T Nation

Squat Form Check

I know this is a shitty angle for a form check, but due to the nature of my garage it was the best I could do and I didn’t film this with intentions of posting it.

I’ve had the biggest nightmare for the past couple years trying to correct lumbar flexion issues in addition to excessive forward knee travel. Also I’m a recovering ass-to-grass squatter, so hopefully the depth is on point now too.

Let me know what can be improved and if there are any major errors. Thanks.

Getting a formcheck is a great idea and I think it shows how srs you are about squatting. Before everyone gets to ripping you apart I’d like to point you towards some youtube videos so you can start working at technique yourself and implementing tips from this thread.

Post updates (with better angles fuck sake lel) as you go and soon enough your squats will be looking pretty sexy.

Some thoughts so far:

  • Im not too sure about you using the Romaleos/heeled shoes. They seem to pitch you forward a bit. Have you tried squatting in flat shoes? I squat in the Romaleos 2 myself and love them but then again I squat with as upright a torso angle as possible while still being low bar as I can. May not be appropriate for you/your style of squat.

  • Set up looks a bit loose and inefficient. Lot of movement, wiggling and shaking going on between unrack and initiating the squat. Also the three big steps and half a dozen mini steps are a waste of energy when two steps and a mini step are all you really need.

  • Need another angle to confirm but looks like you’re not opening up at the hips enough. In the vid below Coan talks about opening the taint which allows you to sit your torso/hips closer to straight down. If you don’t either your knees go excessive forward or your hips go excessively back.

Thanks for the feedback.

Not sure about the shoes as being a problem. I like them a lot.

The extra wiggling and fidgeting is because I’m trying to place my feet according to some markers on the ground. I placed tape on the ground to help me normalize my width stance as I have a tendency to squat either too narrow or too wide. My hips feel this terrible pinching pain if the stance is too wide and I suck ad judging it otherwise.

I’ll try to find a better filming method in the future for better critique. Thanks!

You can tell right from your walkout that your upper back is nowhere near tight enough. The rest looks reasonable (from this angle) - it would be nice if you hips didn’t shoot back at the sticking point but not uncommon. Still worth working on though (might be weak quads, may be the upper back thing)

I have a poor concept of how to get good upper back tightness. If I bring my hands in any closer, the bar tends to be lopsided.

Hard to describe if you look up enough videos different people will give you different cues for back tightness and you’ll probably find one that works for you.

Grip width doesn’t actually mean skwat (badum tss) when it comes to back tightness. You can have a tight back close, wide or not holding the bar at all.

I set both feet with my mid foot under the bar then drop under while half hanging on the bar. As I pull myself up under the bar I visualise I’m doing the contracted position of a behind the neck pull down, then I flex my arms, back and abdomen.

Works for me. May not for you. Look up some more vids and try it out.

They are some good shoes. Sexy as fuck and built like a tank.

I stand by wut I said tho. You’d probably squat more upright in flats and reduce loading across your back but is up to you.

IDGAF why. Learn, practice and get better. In time you’ll be able to set your feet with minimal steppage. You can only see so much even with a mirror. You need to learn to “feel” where your body is in space i.e. proprioception

To be fair its not the worst I’ve seen. One of my buddies used to love to picking his heel off the ground and wiggling it about when setting up. One time he rolled his ankle doing this shit with 4 biscuits and bar on his back. Safeties saved him from the worst of it tho. Kinda goes without saying but he don’t do that ballerina bullshit no more.

Not him but looked something like Anthony’s squat

Lol that was brutal to watch.

But just to make it clear, if you’re referring to the extreme forward lean of my back angle rather than a more upright posture, that is on purpose. I’m using the starting strength model and they preach extreme forward lean. In fact, that’s one of the ways my flexions been significantly reduced.

This is an idea of the front view. My form is pretty bad today and I felt like shit overall.
There’s a lot of leading with the chest and today was just a grind overall. Mechanics didn’t even feel right. This is of my third set of 240lbs.

