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squat help please

I’m having trouble performing squats with proper form. My knees are out in front of my feet and a lot of the weight is on the balls of my feet. When i try to “sit back” into the squat and put more weight on my heels, I feel as though I’m going to fall over backwards.
any suggestions?

You should learn how to box squat. Dave Tate has written a great article on it here at t-mag. Type Squat 900 pounds into the search engine here. Also check out elitefts.com. Hope this helps.

box squats… they will teach you proper form/how to sit back.

exactly what the guys are saying do box squats. Not saying you have to do your working sets with a box but to learn form work with one. If you really cant get down start with a taller box and work your way down. If you dont know what a boxsquat is, basically you get a box about say 10 inches a foot tall and put it where your butt will be at the bottom so you can try to get to the bottom and if need be just sit down instead of falling (do this without weight or just the bar) eventually you will feel comfortable going down that far and be on your way to squating with ease.

You are probably trying to stay too upright with your torso when you squat down. This will cause you to fall backward. You have to lean forward with your torso to counter the weight on the bar. You can lean as far as 45degrees forward or so, just maintain a flat back, do not round forward at the upper back just bend forward at the waist.

Definately do some box squats.

Also, having a shoe without an elevated heel (wrestling shoes) has really helped me put the weight on the heels.

Yeah, what they said. This article

made a huge difference for me. I had the same form as what you are describing, I tried box squats and noticed the difference immediately.

Please help me understand. I am not saying that anyone is wrong, but simple that I dont understand. He says that he has his knees out over his toes (not that there is too much wrong with this), but also that the weight is on the balls of his feet. To keep the weight on the balls of the feet as you are going down (don’t be rude) then how do the knees go over the toes? Shouldn’t he be learning to lean forward more at the waist as loopfitt suggested and not stay so upright? Are you doing front squats donder?

I had problems with my squat technique, then I took about 6 weeks off and only did pistols. You have to put the weight on the heel to get that movement right. When I started squatting again after that I had no problem with my technique.


No, I’m not doing front squats. Just the regular kind with a pretty wide stance.
I believe some of the people here have addressed my problem. I think I am trying to stay too up right during the movement and not bending at the waist as a counterbalance. I think I’m afraid of injuring my back by leaning forward with that much weight on my back. I’ve never done a box squat. I will start doing them at my next workout. thanks for the help.

might it be that your hamstrings arent strong enough? try working on them as i know it, the hamstrings are what keep you stable and from falling back, as long as your form is correct.

maybe its just too much weight? drop down the weight and forget about showing off. maybe your stance is too close, widen the feet a little so you use more hamstrings, and focus on shifting your hips back. not necessarily, down, and it will go back and down.

Good point about the hamstrings. Try some Good Mornings. They will not only bring your posterior chain up to where it needs to be, but will really let you get used to the feeling of putting all the weight on your heels and using the hips rather than just the quads. This will carry over well into your squat.

You CAN injure your back by flexing too much at the hip during squats. BELIEVE me.

I notice that the picture in Dave Tate’s box squat article shows a fairly upright torso despite “sitting back.” This position is protective of the back. This is obviously only possible through a strong and coordinated contraction of hamstrings and glutes. It is unfortunately possible to put most of the stress on your lower back while squatting, minimizing stress to glutes and hams. This is counter-productive because your lower back can only take so much; eventually it will become injured while the hams and glutes remain relatively untrained. Your current form, on the other hand, probably puts too much stress on the knees and not enough on the muscles.

You have to learn how to squat so that you are mainly working hams, glutes, and possibly quads if that is your goal. Maybe box squats will help teach this pattern of muscular coordination (particularly hams and glutes).