Squat technique question

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Squat technique question

Postby Spit on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:25 pm

After putting a fair bit of work into my wobbly left knee it has become considerably less wobbly, and my squat is coming on in leaps and bounds as a result, which is ace. I'm noticing though that once I get up to heavier weights, or get tired towards the end of the set, my hips tend to rise faster than my shoulders, meaning I'm tending to Good Morning the weight out of the hole somewhat.

What weakness/imbalance does this indicate? And what can I do about it? It's not a big issue thus far, but I'm really keen to look after my lower back.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Rilla on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:39 pm

It can have something to do with bar placement. Lower bar forces you into a more GM-esque position.
Tight hip flexors can also cause problems in that regard, as can weak abdominals.
Big Choppa wrote:Rab's face probably scares the bar up. Explains his Shit deadlift as well cause the wants to stay away from his deformed bonce.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Spit on Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:38 am

Interesting- I have the bar pretty high on my back so I don't think that's the issue (in fact one of the telltale signs that my hips are rising too fast is the feeling of the bar digging into my traps).

The second two could definitely be factors though; I have hip flexors like crowbars, and may not have learned to brace my abs properly when squatting yet. I'll work on the latter when I next squat, which may be a fair while after today's session!
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Rilla on Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:12 am

Would be easier to comment on a video for sure.
Foamrolling hip flexors as part of your warmup could be a good idea.
Big Choppa wrote:Rab's face probably scares the bar up. Explains his Shit deadlift as well cause the wants to stay away from his deformed bonce.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Rab on Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:33 am

Always had the same issue mate when into the hairy reps my hips and legs come up before upper and end in in a GM partly

For me..it seems to have gotten better just over time the more ive squatted
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Ader on Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:11 pm

I always had this and still do a bit - I think everyone does when they go heavy.

The way I correct it to make sure I sit in and keep my body as upright as possible - By that I mean you push your knees out so when you go down, your hips are not so far behind your heels - This means your centre of gravity is nearer your feet so you don't have to lean so far forward to keep your balance.

With a more upright body you all the drive from your legs & glutes goes up through your back so the weight moves up -rather than all that energy simply pushing your ass up and teh weight not moving at all. You have to think push up through teh line of your back and think geting your hips under the bar.

A good exercise that wroked for me was doing wide stance bench squats with a very very upright body - At first you can't go down very low but gradually with practice you can go lower and lower. It reinforces driving with the legs and hips and moving teh bar first rather than moving your ass first - Very hard at first so be prepard to be humbled.

When you go to a full squat with a slightly narrower stance (unless you fancy going sumo squat style of course) you should hopefully be able to get a better position and get that drive right.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Alex on Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:18 pm

I personally find that a lower bar placement stops this from occuring as I'm able to stay more upright. My approach is very similar to that of Ader's in terms of alignment. I find it helps to set my back into a good position and really concentrate on lowering my body using glutes and feel my weight going onto my heels as I come down and reach the bottom of the movement. To me this initial lowering almost feels like the start of an RDL for the first 6 inches in terms of what the lower portion of the body is doing. Taking a narrower stance really helps with the Glute activation too.

I think the common mistake here is that people tend to use their Quad too much to control the descent and and up more on their toes so when they push back up centre of gravity is thrown further forward, too much load is then placed on the Quads and then hips rise as there's no drive from your heels.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby ollie on Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:33 pm

Rilla wrote:It can have something to do with bar placement. Lower bar forces you into a more GM-esque position.
Tight hip flexors can also cause problems in that regard, as can weak abdominals.


I'd have said the opposite is true? I think a lower bar helps to keep the CoG back which in turn makes it easier to keep upright. I've found my ironworks (with the raised heel) have also helped with this.

You could also try front squats to help get the technique sorted. There's no way you can "good morning" with those.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Rilla on Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:01 am

Lower bar means more forward lean surely. Alex and Ollie you both need to study a Louie Simmons video and compare it to an olympic squatter, then come back and tell me a lower bar means a more upright position. That's simply not true.
Lower bar makes you sit back a bit more than medium/high bar where you drop more down between the legs. Sitting back a ton without having an immensely strong lower back will result in squatmornings.
Big Choppa wrote:Rab's face probably scares the bar up. Explains his Shit deadlift as well cause the wants to stay away from his deformed bonce.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Karlos on Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:35 am

Lower bar definitely means your hip angle is increased relatively compared to oly style, increasing posterior load.

I would suggest cossack squats. They have helped my hip mobility so much which I think is a big cause of leaning forward in a squat.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Rilla on Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:09 pm

Goblet squats are great too if you're looking for "correcting" exercises.
Big Choppa wrote:Rab's face probably scares the bar up. Explains his Shit deadlift as well cause the wants to stay away from his deformed bonce.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Dtlv74 on Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:57 pm

I try to keep my upper body in the same position throughout the whole squat by making sure that before even starting the first rep I'm already leaning slightly forward...just hold the position all the way down and then hold it all the way up. Kind of lock my lower back into one position and only allow movement at the hip.

This is easy to do with PL style squats (feet wider than shoulder width, lower bar position, go to just below parallel) but harder with Olympic style squats (feet shoulder width, high bar position, ATG). I think the lower you go in squats the harder it is to avoid a slight degree of GM'ing.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Ader on Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:25 pm

Det;s new avatar reminds me that teh frog squat stretch is a good stretch too.

Also the comment re doing front squats to reinforce a good position at eth bottom is spot on imo - I did a spate of warming up with fromt squats before I hit back squats for that reason and works quite well. Light Overhead squats might work too - but if you have a lot of should flexibility you may no be as upright as you think! - so possibly an idea might be to warm up with overheads - bar only - then do some front squats with more weight before hitting the back squats and try to replicate the movement and feeing of the nice upright torso you get from the overheads and fronts.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Karlos on Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:35 pm

Yeah nice ideas. I do light OH squats which works well as you say.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Alex on Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:58 pm

Making no sense to me. Lower bar > more upright, so how will you be leaning forwards more if more upright? Maybe I have a wierd technique but I find lower bar makes me lean forwards far less compared to higher bar.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Rilla on Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:43 pm

Alex can we agree that lower bar is the position favored by most PLers?
Can we agree that PLers lean forward quite a bit?
I hope so.

If you stand up too much with a low bar, the bar will rest on your arms, forcing your forearms backwards killing your elbows in the process.
Big Choppa wrote:Rab's face probably scares the bar up. Explains his Shit deadlift as well cause the wants to stay away from his deformed bonce.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Alex on Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:04 pm

I don't disagree with what you're saying but for whatever reason I find I'm less forward with a lower bar position as I feel the movement more in my Glutes rather than in my Quads with a high bar.

I don't have any issues with bar being on my arms or elbows hurting but then I tend to have my wists bent back a fair bit. Other alternative could be that what I think is a lower bar position isn't really that low but what I call high bar is on the neck.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby Rilla on Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:50 pm

Yea, I'm thinking we see different things as high and low bar.
Big Choppa wrote:Rab's face probably scares the bar up. Explains his Shit deadlift as well cause the wants to stay away from his deformed bonce.
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Re: Squat technique question

Postby health4ni on Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:08 pm

Foot placement also affects things. Plers use a w i d e stance. That will also allow them to lean forward more.

I have actually widened my stance recently to be just outside shoulder width and although it's going to take a few sessions to get "into the groove" (as Madge would say) I think this is going to be better for me (certainly for a while anyway). The whole foot placement thing and hitting different muscle groups more or less is a pile of poo with regards to back squats. Just get the technique sorted in a comfortable and strong position and lift heavy.
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