Squat technique critique please (video) 300 lbs for reps.

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    Squat technique critique please (video) 300 lbs for reps.


    For starters, I did post this somewhere else as well and was told to widen my stance and get some Chuck Taylors.
    I am looking for technique feedback. My lower back is hurting, and I was told by a certain individual that I need to fix these or I will hurt myself as I get heavier in the squat.

    This is a PR for me and a landmark of making 300 lb working weight, so dont deflate my balloon too much. I am wanting constructive feedback. Please tell me what I am doing well too, dont JUST poke holes...
    Thanks in advance!
    http://youtu.be/tVXJuu7RZJY
    http://youtu.be/tViV66h9Z2E



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    It's honestly a bad angle to really critique. Your glutes definitely need some strengthening since they disappear at the bottom and your actual set-up needs a lot of work. Your upper back did not have any tightness while under the bar and you took far too big of steps after you unracked it.
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    Your feet should be straight not angled. Wear some flat shoes or go barefoot. Your depth looks fine. Maybe others will have different comments...
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkHalf View Post
    Your feet should be straight not angled. Wear some flat shoes or go barefoot. Your depth looks fine. Maybe others will have different comments...
    Angled out toes is very common. That isn't a big deal as long as his knees follow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    It's honestly a bad angle to really critique. Your glutes definitely need some strengthening since they disappear at the bottom and your actual set-up needs a lot of work. Your upper back did not have any tightness while under the bar and you took far too big of steps after you unracked it.
    Less steps is definitely fixable. As far as the glutes, not sure how to fix that (ideas), On the back tightness, I will try to tighten up next go at this.
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    Straight toes kills my knees; angling out is the only way I can squat.

    OP, focus on pulling your scapulae together and back while setting up. Like Rodja said, getting that upper back tight makes a world of difference.
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    I would widen the stance some, angle the feet out so they follow the knees. The depth is awesome. Looks like the lower back needs to get stronger. The hips come up long before the bar is moving. It all should move as one unit. Work on getting that back stronger bubba. The legs are there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZMIDLYF View Post
    I would widen the stance some, angle the feet out so they follow the knees. The depth is awesome. Looks like the lower back needs to get stronger. The hips come up long before the bar is moving. It all should move as one unit. Work on getting that back stronger bubba. The legs are there.
    I am doing a 3x5 routine, so Squats, Bench, BB row, Pushups 1 day and Squats, Mil press, deadlift, and x2pullups, situps other day. Would you
    recommend adding something in like good mornings then to help the back? Thx man...
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    I wrote u a great response this morning, but my internet explorer fukd up and erased the quick reply box..

    first off ur depth is good. Ur back angle is too much. U should make an effort to stand more up-right, with ur chest up, and ur upper back TIGHT. It's clear that ur hips are coming up quicker than the bar is. So really try and emphasize ur back posture, and keeping the load of the bar on ur heels.

    Also, at the bottom of ur rep, try ur best to keep ur LOWER back posture. U can see how ur back flattens out at the bottom of the rep. [this is where hip flexability is a HUGE factor, im still working on this myself]

    Overall it dont look too bad bro! U look better than 90% of the people at my gym,...
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffh3c View Post
    I am doing a 3x5 routine, so Squats, Bench, BB row, Pushups 1 day and Squats, Mil press, deadlift, and x2pullups, situps other day. Would you
    recommend adding something in like good mornings then to help the back? Thx man...
    Yes, those and RDLs,Hypers,GHRs. All of these will do a good job of strengthening that area.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffh3c View Post
    recommend adding something in like good mornings then to help the back? Thx man...
    good mornings and SLDL are good too, but the only excersize that KILLS my mid-lower back is slow deadlifts with perfect form. [normal pull, 5-sec down, for 5-reps]
    -It's not about what you're doing, it's about how you're doing it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 808rebel View Post
    good mornings and SLDL are good too, but the only excersize that KILLS my mid-lower back is slow deadlifts with perfect form. [normal pull, 5-sec down, for 5-reps]
    I do not recommend this at all. It's just asking for injury. Good Mornings (both seated and standing) are the best bet for the mid and lower back. If you can somehow rig a GHR set up, then do those 2-3x/week.
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    Hey bro as the others said the depth is good really good. Back was the first thing that i noticed that was off as well. Find a video of kai green squating... it's like squat 101 you'll see what the others are talking about ie keeping weight in heels chest up back straight. It will look like the bar is in a straight plan moving up and down once you nail the movement!
    Congrats on the PR tho man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    I do not recommend this at all. It's just asking for injury. Good Mornings (both seated and standing) are the best bet for the mid and lower back. If you can somehow rig a GHR set up, then do those 2-3x/week.
    Could u explain the risk of injury? I dont see how this is "just asking for injury"
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    Quote Originally Posted by 808rebel View Post
    Could u explain the risk of injury? I dont see how this is "just asking for injury"
    The deadlift is not an exercise where you want an extended eccentric motion. The stabilizers will give out before the erectors and that's what will lead to the injury. I'm all for deadlifting for reps, but a 5s eccentric is not a good idea.
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    Get on YouTube and check out Dave Tate Squat. He has a vid on there that goes in depth on his squat technique. Might be helpful. He also has vids for bench and deads.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja

    Angled out toes is very common. That isn't a big deal as long as his knees follow.
    Yeah I wasn't 100% on that. My feet are always straight as I try to make sure I hit parallel in perfect form (or go beyond parallel).
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    Dave Tate will say to have your feet angled out
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkHalf View Post
    Get on YouTube and check out Dave Tate Squat. He has a vid on there that goes in depth on his squat technique. Might be helpful. He also has vids for bench and deads.
    Excellent advice... thanks man!
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    go watch the "So you think you can squat" 5 part video (its free)... I added 20lbs to my bar just by fixing my form.

    worked for me.
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    Another possible tool to try would be Front Squats. These will help greatly with sitting back on your heels and strengthen the core muscles. Start light and get the form down first.
    Always open light. Itís not what you open with, itís what you finish with. Louie Simmons
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    You have good depth as well as good bar placement on the lower portion of your shoulders. When you start your descent your torso is moving forward (flexion of the spine). This can be due to several factors, but from what I could observe from the first video is that your erector spinae seem weak. So you have an imbalance that causes you to tilt forward. Long story short, your glutes and quads can handle the weight; but your lower back can't, thus causing you to lean. As others have posted, try to work on your lower back by doing deadlifts, good mornings, hyperextensions (weighted). See if that helps
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    The deadlift is not an exercise where you want an extended eccentric motion. The stabilizers will give out before the erectors and that's what will lead to the injury. I'm all for deadlifting for reps, but a 5s eccentric is not a good idea.
    I see what u saying. I didn't experience what ur talking about tho. I stayed in the 50-70% of my 1RM when doing these and the only thing I noticed was how intense it was on my mid to lower back.
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    I am still watching vid's from the responders... I did try to employ some of the techniques I saw on youtube etc. I took another video of myself today with 305. I did get the Chuck taylors as suggested today and I am glad I did. I think I may be GM the weight up a bit on the way back up... I think it may be better than before though.
    p.s. will be working GM into routine. Haven't done "direct" back work for awhile (other than rows etc...upper back and lats)
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    Lower the pegs at the start and I'm still not seeing much effort into the actual set-up of the squat.

    Also, not sure how far apart these videos were taken, but don't squat that heavy 2x/week if you'd like to make a lot of progress.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Lower the pegs at the start and I'm still not seeing much effort into the actual set-up of the squat.

    Also, not sure how far apart these videos were taken, but don't squat that heavy 2x/week if you'd like to make a lot of progress.
    These were taken 2 days apart. I am lifting EOD with 2 days off at least 1x per week so basically 3x week squat. I was trying to do more set up, but I am going to take your advice and research more into that aspect... hope I find the right trail.
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    elitefts.com

    If you're going to squat that frequently, vary up the rep ranges and don't always go to 90-100% 1RM on each session. What are you doing currently (or in the future) for assistance exercises?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    elitefts.com

    If you're going to squat that frequently, vary up the rep ranges and don't always go to 90-100% 1RM on each session. What are you doing currently (or in the future) for assistance exercises?
    I am doing stronglifts.
    Basically an A/B routine.

    A
    ------
    Squats 3 sets of 5
    Bench Press 3 sets of 5
    BB bent over row 3 sets of 5
    Pushups 1 set maximum reps

    B
    ------------
    Squats 3 sets of 5
    Mil Press 3 sets of 5
    Pullups 1 set over 1 hand chins/under
    Deadlift 1 set of 5
    1 set situps max reps

    That is it, and it doesnt sound like much but it pretty much taxes the crap outa me with the poundage.

    I am planning on implementing some work for lower back with some GM's per the advice received.

    P.S. All this was 5 sets of 5 when lower weight but as I failed and went to heavier weight I went to 3x5
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    That is a recipe for some muscular imbalances. A lot of work for the front, but not too much for the back. Instead of doing it 3x/week, you should dedicate the 3rd session of each week to assistance exercises and balancing out the amount of push and pull work.
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    It's worth noting too though that everything depends on your goals. Squatting huge will make you grow (obviously), but if you're using squats for more bodybuilding-oriented purposes you want to decrease the role of leveraging with all those huge, strong muscles in the posterior chain (especially your hamstrings) by using a narrow stance (which is what you have now). If you're going for overall strength or having a higher squat # with good form, then I'd widen your stance.

