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Low Bar Squat form check

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  • #31
    Lots of progress! You've got a nice rigid trunk now. That's very good!
    You're hips are still shooting back but not nearly as bad as in your first video.
    I would keep concentrating on "knees" and/or "legs" when you drive up from the bottom. Forget about "hips".
    Furthermore you can think about pushing the shoulders into the bar. This can prevent you from tipping forward. (the weight still moves to the front of the foot is my impression)
    Depth looks good I think. If you're not planning on competing I would fret over it too much.

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    • #32
      Hey Pat,

      Pretty good, but this looks a little closer to the technique in your OP than the second set of videos you posted, unfortunately. It's not terrible, but your chest is lagging out of the bottom. As a result, your hips come up faster, your back angle gets flatter, and you end up doing a slight good morning to finish the rep. You can certainly add weight to the bar like this for a while, but at a certain point, the weight will get heavy enough where this technique is not sustainable.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhzRIBvwhUo

      Watch this video (feat. Leah). It doesn't exactly apply to your situation - your elbows don't come up like she describes in the video, but I think a lot of what she talks about may apply to you. You could really benefit from getting your upper back and shoulders set tighter and stronger, and maintaining this throughout the rep. When you're coming out of the hole, think about the cue "proud chest" and drive your traps back into the bar hard. This should hopefully help you keep your chest moving up with your hips a little better.

      Also, hammering front squats, as was previously suggested in this thread, would be a good idea in addition to the cues I gave. If your chest caves, you're likely going to dump the bar or have to really fight to not do so. Getting stronger at front squats, which will strengthen your quads and upper back, and incorporating the cues I listed should help resolve this soon enough. I still don't think you should "reset" necessarily, but I would advise you to not focus on adding weight to the bar if it causes your form to break down like this. Instead, focus on executing technically sound reps for the time being, and adjust your RPE based on how much weight you can squat while maintaining somewhat solid form. A slight change in back angle is perfectly fine (and normal for most people) but your current technique is a little problematic.

      Good luck!

      Edited to echo Rho's advice - I suggested a while back to think about keeping your knees forward out of the bottom as well. If you haven't tried this cue, definitely try that as well if you haven't already. If you have been trying this and it hasn't been working, try the proud chest and and driving your traps back into the bar cues. Cues that work for some people don't always work as well for others.
      Last edited by Nate B; 11-12-2019, 02:52 PM.

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      • rho
        rho commented
        Editing a comment
        I see what you mean by your comment that it looks worse than the second video. But in the second video he overextended his lower back quite a bit to keep the torso angle in check. In the latest video this is much less pronounced and the torso stays rigid quite nicely. I think this is a much better basis to fix the shift in torso angle than the situation in his second video. So I would call it progress.
        I would hesitate to cue with "proud chest" in this instance, because this could have him revert to the over extended situation from video #2. Driving the traps back into the bar is more helpful in this case, is my opinion.

        I totally agree on the front squats. Those will teach him to focus more on the legs instead of driving everything from the hips. It has to become a better synergy between both.

      • Pat Hughes
        Pat Hughes commented
        Editing a comment
        rho thank you - I'll definitely focus on driving the traps back, have not thought of this cue before so will incorporate it. I think one thing I struggle with is when trying to keep the bar over the mid foot I feel as though I have to really force my hips back, otherwise the bar tends to be over my toes and doesn't go up/down in a straight line - this might be the reason my back seems to overextend.

      • rho
        rho commented
        Editing a comment
        Pat Hughes Driving your hips back is what makes your back angle go more horizontal. You need to drive the hips up at the same speed you drive your shoulders/traps into the bar.
        Really, forget about your hips. You will activate your posterior chain anyway, without thinking about it. The problem seems to be that there's no balance between posterior and anterior activation. You use both, but because you concentrate on the anterior side (hips), you neglect the posterior (quads/knees). A better balance between both makes you go up straight, without shooting the hips back.
        Now, your torso seems to be quite rigid in the last video. That's a good thing. If you drive your shoulders/traps into the bar, with the rigid torso. You should be able to stay more upright (when your hips do not shoot back).
        When you get both things right = awesome squat!
        I don't know if you can work on both at the same time. Implementing too much cues at the same time can complicate things.
        I think it's best to start with the first thing: getting the balance right and not let the hips shoot back, but up.

    • #33
      Thank you for the comments both, appreciate it.

      rho agree the weight is still moving forwards - will work on focusing on keeping knees forwards.

      Nate B Thank you, I will review the vid. Admittedly I don't particularly focus on getting my back tight, more on getting the bar in the right position so will focus on that moving forwards - I think I need to remind myself that getting into a tight squat position shouldn't necessarily be comfortable. Have begun incorporating front squats into my routines so will continue to do so. Do you think practicing high bar would help at all, given the need to keep the torso more upright?

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      • #34
        rho is probably right that driving the traps/shoulders back into the bar is a more preferable cue to "proud chest" in this situation. If I could've only suggested one, that's the one I would've had you try, but I thought I'd throw both out there and see which stuck. Like I said, some cues work better for some individuals than others, but the concern that you may be susceptible to over-cuing "proud chest" is a valid.

        No, I don't think practicing high bar would be particularly helpful. It's not that you need to squat with your torso more upright, but rather you need to maintain the torso angle you establish during the descent of the squat. You can still cheat a high bar squat the same way you cheat a low bar squat by shooting your hips back out of the hole to keep the bar over midfoot - it's much harder to do this with a front squat. Your issue is a combination of bad motor habits that have been reinforced over time (likely over-cuing "hip draahve") and, consequently, a strength imbalance between your quads and hips/low back - I was in the exact same place a while ago. The technique cues you've been given along with doing more quad dominant squat variations and assistance work should help you immensely.

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        • #35
          I had the same problem when the squats got heavy. I lowered the weight and did paused squats. really helped clean my technique up.

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          • #36
            Originally posted by mparker84 View Post
            I had the same problem when the squats got heavy. I lowered the weight and did paused squats. really helped clean my technique up.
            Thanks man I'll try these too

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            • mparker84
              mparker84 commented
              Editing a comment
              Has anybody asked what your warm up sets look like??

          • #37
            mparker84 nah I never film my warm ups, I'll film some though and post them

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