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  • squat critique

    This is my last set of ten sets of three so I am a little fatigued but its light weight.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_sq3...ature=youtu.be

    My question is I see the I use a lot of lower back in my squats.

    Is this :

    A) something I need to try to que myself to do to stick my chest out and drive my head back?

    B) a weakness in my legs?

    C) something else
    The only easy day is yesterday

  • #2
    This:
    A) something I need to try to que myself to do to stick my chest out and drive my head back?

    Keep your core tight. Stick your chest out and chin up. I can't see your head but from the movement in your back it looks like you may be looking down at the ground as you drive out of the hole. Keeping your chin up and looking upward will help you keep your chest up and shoulders back.
    Last edited by moco; 12-19-2011, 06:29 PM.


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    • #3
      Your form looks a bit awkward. Kinda looks like you're almost ready to drop at the start. I always have my back arched, with my chest out, looking almost up at the ceiling, basically my fat rolls on my neck are resting on my traps...lol. I feel like now I have to do that, as it's hard for me to get my hands on the bar otherwise. As I go down, my hips go back but I'm still arched, nothing really changes but my hips going back...I'm def not a pro squatter by any means, but I'm able to squat decent weight even with a bad back, and I say that this is because my form is tight throughout the movement. If I ever use a weight where my back starts to round, I'm done, I drop the weight. I always move the weight slowly going down too, maybe even too slow, but I really focus on controlling the weight.....
      STEEL




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      • #4
        Originally posted by moco View Post
        This:
        A) something I need to try to que myself to do to stick my chest out and drive my head back?

        Keep your core tight. Stick your chest out and chin up. I can't see your head but from the movement in your back it looks like you may be looking down at the ground as you drive out of the hole. Keeping your chin up and looking upward will help you keep your chest up and shoulders back.
        Yeah I figured that's what it was. Thanks for the tips I'll try to improve.
        The only easy day is yesterday

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        • #5
          Originally posted by steel1970 View Post
          Your form looks a bit awkward. Kinda looks like you're almost ready to drop at the start. I always have my back arched, with my chest out, looking almost up at the ceiling, basically my fat rolls on my neck are resting on my traps...lol. I feel like now I have to do that, as it's hard for me to get my hands on the bar otherwise. As I go down, my hips go back but I'm still arched, nothing really changes but my hips going back...I'm def not a pro squatter by any means, but I'm able to squat decent weight even with a bad back, and I say that this is because my form is tight throughout the movement. If I ever use a weight where my back starts to round, I'm done, I drop the weight. I always move the weight slowly going down too, maybe even too slow, but I really focus on controlling the weight.....
          Yeah, I do tend to drop really quick into the hole. What I usually focus on when I squat is my hips and forcing my knees out. When I start to squat I always look down to make sure my foot position is correct then I usually just look straight ahead. I will try to look at the ceiling, push my chest out more not look down at the beginning and take my squat a little slower on the decent to keep my form tighter.
          The only easy day is yesterday

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          • #6
            Dieselsc.com has an excellent series on squatting. Real squatting. Not like the SPF tards.
            "You can't be the fastest or the strongest but you can always work the hardest." - Jim Wendler

            "Failing is nothing more than inexperience" - Jim Wendler

            "You won't have to rotate squats and deadlifts, but do them both and thus get more fucking awesome every week" - cooltom

