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Torso Coming Forward on Squats


#1

Hey guys, I don't usually venture over here but I have a squatting question so I figure this would be the place to ask.

I haven't done squats in quite some time because no matter the weight I use my torso always dips towards the ground and it turns more into a good morning than a squat and really doesn't do anything for my leg development. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong or how to fix this.

So what issues are commonly associated with a lifters chest/torso bending forward and the inability to keep their back straight?

I highly doubt it's a core strength issue since my form remains this way even with just bodyweight and warmup weight and I am pretty well developed.

Thanks for the help.


#2

Here's some suggestions... Forward lean can be a couple of things. First is to check out how tight your hip flexors and quads are. If there tight/short then you will lean forward. Next is to check your elbow position when you are holding the barbell. If you elbows rotate upward (backwards) then this can cause you to lean forward also. 3rd problem might be weak glutes or lower back or both.

And finally, you might have developed a faulty lifting pattern that needs to be corrected from scratch. You say you lean forward even without weight, then this might be the problem. You learned how to squat this way and it is natural for your form. It doesn't mean it can't be corrected.

To fix this though, probably the easiest way is to make sure you full-squat all the way down. There are numerous articles here talking about this, and i'm sure you can do a quick search and find some info on this. 2nd, you might want to practice overhead squats. Get a dowel or very light bar and place it overhead and learn to squat SLOWLY down while maintaining form.

You should be using a snatch grip on the barbell and it should help your posterior chain (backside) become more flexible as you lower yourself all the way down. Good luck. Oh yeah, with the elbows, just hold them close to your side, hand position doesn't matter as much as keeping your elbows tucked straight up and down.

Lou


#3

No advice, but a few questions... If its not a strength imbalance, could it be a mobility issue? Also, have you tried anything to tweak your form to fix the problem (varied bar position, stance, grip, etc)?

EDIT: looks like lou beat me to the first post.


#4

It's a mobility issue dude.

If you look at someone squatting a lot of weight, you'll notice that their torso stays upright or doesn't come forward the entire time.

If your torso comes forward even the slightest, the bar will start to bend you in half.

The solution is to just go down by using the flexibility in your hips, rather than trying to get depth by bending in half.


#5

This worked for me:
lots of stretching and foam rolling

wall squats as seen here in Chad Waterbury's article. I can't do them with my toes against the wall but they sure do teach you to keep your chest up and drop between your knees.
http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/5_things_youre_missing

moving the bar a little higher up on my back.


#6

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:

If you look at someone squatting a lot of weight, you'll notice that their torso stays upright or doesn't come forward the entire time.

If your torso comes forward even the slightest, the bar will start to bend you in half.
quote]

That's not exactly true. Quite of few big squatters have a lot of lean. It's not a wrong way to do it per se, but for a lifter with a weak back, he will be very limtied in what he can squat.


#7

A forward lean is generally a function anatomy and technique. If you have long legs and don't use a very wide stance, you are likely to lean. If you use a low bar position, you are more likely to lean. If you aren't pushing your knees out on the way down, you may tend to have a forward lean.

Since you can't do anything about your limb length other than be a rotten son, consider moving your stance out a bit and moving the bar up your back and push your knees out when you squat.

A forward lean is not necessarily a flaw, it's just that you are spreading the work around differently. It can be a big limitation if you have a week back realtive to hip/leg strength. For example, a guy with a bowed, scared-cat back that stays upright may well finish his squat, but if he uses a bent-over groove, he will be doing a very ugly good morning that he may not finish. Also, if you are squattign in gear or even just knee wraps, you will get more out of your gear with an upright groove.


#8

Thats not what I meant,

Even if your torso has lean, the bar still goes down in a straight line - Look at efferding's squat for a prime example.

But when you start to lean more than you should trying to get depth (due to stiffness in whatever- hips/hamstrings etc.), that bar is going to start pushing your chest into your knees.


#9

Well, ive found focusing more on abs has made me more upright.


#10

not sure if this was said, use a safety bar(ss yoke bar) with no belt, problem will be fixed quickly.


#11

My two cents:

1.) focus on pushing your elbows forward. This will keep your chest "up" more as well as keep the bar tighter to your back.

2.) do some pull throughs to see what your hips are supposed to do during a squat (as well as a deadlift). Too many people I see/know focus on squatting with 100% of their quads and don't take the rest into account.

It 'may' be a mobility issue, but let's be real here...this is the internet and that's probably the hardest thing for us internet wizards to diagnose.

3.) It could be that your stance is too narrow. Either width or your feet maybe be 'too parallel'

Good luck big guy :wink: