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Weight Shifting Forward on Squat, Necessarily Bad?


#1

So I have always had a problem with telling if im squatting correctly or not (and do other lifts correctly). When I squat, I hit the bottom and start coming up. When I start coming up, my weight always shifts forward.

My heels don't leave the ground (I think), but most of the weight goes onto the ball (not sure if its called the ball, the part of your foot before the toes, i'll refer to it as the ball though) of my foot. I always do this and I am wondering if it is a major problem.

My hamstrings are always very sore after squats, so im pretty sure im using them right.

When I squat, I seem to use my calves a lot because of going forward. So is this alright if I squat like this? Should I drop weight and put most of the weight on my heels?

i really hate dropping the weight, since every time I start lifting and doing heavier weights I seem to have a form problem. (doing 3x5 195 right now for squat, Starting Strength) Should I continue lifting this way and not worry to much about it? The way I keep having to reset, I'll never get to any high amount of weights.

I'm 6 ft with fairly long limbs, and squats feel awkward for me. I'll try posting a video of last weeks squats (180lbs I think) later. I don't have time right now, I gotta head out.


#2

Squatting off the balls of your feet is not a good idea, force yourself to keep the weight on your heels; you should not feel the squats in your calves. If this means dropping the weight, then you should, having good form for squats is important.

I’m also 6 ft, and I have friends that are over 6’5 and we all squat regularly, you WILL get the hang of it. In the mean time (until you perfect your form), include other leg exercises like split squats, lunges, deadlifts, etc. to ensure that you are still working your lower body.


#3

So if I need to drop the weight (again) im basically just as strong on the squat as I was 3 months ago, and my squat is now just about even with my bench, and all the work I put into getting my squat up and progressing every week was a waste of my time?

That comepletely sucks and is depressing. Every single time I start adding weight to the squat I have to drop the weight to fix my form. Un-freaking-believable.

So should I continue doing Starting Strength then? If I need to drop weight on my squat and work on form, the main lift in the program is shot.

I also apparently need hip mobility work and core strengthening so I can keep a tight back during squats, at least thats what I get from Mike Robertson’s article “Fix That Weak Link”. Does anything know where to find some good hip mobility drills, and some core strengthening? I don’t have $50 to throw down on Magnificint Mobility.


#4

A video might be helpful. Hard to tell just by your description. If you’re sitting back on your heels fine going down, I can’t imagine it’s an ankle mobility issue.

What I’m picturing is your butt coming up, throwing the weight forward. This is usually a sign that your glutes are weak/inhibited and your hamstrings are taking over.

If that’s the case, do some glute activation drills as a warm-up. Here’s a recent thread with some suggestions: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_strength/problem_with_gluteal_activation

Then only go as heavy with the squats as it allows you to maintain good form. Hopefully you’ll find yourself pushing past your current PR in a week or two.


#5

…yet another reason I don’t like “starting strength”

besides squatting 3x a week, taking an absolute minimalist approach, and encouraging odd form on basic exercises of course.

I always thought Stronglifts was better for beginners as far as the “lets do as little as we can possibly think of yet still make quantifiable progress” programs go because at least you have plenty of time to learn good form when starting with just an empty bar.

A video would be needed to really help you.


#6

I’d start doing box squats, and try to lower the bar on your traps(hard to get used to, but when you do it easier not to lean forward).


#7

[quote]wfifer wrote:
A video might be helpful. Hard to tell just by your description. If you’re sitting back on your heels fine going down, I can’t imagine it’s an ankle mobility issue.

What I’m picturing is your butt coming up, throwing the weight forward. This is usually a sign that your glutes are weak/inhibited and your hamstrings are taking over.
[/quote]

It seems that way to me. My hamstrings are usually the major sore muscle after squats, which is really weird to me since I thought quads were supposed to be the major muscle.

I don’t usually feel much soreness in my quads and pretty much none in my glutes, so yeah I think glutes would probably be not activating right. I’m going to look into some glute activation drills and drop the weight on my squat, hopefully if I use good form and do some glute activation I’ll be back up to my current weight in a couple weeks.

Should I do glute activation before I squat? I’m going to do it at least in the morning or evening or both, but on lifting days should I do some glute activation before I squat?


#8

getting stronger with not so good form is not a waste of time. Allow an analogy of learning to shoot an 80 in golf with a flawed swing. You’re pretty good but you’ll hit a wall and you won’t start shooting in the 70’s until you improve your swing.

Same thing with lifting. One you learn to improve your form, you will quickly improve and surpass your PR.

Do glute activation as part of your warmup on squat days.


#9

[quote]skw wrote:
getting stronger with not so good form is not a waste of time. [/quote]

If you find injury a good use of time, then sure.

