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  • #16
    Originally posted by Smokes View Post

    I believe I will fall backwards. I will try today with squats and report back thanks!

    EDIT: Ok, so I did empty bar and sat back, tried to go below parallel and....i would lose balance going backward
    Ok so it sounds to me like you are having a problem keeping your balance during the squat, what do you think? What might help you keep your balance?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Millzners View Post

      Ok so it sounds to me like you are having a problem keeping your balance during the squat, what do you think? What might help you keep your balance?
      It would seem to me that something needs to bend/stretch in a way I'm unaccustomed to having it bend or stretch OR my mind is visualizing the squat motion incorrectly and there's another way to do it that, for whatever reason, isn't natural to me.

      If the problem is one of these, I see weight lifting shoes as a reasonable work around (i.e. something I can use to help in the short term while I work on the long term problem).

      It seems, however, that people have fixed their problems in the past without using weight lifting shoes, so I was looking for some advice on working towards a long term solution where I could squat in the same shoes I keep at work for running/etc in.

      To those ends I was hoping for some advice on either exercises or drills I could do either between sets/during warm ups/on off days to provide a more permanent fix.

      I could be way off base with all of this, I don't have any expertise here.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Smokes View Post

        It would seem to me that something needs to bend/stretch in a way I'm unaccustomed to having it bend or stretch OR my mind is visualizing the squat motion incorrectly and there's another way to do it that, for whatever reason, isn't natural to me.

        If the problem is one of these, I see weight lifting shoes as a reasonable work around (i.e. something I can use to help in the short term while I work on the long term problem).

        It seems, however, that people have fixed their problems in the past without using weight lifting shoes, so I was looking for some advice on working towards a long term solution where I could squat in the same shoes I keep at work for running/etc in.

        To those ends I was hoping for some advice on either exercises or drills I could do either between sets/during warm ups/on off days to provide a more permanent fix.

        I could be way off base with all of this, I don't have any expertise here.
        So there is a lot of information out there about mobility and stretching with all sorts of drills and tests to focus on... I used to have this complicated routine prior to squatting where I’d stretch everything in my hips... It was from one of those mobility enthusiasts on the internet. Years later I would just focus on one or two particular stretches for things that tended to hurt... And in hindsight none of it helped me get stronger or avoid pain, it just took up a lot of valuable training time.

        So you could go down that rabbit hole, and maybe it would help you, but I can’t recommend any of it.

        What I can recommend, which I know goes against your intuition, is that you have to practice keeping your balance during the squat, and the best way I know to do that is to squat more on a stable surface. When you descend count to 3 on the way down, and only think about your weight staying on the middle of your foot. Same thing on the way back up, just go slow and keep your balance. Take more videos and watch your feet to see how you’re doing. Try different things and see what works.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Millzners View Post

          So there is a lot of information out there about mobility and stretching with all sorts of drills and tests to focus on... I used to have this complicated routine prior to squatting where I’d stretch everything in my hips... It was from one of those mobility enthusiasts on the internet. Years later I would just focus on one or two particular stretches for things that tended to hurt... And in hindsight none of it helped me get stronger or avoid pain, it just took up a lot of valuable training time.

          So you could go down that rabbit hole, and maybe it would help you, but I can’t recommend any of it.

          What I can recommend, which I know goes against your intuition, is that you have to practice keeping your balance during the squat, and the best way I know to do that is to squat more on a stable surface. When you descend count to 3 on the way down, and only think about your weight staying on the middle of your foot. Same thing on the way back up, just go slow and keep your balance. Take more videos and watch your feet to see how you’re doing. Try different things and see what works.
          Thanks! Yes, I posted because my inclination was to perform stretching/etc, however, I've read enough around here to know that that isn't generally the recommendation, so, while I have a chrome tab with "downward dog yoga" in it, I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

          I've been doing exactly 2--every set including warm ups is videoed, watched, then next set performed. Wide stance, narrow stance, angling toes, focus on pushing knees out, just pushing/forcing down (this usually ends up with me just bent way over at the hips instead of bringing hips lower. /sigh).

          Was just looking for more tips/cues/things to experiment with. Will try mentally focusing on keeping weight on middle of foot, bar paths and studying videos.

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          • #20
            Millzner's recommendation falls right in line with what I was thinking.