    But in general, I think you should absolutely follow the advice given to you by Rodja. Totally spot on:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    It's honestly a bad angle to really critique. Your glutes definitely need some strengthening since they disappear at the bottom and your actual set-up needs a lot of work. Your upper back did not have any tightness while under the bar and you took far too big of steps after you unracked it.
    Re new video, same issues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    That is a recipe for some muscular imbalances. A lot of work for the front, but not too much for the back. Instead of doing it 3x/week, you should dedicate the 3rd session of each week to assistance exercises and balancing out the amount of push and pull work.
    I have been on stronglifts for a long time, but I am ready to do what it takes to make a + change. When you say more back, do you mean "back side" items like hamstring, calves, GM's, rows, etc or more specifically back as in lats, upper/lower back.
    Stronglifts takes out most isolation items, so I haven't done tricep or bicep specific exercises in some time.

    If I were to keep the routine for 2 days per week, what would you recommend for work on the "assistance and back day"? I appreciate the input!
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    Sorry, I should have said posterior. Shrugs, glute-ham raises, hyperextensions, stiff-legged deads, facepulls, seated DB cleans, etc.

    Also, despite the template, do a set of pull/chin-ups in between every set of upper-body presses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Sorry, I should have said posterior. Shrugs, glute-ham raises, hyperextensions, stiff-legged deads, facepulls, seated DB cleans, etc.

    Also, despite the template, do a set of pull/chin-ups in between every set of upper-body presses.
    I have a power rack and a few crappy dumbells, and an EZ bar. I keep in simple due to space in my w/o room. I w.o. at home as I live 30 min from a gym and that is too easy of an "out" for me when I dont feel like it.

    How would these do (or some combo of below)? I have equip to do these.

    BTW: I know this is on squats, but it is interesting how you ask one question and learn something key to that issue as well as others when you weren't even looking in that direction (so thanks!)

    Standing BB clean. x 2
    Good Mornings from bench x 3 sets
    Barbell hip thrusters x 3
    BB shoulder shrug x 3
    Rack Chins x 2
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    Here's what is awesome about TYIs and seated DB cleans: you only need a 10-15lb DB on them. These really help the rotator cuffs and with internal rotation of the shoulders and do not need to be heavy at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Here's what is awesome about TYIs and seated DB cleans: you only need a 10-15lb DB on them. These really help the rotator cuffs and with internal rotation of the shoulders and do not need to be heavy at all.
    Ok. Revised now "C" day workout

    Good Mornings from bench x 3 sets
    TYI Exercise for time
    Barbell hip thrusters x 3
    Seated DB clean. x 3
    BB shoulder shrug x 3
    Rack Chins x 2

    Thanks Rodja you have been a great help. Thanks to everyone else as well!
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    Looks like your leaning a little too far forward as you hit the bottom of the squat. Could be the angle of your camera, but have you tried looking up a little higher?(Instead of looking straight ahead) Also looks like you hold the bar lower on your traps than a majority of the lifters I know. Go lighter and play with the position of the bar maybe half an inch up.

    Good luck on your progress.
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    You need to put way more effort into your set up. Im usually in a lot of pain bc of how tight i get under the bar. The worse it feels the better your set up. Also you need to arch ur upper back a lot harder, push your chest out, and push your neck into the bar as you come up to help your leaning.
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    I like your gloves whered u get em? Steal em off one of the village people? Lol sorry but I had to.
    you can lead a man to knowledge, but you cant make him think.
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    westhockey32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 808rebel View Post
    I wrote u a great response this morning, but my internet explorer fukd up and erased the quick reply box..

    first off ur depth is good. Ur back angle is too much. U should make an effort to stand more up-right, with ur chest up, and ur upper back TIGHT. It's clear that ur hips are coming up quicker than the bar is. So really try and emphasize ur back posture, and keeping the load of the bar on ur heels.

    Also, at the bottom of ur rep, try ur best to keep ur LOWER back posture. U can see how ur back flattens out at the bottom of the rep. [this is where hip flexability is a HUGE factor, im still working on this myself]

    Overall it dont look too bad bro! U look better than 90% of the people at my gym,...
    sounds like what I woulda sent.

    Any one ever try putting elbows forward on the push up? It helped me keep a more natural positioning straighting my back and holding a high head poping the chest slightly out.
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    Torobestia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westhockey32 View Post
    sounds like what I woulda sent.

    Any one ever try putting elbows forward on the push up? It helped me keep a more natural positioning straighting my back and holding a high head poping the chest slightly out.
    That's kind of what you should do, actually. Elbows forward first, which pushes the chest out (and you should also push the chest out), and then ascend. Not so much 1,2,3 obviously, as it's all a more fluid motion.
  

  
 

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