View Full Version : Teaching Someone To Squat! HELP!
05-10-2006, 02:12 PM
Hello friends at WBB!
I have asperations to become a personal trainer because I love this stuff. My workout buddy is a great guy but perhaps not the best work out partner (anybody in Temecula / Murrieta CA need a spot? :-D)
Long story short, the guy can not squat! He can't even get close to parallel. We tried dropping the weight to near nothing and he just can't get the form down. I can show him 1,000,000 times but he just can't do it.
I always tell him :
1. Ass to the ground.
2. Head and face up.
3. Don't slouch your back.
4. Keep the weight on your shoulders. Arch your back towards the ceiling.
5. Go parallel.
6. Feet wider than shoulders.
I'm at a loss, as something that comes so naturally to me is hard to explain to him. Any tips you guys could give will really help me out here.
Any of you guys experienced this before?
05-10-2006, 02:17 PM
I recently posted this to another thread for someone who couldn't keep their back straight when squatting. Hopefully, you'll find it helpful.
From Athletic Body in Balance, Gray Cook, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, 2003. (pg. 46)
A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. Someone who doesn't perform well on the squat assessment test does not know what deep squatting feels like. It's like a journey without knowing the destination. By relaxing the lower back, and doing the toe touch and deep squat progressions, the hips, knees, and ankles get into the squatting position and then set the spine when the hands are lifted off the raised platform. This allows the squatter to feel where she is going. She already knows what the top of the squat feels like - that's standing. Now she knows what the bottom of the squat feels like. The exercise will become an opportunity for motor learning and working out the coordination between the start and finish position.
edit: btw, if you have aspirations to be a personal trainer, then I highly recommend the book.
When teaching someone to squat for the first time, I always use a box that is a few inches above parallel. I have them cross their arms in front of the chest and squat to the box. Beginning with foot positioning and working my way up, I correct each part of the squat until everything is working correctly. At this point, I progress to a broomstick on the back and repeat the process. Once the proper form is learned, we progress to the bar. Always checking form.
For me, proper form (from feet to head) means a moderate to wide stance, pushing the feet out, and flaring the knees out to the sides, hips starting back and beginning the movement by pushing back, an arched back, shoulder blades pulled in tight, elbows pulled forward, chest out, head pulled back, belly full of air and abs pushed out hard. The whole body should be tight. An easy way to get someone get the idea of what tight is, have them squat to the box with a broomstick or a bar, then just tap the side of the bar so they can feel how unstable they actually are. This generally gets a person to tighten right up.
Watch the form and use verbal cues during the lift.
I'm not a personal trainer, I just help out a lot of lifters and athletes at the gym when they ask for help. I was able to take one guy from barely getting 315 to squatting 365 for a triple in about 20 minutes. Just simple form help and verbal cues is sometimes all it takes.
05-10-2006, 03:56 PM
Thank you both very much for the responses!
It is greatly appreciated!
05-10-2006, 04:27 PM
For me, proper form (from feet to head) means a moderate to wide stance, pushing the feet out, and flaring the knees out to the sides, hips starting back and beginning the movement by pushing back, an arched back, shoulder blades pulled in tight, elbows pulled forward, chest out, elbows pulled back, belly full of air and abs pushed out hard. The whole body should be tight.
LOL, I know what you mean but that's just funny. ;)
Maybe worded a bit differently, elbows pulled in tight to the sides but pushed forward to the chest?
I have constant issues with my squat so I'd like to verify that before even thinking about really elaborating on it. Just bringing it out.
Whoops, I meant HEAD pulled back. LOL. Sometimes I type really fast and I screw up. :D (Fixed it).
05-10-2006, 08:48 PM
At least when learning with light weight, I would get them to squat as low as possible, or at least below parallel.
I now how to squat proficiently, but a problem I've always had is to "push alot of air into your gut to expand it maximally". That seems like a hernia waiting to happen, or at least feels like it. ANyway, instinct tells me to tighten up, really hard.
05-11-2006, 09:17 AM
Having a gut, like I do, makes it easier to squat bigger weights.... you have something to rebound off of. But being too heavy, like I am now, makes your flexability suffer and mine has suffered a ton. Which is why I think I could squat double what I can now, when I was at 260lbs bodyweight.
My squat form sucks right now, I know it and I have to fix it.
05-11-2006, 09:46 AM
It sounds pretty obvious to me that your friend has some flexibility problems. I had a buddy it took months to squat right because he had seriously tight hamstrings and hip flexors. If there is a problem with flexibility, you can teach him correct form all day and it won't make a difference till he works on the problem.
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