Squat Mechanics / Feeling the Muscle Activation Squat Mechanics / Feeling the Muscle Activation

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Thread: Squat Mechanics / Feeling the Muscle Activation

  1. #1
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    Default Squat Mechanics / Feeling the Muscle Activation

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    Mark,

    First let me thank you for everything you do in the world of fitness. I very much enjoy your no bullshit approach.

    I have a question regarding squat mechanics. I have read your article 5 times. I have watched your Art of Manliness Squat/Deadlift videos over 30 times collectively. I've watched the video of you correcting a kids hip drive 5 times.

    I have recently started squatting again, which I avoided for a long time. I have now been squatting for the last two months. My main concern is that I want to be sure I am progressing in weight using the proper mechanics and form. It is difficult to assess oneself without a video camera...and even then, my eyes arent as trained as yours.

    It occurs to me that I may be able to determine if my form is correct by the burn/fatigue of a given muscle group. Essentially, where I feel it the most.

    So as far as the squat is concerned, I understand it is a posterior chain movement. My goal with each rep is to visualize the the bar is on my lower back. Push from there. Keep my eyes on the floor 6 feet in front of me. Etc

    I've been doing 3 sets of 5 twice a week, as I am on a cut. I am concerned that I dont feel a tremendous burn in my glutes upon completion of the set, nor in my hamstrings, but then again I am not going to failure.

    What would you advise as far 'feeling' the movement? I understand the completely insane and arbitrary nature of my question, especially without a visual. When I squatted years ago, I recall tremendously intense burns in my glutes. That said I Was never going lower than 8 reps, and I wasnt using your form.

    I am driving myself insane after every workout trying to assess whether or not I am doing them properly...how to assess if the bar is mid foot, how to assess whether or not I am lifting my chest, etc.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    You are relying on rather subjective assessments here, instead of analysis. What do you mean by "a burn" in your glutes?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of the Jews View Post
    Sounds like a prolapse. OP, send pics.
    Goddamit, this man is a comedic genius.

  4. #4
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    Meanwhile, back at the ranch. Sean, why don't you just do the program?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean4104 View Post
    I am driving myself insane after every workout trying to assess whether or not I am doing them properly...how to assess if the bar is mid foot, how to assess whether or not I am lifting my chest, etc.
    Taking video for review would help, or getting a good coach.

    In real time, you know the barbell is over the midfoot if your balance is centered directly in the middle of the foot. If it's towards the ball or the heel, the bar is forward or aft of the midfoot. Easy. You know if you're lifting your chest early... if you're lifting your chest (your eyeline will change early).

    Don't sweat the muscle burn- focus on the mechanics. Is the barbell in the right place on your back? Are you tight? Are you braced? Etc. That's what matters.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Meanwhile, back at the ranch. Sean, why don't you just do the program?
    Sean, that is a very polite way of saying do the program buddy: 3x5 squats as detailed in the book. If you work linear progression for squats, you will not feel an activation limited to just one area, it will be your entire posterior chain. Your shoulders, upper baxk, lower back, glutes, etc. everything. It is not an isolation exercise. You are balancing and squatting a load on your back for goodness sake. Quite a long kinetic chain involving the entire body. Sean, the best advice I can give you is to buy Starting Strength 3rd Edition
    All the info is in there.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Meanwhile, back at the ranch. Sean, why don't you just do the program?
    He's on a cut, duh.

  8. #8
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    If you're so concerned, post a form video and/or hire a coach.

    Typing ain't gonna do much.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean4104 View Post
    Any help would be appreciated.

    Go see a Starting Strength Coach. He'll tell you if you're doing them right (you aren't), and if not (you aren't), fix them so you are.

    You are welcome.
    Last edited by Steve Hill; 02-09-2016 at 03:24 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ Gotcher View Post
    ...In real time, you know the barbell is over the midfoot if your balance is centered directly in the middle of the foot. If it's towards the ball or the heel, the bar is forward or aft of the midfoot. Easy. You know if you're lifting your chest early... if you're lifting your chest (your eyeline will change early). ...
    Knowing whether it's over midfoot seems easy, based on balance.

    I may be being obtuse or not understanding what you mean be eyeline, but how do you differentiate the change in view from lifting your chest early and the change in view from your hips going up?

    Feeling whether you're going to the proper depth, rather than too high or low, seems harder. Do you have a method for this beyond practice and checking video or a coach?

    Another common issue, staying tight, seems easy - stay as tight as possible.

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