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View Full Version : Feeback on squat form - videos



teeroy
01-10-2009, 08:36 PM
I was working on my squat form today and grabbed my phone and took some vids. I apologize for the poor video quality - it is from a phone and also there's not much light in my garage.

I have been sqautting for the last couple of months with barbells and, man, has my form been bad. I got SS for xmas and read through that and have also watched Sensei's Rx videos (thanks Sensei, you're truly wonderful for contributing those to the community).

Today was my first day gripping with the thumb on the top of the bar. Even though I read about it a few weeks ago in SS I guess I wasn't mentally prepared for it. Today I just forced myself to do it. Started out with the bar and slowly worked up the weights and, what do you know, it works!!! Of course it does. Rip says it does. You all say it does. I guess I just had to get over my mental block.

Today was also my first day with a low bar position. I like it, it forces me to keep my chest up and back tight because I have to keep my arms back.

For some reason, though, my wrists hurt. I glanced over at my wrist position and my hands were bent underneath the bar like they want to hold the bar up. I figured I was just subconsciencely doing this so I worked with my bar and hand positioning while keeping the bar on the rack and I couldn't do the low bar position with keeping my wrists straight. I acually struggled keeping my wrists straight with the high bar position too. I moved my hands out a bit wider and that helped a little. My takeaway from here is that I'm not flexible enough which is forcing my elbows/wrists to be under the bar so I should probably be doing door jam stretches. Please let me know if that doesn't sound right.

I went with a wider stance today than I have been and it felt a lot better. My knees still want to come in. I know my adductors are weak because they are always the most sore after squatting. I know that I need to stretch more to help here. So my takeaway here is that I need to stretch and keep my knees out and this will work my adductors out and catch them up.

I used to GM like crazy out of the hole. I'm still GM'ing a little but nothing like I used to. I think some of it is a momentary lack of focus while in the hole. So many darn things to think of. I know lack of flexibility is also an issue. I also have a big sticking point shortly after coming out of the hole. I think that makes me want to GM to help fight through the sticking point. I think I mainly just need to stay focused but should I also do some above parallel box squats to help with the sticking point?

I'm not an expert at judging these things, but I think I'm at least going parallel. I think what is mainly preventing me from going deeper is lack of flexibility so I'm implemented a stretching routine to stretch at least three times a day. Also, with the wider stance, I think my gut blocks me a bit too. :)

Seems like I'm also worse at GM'ing when I try to bounce out of the hole. Its like my hips get ahead of the rest of the body. I think I'm not really suppose to try to bounce out of the hole - it should just happen because my hams are stretched out and want to contract. So I'm going to work on not trying to bounce out of the hole and just think about getting the weight up in general.

My hams are a little sore after squatting today so I think that is a good thing. Also, the muscles above my quads are sore for the first time. I'm assuming that's my hip muscles so I think that is a good thing. It feels like I am engaging these muscles for the first time. I think before I was GM'ing so bad that my back was doing all the work and not my legs.

Light weight angle 1
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Light weight angle 2
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Heavier weight
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jtrink
01-10-2009, 09:42 PM
general observations:

3rd video looks like your left knee collapses a little in.
1st video as your all the way down it looks like your back is slightly rounded.

-JM-
01-10-2009, 09:45 PM
I think you know yourself man. Flexibilty is a huge factor here. Your butt is winking in at the bottom of the movement. I have the same issue right now. Get the hammies lengthened out and that should correct in due course. (I hope)

-JM-
01-10-2009, 09:47 PM
Knees coming in.... actively concentrate on pushing them out!

Kiaran
01-10-2009, 09:55 PM
Dude, for the most part, your form looks great. Greater than most people I'd say. Depth looks good, bar position looks good, back looks fine too. The best thing about your form, which just about everyone learning to squat ****s up, is that you unlock your hips BEFORE you unlock your knees! Definitely don't change that. The only problem it looks like you have is what you've already stated: your knees cave in. Mine tend to do this too. It's partly habit and partly weakness. Just keep working at it, bro. Form looks great and don't get too carried away with the details of analysis.

