How long did it take you to perfect your squat form? How long did it take you to perfect your squat form?

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Thread: How long did it take you to perfect your squat form?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    92

    Default How long did it take you to perfect your squat form?

    I was just wondering how long it took you until you finally had it figured out.

    Some days I feel like I'm doing great - Back arched, eyes down, knees aligned with toes, driving up with the hips, wrists straight, etc... Great form altogether.

    Other days, like yesterday, I kept having the feeling that my back was rounding and I was leg pressing the weight up. And other days I can't seem to find a comfortable stance width.

    It's wierd. I watch lots of videos on here, and carefully listen to your critiques. I keep going back to the squat chapter in SS too to try and pick up more useful tips and tricks. I also practice all the time in the gym and out of the gym with no weight. I just can't seem to get the feeling of perfect squat form. I have a feeling that other people may be in the same boat as me on this one.

    I ask some of the more experienced people at my gym to critique my form, and they usually say that it looks good, but I don't know how creditable their opinions are.

    I keep trying though, and I'm going to get it one day. Who knows when? But I was just wondering how long it took you to learn how to perfectly squat. Also, how long does it usually take the typical, new-to-squatting, trainee to learn?

    If I could afford to go to the seminar, I'd be there in a heartbeat, but unfortunately I can't afford it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    North Texas
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    My personal squat form is not perfect, and neither is anybody else's who is not constantly coached. I know what is supposed to look like, but because I can't see it while I'm doing it, my form will drift over several workouts from good to bad. It will settle into a stable, bad technique and will remain there until I get it corrected again. This is called "form creep", and affects all uncoached athletes to varying degrees.

    Everybody needs a coach, no matter how accomplished they are. A coach provides a good set of eyes and the experience to know what to say to get you to do a movement correctly. This is the primary problem with training alone at home, not the lack of some asshole yelling that it's "All you, man!" You can't see it as it's being done, and you can't correct it as it happens if you can't tell what's wrong. Video is useful, but it's no substitute for a coach's correction in real time, your feeling the correction and incorporating it into the movement pattern, and then your feeling the difference the correction made from wrong to right during the set.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    8

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    Wow.. And what's more is you can hardly ask anyone in the gym and expect a reliable response.

    I wouldn't DARE ask anyone except maybe one guy at my gym to look at my form. Especially not the trainers, useless tits they are.

    I don't know.. It's tough to find a good environment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    92

    Default

    Wow, so even you have form problems with squatting! That does make me feel a little bit better that I have on days and off days with my form.

    I'll tell ya what though. Your book and this forum really helped me to stop hurting myself when I squat. I was doing quite a few things wrong before. So at least now, I know enough things to tell myself in my head while I'm squatting that will prevent me from getting hurt.

    Also, maybe the fact that I learned to not just randomly put an extra 60 lbs. on the bar and squat with it helps to keep me injury-free too. Ya, that wasn't smart of me when I did that before.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    18

    Default

    You could look at it from a good angle, now that we know where to get good training, ask at your local gym if anyone's ever taken, or heard of, crossfit certifications; and specifically, if they've taken the Basic Barbell Certification. If enough people start demanding this level of expertise, the market will respond by providing that level of expertise. Of course, the demand has to support the supply in the form of supportable careers, but it looks to me like there's lots of opportunity out there, and only more growing in the future.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Austin TX USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Video is useful, but it's no substitute for a coach's correction in real time, your feeling the correction and incorporating it into the movement pattern, and then your feeling the difference the correction made from wrong to right during the set.
    This being the case, wouldn't the best arrangement for a well-appointed squat station be a video monitor set on the floor 6' away from the squatter, tilted up at say 45 deg, with the camera on a tripod set at an angle oblique to the squatter? Then the squatter could 1) maintain proper gaze direction and 2) get continuous realtime visual feedback on his/her form.

    Is there any reason NOT to have such a set-up (except for the expense, of course)?

  7. #7
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    It is very hard to look at something while you're trying to feel it being done correctly at the same time. If you watch yourself do something while you're doing it, you will slow yourself down and ruin your focus on performing the movement. And if you can afford all that equipment, you can afford to come to our cert.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    38

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    I've been working on squat form or over a year, and still can't get it down. The only place I know that could coach me is a local Crossfit facility, with instructors having Basic Barbell Certification. In terms of self-coaching, Starting Strength is as good as it gets, but one must, like Mark said, receive live coaching.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Austin TX USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    It is very hard to look at something hile you're trying to feel it being done correctly at the same time. If you watch yourself do something while you're doing it, you will slow yourself down and ruin your focus on performing the movement. And if you can afford all that equipment, you can afford to come to our cert.
    Thanks for the reply, Coach.

    And FWIW, if I had the money sitting around, I would DEFINITELY spend it on a certification seminar rather than the set-up I came up with in that post. Although I did think it pretty clever

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    It is very hard to look at something hile you're trying to feel it being done correctly at the same time. If you watch yourself do something while you're doing it, you will slow yourself down and ruin your focus on performing the movement.
    That's why my GF and I look like crazies to all the half-squatters in our gym -- we use the opposite side of the squat racks to avoid looking into the mirrors.

    I've found that a chalk mark or a plate 6' in front of my rack and a camera looking in on the side is the best setup for me. Once you fully ingrain how a correct squat *feels*, you can just use the video to ensure your form doesn't creep like Coach Rip's :P

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