Squat Form Check #3, After Back Tweak 1mo Ago Squat Form Check #3, After Back Tweak 1mo Ago

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Thread: Squat Form Check #3, After Back Tweak 1mo Ago

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    18

    Default Squat Form Check #3, After Back Tweak 1mo Ago

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    Hello Again Coaches,

    How does my form look here, in this most recent 3rd set of squats at 110kg? Am I maintaining good form or have things been deteriorating? (My gut tells me my bar position still might not be low enough and I'm "good morning-ing" too much on the way up).

    YouTube

    Here's that same workout, 110kg, for the second set, from the left side and a little closer:

    YouTube

    (BTW, when I grip the bar correctly, thumbless with straight wrists, my left index finger comes up & the fingertip catches under the bar. I know this is just due to my head injury, but is this really in any way, not having the index finger wrapped around the bar?)


    --------
    (This next part is about my failed set when I tweaked my back about a month ago, and I'm only posting these two vids in case there's some obvious form flaw that caused the pain. Though my guess is it was just laziness in not creating enough tightness while bracing before the lift.)


    I'm working my way back up after tweaking my back about a month ago, here, on the second set of 110kg:
    YouTube


    And here's the first set from that day, where I completed all five reps just fine; as I recall I did feel some tightness or just discomfort in my lower back as I completed the reps:
    YouTube
    ---------------------------

    This was my second "back pain incident" since beginning that Stronglifts program (out of ignorance) in 8/2018 then switching to SS in about December. This time the pain was much less in that I could get around in daily life and felt fine except when lifting.

    Anyway, after that back tweak I just followed y'all's excellent recommendations and just kept lifting to fix the pain; of course with much less weight, with 3/4 squats at first and for the first two days back I couldn't even bend over properly to grab the bar for deadlifts. But after two weeks everything got back to normal and 100kg on the bar felt fine for The Lifts, so yes, fellow lifters, you really should just keep lifting after you hurt your back!!

    For your reference, here's my previous thread where Coach Rippetoe helped me correct high bar position and a lower back that was in awful flexion:
    Squat Form Check #2

    Thank you for your assistance and your time!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Hello again coaches,

    Yesterday while I was working on 112.5kg, I had the same issue again of my left index finger flexing under the bar, and then me extending the left wrist to try to keep the finger wrapped around the bar. From the very beginning, even when I first get under the bar, it feels like that index fingerpad is barely touching the bar. You'll see on the second set here at about the third rep that I start to extend my wrist:
    YouTube

    Here's the third set from that same day, from a different angle, where the tip of the left index finger again flexes under the bar (from my recollection again at around the third rep):
    YouTube

    And here, just in case it's useful, is the 1st set from that same day:
    YouTube


    If you recall from my first form check (linked at the bottom of my above post), I had a head injury as a kid that gave me left side mirror weakness, similar to what a stroke sufferer would have. As a result one of the lingering effects is less fine motor control over my fingers.

    I'm not sure why my left index finger pops under the bar mid-set like this, but for some reason it's (a little!) easier to get it wrapped back around the bar when I extend my wrist. This isn't painful at all, but just feels weird on the bar when it happens, and I feel like I could have less control over the bar (even though it of course is just sitting on the shoulder shelf).

    So my question to y'all is, in your judgement do you think this misplaced left index finger could cause any trouble down the line? And if so, is it worth sacrificing wrist flexion to keep the finger in its place, for (I guess) safety issues?

    Thanks!

  3. #3
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    Jun 2019
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    On the third set at 115kg yesterday the left index fingerpad was flexing under the bar again:
    YouTube

    The index finger flexion doesn't hurt but just feels weird, and at this point it's psychologically throwing me off because I don't know whether it's dangerous or "bad" for the lift!

    On the second set I wrapped my thumb around the bar to keep the index finger in place, but this wrist flexion was really uncomfortable and threw off the other parts of my lift (on second rep, left foot rolls onto outside, etc.)
    YouTube

    So, can I safely ignore this left index finger flexion under the bar?? Or is this something I need to try to fix?

    Thank you!

  4. #4
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    Jun 2019
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    Here's today's third set at 117.5kg:
    YouTube

    Today on the first set I felt the left index finger (last two knuckles) flexing under the bar again, so in the second and third sets I placed my left hand wider, which didn't eliminate the finger flexion but made me feel like I had a more solid grip of the bar.

    Here is the 2nd set at 117.5kg, from the other side:
    YouTube

    Side note, I felt like the bar position was much better-lower!- today.

    The left finger from the very beginning, as you can see, is flexed under the bar, but with a wider grip it feels like I have better control of the bar- like there's less chance it will slip down my back.

    So, why is nobody responding?
    Is it because this is simply a shoulder flexibility issue, even though I think it's due to motor function losses from my head injury?

    If it's the former, I know you all have material out there on how to fix it, but if it's the latter do I even need to bother with finding an individualized solution? My only concerns are bar stability (is the bar more likely to slip out of my hand and slide down my back?) and I guess creating muscle imbalances down the road.