Reko
01-10-2009, 10:05 PM
Are you squatting for BB or PL?
Seems like you are getting bent over in the hole a bit. Try to stay as upright as you can. Obviously if you squat wider that will be pretty tough to do, but force those knees out, keep a tight arch in your back, and push the hips forward.
Also, for what its worth, I don't like putting my thumb on top of the bar - don't feel stable and in control that way, but whatever works for you is how it should be.

Kastro
01-10-2009, 10:16 PM
1. Get some real shoes.

2. I'm no butt-wink nazi, but the unlocking of the low back looks to be excessive enough to pose problems.

3. If you're learning from SS, why aren't you looking downwards?

4. KEEP YOUR KNEES OUT. There is no magic fix for this, just keep constantly cueing to yourself to shove them out all the way down, and keep them shoved out.

5. Your knees travel forward excessively at the bottom. Stop this from happening, mostly by addressing number 4.

The last 2 are the most important. You can also fix your grip by widening it, or by being satisfied with not fully gripping the bar--merely jamming it between the medial chunk of your palms and your back.

Edit: Oh, and I don't see any GMing.

ZenMonkey
01-10-2009, 10:47 PM
1. Get some real shoes.

2. I'm no butt-wink nazi, but the unlocking of the low back looks to be excessive enough to pose problems.

3. If you're learning from SS, why aren't you looking downwards?

4. KEEP YOUR KNEES OUT. There is no magic fix for this, just keep constantly cueing to yourself to shove them out all the way down, and keep them shoved out.

5. Your knees travel forward excessively at the bottom. Stop this from happening, mostly by addressing number 4.

The last 2 are the most important. You can also fix your grip by widening it, or by being satisfied with not fully gripping the bar--merely jamming it between the medial chunk of your palms and your back.

Edit: Oh, and I don't see any GMing.


I agree with everything except 5 and Im not sure how doing 4 will "fix" 5.

Otherwise, good form overall. Nice to see some deep squatting

OGROK
01-10-2009, 10:49 PM
You could do more... Where is your belt?

berfles
01-10-2009, 11:05 PM
Why is it important for your knees to not come in during squats? Never figured that out. More drive or just better for the knees?

Reko
01-10-2009, 11:18 PM
Why is it important for your knees to not come in during squats? Never figured that out. More drive or just better for the knees?

Both, but the bigger concern is the knee health. You can put your knee joint in a pretty compromising position if you let them come in under heavy weight.

If you are good with physics you can diagram it out to see how much more downward force is applied to the knee when it caves in vs when it stays out.

Kastro
01-10-2009, 11:48 PM
I agree with everything except 5 and Im not sure how doing 4 will "fix" 5.


Well, when the knees are going out, they're not going forward. But looking at the lighter sets again this probably isn't why they're pulling forward at the bottom, just the squishy shoes and not sitting back enough.

AJ_H
01-11-2009, 05:48 AM
I agree with everything except 5 and Im not sure how doing 4 will "fix" 5.

Otherwise, good form overall. Nice to see some deep squatting

4 will 'fix' 5 if he actively concentrates on keeping his knees back is what I think he means. As for the knees going over the toes, it depends what style you squat in. It appears to me he is going more for a PL style squat.

ZenMonkey
01-11-2009, 07:39 AM
It appears to me he is going more for a PL style squat.

No, it most certainly doesnt, there is nothing wrong with knees going past toes.




When I squat my knees go out and forward, there is nothing wrong with that, out or forward or both.

OP: I say get some real shoes then come back with another video. Listen to Kastro, you need some hard soled shoes. Probably, with a heel if this is your squat form

http://www.pendlaybarbell.com/shoes.html - 1.5''heels, wider
http://www.dynamic-eleiko.com/products/shoesFR.html - narrower, not sure heel height
http://www.gwenweightlifting.blogspot.com/ - mid width, 1.5'' wooden sole


I have a pair of DoWins and a pair of the Ristos and love them both.


