T Nation

Squats

After hearing Pavel talk about how no one uses the proper squat form and how the details must be taught, it started me thinking, what is the proper squat form? Everyone knows to keep your back from rounding, don’t lean forward, and keep the weight on your heels, but what about all those little details i.e. hand placement on the bar, bar placement on the back, foot width, foot angle etc. Is there a right way to do all this? Or is it more personal preference? I know people tend to shift their body placement around depending on their goals-narrower feet=quads, wider=glutes and hams. What is the best position for maximal weights and injury free lifting?

Hi, theres a real good article by Dave Tate called Squatting from head to toe (use the t.mag search under squatts), I personally haven’t done box squatts but they look effective and obviously work BIG TIME!! I can’t remeber where I read it but someone wrote that to get the correct downward motion you should imagine you are sitting down on the loo to do a crap (don’t actually do one tho). I have found this really helps involve the hams and glutes to really drive up, since focussing on that I have found a real improvement in weight & form even starting to get some decent weights even tho I am a real soft cock. All the best

I’ve tried a few different forms of squatting. I was always most comfortable with deep Olympic squats. But Ian King destroyed me on my form, and said it wasn’t the most productive for building legs. But this was the form that helped me with Olympic lifting. So there are different forms that focus on different things. I have read Dave Tate’s articles on squatting, and I really like his idea of using box squats, as Hyphnz mentioned. I am going to start doing them this way now. His idea makes sense and will teach someone the “proper” way to squat by using the glutes, hips, hamstrings and lower back. I guess it depends on your goals. Ian’s method focuses on using a narrow stance, back straight, using the thin tummy technique. It definitely targets the quads more. Tate’s method is best for squatting BIG! :slight_smile:

box squats really help, i am not that great at squatting and neither is my form, but box squating is definately helping- note you can do low box squats which would be 2 boxes instead of the normal 3 and for me thats about the same level as on olympic squats.

I don’t think Pavel said no one uses proper form, i think he was just pointing out that learning to squat properly is difficult and usually requires that you have a trained professsional teach you…

Hey man…If you want some help with hand placement and such check out Charles Staley’s website. His exercise index has a lot of tips about most exercises and there most basic forms. Check it out, it might help.

Watch a toddler squat. They constantly squat to keep from falling, watch a bug, pick up dirty stuff to out in their mouth, etc. But, they squat with perfect form!

I think the term “correct” form depends on what you are trying to accomplish. A bodybuiler will, or should, squat differently to how a powerlifter will, or how an athlete might squat for maximal tranference to his or her sport. Wide or narrow stance, high or low bar placement, box squats etc…all play their role.