Like the dude says a few posts above, use a box to learn “good” form, which is also “safe” form and “powerful” form.

I like long and wide lunges to warm up and stretch the hips. Also squat to stand (bend over, grab your toes and hold while you squat as low as you can, keep lumbar spine neutral, always keep lumbar spine neutral)


#10

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiodiyxOM5w

There, I got a video of about an hour or so ago. I dropped the weight 20 pounds to 180 and kept the weight on my heels. I did 3x5 180 lbs, this was the 2nd set. I have no clue as to why the first rep was so hard, but it was. Take a look and let me know what you guys think.

It looks sort of like my heel is still coming up, but when I was squatting I would’ve swore I had most of my weight on my heel.


#11

Try moving your hands in as close to your body as possible when you set up under the bar. It’ll force your chest out and will help you do a better job keeping your back straight throughout the lift.

Good depth


#12

Try squatting in flat shoes like some chucks, your wearing Olympic weight lifting shoes, which i notice pretty much just makes me squat off my toes, because of that heel.


#13

[quote]fisch wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiodiyxOM5w

There, I got a video of about an hour or so ago. I dropped the weight 20 pounds to 180 and kept the weight on my heels. I did 3x5 180 lbs, this was the 2nd set. I have no clue as to why the first rep was so hard, but it was. Take a look and let me know what you guys think.

It looks sort of like my heel is still coming up, but when I was squatting I would’ve swore I had most of my weight on my heel.[/quote]

It doesn’t look too bad to me. Maybe you need to reach further back with your butt before you start going down, and keep the butt back as you go down. I always think of the movement as first starting back and then down staying back.

Reaching back is hard at first, but staying back is harder. That’s the tricky part, getting to the bottom and start pushing up without breaking your posture.


#14

It looks like a good squat to me.

As you get closer to your max your form will change a little, if you ALWAYS drop back down to get the form right you will never blast through your max. You can drop back down later but for a little while you can try to do your max.

If you feel it in the balls of your feet, try concentrating on your heels when your at the bottom, I could be wrong but long as your heal is not coming up your ok.


#15

[quote]LiamBrady wrote:
skw wrote:
getting stronger with not so good form is not a waste of time.

If you find injury a good use of time, then sure.

Like the dude says a few posts above, use a box to learn “good” form, which is also “safe” form and “powerful” form.

I like long and wide lunges to warm up and stretch the hips. Also squat to stand (bend over, grab your toes and hold while you squat as low as you can, keep lumbar spine neutral, always keep lumbar spine neutral)[/quote]

what the fuck? Did the OP get injured? Have you been reading the posts? No one got injured. The OP was just squatting a little too forward. Imperfect form does not automatically lead to injuries.

OP is a kid doing a damn good job. Try to not make this too complicated.


#16

[quote]skw wrote:
getting stronger with not so good form is not a waste of time. Allow an analogy of learning to shoot an 80 in golf with a flawed swing. You’re pretty good but you’ll hit a wall and you won’t start shooting in the 70’s until you improve your swing.

Same thing with lifting. One you learn to improve your form, you will quickly improve and surpass your PR.

Do glute activation as part of your warmup on squat days.[/quote]

The difference, and reason why that analogy can NOT be made is because shooting an 80 is already better than most people will be able to do without professional coaching, and it absolutely requires a fundamentally sound swing. A better grasp of shaping shots and putting are what make the biggest difference for golfers with single digit handicaps.

In this case we don’t need anything fancy, just good solid fundamentals to improve. And nobody is putting their body weight on their shoulders and swinging for the fences either.


#17

To be helpful now…

Try doing that with no shoes on, or with flat soles. It’s already been mentioned, but those shoes you’ve got on have a raised heal and encourage the weight to be more toward the ball of the foot.


#18

I did squat in chucks for a while, but I hated it, so I switched to these.

As for the form in the video, thats good to hear that its pretty good. Like I said though, this is not the form I was talking about in my first posts, but the form I thought I was supposed to use.

I dropped the weight some and I could feel the difference, I definitely stayed back on my heels better. I’ll start progressing again with this form, maybe a slightly narrower stance just because I seem to feel more comfortable that way.

I didn’t get up a video of my “bad form”, but i’ll just say you could definitly see a lot more calf involvement and weight shifting forward, so I really didn’t want to do another workout like that and figured to tape myself using the highest weight I could with good form.

Thanks for the input guys, I’m always trying to use proper form but am never sure if it is good form. Hopefully now I can just focus on getting the weight up.


#19

[quote]skw wrote:

what the fuck? Did the OP get injured?
[/quote]

Alright I get it. You were trying to make him feel better about the past, not a suggestion on the future.

Sorry. Didn’t mean to make you cry.

We agree form is important.