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Thread: Squat Form Check after Re-reading the Book

  1. #1
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    Default Squat Form Check after Re-reading the Book

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    Hello Coaches!

    If you've been following my history, I haven't showed the best display of squat form (stance too wide and therefore not deep enough, followed by 'this is a high bar squat').

    Took a step back and reviewed the basics in the last week and working on finding a local coach that can teach a proper LBS in the absence of a certified SSC in my area (I prefer in-person coaching, at least in the beginning).

    Two points:
    • I really hope this is considered a low bar squat because if it's not, my shoulders are gonna need some work. This is as wide as I can get my grip in the cage I have, and it's still a struggle to get the bar where it is. I know a narrower grip would be ideal, but at this time it's not a possibility for me.
    • Do we have general tips for keeping things tight at the bottom of the squat? I am finding that at the bottom, especially in the switch between going down and going up, I am struggling to keep things braced and engaged, which seems to put pressure on my lower back/tailbone/SI joint area.



    LBS Form Check - YouTube

    Thanks again for all your help as I strive to figure this out.

    Nic

  2. #2
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    These squats are high. Tell us why you cannot narrow your grip and lower your elbows.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    These squats are high. Tell us why you cannot narrow your grip and lower your elbows.
    I don’t have the shoulder mobility. Even what you see in this video is hard on my shoulder.

    In terms of depth something is clearly not right here - I have yet to feel the “bounce” I keep reading and hearing about. I have narrowed my stance (guessing it’s too narrow now), lowered the bar, looking down, trying to shove knees out (not enough?), trying to drive hips up, elbows I thought needed to be up…

    Rough times trying to learn to squat the SS way - holy shit!

  4. #4
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    Depth'll be fixed if you widen your stance and drive your knees out hard at the bottom. This will also help with tightness: your thighs are impinging on your pelvis a little requiring you to let your back go a little to achieve "sufficient" depth. The key to staying braced is clearing room for your torso to drop between your thighs.

    You can do stretches to get your grip sufficiently narrow. It should get easier as you do your warmup, provided you're doing your best to stretch the position as the warmups go on.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maybach View Post
    You can do stretches to get your grip sufficiently narrow. It should get easier as you do your warmup, provided you're doing your best to stretch the position as the warmups go on.
    Having come from having hyper-mobile shoulders in my youth, tightening shoulders as I've gotten older and stronger has been frustrating, but this has helped:

    Low Bar Position Stretch | Paul Horn

    It especially helps to get my shoulders moving around and generally warmed up with unloaded movements and light things like high rep presses with just the bar. (That's about 15% of my top press single, for reference - it's just to warm up the shoulders, not to tire anything out.)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lolnickybobby View Post
    In terms of depth something is clearly not right here - I have yet to feel the “bounce” I keep reading and hearing about. I have narrowed my stance (guessing it’s too narrow now), lowered the bar, looking down, trying to shove knees out (not enough?), trying to drive hips up, elbows I thought needed to be up…


    Stop trying to "feel" this stuff. Even if you "feel" whatever it is you're trying to, it doesn't mean it will be correct. People "feel" deep enough all the time and I have to break their heart with the reality of what actually happened. Drop the camera height to about mid-thigh and don't wear dark pants and a dark shirt (will be harder for you, the untrained coach, to judge your depth properly). Then just watch back your sets--warmups and work, both--so you can see what you're doing. You will never know if your "feeling" is right or not, so instead of searching for a particular sensation, just watch back the sets and see what you fucked up. It's rough learning the squat alone, so you're better off tracking objective metrics like "depth", rather than the subjective things like "feel".

    I offer--as do other SSCs--form checks over facetime/zoom. If you can't find someone local who knows how to do what we do, reach out to one of us.

  7. #7
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    starting strength coach development program
    Wow, so much useful advice here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybach View Post
    Depth'll be fixed if you widen your stance and drive your knees out hard at the bottom. This will also help with tightness: your thighs are impinging on your pelvis a little requiring you to let your back go a little to achieve "sufficient" depth. The key to staying braced is clearing room for your torso to drop between your thighs.
    I got into position several times today to experiment with shoving my knees out, and it turns out I might have been SIGNIFICANTLY underdoing the whole knee shoving thing. I'm not the most flexible guy in the world, but it definitely takes a good amount of effort to keep them out there - much more than I've ever given.

    In addition, the effort to shove me knees out seems to come from (lo and behold) … my hips. I'll definitely be integrating this into my next attempt. It's all kinda starting to make sense that my pelvis and lower back seem to "collapse" at the bottom without the hip engagement to keep everything together down there.

    Thanks again maybach - hopefully my next form check will be that much better because of it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Donaldson View Post
    Super useful - I will be integrating that - thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceTrout View Post
    Stop trying to "feel" this stuff. Even if you "feel" whatever it is you're trying to, it doesn't mean it will be correct. People "feel" deep enough all the time and I have to break their heart with the reality of what actually happened. Drop the camera height to about mid-thigh and don't wear dark pants and a dark shirt (will be harder for you, the untrained coach, to judge your depth properly). Then just watch back your sets--warmups and work, both--so you can see what you're doing. You will never know if your "feeling" is right or not, so instead of searching for a particular sensation, just watch back the sets and see what you fucked up. It's rough learning the squat alone, so you're better off tracking objective metrics like "depth", rather than the subjective things like "feel".

    I offer--as do other SSCs--form checks over facetime/zoom. If you can't find someone local who knows how to do what we do, reach out to one of us.
    Copy that sir. I think I'm going to start filming every work out (as opposed to just the ones where I am planning on asking for a form check) so I can keep track of how I'm doing. And yes, if I can't find a local coach I will look for online coaching.

    Thanks to everyone for your advice.

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