            It's possible "mobility" is an issue, but the fix is to work on your bar path, and in my (limited) experience, sans coaching, the best thing to do to work on bar path is tempo squats. The Bridge programs 3-0-3, 2 count paused, and pin squats, and in my own personal experience, these went a long ways towards unfucking my own squirley bar path. 3-0-3s with a moderate weight demand good control of the bar path on both the ascent and decent, and heavy 2ct paused squats will drill in having that bar centered over the mid-foot at the bottom, because your body will demand that of you.
            Forum topics and other links I've found useful

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            • #21
              It seems you think weight lifting shoes might be a crutch. I see them comparably to wearing cleats playing sports on grass or track spikes for sprinting. Just a tool for what you're doing.

              I found pinkish Adidas lifting shoes at nearly half price on Amazon, I assume because the color wasn't selling well. Might be worth shopping around.

              I found the flatness and stiffness of the shoe made me much more aware, more quickly when my weight was shifting forward or backward and that was as helpful as anything.

              I believe it was Austin that I saw recommended the cue to "keep your shoes glued flat to the floor" that I think has helped my squat as much as anything. Also the lifting shoes make it alot easier to "sense" what my feet are doing.

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              • #22
                You guys have been very helpful. That is a ton of things to experiment with/try. A friend of mine today offered some very helpful pointers for setting up for LBBS. I should be sub-parallel squatting with feet fully on ground and vertical bar motion in no time.

                Thanks!

                Comment


                • #23
                  It looks to me like you have pretty poor mobility in general. Are you knew to exercise?

                  I would have you do three things:

                  1. Practice squatting A LOT. Basically whenever you find yourself standing around the house , crank out 5 reps of bodyweight squats. Do them slowly, with your hands together like you're praying, pause at or close to parallel, and use your elbows to push your knees out. Focus on "keeping your shoes glued to the floor" as Austin says. Google image search "tripod foot" for a nice visual of how to distribute your weight.

                  2. Very simple stretches on your calves every day and particularly before training. No need to go crazy, just stand on a step with your heels "hanging" over it for 20s between your warm up sets.

                  3. A couple of sets of 10-20 Superman's or bird dog crunches before training or between warm up/ramp up sets. This is more to practice lumbar extension.

                  I've found these work well in gym members/clients with similar issues to yours. You shouldn't have to do these for very long either, the squat itself is the best way to get better.

                  ​​​​​​Others have mentioned weightlifting or at least hard soled shoes. I second that
                  ​​​​

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by JamieC View Post
                    It looks to me like you have pretty poor mobility in general. Are you knew to exercise?

                    I would have you do three things:

                    1. Practice squatting A LOT. Basically whenever you find yourself standing around the house , crank out 5 reps of bodyweight squats. Do them slowly, with your hands together like you're praying, pause at or close to parallel, and use your elbows to push your knees out. Focus on "keeping your shoes glued to the floor" as Austin says. Google image search "tripod foot" for a nice visual of how to distribute your weight.

                    2. Very simple stretches on your calves every day and particularly before training. No need to go crazy, just stand on a step with your heels "hanging" over it for 20s between your warm up sets.

                    3. A couple of sets of 10-20 Superman's or bird dog crunches before training or between warm up/ramp up sets. This is more to practice lumbar extension.

                    I've found these work well in gym members/clients with similar issues to yours. You shouldn't have to do these for very long either, the squat itself is the best way to get better.

                    ​​​​​​Others have mentioned weightlifting or at least hard soled shoes. I second that
                    ​​​​
                    I've been working on regularly squatting, trying to get my knees out more and bought some weight lifting shoes. Here's a video from a few days ago:


                    No, I'm not new to exercise. Until I started the bridge a few weeks ago, I could count the number of weeks in the last 15 years I didn't run at least 20 miles on one hand and sport wise I play basetball, softball, tennis. RHR = 48 and my TDEE is 3700. I'm pretty active for a desk job, but I'm not sure what in that list would give me good mobility in general. :P

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Smokes View Post

                      No, would love to try, but it was -7 when I got up to lift today, so I'll have to wait a couple months anyway to give it a go.

                      For those suggesting weight lifting shoes, do they actually "solve" the problem or do they just mask it? What's the difference between using the shoes or a pair of 10lbs iron plates under my heels?

