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View Full Version : How could I use my Legs more in the Squat



NolanPower
01-20-2010, 06:25 PM
So today I sucked it up bigtime on the second Wednesday of Smolov and after missing the heavy triple my lower back is completely fried but my legs are not tired, or sore. After every heavy squat day my legs feel completely fine, but my lower back is completely devastated. I'm wondering what I could do to correct what is more than likely a form issue.

Here is a video of a make and two misses

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Here is a video of my most recent PR

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SEOINAGE
01-20-2010, 06:56 PM
It seams to me that you are letting your hits up come up first as well as allowing your knees to come inward. Focus on spreading the floor and lifting up with the top of your head.

ehopkins932
01-20-2010, 07:02 PM
Im not the most experienced guy, but it looks like you are not squeezing your glutes/pushing your hips foward at the top on the last attempt. Like the guy above said, hips are rising too fast.

And that facility you have in the first vid is really nice, Im sure someone there should be able to help.

EmptyBarbell
01-20-2010, 07:04 PM
Why are you taking all those steps backward?...that's really robbing energy....it almost looks like your feet are not parallel.....one foot seems slightly ahead of the other... I see that often when people walk out of a rack and don't really focus on where their feet are....and I concur.... your knees are buckling inward... have you tried perhaps widening your stance slightly more?.....I'd suggest checking out video of others on here squating.... This site is awesome for reviewing video of others.. study it.. I have found that invaluable in all my lifts

slashkills
01-20-2010, 07:06 PM
your hips shot up first and you leaned forward. your elbows also shot backwards on the way up. Keep them under the bar and the will help the forward lean and take some stress off of the lower back. If your back is a weakness try doing good mornings, conventional pulls on plates, and stiff legged deadlifts.

NolanPower
01-21-2010, 05:35 AM
Im not the most experienced guy, but it looks like you are not squeezing your glutes/pushing your hips foward at the top on the last attempt. Like the guy above said, hips are rising too fast.

And that facility you have in the first vid is really nice, Im sure someone there should be able to help.

Unfortunately the first gym is one I was a guest at to do a qualifying meet for Raw Unity. (I missed the total by a bit because you had to break the qual total for 50 lbs cuz it was non sanctioned).


Why are you taking all those steps backward?...that's really robbing energy....it almost looks like your feet are not parallel.....one foot seems slightly ahead of the other... I see that often when people walk out of a rack and don't really focus on where their feet are....and I concur.... your knees are buckling inward... have you tried perhaps widening your stance slightly more?.....I'd suggest checking out video of others on here squating.... This site is awesome for reviewing video of others.. study it.. I have found that invaluable in all my lifts

I've always been comfortable with a 3 step drop to get set up for my squat. When i widen my stance more these problems get amplified a bit I believe which is why I moved it in to begin with as well as helping to hit depth.


your hips shot up first and you leaned forward. your elbows also shot backwards on the way up. Keep them under the bar and the will help the forward lean and take some stress off of the lower back. If your back is a weakness try doing good mornings, conventional pulls on plates, and stiff legged deadlifts.

The elbow thing is something that was told to me a long time ago and obviously something that I forgot so thanks for remind me. I don't think my back is a weakness as my deadlift (320) is much higher than my squat (250). One main problem with my squats is as I fatigue because I incorportae so much back into the lift the lift just turns into a good morning because my lower back having done all the work of moving the weight no longer feels like supporting the weight causing me to shoot even more forward than seen here.

Travis Bell
01-21-2010, 06:44 AM
It looks more like a hip weakness as well as the lower back.

Do you have access to a reverse hyper?

Lones Green
01-21-2010, 07:07 AM
It looks more like a hip weakness as well as the lower back.

Do you have access to a reverse hyper?

Yup. Pretty classic problem.

I also recommend hitting the reverse hyper. Some other good ones would be goodmornings, hyperextensions, GHR, etc etc. Just a bunch of posterior chain work.

Work on your form as well, and with the strengthened hips and posterior chain, it will be easier to keep your form. Keep your chest up, stay tight and push your butt back.

NolanPower
01-21-2010, 07:13 AM
It looks more like a hip weakness as well as the lower back.

Do you have access to a reverse hyper?

Unfortunately I do not

AdamBAG
01-21-2010, 07:19 AM
What are you doing with your breathing? Are you breathing into your belly or into the chest? Is your belt too tight? I'm asking this because it almost looks like your midsection is pulled in too tight and not push out and everything is caving in forwards.

Also, your wrists are really cocked back to where coming out of the bottom you are almost pushing the bar forward.

