Slight Deviation From Vertical Bar Path On Squat Slight Deviation From Vertical Bar Path On Squat

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Thread: Slight Deviation From Vertical Bar Path On Squat

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    Default Slight Deviation From Vertical Bar Path On Squat

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    41 year old male, 6'4'', 205 lbs. It has been about 8 months since any of my lifts could be considered Novice Linear Progression, the lower body lifts even longer. On the Squat I am running out a HLM, to peak the heavy day for a 1RM. It is getting to the point where even the medium day is getting heavy where I am paying around with sets and reps (same volume though) just to be able to keep adding weight to the bar.

    Anyways, I've noticed that on medium days to some extent and on the heavy day top sets that my bar path is a perfect straight line on the way down, but on the way up at the sticky point, just out of the hole, it will shift slightly forward of the center of mass as I grind into the hip drive. I have a nice controlled descent and then can get a slight bounce out of the bottom, in which case the bar starts to slow and all I think about is moving the hips up. Looking at videos of myself I can see the bar path go forward of the center of mass. I didn't really catch it until watching a video of Michael Wolf, where I noticed he was running into the exact same issue. Here is a video below, that illustrates the issue.

    500x5 Squat PR & Other Lifts - YouTube

    Is this something to be concerned about on reps where you are grinding it out? This set of 5 for him was clearly a 5RM at the time and he could not get out another rep, so it makes sense that the form won't be perfect. But, is there any way to fix this on these tough reps. Or should I be concerned about making sure that this form creep doesn't show up in the medium days as much? On the light days, I have an almost perfect vertical bar path on the ascent.

    Thanks,

    Nick

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    We can help you better if we see a video of you.

    Better technique is always better regardless of how light or heavy it is. The difference is that, on a heavy weight, you won't stand it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewLewis View Post
    We can help you better if we see a video of you.

    Better technique is always better regardless of how light or heavy it is. The difference is that, on a heavy weight, you won't stand it up.
    Makes sense. The video is not as good quality as Michael Wolf's, but probably descent enough for you to see the issue.

    Below is a link to a video on the second set of three on my most recent medium day. On the second set I got in the groove with the bounce out of the bottom, but it is heavy enough for me to subtly shift the weight forward of the center of mass when I dig into the hip drive. The third set was a grind from the third rep on, so it is worse. Next week I'm going to try switching to 4 sets of 4 rather than 3 sets of 5 to be able to do them in the best form possible.

    Squat five at 290 second set 1-19-21 - YouTube


    Below is a link to to the first set of three on my heavy day. I'm doing 2 sets of 3 for the top sets and then two backoff sets of 5 at a 10% reduction. The last rep of the second was an all out grind, where I switched to 2 sets of 2 for the top sets the next week.

    Squat triple at 315 first set 1-9-21 - YouTube

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Thanks Rip! This link is very helpful.

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    I don’t think you are leaning forward far enough sufficiently early. It’s like you do a two stage squat with a more vertical spine initially and then you remember to bend over. It’s causing the movement to be jerky and throwing you off. My thoughts are to de-load 10% and learn to set your back earlier, then add the weight back on as you aren’t running out of strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schrodinger23 View Post
    Below is a link to a video on the second set of three on my most recent medium day. On the second set I got in the groove with the bounce out of the bottom, but it is heavy enough for me to subtly shift the weight forward of the center of mass when I dig into the hip drive. The third set was a grind from the third rep on, so it is worse.
    At 6'4", 205 lbs., more bodyweight usually is the prescribed fix on tough reps.

    Your hips move forward at the beginning of each rep, which might have something to do with your bar path, although I am not qualified to pick up on, much less comment on, whether you "subtly shift the weight forward" at the bottom of the squat.

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    I only watched the 315lb squats.



    You need to bend over right away.

    Unrelated, those lifts are going to be a lot easier with some weight gain. At 6'4", you need to gain some weight.
    Last edited by AndrewLewis; 01-21-2021 at 02:02 PM.

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    Not an SSC but it appears to me that you are starting the decent by pushing your hips forward (almost like the start of a Press) and then breaking at the knees, then bringing your hips back to begin the break at the hips back. It creates this almost "S" shape with your hips. Dont push forward with your hips to start the decent and focus on breaking at the knees and backwards with your hips at the same time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Killmond View Post
    At 6'4", 205 lbs., more bodyweight usually is the prescribed fix on tough reps.