                      Finally, any thoughts on using plates under my toes instead of my heels to force me to sit back a bit more?
                      The difference is: stability. With the plates you're making an already less stable shoe even less stable. If that's your gym in the video, I think all you're missing is the shoes. And no need for $100+. I got mine on sale for $67, many choices in the $75-99 range. I've had my shoes for four years and they show no signs of wearing out.

                      Other than that, I agree with others: center of mass over mid foot. Try the tempo squats, also consider other variations like SSB and front squats, I found these all helpful for improving awareness of my body in space, and correcting my tendency to good-morning the back squat. Good luck!

                      A bit of unsolicited advice: if your space is unheated or hardly heated, keep your bar inside until you lift if not already doing so. You might be able to lose the gloves at least for during your sets. I leave mine on a baseboard heater so it's nice and toasty.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Hey Smokes,

                        Sorry for being late to the party. I think your balance issues may stem from your foot position. It's more apparent in your most recent video than the first, but it appears like you're turning your toes out at a pretty extreme angle (looks to be close to 45 deg, but it's difficult to tell from the side view). Because you lack the mobility and/or hip structure to open your hips up wide enough to track your knees over your toes when they're turned out that much and get anywhere near depth, your knees have no choice but to cave inward which throws you off balance. If you watch your heels on the descent, you can see how it isn't the whole heel that comes off the ground (usually indicating poor ankle mobility), but rather the outside of the soles of your shoes come up as you roll onto the insides of your feet. Since you appear very willing to post videos, I would love to see a video of your squats from a front facing angle to confirm or deny my suspicions about your foot angle relative to your knees.

                        If this is, in fact, your problem, I suggest rotating your toes in a bit from where they currently are, try to track your knees in line over your toes, and see if that helps you stay on balance and while hitting proper depth. That would be a good, simple starting point. You may need to play with your stance width as well, but just start with the toe angle for now.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by barnlifter View Post

                          The difference is: stability. With the plates you're making an already less stable shoe even less stable. If that's your gym in the video, I think all you're missing is the shoes. And no need for $100+. I got mine on sale for $67, many choices in the $75-99 range. I've had my shoes for four years and they show no signs of wearing out.

                          Other than that, I agree with others: center of mass over mid foot. Try the tempo squats, also consider other variations like SSB and front squats, I found these all helpful for improving awareness of my body in space, and correcting my tendency to good-morning the back squat. Good luck!

                          A bit of unsolicited advice: if your space is unheated or hardly heated, keep your bar inside until you lift if not already doing so. You might be able to lose the gloves at least for during your sets. I leave mine on a baseboard heater so it's nice and toasty.
                          Ok. Those actually are squat shoes, I went ahead and got them.

                          Good idea on the barbell. I can't remember what it was temperature wise that day but it's been below 0 (F) a few times when working out. I usually use gloves for squat/bench and then gut out the cold for pulls.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Nate B View Post
                            Hey Smokes,

                            Sorry for being late to the party. I think your balance issues may stem from your foot position. It's more apparent in your most recent video than the first, but it appears like you're turning your toes out at a pretty extreme angle (looks to be close to 45 deg, but it's difficult to tell from the side view). Because you lack the mobility and/or hip structure to open your hips up wide enough to track your knees over your toes when they're turned out that much and get anywhere near depth, your knees have no choice but to cave inward which throws you off balance. If you watch your heels on the descent, you can see how it isn't the whole heel that comes off the ground (usually indicating poor ankle mobility), but rather the outside of the soles of your shoes come up as you roll onto the insides of your feet. Since you appear very willing to post videos, I would love to see a video of your squats from a front facing angle to confirm or deny my suspicions about your foot angle relative to your knees.

                            If this is, in fact, your problem, I suggest rotating your toes in a bit from where they currently are, try to track your knees in line over your toes, and see if that helps you stay on balance and while hitting proper depth. That would be a good, simple starting point. You may need to play with your stance width as well, but just start with the toe angle for now.
                            That's actually an "adaptation" from my normal squat position to try to hit depth. XD I'm usually more like 20-30 degrees from straight forward, not 45. I don't seem to have a problem getting ass to grass if I hold onto a post of the rack, but I fall backwards when I keep my weight back far enough and I'm not holding onto something.

                            Will try to get a video of things from the front tomorrow. Thanks for the feedback.

                            Completely forgot video from front, though honestly there's actually not enough room in front to take a video in my garage
                            Last edited by Smokes; 03-03-2020, 02:10 AM.

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