T Nation

Squat Form Check

Hi all,

Am compiling my squat vids from my training log

My other form check for Sumo was very helpful and after two weeks my pull is much better. Hopefully I can get the same going for squat.

Squat PB from a month ago

Any advice, critiques, links to vids/guides would be much appreciated thnx

Not bad I guess…

Descent: Should be confident and aggressive with acceleration into the hole to maximise the bounce. So speed should be as fast as possible while staying tight/maintaining position.

I think you should try slowing things down a tad. Some of your reps hit the right spot/path but at that speed the margin for error is tiny. A slight difference in positioning going into the hole could in combination with the jarring bounce turn the movement into a good morning squat and probably a miss at higher weights.

Depth: Some reps are deeper than required and that may be the reason for a little bit of buttwink. Think it happens when you are fatigued/not concentrating. So make adjustments to squat higher and hit the “bounce” higher also.


Looks fine to me. You could try low bar, don’t make any drastic changes and just put the bar lower on your back. That alone will limit depth a bit and should allow you to lift more, plus you can grind heavy weights better with low bar because with high bar your upper back strength becomes a limiting factor as well.

About depth though, if you just naturally squat deep and adjustments to make you squat higher don’t result in more weight lifter then don’t worry and squat deep.

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Looks great to me. I don’t claim to be an expert by any means, but I see no problems. Btw, where are you training? That looks like an amazing facility. My gym is pretty good, but your place looks like a serious lifter’s wet dream.

It’s a small chain called Derrimut Gym (real small like a handful in the north west of one state and obviously one country, Australia).

It’s big and caters to a lot of different trainers from boxing to Powerlifting to bodybuilding. Lots of squat racks and barbells is always nice tho no specialty bars.

Speaking of cool gyms and speciality (kinda) bars my most recent workout was at a gym called Doherty’s, in the city with my friends. The gym is located in old tunnels beneath one of the busier train stations in the city so you can hear the rumbling as trains go overhead. There’s a beat up old platform and an Eleiko Power Bar which kinda makes up for the poor ventilation. Great vibe about the place

You can see some of it in the vids on my log

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lel I put that in the “guinea pig starter pack”

But srsly am jealous of all the fancy bars you have access to.


What’s with this “pull sumo eat butt” thing? I keep seeing that online and I don’t know what the hell is going on.

Actual don’t know to be honest lel. Shit’s probably just weird, random and explicit for the sake of it.

possibly from bro science life?

I think you’re right on. Good fucking detective work. Either that or you’ve been into eating butt at least for a few years.


Wait… so this whole time I wasn’t meant to be eating butt too?

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That’s where real sumo is lel. Whatever it takes as the late Rich Piana would say may he RIP.

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While I have everyone here what’s the thinking about using sleeves for training?

I train sleeveless mostly so far.

I can do more reps at and at 1RM like in the vid where I had sleeves on I squat about 15-20kg more with sleeves. Should I be using sleeves in training? When and how do you think I should use it?

Use sleeves in training.

Buy fresh SBD sleeves (wouldn’t bet against you already having them lel but you were wearing different sleeves in the PB squat vid) for comp for maximum stiffness/rebound and maximum IPF Approval.

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Descent Speed

The determinate factor in how quickly to lower the weight in the Squat is dependent of the load in regard to your 1 Repetition Squat Max.

The Lighter the load in regard to your 1 Repetition Max, the faster you can lower the weight.

However, as the load in regard to your 1 Repetition Max increases, the Descent Squat Speeds need to slow down. That based on research by Dr Tom McLaughlin (PhD Exercise Biomechanics/Former Powerlifter) as well as the empirical data.

Here’s what McLaughlin research found…

Novice/Intermediate Lifter’s Descent Bar Speed

Novice/Intermediate Lifter tended to lower the bar quickly. McLaughlin’s finding was that in doing so the bar weight was magnified by 147%.

This has to do with Newton’s Second Law: Force = Mass X Acceleration.

300 lb Squat Example

Novice/Intermediate Lifter who allowed the bar to drop too fast would have magnified the bar load from 300 lbs to 441 lbs.

Now let look at at the…

Elite Lifter’s Descent Bar Speed

Elite Lifter were tended to ride the brake at the beginning of the Descent.

Doing so only magnified the bar weight 112%.

300 lb Elite Squat Example

That meant that the Elite Lifter would only magnify the bar weight from 300 lbs to 336 lbs; a much more manageable load vs the 441 lb load for the Novice/Intermediate Lifters.

However, there needs to be some Descent Speed/Acceleration in the Squat to evoke the Stretch Reflex to “Sling Shot” you out of the hole.

With that in mind, here is the rest of McLaughlin’s research on how to…

Minimize The Reversal Force and Evoke The Stretch Reflex

  1. Initially “Ride The Brakes” during the first part of a near 1 Repetition Max Load. Doing so, decreases the Acceleration/Speed which decreases the Force/Bar weight.

  2. Once you are a couple of inches from the hole, allow the Decent Speed to Accelerate. The purpose of this is to provide enough tension to elicit the Stretch Reflex.

As per McLaughlin…

The last word on squats
Men’s Fitness, Sept, 1998 by Jeff O’Connell

“You want to lower the weight slowly, even during the first six inches of the descent,” says McLaughlin. “Too many lifters start the squat very quickly and think they’ll slow down halfway, but the momentum of the bar increases very quickly, and they end up effectively lifting more than the actual weight. The top lifters have velocity and acceleration patterns that are uniquely geared this way compared to beginners and intermediates.”

“You want a slight recoil - enough that the change in direction utilizes some of the energy transfer in your body.”

Chad Wesley Smith

Chad states the same in his training video at the 3:40 minute mark in his video.

“…Be slower, more controlled in the top three quarters of the Squat. …Then accelerate into the bottom of the Squat…”

Shane Hamman’s Dive Bomb Squat

Hamman is The Exception To The Rule". Hamman’s method isn’t going to work for the majority of lifters.

Kenny Croxdale


I use sleeves 99.9% off the time, Without them it just feels off

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So pretty much slow and controlled in the top 3/4, go faster into the hole and bounce out?

So from warm ups to low percentage work to 1RMs my reps shouldn’t look the same descent speed wise?

I always thought that trying to do the same thing every time will be better for technique like chad says move 135 like a max and max like 135 but was I reading into that wrong?

Do you think it takes away from quadriceps work?

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Eh… Probably not since its still the muscles doing the work with sleeves.
I used a fairly tight sleeve, and my quads have bin steadily getting bigger.

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