    Your hips move forward at the beginning of each rep, which might have something to do with your bar path, although I am not qualified to pick up on, much less comment on, whether you "subtly shift the weight forward" at the bottom of the squat.

    I think that my hips moving forward at the beginning of each rep is that I take a big breath while setting my low back and crunching my abs simultaneously, to where I can feel outward pressure on the belt. This slightly moves my hips forward. I usually then quickly, without waiting just start the descent. Maybe it would help to pause a second or set to let me hips settle back in to the neutral position before descending. Good point.

    The shift in the bar from a straight vertical path is easy to see in the video if you look at the right side of the bar compared with the side of the right side of the image. The path is moving in a pretty straight line if that gap remains the same. If the gap gets larger then the weight is being shifted back behind the center of mass. If it is getting smaller, than it is moving forward of the center of mass. Usually, it is a nice straight line on the way down on the descent even at heavy weights, but I can typically see the shift forward on the center of mass on the way up. The last two reps on the 315 set, you can see this. I don't see a straight line on the descent of the medium day 290 set, which is unusual. I think I shifted back a little bit on the way down and then it came forward on the way up. This day was starting to get hard though, where I was thinking about switching from 3 sets of 5 to 4 sets of 4 to try to clean up the form a bit, as I am almost done running out the cycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewLewis View Post
    I only watched the 315lb squats.



    You need to bend over right away.

    Unrelated, those lifts are going to be a lot easier with some weight gain. At 6'4", you need to gain some weight.
    Thanks for taking a look at the video. That is counterintuitive about fixing the problem on the descent. I kept watching week after week a pretty straight vertical bar path on the way down and then the bar comes forward out of the hole. I didn't even think about trying to fix the descent. I knew that it felt kind of choppy on the descent, but didn't think anything of it since the bar path is usually straight. Just to be clear, you think that I am bending over enough, but need to do so earlier in the descent? Maybe in the first 1/3 or 1/2 of the descent?


    The weight gain is tough. I started out seriously underweight at the beginning of linear progression, at about 165 lbs. I was working with two different Starting Strength coaches at a Starting Strength gym over a 3 to 4 month period. I drove about 1.5 to 2 hours each way to do this, which is why I haven't been doing it after switching to intermediate programming. I just didn't have the time each week. One coach had the talk with me, right at the beginning, that I needed to get up to around 220 lbs. At the end of linear progression I was at around 230 lbs. I was regularly working with the other Starting Strength coach primarily, who told me that putting on 65 lbs of weight in a 3 to 4 month period is putting on mostly fat and that maybe 15 to 20 pounds of it was lean muscle mass. He said that gaining 30 pounds during linear progression was on the high side of what he would suggest. The other coach when I met with him on an off day said that I needed to gain more weight, when I was somewhere between 220 and 230 lbs, which is what he said I should be aiming for initially. He said that I should get to 275 lbs. I already didn't like all the extra fat that I put on at around 230 lbs, so I guess I listened to the other Starting Strength coach and started a cut at the beginning of intermediate programming. I got down to around 195 lbs, but couldn't budge the weight any further and actually have enough carbs to train on. So I stopped there and gradually settled in at around 205, where feels like I can eat enough to properly train. My press has been able to steadily progress eating how I do now and I was under the assumption that the press is the most sensitive how much we eat, at least that how it was when I was cutting and I couldn't make much progress at all. I hit 200g or more of protein per day and around 300 g of carbs from grains (additionally I have carbs from the fruit, beans or vegetables that I eat, but don't count, but would estimate at around 60g). I'm not at the point where I can see my abs, or anything like that. I have some fat around my gut and little bit around my joints. I'm not so sure about driving my weight up to 275 lbs, which seems excessive. Or approaching this with bulking for 3 months and then cutting for 3 months. It seems like there is a waste of time and progress on cutting cycles, where maybe if we don't really bulk or cut, but are eating enough to train, then we can just make slower progress over the 6 months. Or is it best to wait until we run through two or three HLM cycles (or Texas Method cycles), to where the progress has significantly slowed before we stop bulking and cutting and just hold our weight constant. My dad and uncle both had heart attacks while young, pretty young. Dad was 49 and my uncle was somewhere between age 35 and 40. Just not sure what to do, taking all of this into account.

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