T Nation

Squat Form Check

As promised, here it is. @chris_ottawa, @bulldog9899, @FlatsFarmer

I worked up to 82.5kg on linear progression using high bar, but I wasn’t happy with form (right knee caves in towards end of set when I don’t pay attention) so I dropped the weight to 60kg, focused on it, and worked my way back up from there.

Since I dropped the weight anyway, I decided to switch to low bar cause I noticed I had some tilting forward on my toes on high bar and a sense of it becoming a good morning squat. The bar feels so much more balanced now with low bar but I noticed my weight kinda shifting all over the place based on the pressure on my foot in the video. Just needs more time practicing low bar perhaps? or is it because the forefoot of my shoe is mushy?

Looks good if a little inconsistent and lacking control.

Balance and foot pressure is pretty important. It helps to stick one kind of squat because your balance shifts with different bar positions. Could be related to shoes if they are all squishy but whatever kind of shoe you wear you need to find your balance and push through the right part

These vids might help you out:

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Yeah, looks like I’ll be sticking to low bar from now. Thanks for the videos!

On a different note: ever wonder why Chad and Max almost always uses females for their instructional videos? Lol. Not that it matters, they’re all great athletes. Just noticed it. Haha

Sex sells I dunno lol

Your form looks pretty damn good at this stage of experiance. Maybe a few minor things but that will take care of itself as you progress. Heres a article you can read that I feel has some value…

Just a word of warning you will find that some individuals will coach the squat slightly different than others.


Actually a few of the women they feature are actually pretty accomplished lifters in the USAPL

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This is definitely a problem, you need shoes with thin soles with minimal softness or weightlifting shoes, which probably aren’t worth it for you. Apparently Chuck Taylors now have soft soles so get some cheap skateboard shoes or something like that, some tennis shoes would work too. Anything soft is going to make you unstable. You also need to keep the pressure evenly distributed between your heels and balls of your feet.

Your squat looks OK, pretty good for a beginner actually. The biggest thing that I see is that you look too loose, you need to get your whole body tight. With light weights it might seem like it’s not a big deal but if you plan to add weight to the bar it will become a big deal. Also your descent looks like you are mostly just dropping, you might be better off slowing it down just a bit and stay in control of the weight through the whole movement. Some people do well with a fast descent, but they also no how to stay tight at the same time and not everyone can do that, much less someone new to squatting.

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You’re off to a great start.

That said, if you are having a problem with rocking forward, I want your head “up” more. Different coaches say to look different places, but at least try to get your neck lined up with your back, instead of jutting forward. Like you’re trying to drive your traps into the bar. It looks like you’re doing a good job of keeping your chin or neck “packed” or whatever the cue is. But your head leads your body and your head is “forward.” And the barbell shifts forward at the bottom of your squat, so there is some connection.

Also, there is your stance. I can see your heels are close and your toes are flared out. You are using this stance to feel “tightness” in your hips and glutes. Like “twisting” your feet open to get some torque at the hips. If you turn your heels out a little and push your feet apart (or “spread the floor” or “push the outsides of your feet into the carpet to tear it between your feet”) you will be able to use your glutes and hips instead of stretching them into position.

If you watch the video after you walk the squat out, but before your first rep, watch your feet. The more you turn your toes out, the more your weight shifts forward onto your toes.

Now I don’t mean that you need to take a wide stance, with toes pointing straight forward. But if you subtly move in that direction you may be able to use more muscle and control your descent, instead of dropping like Chris mentioned.

With your head up, above your hips, and your legs out instead of folded up underneath you, your squat should be more upright and less forward leaned.


Thanks for the article @bulldog9899 I’ll study that soon.

Glad my squat isn’t as bad as my deadlift. Thank you all for the tips and taking the time to look at it. I’ll upload another when I progress to heavier weights. Maybe then more weaknesses will start to show. I’ll upload a bench press video once I’m happy with my technique. By far, that’s my worst lift in terms of technique, and overhead press is my weakest in terms of weight. I assume a previous shoulder injury is contributing, but I don’t want to make it an excuse to not progress. I’ll just tag you guys in the future.

@chris_ottawa, I’ll try to see how bare feet will feel. I think I understand now why I always seem loose. I can’t remember me cuing myself to brace specifically my abs, even in the deadlift. I guess this is what Ben Pollack was saying that simply breathing in a big belly breath isn’t enough. It should go together with contracting the abs. Will try this before I depend on a belt for it. So beltless for now until I learn to brace properly. One cue at a time I guess until I get most of it right.

@FlatsFarmer, thanks for the tips. I’ll definitely give the feet thing a try. I think a reason why my head looks protruded is partly because I’ve had a hunchback all my life since I was a kid. Bringing my shoulder blades together makes it more evident. I’ll try to correct it. Thanks for pointing that out!

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So true. I’d be so ashamed to lift if I were in the same gym as them. Haha.

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There are a whole bunch of videos on youtube about bracing, watch some and do what they say. This is basically the most crucial thing to squat and deadlift properly.

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Alright, thanks man!

Ok, so nuanced question coming…

I’m currently already at 90kg (198lbs) squat at 72kg (158.4lbs) BW and some regular gym members are already telling me to use a belt. Should I start to wear one already for my working sets from here on?

@bulldog9899, @chris_ottawa, @FlatsFarmer
Sorry if I’m over tagging. Not sure if you’ll be notified if there’s a new reply in this thread

You could use a belt, but it’s not like it’s absolutely necessary. If you don’t plan to compete in PL then you don’t actually ever need to use a belt. Some regular gym members don’t know shit, 90kg is not a big squat and wearing a belt doesn’t protect your back. If you are using a belt for back support then it means you don’t know how to brace.

I was thinking that too. Yeah 90kg isn’t a lot, but I don’t think they’ve seen a lot of skinny lifters like me do 90kg and more. Some of them raised the point that it would be “safer” for my back, which I know isn’t necessarily true. Anyway, just needed validation. Thanks man.

On a different note, I’m seriously in the wrong gym. But it’ll have to do for now.

what’s wrong with your gym? I hit a 500 lbs squat before I ever trained anywhere but a regular commercial gym. You’ll be well served to learn to lift in any atmosphere. If the gym has a barbell, plates, and a bench and a rack, you’ve got all you need.

The only reason I ever switched gyms was because I started competing in strongman, and I needed access to different equipment to train. And even then, I still trained at the commercial gym for about a year for any training sessions where i just needed standard equipment.

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Just not much people to learn from or talk to about the main barbell lifts. Even just mentioning low bar squat will make me sound like an alien. Most of the regulars are just chasing gainzzz. On the plus side, squat rack is almost always unoccupied, so I have that going for me.

why are you talking to people at the gym? lol. I lifted for 10+ years, mostly by myself. talking doesn’t make you stronger. lifting does.

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Haha. You make a good point. Glad that worked out well for you

Some people are team guys, some people are more loner type in training. I get where you’re coming from. I’m more of a team guy too. I like to talk to other people in the gym and see what’s going on with their training. It’s cool when you’re in an environment where people are working on what you’re working on. I even come on the internet to bro down with lifters.