Elbows hitting thighs when squatting? Elbows hitting thighs when squatting?

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Thread: Elbows hitting thighs when squatting?

  1. #1
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    Default Elbows hitting thighs when squatting?

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    So, first of all, I don't have video. I just noticed this 2 workouts ago and haven't had a chance to shoot it. But here is what is happening.

    When I get my shoulders nice and warmed up, I can get a grip with my pinkies just on the inside of the 32" rings. Bar is very secure, elbows are low, feel almost "pinned to my sides." My wrists are in slight extension (maybe this contribute to the problem?). Anyway, at the bottom of the squat on my heaviest sets, my forearms are rotating forward slightly and my elbows are touching my thighs. I first noticed this the other day on my intensity sets of 350x3x3. I couldn't see what was happening. But today on my volume sets of 310x5x5 I was working in front of a mirror and I could see the elbows sneaking forward.

    I tried keeping my elbows in the same plane throughout the next rep and ended up out on my toes. So I'm not sure how to adress this.

    Ideas? I'll try to get video of my next workout and check back.

  2. #2
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    Video please
    Ryan Arnold
    Crossfit Solace
    ryanarnold1178@gmail.com

  3. #3
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    Here is video from today, volume day. Reset slightly to 305 because I caught myself cutting off depth a little over the last week or two as I've been taking video. I have taken a slightly wider grip (ring finger on the 32"rings) and my elbows don't hit my legs as a result but you can see they get way down there.

    I can also see that I need to keep my lower back in better extension out of the hole. Any other advice welcome. I was already pretty shot from my intensity deadlifts today (415x3, 375x3x2).


  4. #4
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    Well assuming you have tried the obvious fix of keeping your elbows up and not letting them dip down I guess I would start working on some of these things on warmup sets and on volume day:

    1) Can't tell from the vid but you may be lifting your head up. Keep your head and chin down. Pick a spot on the floor 3-5 feet in front and keep your eyes there.
    2) Find a bar position where you can keep your wrists straight
    3) I can't see your feet but if you don't have lifting shoes, I would get some
    4) A belt would definitely help as well, but you do need to learn how to keep your low back in extension without it
    5) If possible, see a Coach for a form check session as many of these things can be fixed much more effectively in person
    Ryan Arnold
    Crossfit Solace
    ryanarnold1178@gmail.com

  5. #5
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    1) I think you're right. I watched a couple other videos and I think I'm popping my head up slightly right at the bottom or just as I start the ascent. It doesn't exactly line up with the wrist going into extension but they happen at about the same time. I'll grab a tennis ball.
    2) Been doing that and that has mostly eliminated the elbow movement when I am thinking about it consciously.
    3) yes I'm wearing lifting shoes
    4) ordering a belt next payday
    5) I wish.

    One thing I noticed is that even with the wider grip and neutral wrists, my elbows are going past the top of my thighs at the bottom. Do I just have long forearms or something? I've watched a ton of other people's squat vids and I usually don't see that.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt James View Post
    Do I just have long forearms or something?
    Maybe, but this still doesn't exclude you from keeping your elbows up and not letting them dip
    Ryan Arnold
    Crossfit Solace
    ryanarnold1178@gmail.com

  7. #7
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    Hey Ryan. Here is my second set from Sunday. First set was 335x3, this was supposed to be 345x3. Had to bail on the 3rd rep due to a nagging injury that I described in more detail on the Managing Injuries forum. (Left hip but video is reversed so it's the hip facing the camera). Apologies for the bad angle.

    Still lifting my head a bit. Not doing it on my warmups now, will keep addressing it. I think my arms/wrists are better controlled and my back extension is better. Thoughts?

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  8. #8
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    Ok I read through your injury thread. This situation is getting a little dicey. How old are you and when did you start LP? You are probably getting into programming consultation territory as well as having to think about getting the hip thing figured out asap
    Ryan Arnold
    Crossfit Solace
    ryanarnold1178@gmail.com

  9. #9
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    I'm a month shy of 43. Started LP at the end of February 19. Stretched it out for a bit as I was working in a caloric deficit from about the middle of June through October in order to lose some belly fat and get my blood glucose under control. I started doing a 4-day split the end of October, ended up resetting the squat/deadlift a bit (which you can read about in the injury thread) due to bilateral glute medius pain. The left hip thing has been coming and going for a few months. Deadlifts are progressing fine as of now. My lower body day 1 is squat intensity 3x3, DL volume at 80% for 3x5; day 2 is DL 3x1 and 2 backoff triples at 90%, and squat 5x5. Let me know if there is other info you can use. I do have about a .25" LLD (left leg is longer) which I've been correcting with an insert. Prior to that I had pretty bad bilateral hip pain (along with hip pain due to knee slide). So squats have been challenging for quite a while for different reasons.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    It looks like your thoracic spine is not in rigid extension. If it were, you probably wouldn't even be able to be looking forward like that at the bottom. Refer back to the blue book with the tennis ball example in the squat chapter. I don't know if you are gripping wide because something forces you to, but it does look to me like your grip can be narrowed. Your wrists are also in extension at the start, and I think the elbow dip is being caused by your hands trying to realign into flexion at the bottom to better hold the bar in place, an issue again caused by not having a rigid thoracic. Granted I'm no coach, so take what I have to say with some salt, but I was curious and took a look and this is all what stuck out to me.

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