Squat Form Check - Novice (Strong Back? Vertical Path?) Squat Form Check - Novice (Strong Back? Vertical Path?)

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Thread: Squat Form Check - Novice (Strong Back? Vertical Path?)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
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    Default Squat Form Check - Novice (Strong Back? Vertical Path?)

    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
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    5'9", 170 lb, 40 year old male

    Just started Novice Phase 3. Latest squat was 245 3x5. Deadlift is 355 3x5, press is 140 3x5, and bench is 195 3x5.

    Looking for form check (video below recorded at lighter weight of 205x5 to practice form). I recorded rear and side view simultaneously using two devices.

    Moved from high-bar (in CrossFit) to SS low-bar recently and trying to focus on keeping bar over mid-foot, solid back extension, and controlling the descent (I often drop quickly into the hole).

    Thanks!
    - Philip in CT

    Squat Video 205x5 (Rear View)

    Squat Video 205x5 (Side View)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    1,192

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    Hey Philip

    Widen your grip before you get under the bar, then once you have the bar in the right spot, walk the hands in so you can keep the wrists flatter. The hands should be behind the bar rather than underneath.
    Narrow your stance up so the heels are more under the shoulders.
    Lean over more as you start and send your ass back away from your feet.
    Next time post a work set so we can see what else is going on.
    Maybe go see Cody Annino in Moodus for a session if you're in CT.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2020
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    Hi Pete,

    First, thanks for taking the time to reply and provide specific recommendations.

    Second, I just reached out to Cody (I didn't realize there were SS coaches up here!) for a personal training session on the squat. He's only an hour away. That's what I need.

    Third, I recorded my 3 working sets from this morning (videos below). Here are my self-observations:
    1. Started hands wider, tried walking in (feels tight); my left hand has harder time staying neutral (wants to extend)
    2. Used a narrower stance (perhaps not narrow enough?)
    3. Some reps were inconsistent (dropping too quickly into the hole, softening back, etc.); I'm aware of these -- things starting to get heavy now, so perhaps some fatigue and lack of concentration
    4. I seem to be caving my knees in coming up; even when I'm aware in the moment, I'm doing it in a struggle to finish the rep; this is causing a sore/bruised feeling on my right inner knee bone

    There are obviously many things to consider. I've read SS:BBT, PPST, Barbell Prescription, Strong Enough?, and now reading Mean Ol' Mr. Gravity (hilarious), plus watched all the videos, other form checks, and now this form check. I will continue to revisit these materials, but as my 7th grade history teacher said, "practice makes permanent." I need to figure out some proper cues, and in-person coaching should help.

    Squat 255 3x5 (set 1)

    Squat 255 3x5 (set 2)

    Squat 255 3x5 (set 3)

  4. #4
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    Jun 2014
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    Glad to hear you're going to link up with Cody. He and Rebecca are very capable and will sort you out.

    About half of these reps are high. Please make sure you're not posting high squats on the board. Narrow your stance up another half inch or so, where the heels are under your armpits. This will help with knees.
    Are you saying you have a bruise on the inside of your leg above the knee joint? Did you tear something at some point?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
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    My apologies for posting shitty reps. I should know better from reading other threads, and now I'm "that guy," lol. My intent was to get you my work sets as a follow-up.

    Should I back-off on the weight until form and depth are consistent, or use the same weight or continue progressing while fixing form? My inclination is to add 5lb (vs. 10lb) but continue working on form if it's not atrocious. Here's a related thread:
    Form vs. Increasing Weight

    I've been going through many of the videos and, combined with your advice and my own videos, can summarize as follows:
    1. My stance is too wide. I see that now. I am taking frequent breaks from my WFH desk job to practice the prime, unloaded movement of getting down with elbows between knees (slightly lower) in a narrow stance with knees over toes.
    2. I need to continue working on the neutral to slightly-extended wrist/grip (vs. overextension)
    3. My back isn't always at the right angle; "point nipples at the floor" could be a helpful cue
    4. I need to keep pushing my knees out into the bounce and coming up to avoid caving; a closer stance seems to help this

    The knee pain went away after yesterday's work sets, replaced by groin soreness on the other side. According to several other threads (below) on a sore groin, this is likely due to my stance, depth, back angle, or all 3 Regardless, proper form should address this.
    pain in groin on one side during squat
    Groin Pain after Squat

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    starting strength coach development program
    Groin pain could just be you getting your knees out harder than you have before. Not uncommon when starting to get the knees in the right position.

    You need to be able to fix some of this stuff and get to depth consistently. And it doesn't look like 255 is going to be the weight to do that. Maybe give 235 a shot.

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