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Thread: Squat 101

  1. #1
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    Squat 101

    Today hit me hard. I got some heavy feedback and it caught me off balance--I wasn't ready for it. Let me explain:

    I have always loved squatting. It was one of the first lifts I learned and I always made sure to have someone check me out. So, for many months I was doing full squats and having no problems whatsoever. Everything was looking great. All of a sudden (could be due to many factors) I guess my squat form has been hitting the ****ter.

    Today was my leg day. I do three sets of eight reps of full-depth squats. I was doing 165 at 3X8 (I weight 155, 16 years old, and have been lifting for a little while), and finished my warm up sets. I went over to ask for a spotter and met up with their new trainer at the gym. I did my set and it was like BAM! He went on, and on, about how horrible that set was. I went into the gym at 8:30 and usually I can do my whole workout and be out by 9:15. But, I finally got him to stop talking to me at 9:30, so I had to skip my whole routine. And, sad to say, I think it was a good hour (like a free private lesson). (He took video of me, and I could definitley see myself cracking out.)

    Here are some of the problems he discussed with me. First of all, he said that I need to take a narrow stance and master the squat with it, because if my core isn't strong enough to handle a narrow stance than I shouldn't go to anything else. (I was previously using a stance slightly wider than shoulders.) The other three major problems I had were my knees bent in a little bit (were wobbly), and when I squat the bar doesn't go straight up and down, but when I hit the bottom it goes back a little (isn't this normal?), and the final thing was that somewhere in my hip something is twisting so when I load the weight and stand the bar isn't straight, it's all ready slanted.

    Recently I have been dealing with my problems and many factors could be affecting my squat. (I'm intrested in what people think.) The school year is coming to a close, so now days I get about 6 hours of sleep a night. Also, I have been having trouble eating (and I have sports now). So, I am eating less and running more (but the odd thing is my lifts are increasing). What else...? Something I did today (I think my squats were worst ever today) was we ran hills at tennis. So, my legs were sore when I went in to the gym. Could this have affected my squat? I have never been in this situation before. But, if it did, how come I squated higher weight and reps than last week?

    After getting hit with all this crappy news for about an hour, the good finally came. He goes, "You have good legs, don't blow them out now, because then you won't be hitting your potential. You could be one of those guys repping 400+."

    Some things he suggested doing were chair squats and polymetrics to do some core work. He also suggested sprinting to get good control of the legs. I think I might start running.

    Anyone run into anything similar to this?

    (I would really appreciate help. I'm looking for any information on helping my form and anything else. I still want to be getting bigger, and I don't know if I can do that without squats. But, it's really frustrating right now because squatting gets me so excited, and they're few things better than it, but I don't think I should be doing it yet again. And, I used to have such good form too.)
    Last edited by PhilsterT; 04-25-2006 at 11:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    Sounds like you got a lot of advice today.. Why not try and put that into action?

    You say you used to have such good squat form... What happened? Start paying attention when you squat!
    Full Powerlifting
    Squat - 595lbs -- 270kg -- Dec. 31, '09 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Bench - 374lbs -- 170kg -- Dec 20, '08 (@100kg class)
    Dead - 589lbs -- 267.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Total: 1537lbs -- 697.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)
    Bench Only -- 358lbs -- 162.5kg -- Nov. 25, '07 (Provincial Record @ 90kg class)
    Bench Only -- 376lbs -- 171kg -- Jan. 26, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)

  3. #3
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    I was out of the gym for 4ish months. Besides that, lack of sleep is all I can think of.

    (I did get a lot of advice, but what I'm trying to sort out is the bull**** from the facts. Some of everything people say is tainted truth.)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilsterT
    Here are some of the problems he discussed with me. First of all, he said that I need to take a narrow stance and master the squat with it, because if my core isn't strong enough to handle a narrow stance than I shouldn't go to anything else. (I was previously using a stance slightly wider than shoulders.) The other three major problems I had were my knees bent in a little bit (were wobbly), and when I squat the bar doesn't go straight up and down, but when I hit the bottom it goes back a little (isn't this normal?), and the final thing was that somewhere in my hip something is twisting so when I load the weight and stand the bar isn't straight, it's all ready slanted.
    Unless you are taking a very wide stance, I don't think you need to be so concerned.
    The bar being slanted from the beginning could be a lot of things - it could be your stance, it could be that you don't set up the bar on your back correctly, it could be that you are maintaining proper upper back tightness, etc. Hard to say without seeing videos of you squatting.
    If your legs are bowing inward when you squat, you could have flexibility and/or strength issues with your hips and hamstrings, or it could just be a form issue that you need to work on and practice until it gets better.

    Recently I have been dealing with my problems and many factors could be affecting my squat. (I'm intrested in what people think.) The school year is coming to a close, so now days I get about 6 hours of sleep a night. Also, I have been having trouble eating (and I have sports now). So, I am eating less and running more (but the odd thing is my lifts are increasing).
    I would rectify this ASAP or your gains will come to a screeching halt.
    What else...? Something I did today (I think my squats were worst ever today) was we ran hills at tennis. So, my legs were sore when I went in to the gym. Could this have affected my squat? I have never been in this situation before. But, if it did, how come I squated higher weight and reps than last week?
    Yes, it could have affected your form.
    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. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
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    Can you post the video? Or maybe take another one? I'm interested to see what your form looks like and compare it mine lol

  6. #6
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    Unfortunatley I don't have it. I will take it again some other time.

    I'm looking for lifts that will help my squat form.

  7. #7
    Senior Member KevinStarke's Avatar
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    Squatting. Maybe some more hip strength is needed though, I know thats what the guys I used to train with had me do when I first started squatting heavy. Try some pullthroughs maybe but nothing will help your squat form more than squatting.
    Last edited by KevinStarke; 04-27-2006 at 07:26 AM.

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