Also, be sure to stretch your hams, quads, flexors, ankles, hips, and trunk daily.

teeroy
01-11-2009, 10:34 AM
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm going for a PL form. I think stretching and focusing on keeping my knees out sound like my top priority from a form standpoint. It is good to hear that I don't have too many other things going wrong which makes me feel like my form practice the last few weeks has paid off.

I'll also keep working on keeping the back straighter (more upright) and tighter in the hole. I feel like I've gotten way better at these over the last couple of weeks but still have some improvements to make.

I certainly went in to my practice session with the intent of looking down 6' - 8' feet in front like SS prescribes. With all the other stuff I was focusing on I guess I lost track of that one. That being said, if you read the Westside Barbell stuff they are advocates of looking straight ahead rather than down. For them, based on my current understanding, they drive with the head, and thus the bar, out of the hole and keeping the head looking straight keeps it slightly more up which is the direction they are going with the bar.

My wrists hurt all day after going with the thumb on top of the bar. Next session I'm going to continue with the low bar position but with thumb under to see if that feels better.

Equipment wise it is clear I need some new shoes. Thanks for the links Zen. I also did some research last night and it seemed like a lot of people like Converse All Stars for squatting. I think all the guys as Westside Barbell use them. I'm assuming they are talking about the high top version of the all stars? From what I read they focus so much on keeping their knees out that their weight ends up being a little on the outside of their foot which means a lot of pressure on the outside of the shoe and the Converse hold up to that.

Lones Green
01-11-2009, 10:44 AM
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm going for a PL form. I think stretching and focusing on keeping my knees out sound like my top priority from a form standpoint. It is good to hear that I don't have too many other things going wrong which makes me feel like my form practice the last few weeks has paid off.

I'll also keep working on keeping the back straighter (more upright) and tighter in the hole. I feel like I've gotten way better at these over the last couple of weeks but still have some improvements to make.

I certainly went in to my practice session with the intent of looking down 6' - 8' feet in front like SS prescribes. With all the other stuff I was focusing on I guess I lost track of that one. That being said, if you read the Westside Barbell stuff they are advocates of looking straight ahead rather than down. For them, based on my current understanding, they drive with the head, and thus the bar, out of the hole and keeping the head looking straight keeps it slightly more up which is the direction they are going with the bar.

My wrists hurt all day after going with the thumb on top of the bar. Next session I'm going to continue with the low bar position but with thumb under to see if that feels better.

Equipment wise it is clear I need some new shoes. Thanks for the links Zen. I also did some research last night and it seemed like a lot of people like Converse All Stars for squatting. I think all the guys as Westside Barbell use them. I'm assuming they are talking about the high top version of the all stars? From what I read they focus so much on keeping their knees out that their weight ends up being a little on the outside of their foot which means a lot of pressure on the outside of the shoe and the Converse hold up to that.

Converse are great for that. Question, why are you wrapping your knees for all your sets?

teeroy
01-11-2009, 11:37 AM
Converse are great for that. Question, why are you wrapping your knees for all your sets?

I did a bunch of running over the last year to try to lose weight. A lot of my running was done outside on concrete - mostly asphault which is softer than sidewalks but still hard. I think because of bad form, running while heavy, or both my knees started to agitate me. I've since given up the long running and go for more high intensity short duration cardio. I've actually lost more weight off my belly doing that than I ever did with the long duration running.

So, in short, I jacked up my knees a little from running and want to keep them happy so I wrap them when squatting.

teeroy
01-11-2009, 12:03 PM
Converse are great for that. Question, why are you wrapping your knees for all your sets?

Question on getting the Converse. Would these just be for squatting, or could/should I use them on other OLY lifts as well (e.g. snatch, clean, clean and jerk)?

Yeah, I'm mainly doing SS, but for fun I want to start learning some of the OLY lifts as well. Using light weights of course. Just want to learn the form and techniques.