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            • #7
              A few things I noticed that I would focus on...
              1. You're pitching forward on the transition - Think chest up, elbows down, and squeeze the shoulder blades together, really focus on as you descend to prepare yourself.
              2. Your glutes don't look like they are firing. Always activate your glutes and hips before you do lower body training. Try some glute bridges, side lying clamshells, and jane fondas to get the glutes activated before you squat.
              3. You may be shifting your weight to your midfoot as you pitch forward. You're already squatting barefoot which I like, but really make sure to focus on the tripod foot position. That means an equal amount of weight should be on your first metatarsal (below big toe), fifth metartarsal (below pinkie toe), and heel. If you're don't have an equal amount of weight on all three areas you will get into deviations in technique.
              4. Finally, aim for neutral spine. Don't hyperextend your head/neck (cock it backwards). This can shut down the ability to activate the glutes and hamstrings. Instead aim for a neutral spine position. Your head should always point in the same direction of your torso.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Knickerbocker24 View Post
                A few things I noticed that I would focus on...
                1. You're pitching forward on the transition - Think chest up, elbows down, and squeeze the shoulder blades together, really focus on as you descend to prepare yourself.
                2. Your glutes don't look like they are firing. Always activate your glutes and hips before you do lower body training. Try some glute bridges, side lying clamshells, and jane fondas to get the glutes activated before you squat.
                3. You may be shifting your weight to your midfoot as you pitch forward. You're already squatting barefoot which I like, but really make sure to focus on the tripod foot position. That means an equal amount of weight should be on your first metatarsal (below big toe), fifth metartarsal (below pinkie toe), and heel. If you're don't have an equal amount of weight on all three areas you will get into deviations in technique.
                4. Finally, aim for neutral spine. Don't hyperextend your head/neck (cock it backwards). This can shut down the ability to activate the glutes and hamstrings. Instead aim for a neutral spine position. Your head should always point in the same direction of your torso.
                Yeah he' right. Your squats are all quads, which isn't what a powerful squat is. Your hips aren't coming back at all, you have the bar high, ad you got to push your chest out. All that said I think you get out of the hole amazingly and don't see anything that would really hurt you.

                Biggest issue is you saying you try to push your knees out or forward. Don't ever do that, only going to compromise strength and increase risk of injury.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LandryP View Post
                  Dieselsc.com has an excellent series on squatting. Real squatting. Not like the SPF tards.
                  Ill check that out. Thanks.


                  A few things I noticed that I would focus on...
                  1. You're pitching forward on the transition - Think chest up, elbows down, and squeeze the shoulder blades together, really focus on as you descend to prepare yourself.
                  2. Your glutes don't look like they are firing. Always activate your glutes and hips before you do lower body training. Try some glute bridges, side lying clamshells, and jane fondas to get the glutes activated before you squat.
                  3. You may be shifting your weight to your midfoot as you pitch forward. You're already squatting barefoot which I like, but really make sure to focus on the tripod foot position. That means an equal amount of weight should be on your first metatarsal (below big toe), fifth metartarsal (below pinkie toe), and heel. If you're don't have an equal amount of weight on all three areas you will get into deviations in technique.
                  4. Finally, aim for neutral spine. Don't hyperextend your head/neck (cock it backwards). This can shut down the ability to activate the glutes and hamstrings. Instead aim for a neutral spine position. Your head should always point in the same direction of your torso.
                  Just curious, what about my squat indicated my glutes weren't firing? Other than that I will try to think about the other things thank you for the detailed input.


                  Yeah he' right. Your squats are all quads, which isn't what a powerful squat is. Your hips aren't coming back at all, you have the bar high, ad you got to push your chest out. All that said I think you get out of the hole amazingly and don't see anything that would really hurt you.

                  Biggest issue is you saying you try to push your knees out or forward. Don't ever do that, only going to compromise strength and increase risk of injury.
                  So, you think I should sit back more? My hips are coming down instead of back? I thought pushing your knees out was a good thing because if your knees collapse inward it's bad on your knees and letting the stronger muscles take over?
                  The only easy day is yesterday

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                  • #10
                    I will be squatting again tonight, but heavier. I will take some video footage and try to incorporate these tips.
                    The only easy day is yesterday

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                    • #11
                      I am not an expert, but I personally think there is not much wrong with your squat. Only thing I would suggest is stay tighter going down...you kind of just drop into position. You are narrow stanced and using a high bar position, so sitting back won't do shit for you. Also, I 2nd knicker's comment about a neutral spine. Trying to curl your head up and back into the bar is a bad idea (someone suggested this above). A hyper extended spine is just as bad as a rounded one.

                      This article helped me tremendously. I literally went from 335 x 3 to 360 x 3 overnight after reading this.

                      http://www.elitefts.com/documents/Te..._the_squat.htm

                      The biggest tip I got from this was that there is a point where you have to drop between your legs and stop sitting back. If you just sit back forever, you will get no quad activation...excessive sitting back is for wide stanced, geared lifters.
                      Last edited by SkinnyMike42; 12-20-2011, 05:05 PM.

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                      • #12
                        This is one of the best raw squatters around. You can see how he breaks at the hips first (notice how he kind of bends forwards and pauses momentarily right before he squats), but then he drops in between his legs. He has a good balance of glute/ham/quad activation.

                        [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbZvMBt9bgQ[/youtube]

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                        • #13
                          C-Dwag: The primary hip extensor is the glute max. It's antagonist, and also the prime hip flexors, are the psoas group (although a host of others also flex the hip). Typically when you see someone pitch forward on a squat it is at least partially caused by tight hip flexors. And if the agoinist in hip flexion is tight (psoas) and/or overactive, then it's antagonist, the glute max, is often weak/lengthened/inhibited. This process is known as reciprocal inhibition. Also, if your glutes aren't up to the task of extending the hip, then the hamstrings and erector spinae are forced to compensate, but may not be able to handle same sort of load, hence the pitch forward.

                          Do you feel tightness in the hip flexors, hamstring group, or low back?
                          Last edited by Knickerbocker24; 12-20-2011, 08:17 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SkinnyMike42 View Post
                            This is one of the best raw squatters around. You can see how he breaks at the hips first (notice how he kind of bends forwards and pauses momentarily right before he squats), but then he drops in between his legs. He has a good balance of glute/ham/quad activation.

                            [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbZvMBt9bgQ[/youtube]
                            Yeah, it was interesting watching that squat. Very technical, but I suppose your technique needs to be damn good to be able to squat that kind of weight. Thanks.


                            Do you feel tightness in the hip flexors, hamstring group, or low back?
                            I have tight hamstrings, but who doesn't have tight hamstrings. Hip flexors are tight. My low back I don't feel like its that tight, but I don't know a good test for lower back tightness.

                            I can do Cossack squats really easy and do them in every warmup. I hit a one minute ham string stretch 3 times a week. In warm ups I usually do a lunge/hip flexor stretch combo. For low back I usually do roll overs which loosens my lower back up nicely.
                            The only easy day is yesterday

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                            • #15
                              It's very common for male athletes to have tight hip flexors and hamstrings and that definitely inhibits the glutes. I don't know what kind of warmup you do prior to lifting and what kind of flexibility work you do afterwords, but I'd consider something like the following to re-affirm the proper function of the hips, low back, hamstrings, and glutes (in addition to the rest of the body).

                              Tissue Prep (before you lift): Foam roll hip flexors, ITB, biceps femoris, adductors and piriformis especially

                              Dynamic Warmup (before you lift): Stuff like Quadruped Hip Mobility Drill, Squat to Stand, Over-Under Drills, Reverse Lunge w/ a Twist, etc.

                              Activations (before you lift): Stuff like Jane Fondas, Side Lying Clamshells, Scorpions, Mini Band Side Steps, Bird Dogs, Bridge Variations

                              Strength Work (glute heavy exercises other than squats): Bulgarian Split Squats, Lunges, Glute/Ham Raise, Kneeling Squats, Pull Throughs, etc.

                              Static Flexibility (post-workout): Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch, Seated 90/90, Bulgarian Split Squat Hold, etc.

                              Again, not saying this is the only things you should do to warmup and static stretch, these are just some examples of ones that are particularly helpful for those with tight hip flexors and hamstrings and inhibited glutes.

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