T Nation

Squat Form Check

Hi there, can you please help critique my squat. Feel like I’m seeing a butt wink at the bottom. Doing low bar squat. The first rep is probably the best. Thanks

Video:

I am not a Form Facist, but the only thing I thought was a little off was that you kinda of start the motion by leaning forward with your chest instead of sitting down/back with your butt. Especially the third one.

Minor gripes. Keep truckin.

what Cyrrex said. You’re starting it off like it’s a good morning. That forward motion is WAY too pronounced. I think you’re so focused on form that it’s actually destroying your form if that makes sense. Your motion is inefficient and will absolutely not hold up under heavy weights

When I teach people to squat, I have them do goblet squats. Goblet squats are the best way I know to teach proper squat form initially. Having a bar on your back generally isn’t, unless it comes naturally to you. Do goblet squats in front of a mirror, look at yours posture, and make a mental note of how everything feels. Sit all the way down into your goblet squat, and don’t worry about ‘butt wink’. Butt wink is a concept no beginner lifter should even be thinking about. It’s inconsequential, and beginners have a tendency to focus beyond reason on it. Your squat was safe, that’s the most important thing.

I would recommend doing 5 sets of 10 goblet squats with a challenging weight twice a week for at least 6 weeks, then return to the back squat. That should do wonders for you.

IF you do not decide to take this advice, at least switch to 5 sets of 10-20 reps with your back squats. Right now, you need to be focused on developing proper muscle memory/patterns/efficiency. Growth is secondary, although high reps will certainly promote that too. Start getting through sets faster as you progress. Don’t spend 10 seconds with the bar on your back before your first descent. I take 2 steps out of the rack, get my air and tightness, and I start the set. It’s very fast, very efficient. It takes over-thinking out of the equation and replaces it with muscle memory. Think of it this way: become robotic. That’s the best mindset you can have for this.

Thanks guys. I’ll try doing the goblet squats in the meantime. In terms of pushing my hips too far back, I find if I don’t do this cue, the bar path tends to move forward on my decent. I also find my back curves then. Example in the video below:

https://vimeo.com/379121607

you’re doing the same weird forward lean thing in that video that you were doing in the other one. You’ll need to open your hips more, and don’t be afraid of a little more knee travel than that if it helps you stop leaning forward like that.

Yeah, what he said. It isn’t like you are doing it a ton, but you are doing it enough that if you start adding serious weight to it, you are going to have problems. Even before you start the movement, notice how you lean forward. The path of the bar is also going forward…which is tough to avoid completely, but a good cue is to think about the an invisible line going straight to the floor from the bar, and follow that path.

And also, the issue becomes more pronounced by the time you get to the third rep. Make sure you keep your body tight, don’t let it relax.

Thanks Cyrrex. I agree it gets more pronounced by the third rep. I definitely see that there is too much forward lean but isn’t some forward lean going to be expected considering I’m trying to do low bar? Basically what I’m trying to do is something similar to the video below but I think I’m just pushing my hip back way before my knees break.

I think we need to take a step back here for a second.

First: what are your overall goals in the gym? Do you want to be a powerlifter? Do you want strong legs? Do you want big legs? What are your overall priorities if you had to put them in order?

Why are you doing low bar in the first place?

Why have you decided the athlete in the above video is the athlete you want to emulate? Have you watched a lot of other instructional videos on the squat, from other coaches/athletes?

What you’re doing looks nothing like what this guy is. So even if after answering these questions, we come to the conclusion that this is how you should squat, there is still a lot of work to be done. I’ll address what that is when we get to that point, but I’m not so sure that’s where this discussion should go.

In regards to my overall goals, I’m looking to increase strength and athletic performance. I would put the size of my legs at the bottom of my priorities.

I’ve been lifting on & off for about 5-6 years and one of the programs I started with was starting strength. In that program, they recommended low bar. More than anything though, I find the low bar position on my back to be much more comfortable than having it on my upper traps.

I used the particular video as an example because that’s what someone recommended to me from another forum to help get rid of the excessive lean and cuing of pushing my hips too far back. I have watched many other videos but as you probably know, everyone squats differently so it’s hard to find someone to emulate.

I dunno man, I think that mostly you are doing fine with it. It just looks a little disjointed in that you do that forward lean right before you start the movement, and it makes your timing look worse than it actually is. I think you should stick with what works for you, because it isn’t like it is terrible IMO. On the other hand, you say you have been lifting for 5 or 6 years, but look like you are straining a bit to get those three reps at 145? Or maybe that was just for demo purposes? My point being, stop being overly critical about your own form and put some weight on the bar.