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Thread: Newbie squat form check after 10% reset

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Trop View Post
    Hah, sorry, I was in a bit of a rush when I replied and that question came out really stupid...

    Yes, I own the book and have read it and frequently re-skim it during workouts. I try to think about all the cues you mention, like a chain pulling my hips up, pushing a hand on my sacrum up, keeping the weight over the center of the foot, etc. But it seems like no matter how much I think about it before/during the set, my hips always shoot up faster than my chest with heavy weights.

    Is it possible that I'm trying to drive my hips TOO much?

    And do you think there's any merit to the argument that I've been using my belt as a crutch? There's a fairly large discrepancy between what I can lift with vs. without the belt.
    Look at the last rep of the second 225 set you posted. See what happens at 0:54? You felt it starting to get hard and decided to look up, even just for a moment. Your chest followed and see how the rep speed ground to a halt? What Rip's talking about is resisting that urge, keep your gaze set, keep your chest down, ass vertical. There's going to invariably be a little hitch on the turnaround, but don't get hung up on it. At limit attempts, it may get more pronounced.

    There are a couple of things I see that will help your form overall and should also address your primary concerns. From the rear quarter, I'm not a fan of where your elbows are and what it might mean for your upper back position. If you can get your hands in closer together, that would help.

    You are beginning the movement by kicking your hips back and preceding breaking of your knees, so you've got a timing issue. The TUBOF is not helping you for a couple of reasons. One, it's just too close to your toes for your proportions and where I think your knees need to be a the bottom of the rep. This is also putting your off balance and contributing to that backward shift of your hips. The height of the TUBOF is messing with you, too. Further, you're not using it correctly; the goal is for you to bring your knees to it and for them to stop as you reach back with your hips. Your knees are moving the whole time and you're smacking into the foam. It's not supposed to move. Some reps you succeed, but most you don't.

    Things to work on:

    1. Ditch the TUBOF
    2. Think "KNEES" when you start the movement; get them in place fast and leave them there.
    3. Lean over a touch more than you think's necessary. Fixing your grip will help make this more stable feeling for you
    4. Stay leaned over and don't stop driving your hips up.

    I think your stance is probably fine. Keep the belt on and use it as the book and Rip, et al., have advised. It is a tool and no more of a "crutch" than bowling shoes are in that sport of kings.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    This lifting-the-chest-instead-of-the-hips thing has been rather thoroughly discussed on this board and lots of other places. I'm tight on time right now, so I'll ask Satch to help you with it. As for the belt deficit, I seriously doubt that at 225 nit's as bad as you say, because 225 is just not that heavy. Use the belt for your last warmup and the work sets, like it says in the book.

    The Belt and the Deadlift | Mark Rippetoe
    Thanks Rip. I know all of you guys don't get paid to monitor and reply to these forums. It's VERY much appreciated.

    You're probably right about the belt...I did my last warmup set today both with and without the belt and it was much easier with no belt than I expected. I've been adding it on my last 1-2 warmups, but going forward I'll try to keep it limited to just the last warmup.

    I made a few changes to my technique for today's squats and felt MUCH more stable. (I'm sure part of it is just a few pounds' weight gain from the Thanksgiving feast, hehe.) How do these look?

    11/28/22 squats 235x5 front view - YouTube
    11/28/22 squats 235x5 rear view - YouTube

    Things I focused on:
    1) Unlocking the hips and knees simultaneously. Looking at past videos, I saw that when I started the descent I was pushing my hips waaaaay back before unlocking my knees, in an attempt to lean over more. I think this was causing the weight to unintentionally shift forward of midfoot. My concern with today's squats is that my back might be slightly too vertical.
    2) Keeping the weight spread through the entire foot. Probably in response to the hips breaking first thing, I noticed today that I was feeling the weight mostly on my toes. I made an effort to shift the weight back and tried to FEEL it evenly throughout the whole foot.
    3) I stopped thinking about "driving with the hips". (Perhaps I was thinking about it TOO much and it was causing me to overcompensate and shoot the hips up too early?) Instead, all I thought about was #1 and #2 above, along with pushing my knees out.

    These still aren't perfect, but I'm cautiously optimistic. I know the book talks about differences in anthropometry causing different "ideal" back angles, so I'm hoping today's form is a good fit. It's hard to describe, but they just FELT so much better.

  3. #23
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    And if your elbows start to hurt, it's because you're holding them up too high. Narrow your grip and lower your elbows.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satch12879 View Post
    Look at the last rep of the second 225 set you posted. See what happens at 0:54? You felt it starting to get hard and decided to look up, even just for a moment. Your chest followed and see how the rep speed ground to a halt? What Rip's talking about is resisting that urge, keep your gaze set, keep your chest down, ass vertical. There's going to invariably be a little hitch on the turnaround, but don't get hung up on it. At limit attempts, it may get more pronounced.

