ of you having yet found your own style of squatting. That’s all.

I think so too, I just need to get into my own groove of a style that feels comfortable for me and improve from there.

Yeah, you lean forward a bit on the first rep and more and more as the set goes on. What is happening is that you are shifting the load to your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back because you quads can’t handle the load. In addition to the exercises I mentioned above, leg press, hack squat, and even Bulgarian split squats are good exercises to build the quads. Build your quads, just don’t neglect everything else.

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My posterior chain is too strong compared to the rest of legs so they take over as I get more and more fatigued. I will add in extra quad exercises you mention when I finish my Candito 6 week program. Thank you for your input.

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More squats today

Think they are improving

I am no expert, but in addition to what others have suggested, it seems to me that your knees cave in when you go heavy. This is no bueno for knee health. I’d make a modest change in stance and get your toes pointed out slightly more and concentrate on driving your knees out as you come out of the hole.

Also it appears that you are hyper extending your back. A neutral spine is preferable. As you set up, don’t trade off a fully expanded belly for an over-arched spine. Really fill up your belly and press against the belt.

My prior coach used to say that the belly does the squatting, your legs are just along for the ride. I think there’s some validity to this, as I think about my belly moving the weight I tend to get tighter, resist folding over in the hole, and resist hips rising faster than the bar.

Speed on the descent is an issue for me as well. I have difficulty staying tight if I drop too fast, so I’ll err on the side of caution and slow my descent to maintain tension then try to pop it out of the hole with a bit of an accelerated descent in the last several inches.


Everyone agrees that you need stronger quads. In the long term, that will be the solution. A great cue for staying upright and focusing on using your legs now is to keep your elbows under the bar. You might have to use a mirror to get used to this cue.

I don’t see my knee caving in in any of the clips at all. Which clip do you see it in? [quote=“knobby22, post:18, topic:229878”]
hyper extending your back.

I have a issue where I would get too tight and over extend trying to tighten up my back. I think I’ve resolved it in the recent videos.