    Last point, does my back angle look OK on these squats? I think it does, but the Russian gym staff came up to me last workout and today to "critique" how I'm in danger of hurting my back-they've never seen ANYONE squat low bar! So now I want to check in with y'all experts to see whether things really do look good with my back.

    Thank you!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    101

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    Hips and knees should unlock at the same time. I believe that because you kick your hips back at the start the bar is going in front of midfoot and causing this good morning mess. Your lockout position looks weird like youíre squeezing your ass too far forward.

    You need to get your upper back tighter as well. Pull down on the bar like a lat pull.

    Drop down on the weight and progress back up - this time keep your back tight and donít let your hips shoot up faster than the bar.

    Get some squat shoes. Read the book. Hire a SSC

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    38

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    Iím a novice and have plenty of my own squat issues, so not sure what my advice is worth. but to me....

    You look good but you bend over way too much on the ascent. Your low back/trunk is not acting as a rigid bar to lift the weight. It looks like the bar might be rolling up your back because your back angle is closing so much. Maybe Deload until you can ascend with a constant back angle instead of one that collapses??? Otherwise to my novice eyes i thought it looked pretty ok.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2019
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    Looks to me like the bar is uncentred on your back and that you're twisting clockwise quite severely on the way up. Twisting under a heavy load is definitely something to avoid - maybe that was the cause of your back tweak?

  8. #8
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    Jun 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soule View Post
    Hips and knees should unlock at the same time. I believe that because you kick your hips back at the start the bar is going in front of midfoot and causing this good morning mess. Your lockout position looks weird like youíre squeezing your ass too far forward.

    You need to get your upper back tighter as well. Pull down on the bar like a lat pull.

    Drop down on the weight and progress back up - this time keep your back tight and donít let your hips shoot up faster than the bar.

    Get some squat shoes. Read the book. Hire a SSC
    Thanks for the feedback, Soule! I could tell my back was too horizontal but had convinced myself that this was OK after watching many videos by SS taking about how "our" horizontal back angle isn't a Good Morning because we maintain it like a strong hinge on the way up and only straighten the back about 3/4 of the way up. In fact, looking at all the various SS videos out there, I was getting confused because Rip talks all the time about a more horizontal back angle, but then praises these lifters' squats who are showing at best a diagonal one, at MOST about 45 degrees!

    Rip also mentioned in his videos how the "good morning" aspect of the squat, the hips coming up faster than the back, happens only for a moment as we come out of the hole by driving hips up, then the back immediately catches up and corrects the angle, so I'll try to think of this while working my way back up, too.
    I will deload and focus on unlocking hips AND knees at the same time, which I guess will keep my back at more of a 45 degree angle instead of 30 degrees.
    May I ask, is my super low "Good Morning" angle something to worry about injury-risk wise? Or will it mostly interfere with progress on the lift?
    I was thinking so much about lower back extension that I ignored uppee back tightness entirely, so thank you, I will work on this as well.
    As for squat shoes, I had read (not through SS) that this Converse-style was a good "regular shoe" option for squatting (definitely not running shoes!).
    And yes, an online SSC (I'm in Russia at the moment) is certainly in my near future!
    Thanks once more for taking the time to provide me with useful feedback!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    Looks to me like the bar is uncentred on your back and that you're twisting clockwise quite severely on the way up. Twisting under a heavy load is definitely something to avoid - maybe that was the cause of your back tweak?
    Thanks MWM; yes I noticed the twisting as well! I think this is just a part of residual motor weakness from my head injury long ago- the right side is stronger/quicker to respond than the left so it comes up faster. I don't know how to deal with this- back in my college days I had the same issue with my bench press, the weight wasn't necessarily too heavy for me but my right arm lifted faster than the left (the left had to catch up), and some trainer recommended dumbbell work where I use a stronger weight on the right arm, but to me doing accessory work on the squat to train the right leg stronger than the left doesn't seem like a good solution-the imbalances will just increase. And if I lower weight on the right side to allow the left to catch up, I'll slow the LP and overall strength-building process! (Under the SS LP this time, on the bench press my left arm has actually caught up to the right arm pretty decently after de-loading and resetting a few times to correct form issues).

    In any case, I think you're right that the twisting caused the back tweak, but I'm not sure that twisting is entirely avoidable given my injury history, so I'll think about how to best address that--maybe a slower interval or pace of weight increases as I try to acclimate my left side to the heavier weights, so that it gets stronger at a more even pace.

    (FWIW, it's not that the left side is "weaker"- the head injury caused effects similar to a stroke victim. Brain cells were killed and so I had to learn new neural pathways to operate my body- learn ways to send signals "around" the dead brain cells so that I could operate the left side of my body. At least that's how it was explained to me by a PT many years ago. So in my mind, it's not that the left side is absolutely weaker (sure, in some cases, it is-you can see an atrified left vs. right calf, for example)- it's that it takes longer for the muscles to respond as my brain sends commands to use them.)

    Thanks once more for the interesting and useful feedback!

  10. #10
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    Feb 2019
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    starting strength nutrition camp
    It would be great to get an SSC's input on the above - does this sort of neurological issue pose a sufficient injury risk to justify modifying the programme?

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