T Nation

Squat Groove

Guys,
I have been working on refining my squat technique in a suit and have noticed I lean forward excessively. A powerlifting coach got hold of me and told me if I could get my back to stay upright more I would add 30-40 lbs to my squat quickly.

Is there anything I can do to prevent my back from coming leaning forward out of the hole besides widening my stance and thinking about driving my traps through the bar? I have semi short legs for my height (I’m 5’11 and wear 31 dress pants), which give you an idea on my build.

Thanks,
Curt

I have some videos of my squatting here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/curtmcd90

I watched the 590 equipped video and it didn’t particularly look like the forward lean was as much of an issue as your lack of tightness in the upper and lower back.

I have a much more pronounced forward lean than you and I’ve been working on “correcting” it by pushing the elbows forward throughout the squat.

It does look like your lower back is going into flexion, but I know that part of that could be a result of the suit…I’ve never used a squat suit, so perhaps someone with more experience in that can help you there.

So I don’t think it’s a forward lean in general that’s much of a problem as long as it’s coming from the hips rather than a laxity in the middle of the back.

Try pulling the elbows forward and flexing the lats and see what it does for you.

-Matt

I agree with Matt McG about the lack of upper back tightness. Also, if your butt is rising before your head and shoulders it’s because of weak abs.

I look like you do when I squat. I concentrate on pulling bar down into me by flexing my lats, upper back, etc. I also try to force my elbows forward and push my head back into my traps. I’ve been trying an exercise called upper back crunches I saw on EliteFTS. You use a SSB bar and just round over your upper back and then flex it back up. Time will tell if it works.

Another thought: does the upper back rounding occur all the time or only when getting up there in weight? If it’s all the time, it’s definitely a form issue. If it’s only when the weight gets heavy, it’s lack of strength in the upper back area I’d say.

Someday I, too, will figure out my squat…

Good luck to you.

All of these comments should be taken at face value, you’ve gotten some good advice, and here’s mine.

Basing my observations off this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18bqEltu1as (since it’s about the clearest view of a heavy squat you have)

-Widening your stance isn’t gonna keep your more upright. The opposite will probably happen.

-I would say your grip is too wide. If you can bring it in some your upper back should tighten up alot. This has worked well for me and several others that I train with.

-After you walk it out, and before you even start the squat, pick your chest up. It’s a hard concept to explain, but imagine your were standing with a bar across your back, try to pull your chest up high, like if you were puffing it out on the beach. You should feel your upper back arching. Before every rep on every set, make sure you’re picking your chest up. It should keep you more upright on the way down.

-When you’re on the way down, and before you reverse out of the hole your head is dropping and upper back seems to be caving some what

-Keep driving your elbows forwar hard as your hit the hole. Make sure everything is tight and drive your elbows forward hard. This should help with the above point since it’ll keep your chest up and your upper back arched

-When you hit depth you seem to get kicked forward. This could be because you’re descending too fast, and once the suit binds up you’re being kicked forwards, or you’re not keeping tight enough.

Just some thoughts and suggestions to consider. They’re actually something someone much more knowledgable than I suggest to me a good while ago and they worked well for myself!!

It seems like the common theme here is too push my elbows forward and try moving my grip in for added upper/middle back tightness.

My hips do come up faster than my shoulders, for which the diagnosis is weak abs. What kind of movements are recommended to fix this?

I’m guessing when you say flex the lats you mean “pull the bar into your back” ?

Thanks

It’s not JUST weak abs that can contribute to this tho. Fixing your form and working on keeping your upper back arched and elbows pulled forward might go some way to solving this problem.

The best thing I’ve done for my abs is doing most of my squats beltles, hanging leg raises with hte aims of bringing your toes to your hands w/ straight legs and decline sit ups for like sets of 5 or 6 with weight on your chest.

[quote]Matt McG wrote:
I watched the 590 equipped video and it didn’t particularly look like the forward lean was as much of an issue as your lack of tightness in the upper and lower back.

I have a much more pronounced forward lean than you and I’ve been working on “correcting” it by pushing the elbows forward throughout the squat.

It does look like your lower back is going into flexion, but I know that part of that could be a result of the suit…I’ve never used a squat suit, so perhaps someone with more experience in that can help you there.

So I don’t think it’s a forward lean in general that’s much of a problem as long as it’s coming from the hips rather than a laxity in the middle of the back.

Try pulling the elbows forward and flexing the lats and see what it does for you.

-Matt[/quote]

What do you mean by pushing the elbows forward? I’ve never heard this, can you explain?

[quote]dajuggernaut wrote:
Matt McG wrote:
I watched the 590 equipped video and it didn’t particularly look like the forward lean was as much of an issue as your lack of tightness in the upper and lower back.

I have a much more pronounced forward lean than you and I’ve been working on “correcting” it by pushing the elbows forward throughout the squat.

It does look like your lower back is going into flexion, but I know that part of that could be a result of the suit…I’ve never used a squat suit, so perhaps someone with more experience in that can help you there.

So I don’t think it’s a forward lean in general that’s much of a problem as long as it’s coming from the hips rather than a laxity in the middle of the back.

Try pulling the elbows forward and flexing the lats and see what it does for you.

-Matt

What do you mean by pushing the elbows forward? I’ve never heard this, can you explain?[/quote]

Matt might do things differently, but here’s how I’d explain it.

Grab a brush handle or something and put it in the position the bar would be if you were squatting…

Now try and drive your elbows forward under the bar, like you’re trying to get them in front of the bar. Chances are your shoulders will cramp up, this probably won’t happen with the bar tho. Watch what your chest does as you do this, it’ll pick up a bit and your upper back arches.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
dajuggernaut wrote:
Matt McG wrote:
I watched the 590 equipped video and it didn’t particularly look like the forward lean was as much of an issue as your lack of tightness in the upper and lower back.

I have a much more pronounced forward lean than you and I’ve been working on “correcting” it by pushing the elbows forward throughout the squat.

It does look like your lower back is going into flexion, but I know that part of that could be a result of the suit…I’ve never used a squat suit, so perhaps someone with more experience in that can help you there.

So I don’t think it’s a forward lean in general that’s much of a problem as long as it’s coming from the hips rather than a laxity in the middle of the back.

Try pulling the elbows forward and flexing the lats and see what it does for you.

-Matt

What do you mean by pushing the elbows forward? I’ve never heard this, can you explain?

Matt might do things differently, but here’s how I’d explain it.

Grab a brush handle or something and put it in the position the bar would be if you were squatting…

Now try and drive your elbows forward under the bar, like you’re trying to get them in front of the bar. Chances are your shoulders will cramp up, this probably won’t happen with the bar tho. Watch what your chest does as you do this, it’ll pick up a bit and your upper back arches. [/quote]

Thanks bro I’ll try it some time