Squat form check (2020-12-7) Squat form check (2020-12-7)

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Thread: Squat form check (2020-12-7)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    58

    Default Squat form check (2020-12-7)

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    Hi coaches,

    I sure would appreciate some help with my squat form. There are 3 quirks in my squat that have been bothering me for months, because I'm not sure if they're serious issues/problems, or just me being OCD and too hard on myself. These issues include:

    1. Squat depth: I'm having a hard time "feeling" the correct bottom of the squat. I feel as if I'm alternating between going too deep, and then going slightly too shallow (when I try to correct for going too deep). I'm not sure if I'm what they call a "motor moron," or if there's some trick out there that I can use to "teach" my body what the correct bottom of the squat feels like.

    2. Rounding lower back: I know I'm not supposed to say "butt wink," so I won't. That being said, I can see that my lower back is rounding near the bottom of the squat. I'm not sure if this is happening because I'm going too deep in the squat, or because I haven't properly trained my lower back to stay tight/contracted during the descent. On top of that, I'm not sure how big a problem the rounding actually is. I think I read in one of Rip's articles that "some lower back rounding in the squat is not an anatomical catastrophe" or something similar...but that being said, how much of a catastrophe is it? Is it a problem I should try to correct, or not?

    3. Forward roll at the bottom: on some of my squat reps, I notice the bar "roll forward" very slightly at the bottom of the rep. I'm not sure if this is being caused by my thoracic spine "un-tightening" a bit (rounding), or me shifting my weight onto my toes at the bottom, or overenthusiastic hip drive, or what (or worse yet, some combination of all of these!!).

    Any help at all is appreciated - and don't feel limited to focus only on the 3 issues above; I readily admit that there may be other issues affecting my form that I'm not aware of, so please don't hesitate to mention those as well.

    I have 3 videos below (3 different angles):

    Rear angle: Squat 2020-12-7, work, rear - YouTube

    Side angle: Squat 2020-12-7, work, side #3 - YouTube

    Front angle: Squat 2020-12-7, work, front - YouTube


    Thanks for your help!

    -skypig

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    1,648

    Default

    I only watched the side and back view.

    1) Feedback is how you get good at knowing depth. Lots and lots of feedback. Videotape all of your worksets and look for yourself if you hit depth or not. Then adjust on the next set. Your depth is below-parallel on the ones I watched. You're probably about a half inch deep.

    2) Your butt is fine. There's a tiny bit of movement, but your back stays flat. Your bigger problem is your upper back.

    3) Your upper back is relaxing at the bottom of each rep, and it gets worse as the set progresses. Squeeze your upper back and trunk and stay midfoot the entire time. You're getting forward.
    Make sure you're looking about 5ft in front of you. If I had to guess, I'd say you're looking a foot in front of your feet. Your triforce can't save you from excessive thoracic flexion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Thanks - wow, that's the opposite of what I expected. I didn't think upper back relaxation would be my biggest problem, but now I'm glad I asked! Also, I'm already looking 5 - 6 feet in front of me...perhaps in my case, I should raise my gaze even more, to help me keep from tilting forward? Maybe if I stare straight ahead instead? Either way, I'll need to work on keeping my upper back/trunk tighter.

    Also, just to be clear: is a small amount of "forward bar roll" permitted at the bottom of the squat, due to hip drive kicking in? Or is any amount of "forward bar roll" indicative of form problems (like relaxed upper back, shifting weight onto toes, etc.)?

    Thanks again!

    -skypig

    P.S. the Triforce actually serves a useful purpose - if you line your feet up with the sides of the "inner triangle," you'll be making 30-degree angles, perfect for the squat

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    1,648

    Default

    You could try looking a little higher, but I wouldn't look "straight ahead". This is a body control problem if you're looking in the right place. Keeping the bar midfoot and the torso tight will help. If the bar gets forward of the midfoot, it's going to tend to roll at the bottom. It may help to think "touch my sternum to my chin" at the top of the squat and then hold that feeling the entire time as you bend over.

    The bar should not be rolling at all - the angle change of the back will affect the angle of the bar relative to the ground, but should not move the bar relative to the back at all.

    The triforce is a good reference point then.


    What do you think your biggest problem is?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Thanks for clarifying! I will focus on keeping my upper back + torso as tight as possible, throughout the entire rep. I will also watch to make sure the bar isn't rolling at all (TBH in some cases I could feel it rolling a bit UP my back, on the way up...in retrospect, that should've been a clear indicator to me that something in my form was slipping).

    I thought my biggest problem was my lower back loosening at the bottom of the squat, but apparently I was mis-interpreting that. Thanks again for the help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    3

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    starting strength coach development program
    You should watch the bar path in your videos. You’ll see it creep away from the mid foot bar path it should be on. I think you’re raising your chest to early in the accent. Stay in your hips and drive the bar up!

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