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View Full Version : Squats... critique away



Dgro
01-28-2010, 10:38 AM
_hzhcpzOc78
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hzhcpzOc78

I know the angle isn't the best, but the one thing people always tell me i'm doing wrong is the bar position. I like it low. I was always under the impression that high-bar and low-bar were both legitimate options, but everyone tells me that low-bar is dangerous or something? what do you guys think? Also, kindly ignore the 5th rep of that set. I know it was a special kid of disastrous.

Sean S
01-28-2010, 11:36 AM
It doesn't matter what your bar position is if you never get a decent arch in your back. At no point during the walkout or the set did you really lock in an arch in your back. Your upper back was rounded forward from the time you unracked the bar onward. Your lower back was neutral at best, although it's hard to tell exactly in that loose t-shirt. Either way you have to do a much, much better job of getting an arch and holding it throughout the set.
Your lower body mechanics didn't look too bad, but you really need to work on that arch first. Back off on the weight if you need to, but work on that arch.

amz916
01-28-2010, 01:01 PM
Also on your way up it looks too heavy for you. Your kinda throwing it up. Should be a completely smooth movement up with arch in your lower back if I'm correct. GO lighter and practice form.

freac
01-28-2010, 01:43 PM
High bar could help reduce the amount of upper back curve. But I was always taught that upper back curve isn't dangerous, it just doesn't look pretty. Your lower back appears to me to be pretty neutral, so I wouldn't say that's a dangerous squat or anything (i've seen videos of many lifters like rippetoe squatting with a neutral lower back), but you are riding a very fine line. Try sitting back more and keeping your chest up.


Also on your way up it looks too heavy for you. Your kinda throwing it up. Should be a completely smooth movement up with arch in your lower back if I'm correct. GO lighter and practice form.

"too heavy"? I'm assuming this is a 5 rep max. It should look difficult.

Going lighter might help, but it could also be a flexibility problem. If that's the case then you won't be able to find a good lower back curve even with 135 on the bar. I would tell yu to stretch, but I don't know of any specific stretches that would help since I never had this problem.

Dgro
01-28-2010, 02:33 PM
It doesn't matter what your bar position is if you never get a decent arch in your back. At no point during the walkout or the set did you really lock in an arch in your back. Your upper back was rounded forward from the time you unracked the bar onward. Your lower back was neutral at best, although it's hard to tell exactly in that loose t-shirt. Either way you have to do a much, much better job of getting an arch and holding it throughout the set.
Your lower body mechanics didn't look too bad, but you really need to work on that arch first. Back off on the weight if you need to, but work on that arch.

I guess I'm wondering how to get better at arching it? I've tried just, y'know, willing myself into a better arch but it seems like I'm going to have to be more proactive about it.

And it's not a factor of too much weight, I've watched my warmup sets (though I don't have any uploaded to show) and it's all the same. So I'm guessing that means it's a flexibility problem?

skinny99
01-28-2010, 03:01 PM
Those squats were fine other than the arch. On a 5rm the 5th rep ain't always pretty. Nice lifting.

As far as the arch goes,try laying on a mat on your belly. Then lift your hips and chest off the ground at the same time. It is easier said then done but is the feeling you need to get. I would also invest in a belt,if you are gonna learn how to really get tight a belt can help.

Also if you are going to do low bar squats (I think you should) you should buy the book Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. It will teach you a lot about sqautting and a lot about lifting in general.

http://atlargenutrition.com/nutrition_detail.php?products_id=25&osCsid=6a8de54f140bbaaa3814b60eefefc42e

Sean S
01-28-2010, 04:01 PM
Those squats were fine other than the arch. On a 5rm the 5th rep ain't always pretty. Nice lifting.

As far as the arch goes,try laying on a mat on your belly. Then lift your hips and chest off the ground at the same time. It is easier said then done but is the feeling you need to get. I would also invest in a belt,if you are gonna learn how to really get tight a belt can help.

Also if you are going to do low bar squats (I think you should) you should buy the book Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. It will teach you a lot about sqautting and a lot about lifting in general.

http://atlargenutrition.com/nutrition_detail.php?products_id=25&osCsid=6a8de54f140bbaaa3814b60eefefc42e

This is probably a good way to teach yourself how to better contract the muscles need for a good arch. Another good cue I heard is to think about trying to touch your traps to your butt. Obviously you never would, but thinking about trying to should put you into a better position. You could also think about trying stick your chest out and your butt back at the same time. Any of these mental cues can work, you just have to figure out which one "clicks" for you. You will have to learn this with submax weights. Under really heavy weights you often just think about trying to get the weight up no matter what. Do this for every single rep of every single set (warm-ups included) and after a while it will become automatic and you won't have to think about it so much.
Take some more video next time you squat and we can give you some more feedback to see if you are improving.

Off Road
01-28-2010, 04:42 PM
Something not mentioned yet...try to get your arms under the bar. Pulling your elbows back that far will roll your shoulders forward.

Bodyguard
01-28-2010, 05:01 PM
Something not mentioned yet...try to get your arms under the bar. Pulling your elbows back that far will roll your shoulders forward.

I noticed the same thing, how the hell do your arms even go back that far.

james_w8lifter
01-28-2010, 07:36 PM
I noticed the same thing, how the hell do your arms even go back that far.

I agree, I would have dislocated my shoulder trying to hold the bar like that. Hold the bar as if you are about to do a behind-the-neck press.

Dgro
01-28-2010, 08:15 PM
yeah i get that a lot, people look at me and are just like "how the **** are you doing that". it's actually really comfortable and the bar sure as hell isn't going anywhere... but i see now that that probably has a lot to do with why my shoulders are rolled so far forward. guess i'll have to change that.

and sean, i would post more videos but i don't have a camera with me on campus :S
i think i'm smart enough to figure it out on my own from here though, thanks for all the advice (everyone)

d0rkyd00d
01-28-2010, 10:28 PM
You're elbows are that far back because your wrist is bent. In SS, Rip instructs you to place your thumb over the bar, and make sure your wrist is in a straight line with your forearm, no bend. That'll fix that.

mr handy
01-30-2010, 08:10 AM
You're elbows are that far back because your wrist is bent. In SS, Rip instructs you to place your thumb over the bar, and make sure your wrist is in a straight line with your forearm, no bend. That'll fix that.

Tis is what I noticed. the wrists need to be straight which will help you tighten the upper back and create the proper shelf for the low bar position. It should also help keep the back from rounding as much on the way up... atleast it has for me.

joey54
01-30-2010, 08:54 AM
Another good cue I heard is to think about trying to touch your traps to your butt.

Think about this on every rep, and practice it even when you are just sitting down in a chair, everytime.

Ryan Celli
01-31-2010, 05:24 PM
Nice work! I think they look great.
How much do you weigh??? No belt?
Keep up the good work brother!

mchicia1
02-04-2010, 01:24 PM
Looked pretty solid to me...A 5RM should look hard. Your back stayed neutral which is fine...in Rippetoe's book it states this is fine...he even goes on to say that a super arch is actually worse for your back.