T Nation

Squatting Difficulties


Latly my deadlift has been improving fairly steadily, but it seems like as my dead goes up, my squat form and squat poundages go down. Has anyone else had this problem? How did you fix it? It seems that my form breaks down right as I start to come out of the hole (falling foward). I know what you guys are saying, "low back and abs!!!!" But would squatting (full) more be better for me, since I seem to have de-learned how to squat?
Thanks in advance


Yep, low back and abs.

Lighten up on your squat until you can get your form back, add in some good mornings for stability. GHR, reverse hypers, pikes, etc.

Read Dave Tate and Mike Robertson's Sexy Squat article.

And remember to sit back.



Just curious, would you more experienced squatters consider lightweight goodmornings a great form of dynamic stretching (ie several reps w/ just the bar or no weight at all)?


You may also have some form issues. Be sure your upper back is pinched, your elbows are under the bar, your head is planted back into the bar (ie. your looking up) and you have a good arch in your back.

Keep your body tight by squeezing the bar hard with a full grip (no suicide grips), then lead with the head and chest. You may have to lighten up a bit and just work on form for a while. More abb and posterior chain work probably won't hurt either. Infact I'd kill it on the abb and posterior chain work and just squat lighter working on maintaining perfect form. DE days are great for this. Check out eliteFTS's Q&A section for some great tips and advice on this. Good Luck!


Also look at the flexablitiy of your quads, hip flexors, and calves. All can contribute to you leaning forward during your squat.


The flexibility issue might be why some people use boards under their heels when squatting. But I'm speculating.

In addition to good mornings for increased flexibility, you could also try stiffie deadlifts.


I'm curious that you say you "de-learned the squat"

What are you doing that is allowing your deadlift to go up and squat go down? (by this I mean are you deadlifting more and squating less then usual?)

What do you to to bring up your squat?

If your deadlifting more often and/or squating less I would say it could be a form problem due to lack of practice or possible your lower back is fatiqued when you are squatting.

In any event getting your form right is ALWAYS a good idea. Also I would look at your training and see what else could be effecting your squat. If you keep a good log look back at a time when your squat was going up and compare it to what your doing now.

Specializing in a certain lift, even if not intentional isn't a bad thing unless it starts negativly effecting your other lifts. I would seriously look at your training and figure out what is causing you problems.


I cover this in-depth in my "6 Tricks for a Sexy Squat" article. A brief synopsis:

  • Chest up/muscle beach
  • Arch the upper and lower back
  • Move your hands in on the bar

Hope this helps!

Stay strong


The board is generally to place more emphasis on the quads, much like front squats. It helps keep your back straighter.

And Panther, as for doing GMs as a stretching exercise, I would go with SLDL on a box instead. Let the weight pull you down. If you get too far over, you can bail.



Driving the elbows foward at the begining of the ascent and continuing to drive them forwards throught the movement helped me.


Thanks for the great help guys. RE: de-learning the squat, I was using too much weight on DE days, so my ass kept coming off the box first, hence after a few weeks of this I de-learned it.