I have no idea if this stuff is going on, but it's something to think about.

ThomasG
01-21-2010, 07:37 AM
That was interesting what you would do before you deadlift. And I'm with Travis on this one. I believe I have the same problem.

ScottYard
01-21-2010, 08:43 AM
Take your Stance out a hair. Not much maybe 2-3 inches tops. This will let you open your ground up more and get inside your legs. Not over top of them. I have this same issue you speak of but I relaized my stance was too close to be able to sit back enough to get my legs going.

Travis Bell
01-21-2010, 09:15 AM
What are you doing with your breathing? Are you breathing into your belly or into the chest? Is your belt too tight? I'm asking this because it almost looks like your midsection is pulled in too tight and not push out and everything is caving in forwards.

Also, your wrists are really cocked back to where coming out of the bottom you are almost pushing the bar forward.

I have no idea if this stuff is going on, but it's something to think about.

I kinda skipped that the first time, but that's a good note.

Loosen your belt up and calm down your breathing. A calm slow breath before the lift is plenty. No need to hyperventilate like that.

NolanPower
01-21-2010, 09:40 AM
Lots of good information here.

Also could box squatting help to fix this problem? I've never done them before so I really don't know what they effectively do.

Sean S
01-21-2010, 10:13 AM
Lots of good information here.

Also could box squatting help to fix this problem? I've never done them before so I really don't know what they effectively do.

They could be used to help strengthen the hips, so in that regard they could be useful. In my opinion, I would use them as a type of assistance exercise and make sure and still include some free squatting as well.

RhodeHouse
01-21-2010, 10:44 AM
You have a whole host of issues.

1. Hold your breath. I don't know what the pre-lift breathing thing is, but STOP LETTING YOUR AIR OUT! That's why you missed those 2 squats.

2. Same thing with the hips and knees. My guess is you're weak in the hips and have no idea how to really force your knees out.

3. You do a good morning, not a squat. You need to work your upper back arch in conjunction with the low back arch, plus a lot more heavy ab work. When you push your hips back you need to open your knees as you go down. At the same time, you need to force the arch to the point it feels like it's going to cramp. This will help keep you more upright. Your depth is fine, so don't make it harder by bending over. Keep the upper body more upright and that should help some of your low back issues.

theBarzeen
01-21-2010, 03:26 PM
+ 1 for pushing your knees out harder, maybe either going a little wider ( like an inch per leg) or just flaring your feet out to the sides more to help you get your knees out...... after that I'll add to keep your head up and your chest full of air and up, picture that your upper chest is going up not the weight on your back.......... just my $0.02......

CleverName
01-21-2010, 07:36 PM
You have the most hilarious deadlift ritual I've ever seen. :D

Also, what Rhodes said.

Sensei
01-21-2010, 08:47 PM
A lot to look at - all of the things I would have said have already been said:
*elbow positioning
*belt too tight
*breathing
*hip strength and technique http://davedraper.com/blog/2009/09/16/deadlift-stud-squatting-dud/

NolanPower
01-22-2010, 06:19 AM
Great article Sensei, and I'm going to be trying out a ton of the advice that was given today as I go through my warmups to see how it feels and maybe just maybe my work sets won't be good mornings.

I guess I'll finally take my belt out the notch (I've been on the same holes of my lever belt for about 40 pounds of bodyweight) and see if that can make a difference. Thanks a ton guys, and I'll be getting videos of squats today that I will probably post again so that I could get some follow up advice. I'm really dedicated to trying to at least get my squat to within 100lbs of my deadlift.

NolanPower
01-22-2010, 06:35 PM
Couldn't get vids but heres cliffs:

Widened stance about 2 inches
Really focused on sitting back and spreading the floor with my knees
took belt out 1 notch
kept elbows more vertical
squats have never felt so good

Thank you everybody

Jonah
01-22-2010, 09:19 PM
You have a whole host of issues.

1. Hold your breath. I don't know what the pre-lift breathing thing is, but STOP LETTING YOUR AIR OUT! That's why you missed those 2 squats.

2. Same thing with the hips and knees. My guess is you're weak in the hips and have no idea how to really force your knees out.

3. You do a good morning, not a squat. You need to work your upper back arch in conjunction with the low back arch, plus a lot more heavy ab work. When you push your hips back you need to open your knees as you go down. At the same time, you need to force the arch to the point it feels like it's going to cramp. This will help keep you more upright. Your depth is fine, so don't make it harder by bending over. Keep the upper body more upright and that should help some of your low back issues.

what he said