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Squat Form Check: Good Morning?

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  • Squat Form Check: Good Morning?

    I am new to barbell training, and I started the Beginner Prescription in February, and I made some good progress up until this whole Pandemic thing happened. I will be restarting the beginner prescription next week, I have spent the last couple weeks getting back in lifting mode.

    Anyhow, I think my squats are turning into good morning squats as my reps keep going. I'm looking for ideas about what I can do to clean up my form. Once again, new to training so these are some low weight.
    ​​​​​
    Also to note, I have a fairly close stance in my squat. I find when my squat is narrower I can better keep tight in the bottom of my squat and prevent butt wink.

    34 years old, 206 lbs. Any help would be appreciated.

    This first set is 195 for four, at maybe an RPE of 8.
    https://youtu.be/Qfkq4Sa2jRY

    This second set is 135 for ten, at maybe an RPE of 7.
    https://youtu.be/KALaeMhOxXI

  • #2
    I agree that you are good morninging your squats andi t's inefficient.

    Here are some popular cues for helping with this issue:

    'Leg Drive'
    The idea is that out of the hole you are extending your legs without putting any force into the ground, leg drive means drive your legs (or feet) into the ground.

    "Back'
    Similar to leg drive, the idea is that out of the hole you are extending your legs without putting any force into the bar, back means drive your upper back into the bar.

    'Knees Forward' (this is what I currently use for myself)
    The idea is that your knees (and therefore thighs and hips) are shooting back. Knees froward means during the concentric try to push your knees forward. Inevitably your knees will move back during the lift, but try to keep them forward for as long as possible.

    Here are some popular exercises for helping with this issue:

    Paused and Tempo Squats
    These let you practice the squat with less weight and give you more time to use your cues. These also eliminate some of the stretch reflex and sometimes people good morning a squat when they are trying to use a lot of stretch reflex and end up moving faster than the bar.

    More upright squat variations (High Bar, Front Squat, SSB, Bulgarian Split Squats, Goblet Squats)
    These let you practice better positioning and punish you for good morninging (except split squats aren't very punishing)

    Pin Squats
    These give you time to cue yourself and punish you for getting out of position.

    Quad exercises (leg extensions)
    Sometimes people good morning their squat so that the moment arm between the knees and the bar is decreased, making it easier on the quads. If you don't really feel squats on your quads and your quads don't grow much from squatting that is another sign that you could benefit from quad isolation exercises.

    One more tip: IK you're using the beginner prescription and i'm not sure if this is an issue, but try to avoid carrying much quad fatigue into your squat sessions. Squatting with fatigued quads can make it seem like you have weak quads and you may compensate by doing a good morning squat.

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    • #3
      Try to make a conscious effort to keep your knees over your toes and maintain the same back angle while ascending.

      Incorporate 3-0-3 tempo squats into your training.

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      • #4
        You could cut depth a couple inches and make sure to keep your weight over midfoot. Watch your second video again and look at how your heels come up on each rep (it can be seen on the first video but is more apparent in the second). I think you're trying to stay too vertical on the descent, shifting your weight onto the balls of your feet, which is making the "good morning" ascent look worse. I think you could move your stance out slightly, brace harder, and keep your weight over midfoot better and your "buttwink" and "good morning" issues will be better. Some cues that help me are "bar over midfoot" and "rigid torso." Find a couple cues that help you stay balanced and tight and try them next session. Also your squat grip looks kinda narrow which I think is causing your upper back to go into flexion making the "good morning" even worse. It might be worth widening your grip slightly to where your upper back feels tight and the bar feels secure. I'm 5'10" with fairly average proportions and I have my pinkies on the outside rings for reference. Focus on 1 or 2 adjustments next session and see how it feels. Take another video of your sets next workout after making a couple tweaks (I'd start with keeping the weight balanced over midfoot and higher depth) and post back in this thread. Keep training, you'll only get better with more practice!!

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        • #5
          For me, nothing worked better than the aforementioned "upright squat variations", especially Front Squat and SSB. Very important to get/stay under the bar and maintain tightness and a consistent back angle. But I suspect practicing any variation, pauses, tempo, helps with awareness of what you're doing and how to self-correct during reps. You could also try some loaded carries for practice with bracing.

          I agree with Acorn, keep training, you'll only get better with more practice. It took me 2-3 years to become Not Bad at squats. Still room for improvement!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Acorn1293 View Post
            You could cut depth a couple inches and make sure to keep your weight over midfoot. Watch your second video again and look at how your heels come up on each rep (it can be seen on the first video but is more apparent in the second). I think you're trying to stay too vertical on the descent, shifting your weight onto the balls of your feet, which is making the "good morning" ascent look worse. I think you could move your stance out slightly, brace harder, and keep your weight over midfoot better and your "buttwink" and "good morning" issues will be better. Some cues that help me are "bar over midfoot" and "rigid torso." Find a couple cues that help you stay balanced and tight and try them next session. Also your squat grip looks kinda narrow which I think is causing your upper back to go into flexion making the "good morning" even worse. It might be worth widening your grip slightly to where your upper back feels tight and the bar feels secure. I'm 5'10" with fairly average proportions and I have my pinkies on the outside rings for reference. Focus on 1 or 2 adjustments next session and see how it feels. Take another video of your sets next workout after making a couple tweaks (I'd start with keeping the weight balanced over midfoot and higher depth) and post back in this thread. Keep training, you'll only get better with more practice!!
            Thanks Acorn et al, your advice was helpful.

            I was getting a lot of butt wink from too narrow of a grip, and I compensated by narrowing my stance to tighten things up out of the bottom, which was good morning my back.

            https://youtu.be/g4PrcyqWsB0

            The above video is 165 lbs for 7 @ RPE 7 or 8. I widened my grip and stance. To me, my form is much better, but I still am having some of the same problems as the reps go up.

            I do have a problem with bracing. I really shouldn't need a belt at this low of weight, but my form looks worse with an empty bar and no belt. I believe my belt is giving me something to brace against and I just need practice to brace harder.

            I also supersetted my GPP into my squat rests. So I was doing planks in between my working sets, so my abs were a bit shot from the beginning. This may not be really making a difference, but it's something to add.

            Really thank all of you for your comments. I will be doing sets of 10 in two days and will incorporate what I think is helpful.

            I'm also doing several set of kettlebell goblin squats to warm up, and with an upright squat style my form is much much better. I don't think I would be having these issues with front squats.

            As far is adding in tempo or pause squats, I'm just following the beginner template, and those wont be added for a few weeks.

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