My major issue is per the Starting Strength squat tutorial, you’re supposed to be at least shoulder width apart, but as you see my knees here kind of shift inward at the bottom and I’m not even shoulder width. Shoulder width actually creates painful pressure on my acetabulum and to be frank, I would have felt even better during this set if it was ever so slightly narrower still.


Above link is a still shot with vertical lines to show heel placement relative to shoulders.

To me, your knees don’t really cave in to any serious degree BUT your knee doesn’t go out over your toes which probably has the same end result.

Your hips do a major shift to (our) right out of the hole and it also looks like the right side raises faster than the left. I think this will cause you issues if you keep it up.

Drop the weight, focus on getting your knee over your toe and focus on keeping your knees forwadd coming out of the hole so your hips don’t shoot back.

There is zero benefit in doing junk reps just to move more weight so dial in your form.

I just think you reached your max and your mid hasn’t caught up.

What program are you using?

Brah Ripptoe’s shit works for most people looking to get generally strong. You don’t have to be at any exact width or have any exact toe angle.

One would think a persons hip is similar enough to the next persons but there really is quite a range. A strong comfortable squat will be different for each hip/femoral head shape. One persons natural sexy feeling squat is another persons hip impinging squat

My favourite cue is to take my foot slightly off the ground, squeeze my glute and quad as hard as possible which will make your leg externally rotate/ your toes point out. Whatever toe angle you get with this you use to squat. Repeat with the other leg.

For myself my toes and therefore my knees as they track over my toes go out quite a bit. Feels comfy as fuck for me. Used to squat with toes and knees more forward but I experimented and found where I’m strongest


What do you mean exactly by max and mid?

Right now:

Squat 3X5
Press 3X5
Deadlift 1X5
Chin-ups 3X5

Squat 3X5
Press 3X5
Pendlay rows 3X5
Chin-ups 3X5

Alternating A B A B 3 days a week. Cant bench because I’ve probably got a torn labrium.

I had been doing this prior:

Press 3X5
Bench press 5X5 (not since labrium)
Chin-ups 4X5

Squat 5X5
Deadlift 1X5
(Face-pulls 3X8-10, not since labrium)

Bench press 3X5 (not since labrium)
Press 5X5
Chin-ups 4X5

Squat 3X5
Pendlay rows 5X5
Chest dips 3X5 (not since labrium)

I switched back to 3 day full body to try LP style progression again and allow 3X squat and press frequency since I cant bench anyways, but may just go back to the 4 day, weekly progression I was using if I cant make steady LP squat progress. I dont know why I struggle at LP at novice weights. Also press suffers when its done on the heels of heavy squats.

Yeah I knew about the diversity of hip anatomy, but starting strength is just so dogmatic about form specifications that you just feel like you’re doing it wrong if you deviate from what rippetoe says, even if your anatomy is screaming to the contrary.

Going to just stand however I feel strongest like you say and push that shoulder width shit out of mind.

Also I just tried your que out to see what you mean. That IS gold for foot angle.

Max weight

Mid is the abs, lower back, etc

Get on a program that has accessories to bring those up.

Tbh I think you should push the whole of the starting strength squat out of your mind lel.

When y’all starting strength zealots low bar squat does his Holiness Ripptoe speak to you thru faith, " HIP DRAAAHVE. HIP DRAAAHVE. HIP DRAAAHVE" ?


Lol. I’m just doing starting strength style training because I just want to get my base strength up enough to begin sufficient hypertrophy focused training. Most people in forums and elsewhere have told me there’s no way to get noteworthy muscle mass until you can dead 4 plates, squat in the 300s, bench over 225, etc…


My lifts are (all X5:)

Squat 240lbs
Press 130
Deadlift 280(???) Grip being the limiting factor
Bench press was 170-175 in April before I ruined my shoulder.
Pendlay rows 182.5
Full ROM chins 5 reps

What type of hypertrophy specific program would you recommend for these stats?

So basically you’re saying that my squat is being limited by core strength in the way that my deadlift is limited by grip strength? I’d take it even one step further and say conditioning and cardiovascular capacity.