T Nation

Squat Form Check



Stuart McGill (world’s leading back specialist) says that if you hurt yourself with a belt on it is likely to be worse than if you didn’t have a belt on. Just learn to brace properly and lift with proper technique, use the safety pins in the rack at the correct height and you will be as safe as you can be.

I train in my basement, if there’s anyone to talk to it’s my wife or my kids and it certainly doesn’t improve the quality of my experience. That’s why this forum is useful.


@drwhang Yeah I agree 100% with @chris_ottawa. On a side note most gym rats do not even know how to properly use one in the first place. If you decide to use one at one point I like to advise using it on sets with no less than say 85% of your 1 RM.


I do like using a belt when working with less experienced lifters for feedback purposes. I have them put it on loose and get the feedback from pushing out their core against the belt. If I’m going to use a belt for the session (which isn’t always), I’ll still put it on a bit early loosely just for that feedback.

That being said, you don’t NEED a belt ever if you’re not going to be competitive. Train right. Recover right. Make sure you target your core in a good bit of training and learn proper bracing. It’s going to allow you to lift more weight, but if you’re not heading in a competitive direction, you can lift properly and never wear one. It’s your choice. My two cents.

Also… changing gyms doesn’t necessarily rid your problems. You might get a good gym where people are working together or you might get the same type of idiots that are just a bit stronger.


Not just your shoe, also the surface you’re squatting on looks pretty soft. My gym has several squat racks, only one of which has a solid platform to squat on and I can definitely notice the difference in the two.



I have no problems training alone really. Just that it can get monotonous at times. Would be nice to have people to talk to about something you suddenly became addicted to. Hence, as chris said, here we all are at the forums. Haha.

Alright, thanks! Nothing to lose in trying to learn and practice with it anyway, so I’ll give it a go at heavier weights. As @pookie79 said, yeah, maybe it could be a good feedback mechanism as well. Thanks for the input man!

Actually, what I said about my gym was in a reference to an earlier conversation between me and bulldog, which I realized was in a different thread, so my bad. I honestly love the fact that the squat rack is almost always unoccupied to be honest.

Yeah, it’s padded. Pretty stiff, but still padded. I recently have started to take off my shoes while squatting. Might not be the brightest idea, but I definitely feel more stable.


I do the same. I don’t currently squat much weight though so I can’t vouch for the wisdom here


When unsure of the surface, it’s best to go barefoot. Especially in a desert knife fight.


Curious as to why this is. Do you have a link to an article?


It’s in his book “Ultimate back fitness and performance”. I would look it up but for some reason the book has no index.


Alright, hopefully it’s floating online somewhere. I’ll try to look for it. Thanks


It’s not something to overthink, my point is that a belt doesn’t actually protect you from any sort of injury and whether or not you use one you need to learn how to brace. Wear a belt if you want to lift more, that’s it.


Been re-reading earlier advice you guys have given me, even in my other threads. Getting a new appreciation for them as I practice my lifts and tweak a few minor things here and there every now and then as practice goes by. Really appreciate all the help!