T Nation

Staying Erect in the Squat

What are your tips on staying erector or keeping your back arched during the squat. I am coming back froma long layoff and my back is just collapsing. I must look like “<.” My squat sucks, I have been doing it for long enough and I was poor before the layoff, worse now, and I will never be decent if I don’t learn to squat. I am still squatting with poor form after several yearsand it is time to look at the form.

Well after doing some reading on this site and at elitefts I have come to the conclusion that I was using too much weight to start with.

Drop the tonnage, pick a spot on the wall about or slightly above eye level (when standing) and keep focused on that as you drop down. This helps me keep my chest up and out which helps me keep my lower back arched.

-Dave

To stay erect during the squat have your training partner rub your crotch.

If the rubbing suggestion doesn’t work for ya, I’d suggest lowering the weight and practicing the movement, even if it’s only the bar! Your form issues may just be the result of your body not yet knowing what you want it to do, or it could be the result of muscular imbalances (highlighted by using too much weight). If that’s the case you’ll just have to suck up your pride and hits those light weights hard in order to face the big ones without breaking yourself.

Dude, I just fell out of my chair on that one!!!

One of my clients is having problems in this department as well. I have been using with good success one of CT’s accumulation blocks that involves static holds at the parallel position of the squat and holding just below the knees in a romanian deadlift. We use form over weight every time, and the rep doesn’t count if he can’t keep his back really tight. This is all just for starters, though.

When it comes time to hit the heavier weights, I will back off the squat movement all together for a few weeks and concentrate on good mornings and heavy back extensions. Once again, the rep doesn’t count unless perfect form is maintained in the back.

When he is doing the squat, I remind him of the tips given by Dave Tate in his Squat 600 pounds article, and to think about pushing the hips forward. It seems to help. I’ve had a lot of luck with these guidelines with many people and, who knows, it just might work for you, man.

PM me if you need more help bro!

Yeah, but anybody can use a light weight and show good form.

One technique that has always helped me is to stare at a spot on the top part of the wall (or ceiling) ahead of you. This will keep your head erect. If your head drops your body tends to slouch with it. If your head stays up then your body tends to stand erect as well.

If you’re having a hard time staying erect during the squat try a technique termed a “knee-break squat”. This technique will be more conducive to a more vertical trunk during the squat. This outlined in more detail in this article by Ian King.

http://t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459517

Hope that helps

Try some Viagra along with a little pre-squat porn.

Writing that I knew someone would use the word erect in relation to a cock.

Box squats. They teach you to sit back into the squat. Make sure you are going deep enough…drop those hips and get low. Then with your head up push with your hips and your shoulders and “spread the floor”. Thinking about spreading the floor with my feet helped me a lot.

Staying erect and maintaining the arch in your back are not the same thing! The former is not important unless you are an olympic weightlifter; the latter is absolutely crucial. Don’t mistake the two. Watch a powerlifter squat and you’ll see that his torso does not stay erect, but his back stays arched or he will miss the lift.

As has been mentioned, it’s a good idea to pick a spot high on the wall to focus on in order to keep your head back; your body will follow your head, so in order to maintain your arch, you want to be looking up.

Best of luck

Check out this classic article on the squat

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460417

Thanks Guys,
After doing some reading I belive that I need to:

  1. push my head back into my traps
  2. squeeze my shoulder blades together
  3. rotate my elbows to the front hard which will help me be tight
  4. use a box to sit back on and use the hams (my quads are fairly big from not sitting back)
  5. fill my gut with air
  6. explode up
    7 try to build hamstrings (ghr, reverse hypers - my gym doesnt have either)

I’ll second Maxx’s advice, and add some. Mel Siff reccomends in Supertraining that you get a bench, stool, or other object that allows you to sit with your thighs parallel to the floor and your knees bent beyond 90 degrees. Maintain a neutral spine position, and then stand up, keeping your spine neutral and your knees in the exact plane they’re in. Repeat this for motor learning, work on good mornings, then start squating with a light weight and work up to heavy ones again. After i realized I need to squat for real, I did my first set of fulls squats at 95 lbs.

Two things I have found helped those who have trouble with this.

  1. Have you really worked hard on “blocking” your midsection prior to performing the lift? For some, I have found that teaching proper blocking resolves the back collapsing during the lift.

  2. Performing light/moderate weight straight leg deadlifts has helped some trainees who suffer with this problem. Use this lift more for stretching than for building. Use a rounded back and keep the knees locked out. Stand on a short block to increase range of motion. NOTE: many will immediately object to this suggestion. Keep the weight light where you can comfortably do 10-15 reps x 2 sets, and again, think of this as a stretching exercise. It does more, but using this mindset will ensure you don’t pile on the weight. Perform 3x per week, preferably at the end of your workout. SLOW tempo, pausing at bottom.

TD

[quote]Tokendude wrote:
Two things I have found helped those who have trouble with this.

  1. Have you really worked hard on “blocking” your midsection prior to performing the lift? For some, I have found that teaching proper blocking resolves the back collapsing during the lift.

What is blocking your midsection?

can I suggest a technique that TC mentioned in a different context in his article-

Get yourself into neutral posture - have someone apply two vertical strips of zinc-oxide tape, one either side of your spine.

perform the squat - you’ll feel the tape pull at your skin as soon as you move from neutral, thus you can correct your form.

cheers,
Dan

[quote]iluminatae wrote:
Well after doing some reading on this site and at elitefts I have come to the conclusion that I was using too much weight to start with.

Drop the tonnage, pick a spot on the wall about or slightly above eye level (when standing) and keep focused on that as you drop down. This helps me keep my chest up and out which helps me keep my lower back arched.

-Dave[/quote]

You’re on the right track. A former pro showed me how to squat properly. I haven’t looked back. The legs are really filling out.

Cy