T Nation

Squat Form Critique

Hi CT,

Could you please critique my squat please?

The form doesnt look good to me somethings not quite right. Do you have any tips for how to improve this? I am aiming for an OL style squat but doesn’t have to be completely upright/bouncing.

Cheers

You form is fine… for the levers you have!!! You have long legs for your height, and even longer femurs (upper leg) which makes it almost impossible to be a quads dominant squatter. Your body type will be able to use the quads more efficiently on a front squat.

BUT… if we are talking olympic lifts here is my belief in regard to squats:

THE BACK SQUAT IS TO IMPROVE THE PULL PHASE OF THE OLYMPIC LIFTS, FRONT SQUATS ARE TO BUILD THE STRENGTH TO RECOVER FROM CLEANS AND THE OVERHEAD SQUAT IS TO BUILD THE STRENGTH TO RECOVER FROM SNATCHES"

With that in mind, your torso angle is fine for back squats since that pretty much mimicks the positions you’ll have when pulling a clean or a snatch.

This also has made me have my lifters focus on SPEED not strength while doing back squats. But focus on strength on the front squat.

For that reason we might go to a 1, 2 or 3RM on the front squat, then use the same weight on the back squat but focusing on lifting as explosively as possible, to improve pulling power.

If you are simply training for overall size and strength, then you will get better quads development from front squats because of your body type.

Thanks for the advice CT,

I am not actually a weightlifter, I just training to get as strong as possible in the powerlifts, but I just don’t believe in using gear or sitting back. Opening the knees and sitting down seems natural to me and feels the best, but I figured going for an OL style would be the most sustainable.

I am actually nearly as strong on my front squat, there is very little difference between the numbers (10kg). If I am training for just getting as strong as possible, what improvements could I make on the form for my build, or would it be worth just training the front squat?

Thanks again for the comments really appreciate it!

[quote]vegeta99 wrote:
Thanks for the advice CT,

I am not actually a weightlifter, I just training to get as strong as possible in the powerlifts, but I just don’t believe in using gear or sitting back. Opening the knees and sitting down seems natural to me and feels the best, but I figured going for an OL style would be the most sustainable.

I am actually nearly as strong on my front squat, there is very little difference between the numbers (10kg). If I am training for just getting as strong as possible, what improvements could I make on the form for my build, or would it be worth just training the front squat?

Thanks again for the comments really appreciate it! [/quote]

How is your deadlift strength vs. your squat and back squat strength?

I weigh 64kg(i know)

Deadlift 170kg
Squat 110kg
Front Squat 100kg

My deadlift has always been my strongest lift. My back squats have always sucked.

When you deadlift, are your hips high or low at the start? Do they rise fast from the start (faster than shoulders) or slow (torso angle stays the same from floor to knees)?

I have tried a low hip but for me I am strongest in the high hip position, with a faster rise of the torso. I am trying to be more balanced when I train deadlift as I read you should come up at the same pace but when the weights get heavy thats where I am strongest.

Here’s my best analysis without being able to see you in person:

  1. Your hamstrings, and especially glutes are lagging behind your lower back strength

  2. Hybrid squat… a high bar placement is best used if you squat really upright. If your natural mechanics have you squatting with a forward lean, the high bar gives you a resistance lever arm that is too ,ong and prevents you from lifting big weights… inciently it is probably why your “mid lower back” loses it’s tightness at the mid-point.

With your body mechanics I’d use a lower back setting, without changing the rest of your squat form.

Thanks I will try that! Appreciate the input, this has been driving me mad!

The video is not available in my country.

its blocked in germany because tupac is playing in the background apparently. its not worth viewing anyway i dont think.

Hi CT,

I tried a lower bar setting as in the video below

not sure how it came out, its very uncomfortable. maybe i could go with something in-between as my shoulder flexiblity isnt great so dont want to wear it all on the wrists.

I wonder is my leaning forward when it gets harder due to upper back or core weakness? Still trying to find the best squat style for my structure I think.

Would be great if you get a chance to look please!

[quote]vegeta99 wrote:
Hi CT,

I tried a lower bar setting as in the video below

not sure how it came out, its very uncomfortable. maybe i could go with something in-between as my shoulder flexiblity isnt great so dont want to wear it all on the wrists.

I wonder is my leaning forward when it gets harder due to upper back or core weakness? Still trying to find the best squat style for my structure I think.

Would be great if you get a chance to look please! [/quote]

Well, I would like to say that it is a weak upper back/core, but you tell me that your front squat numbers are almost the same as your back squat numbers, the frotn squat requires more core and upper back strength. Seeing a video of your front squat might help.

After seeing the video I’m thinking maybe it is a thoracic spine mobility issue.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]vegeta99 wrote:
Hi CT,

I tried a lower bar setting as in the video below

not sure how it came out, its very uncomfortable. maybe i could go with something in-between as my shoulder flexiblity isnt great so dont want to wear it all on the wrists.

I wonder is my leaning forward when it gets harder due to upper back or core weakness? Still trying to find the best squat style for my structure I think.

Would be great if you get a chance to look please! [/quote]

Well, I would like to say that it is a weak upper back/core, but you tell me that your front squat numbers are almost the same as your back squat numbers, the frotn squat requires more core and upper back strength. Seeing a video of your front squat might help.

After seeing the video I’m thinking maybe it is a thoracic spine mobility issue.[/quote]

Forgive me for chiming in here - a few things I also noticed:

When you are unracking the bar, you shrug it up, instead of rocking the chest up.
As you come out of the hole in the bottom position, try to drive the chest up and hips through.
This will take a few lbs. off your total weight for a few WO’s, but will give you better overall stimulation and results. Pounds will add up later
with improved form and position.

Just my .02

Cheers,
M

I am no CT by any stretch but you look like you have the same problem a lot of people I work with have had. When you are coming out of the bottom you are letting your upper body fall and losing the force of the initial push. That could easily be just as simple as you not maintaining your core tightness. Take a good breath at the top and blow it into your stomach as you come up. That should keep your upper body stable throughout the movement.

thanks all will take it on board, still trying to find my groove as i want to get good as squatting regardless. definately agree with losing tightness, i couldnt get the same pressure in my abs on those sets because i was worried about the bar falling off my back. need to keep the chest up out the hole.

Sorry to hijack, but can you explain this a little more? Do you mean breathe in, hold it to the bottom and slowly breathe out as you come up?

Thanks for the clarification! I have in the past this issue of leaning forward out of the bottom.

[quote]ZJStrope wrote:

Sorry to hijack, but can you explain this a little more? Do you mean breathe in, hold it to the bottom and slowly breathe out as you come up?

Thanks for the clarification! I have in the past this issue of leaning forward out of the bottom.[/quote]

Take a deep breathe in at the top and tighten the abs, when you come out of the bottom continue to push that breathe hard into your stomach. And some people would disagree with me, but yes you can let air slowly escape on the way up. I would not let the air out until you are coming up. Remain as tight in your abs as possible for that initial push. Importantly, don’t overthink it. In my experience, most of this happens naturally if you take in your air and tighten before the rep.

I am the least eloquent speaker/writer in the world and do much better hands on but I really hope I made myself clear.

Also when you say leaning forward I am assuming you are talking about just the upper body. If you are rocking forward more on the toes then that could be something else.

[quote]bpick86 wrote:
Also when you say leaning forward I am assuming you are talking about just the upper body. If you are rocking forward more on the toes then that could be something else.[/quote]

Correct and thanks! Very clear.