Squat Form - First Fails Squat Form - First Fails

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Thread: Squat Form - First Fails

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Default Squat Form - First Fails

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    Hello All!

    This is my first proper post here, but so far have found it an invaluable resource as I've went through my LP - helping to correct things that didn't feel efficient or caused pain.

    I work out alone at home, first thing in the morning, with only The Book and this site as coaching. Bodyweight of 79kg (174lbs). 5'7" with a short leg, long torso combo.

    Progress has been nice with Squat so far, 7.5kg increase on squat every week, but now it's getting tough and today I failed for the first time, halfway through the 3rd workset at 120kg (265lbs).

    I can see I'm not getting deep enough, is that killing my rebound? I am always visualizing hips up, but the last of my warm up sets for example feel completely different in terms of ass-ascent. Keen to find out what else you guys see is going on here.

    First workset


    3rd workset w/fail...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Yellow Springs, OH
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    You're squatting "into your knees" rather than "into your hips" and your chest/back angle is too vertical. With a long torso/short legs you'll be more upright than most, but not that much :-)

    I can't see your feet but I suspect that a) your stance is too narrow and b) you end up on your toes at the bottom of the squat.

    Yes, you're significantly above parallel.


    First widen your stance a bit.

    Next, from the top of the rep, your knees will go forward and out and at the same time you will push your hips back towards the wall behind you. Really reach back as hard as you can. This will point your chest towards the ground and give you a more horizontal back angle.

    Your knee travel forward will stop about 1/3 to halfway down, and then you just keep sitting back and down. Think HIPS the whole time.

    If you feel like your weight is shifting onto your toes, again, think about sitting back. Also, look up the Master Cue in the book.

    Look at the photos in the squat chapter again and compare. There are also lots of video resources on the website that you can look at, and compare to your squat. You could also look at the Art of Manliness videos on youtube, of Rip coaching Brent McKay.

    Have another go and repost. You will probably have to deload in order to get to depth.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, some great pointers there, really appreciate it. I did also wonder if I was still too vertical and if I was over-arching a bit. I look forward to Monday's workout and trying these adjustments. Any suggestion for a deload? 95kg on the last warmup set felt good but that seems like a big back step.

    I have watched the Art of Manliness videos a few times now, have it saved in my SS playlist!

  4. #4
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    95 kg would be fine as a first step. You might be surprised at how "heavy" the lighter weight feels when you go to the correct depth.

    Take that step back, get your form correct, then you'll be able to work back up fairly quickly.

  5. #5
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    "Fail" is a verb; "failure" is a noun.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2017
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    Geeze, I thought I was watching myself about 3-4 months ago. I am nowhere near a gym so, like you, have gather info where I can and train myself in the shed.
    I squatted just like that up to a 120kg back injury and knee pain (i'm 47yo so carrying a few injuries form a former life).

    I wasn't ready for the weight, tried to maintain too upright a body angle and was afraid of the bottom of the hole. And with my form, no wonder I had no confidence.
    It was then that I had to regroup and discovered the whole Starting Strength thing and the Art of Manliness videos.
    My "eureka" moment was when Rip was yelling "stay in your ass, Brent, STAY IN YOUR ASS!"
    I bought the books and studied my ass off.

    It clicked from there. Once I healed, I went back to 90kg and worked on my form and refused anything less than parallel until I felt I had nailed it, then gradually built the weight back up from there.
    It's all in the hips, mate. Stay in your ass the WHOLE time and don't be afraid to drop the weight until you get it right.
    "Point your nipples to the ground" was another world changing cue.

    Also, try and psyche yourself up before you grab the bar and then just go in and get it done with aggression and confidence. Don't be timid, this is war! ;o)
    Keep it up and you'll be progressing again in no time. I just did 140kgx3x5 and it felt a lot better than than my first 100kg felt.
    Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the supportive words bud! I dropped down to 95kg and had a go this morning, felt better, hopefully looks better!

    I also read up on keeping the low back tight, wow, I had been doing it very wrong. After years of desk jockeying I have a pronounced APT and spend most of my time whilst upright squeezing my glutes to tilt it back up to try and correct it in the longer term. I was doing that pre-squat, when I should've been doing the opposite.

    So I've tried to widen stance, break from the hips and knees at the same time and push that arse out. Depth feels improved and it felt reassuringly difficult.

    95kg 3rd Workset - YouTube

    Welcome any comments, even those on grammar!

  8. #8
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    Your depth is much better. So is the knees forward/hips back at the start of the rep. Nice work.

    But....

    Watch your knees during the descent. They keep moving throughout the descent and end up quite a long way ahead of your toes at the bottom of the rep. You still look like the weight is on your toes at the bottom - do you feel that?

    What should happen is that about 1/3 to halfway down they stop moving forward, and then you just sit the hips back and down. This will make your back angle even more horizontal.

    Try using a TUBOW to check your knee slide: How to use the TUBOW

    Give that a go and report back.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mia Inman View Post

    Give that a go and report back.
    Thanks again, big help.

    So I couldn't resist a go with the TUBOW when I got home, albeit with a light weight. My knees didn't touch... Will be interesting to see how it looks during Wednesday's work.

  10. #10
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    starting strength nutrition camp
    What you have to do is shove the knees forward/out and get them in place early, and at the same time shove your hips back. So, two joints going in opposite directions.

    Once you're halfway down, just keep sitting the hips back and down while your knees remain locked in place.

    In the meantime, the bar goes straight down over your midfoot.

    The ascent is the same in reverse. Your knees stay locked in place and you simply drive your hips up, until you're about halfway up.

    At that point, keep driving the hips, and the knees will come back of their own accord.

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