After progressively squatting and deadlifting more weight every time I stept into the gym I decided to videotape myself. I know the video below doesn't conform to the recommendations in the sticky (I will make proper video's soon) but I really want to know: ... now what?! Should I stop adding weight? Lower the weight? I noticed my form is off even with very low weight and I think the problem is my flexibility. I have very tight hamstrings and hips. If I force myself to keep my back straight on the Squat I can't even get close to parallel before my butt starts to wink. On the Deadlift I can't seem to get into the correct position at all. Perhaps interesting to know, I have Scoliosis so I'm really concerned with doing these exercises with perfect form.
Since English is not my native language, I decided to read trough Starting Strength a second time. I also have been looking up alot of exercises for mobility/flexibility; Fire hydrants, wall squats, hamstring stretches, split squats, lunges. What do you guys recommend? Or is it my form and not my flexibility that is causing my back to round?
Deadlift - Excuse my camera man, at least the first rep is semi caught on tape.
Your deadlift video doesn't really give much information; but from what I can see, your hips are starting too low and your upper back is not tight enough. Definitely re-read the Deadlift chapter on Starting Strength and focus better on setting up.
The squats that the fellow in your video is performing are really bad. It is a high-bar squat; he is wearing the wrong shoes; he is dive-bombing much too quickly into the bottom of the squat, thus bypassing his stretch reflex and not really allowing him to keep tight lumbar and thoracic extension. Your squats should NEVER look like that.
Form is most certainly the problem here, not flexibility. Have you finished re-reading Starting Strength, or have you just started?
Last edited by Megabreth; 12-20-2010 at 06:59 AM.
Reason: fixing a redundancy
A few key points with the dead lift. First, set the bar up over mid foot. Bend over and grab the bar without bending your legs, THEN bend your knees until your shins touch the bar. This should set you up so that your scapula is directly over the bar. From here the toughest part is to extend your back without lowering your hips. The key to do this is to raise your chest and think of the "superman" position as described in SS. Keep your head in an anatomically correct position (not looking up). Lift.
I have indeed watched numerous videos (from Mark, CrossFit and various other places) and read SS 2 times minimum. And I'm aware of the DL setup, grab bar, bend knees untill chins touch it, squeeze chest up without lowering hips. But I can't seem to squeeze my back flat for some reason.
Here are some more video's, excuse the quality and camera guy...
DL - put the damn weight down between reps; it is a DEAD lift. Learn to arch your back. It isn't fucking rocket surgery to arch your back. Do the superman thing. Also, these are clearly too easy for form to even matter.
Deadlifts - I can't see because of the camera work, but it is very possible that you are not setting the bar over the middle of your foot, one inch away from your shins. If you are, then it is possible that you are scooting the bar forward because you're bending your knees too much. Your body is much too relaxed when you start your pull. You should feel like a loaded spring ready to be let go. You should feel strong tension in your hamstrings and your chest because you're squeezing on them so hard.
Matt made a very good point--you don't seem to know how to arch/extend your back. In Starting Strength, Rip writes about doing an exercise where you're lying on the floor and extending your entire body (very similar to "supermans" in CrossFit). You need to re-read that section and complete that exercise several times over until you are sore, so that you can learn exactly what muscles those are. When you've learned to extend/arch/open up your spine, you need to use that when you re-approach your lifts.
And please tell your camera person to, at the very least, get your whole body in these shots. I shouldn't have to guess where your feet are.