    There are a couple of things I see that will help your form overall and should also address your primary concerns. From the rear quarter, I'm not a fan of where your elbows are and what it might mean for your upper back position. If you can get your hands in closer together, that would help.

    You are beginning the movement by kicking your hips back and preceding breaking of your knees, so you've got a timing issue. The TUBOF is not helping you for a couple of reasons. One, it's just too close to your toes for your proportions and where I think your knees need to be a the bottom of the rep. This is also putting your off balance and contributing to that backward shift of your hips. The height of the TUBOF is messing with you, too. Further, you're not using it correctly; the goal is for you to bring your knees to it and for them to stop as you reach back with your hips. Your knees are moving the whole time and you're smacking into the foam. It's not supposed to move. Some reps you succeed, but most you don't.

    Things to work on:

    1. Ditch the TUBOF
    2. Think "KNEES" when you start the movement; get them in place fast and leave them there.
    3. Lean over a touch more than you think's necessary. Fixing your grip will help make this more stable feeling for you
    4. Stay leaned over and don't stop driving your hips up.

    I think your stance is probably fine. Keep the belt on and use it as the book and Rip, et al., have advised. It is a tool and no more of a "crutch" than bowling shoes are in that sport of kings.
    Thank you for the very detailed answer!

    I submitted my previous reply before your last message showed up, but it must've been stuck in the moderator queue. Coincidentally, I fixed a few of the things you mentioned anyway haha.

    I see what you're talking about at 0:54. I've noticed my head/gaze unintentionally goes up when the set gets hard. In the videos I posted above, I put a ball on the ground and forced myself to stare at it the whole set. I'm still moving my head a tiny bit, but it seems much better to me.

    I've been playing with different grip widths and hand placement. What's shown in the videos is what has been the most comfortable for me, but you're right, I'll keep working on getting my elbows down.

    The most significant change I made in those newest videos was NOT pushing back with the hips first. I think that made a huge difference compared to the previous videos. As I mentioned above, my back angle is slightly more vertical, but it feels much more stable and "right".

    And I stopped using the TUBOF too. I was just grasping at straws trying to diagnose my issues lol.

    Lemme know what you think of those newest videos when you have time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    And if your elbows start to hurt, it's because you're holding them up too high. Widen your grip and lower your elbows.
    My elbows HAVE been a little achy after squatting sometimes. Most of what I read on here suggested *narrowing* the grip, but I'll try widening and see if that helps. Keeping my elbows down has been a constant battle for me.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Trop View Post
    My elbows HAVE been a little achy after squatting sometimes. Most of what I read on here suggested *narrowing* the grip, but I'll try widening and see if that helps. Keeping my elbows down has been a constant battle for me.
    I'm sorry, I meant NARROW your elbows. Will correct the post.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    I'm sorry, I meant NARROW your elbows. Will correct the post.
    Ah, that makes more sense haha. I tried narrowing the grip today and lowering the elbows, but it was a struggle. Felt like I couldn't get my elbows down no matter how hard I tried. I'll dig around on the forum to see what other people have been doing for this.

    Here are my sets from today. This was 240x5x3, the weight I stalled at a couple weeks back. Form wasn't perfect today and I didn't feel as stable as I would've liked, but I think the changes I've made so far have helped. Very happy I got them today.
    12/1/22 squats 240x5 rear view - YouTube
    12/1/22 squats 240x5 front view - YouTube

  7. #27
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    The squats themselves are not bad. Your knees are going outside your feet, and that's why they are wiggling around so much. Shove them straight down the line of your foot instead of exaggerating the "knees-out" cue. Your elbows are too high because you don't have enough of your hand on the bar. If the first pad of your index fingers are not touching the bar, it's too close to your wrist.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    The squats themselves are not bad. Your knees are going outside your feet, and that's why they are wiggling around so much. Shove them straight down the line of your foot instead of exaggerating the "knees-out" cue. Your elbows are too high because you don't have enough of your hand on the bar. If the first pad of your index fingers are not touching the bar, it's too close to your wrist.
    Thanks again, Rip. I've been working on both of those issues the past few workouts...still a work in progress.

    I'll probably give it a few more workouts to try and dial in the changes, then repost a video to make sure it's good.

  9. #29
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    starting strength coach development program
    Just wanted to follow up since I know everyone's been anxiously awaiting a response from me I decided to bite the bullet and hire an SSC for online and in-person coaching. I appreciate all the feedback I received here. I think I've been lifting AKA screwing around in the gym long enough to have built some horrible habits that need to be physically slapped out of me.

    Thank you again for everyone's time and input.

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