Squat Technique

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Squat Technique

Postby Pingu on Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:40 am

Now I have ventured into the wonderful world of free squats, does anyone know of any good links for technique advice? Or if any of you guys have some good advice (front and back squats) it would be gratefully received!

Want to make sure I get this right! :D
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Marks1972 on Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:18 am

Plenty of info around Pingoooooo, but first thing i think you need to know is that all back squats arent equal.

How a lot of powerlifters will squat for comp. and for most of their training (box/foam/band/chains squats etc) will be with a wide stance (very wide in some cases) driving their hips back and exploding back up using their glutes and hamstrings, theres actually not a huge amount of quad work, in fact if you look at a lot of powerlifters their quads almost look untrained, at least in relation to the rest of their legs. Also should be noted that the bar is held low on the back in this kind of squat, It needs to be as if you tried to squat in a high bar position keeping the bar over your heels would mean you are more upright and you'd be a lot less stable.


At the other end of the spectrum you have olympic style squatting, which is a narrow stance, high bar position (more or less on top of the traps) and always ATG as opposed to pl style which is normally taken to // or just below (or 9 inches above // if you lift in certain feds in the US by the looks of things :) )
This style is a lot more quad work and you may find this easier or harder depending on your weaknesses and flexibility, youll find PL style easier if you have good hip flexibility, strong glutes and hams and oly easier with good ankle flexibility and strong quads. I dont squat this way so im not an expert, but it seems to me you also sit more down than back in this style of squatting like youre trying to put your bum on your heels rather than on the imaginary box 2 feet behind you.

You do see people doing a kind of hybrid in betweeny squat (what i call a gym squat as its how 90% of people in a gym do it), but my personal opinion is that, like all aspects of training, trying to hit 2 goals at once never works, im yet to hear of an exercise that effectively and directly works the triceps and biceps at the same time so i dont see why folks think the legs are any different.

I think your best bet is to aim for an Oly style of squatting to give you full range, its also better suited to a smaller build imo but making sure you do some glute/ham work.

If glute/ham raises are out, then look into pull throughs, RDLs, wide stance GMs, sumo deads etc.
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Pingu on Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:34 am

Markooooo...you STAR!!!!! Thanks hunny! :D
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby SCOTT GALTON on Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:07 am

http://www.vimeo.com/2507137

This is how this short chap does it :D
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Pingu on Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:24 am

I shall have a look at that at home later Scott, thanks ;) If its a short person then all the better, being a member of the Dwarf Empire myself! :D
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby cleaver on Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:55 am

Rilla wrote:Up the dose.
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Pingu on Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:55 pm

You're a star Cleaver, thank you!
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Ader on Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:38 pm

Squat RX is good :)

Re Marks post on powerlifting squats - Bear in mind that the wide stance squats are mainly done by equipped powerlifters - the wide stance, as Mark says, emphasies hams/glutes, but this give less drive out the bottom than a narrower stance squat (or so I am told) - Equipped lifters are compensated by the suits to help get out the hole, but once out the hole are in a much stronger position with the wide stance.

I am just learning that a narrower stance is preferable for unequipped squatting as you need that extra bit of drive out of the hole - No point in being able to move an extra 30Kg once you're out the hole if you can't get out the hole in the first place! - Well that's the theory anyway :)
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Marks1972 on Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:41 am

Interesting Adder, i find wide stance easier, to the point where i even feel less need for wraps going wider and sitting back.

Perhaps i need to give equipped a go as it feels natural to me to squat this way.. might also be why im finding sumo deads so comfortable.
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Pingu on Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:37 am

Hmm. That is interesting. I've tried narrowing and widening my stance myself, and find the wider the stance the easier it is for me... think I will try both again on Friday and pay particular attention to how each feels and see.

Maybe I was born to be an equipped powerlifting squatter?!! Umm...no. Maybe not! :lol:
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Marks1972 on Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:21 am

Probably worth adding, there is wide stance and then there is WIDE stance :)

Im not saying you can squat like Chuck Vogepohl (sp) without equipment, i doubt anyone on the planet has the power in their hips to do that, but going semi wide if you like to bring the glutes/hams into play works well for me.

Also bear in mind i have a belly that i can expand pretty impressively giving me that big wide base, so wide suits my build.
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Pingu on Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:39 am

Good point Mark. Reckon my preferred is widER, plus I seem to feel more balance with this stance than narrower. But definitely going to play around with it to see. I do want to work the glutes/hams more anyway so widening the stance will be useful from that point of view. Been looking into the specific work you suggested for that...don’t think I’ve got anywhere I can do the glute/ham raises but definitely going to look at working in some pull throughs and GMs.

As the safety rack is not a safety rack and isn’t going to be one...what’s the best way for me to get a decent weight on a bar for GMs? Or do I just need to accept a lower weight for these? Unless I can use the Oly bar for them but that just seems a bit far fetched to me...
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Marks1972 on Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:48 am

Start very light on GMs pingoooo, its not an exercise to be cavalier about. Might also pay to start with arched back GMs as it will help with keeping the bar in place as well as making sure you dont round till youre ready to.

Empty oly bar for first couple of sessions should do it to get the hang of them. Have you doing straight back 100kg+ off pins in no time :)
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Pingu on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:02 am

Don't worry babe, I'm not cavalier about any of this training.

Thanks for the tips there! So I can do them with the Oly bar? That will be great...

What's the difference between the straight and rounded back?
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Marks1972 on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:10 am

exactly as it sounds, they can be done arched, flat and rounded, however i wouldnt touch rounded if i were you, start with arched then move to flat when youre comfortable, rounded is more specific to recovering a squat or deadlift going bad but would be dangerous if your dont have the power in your erectors to keep your back safe.
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Pingu on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:14 am

Righty ho! Duly noted and will be implemented as such! :D
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Pingu on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:19 am

P.S. I'm excited...lookee at all this new stuff to do!! WOO HOO!!! :mrgreen:
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Ader on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:35 am

Marks1972 wrote:Interesting Adder, i find wide stance easier, to the point where i even feel less need for wraps going wider and sitting back.

Perhaps i need to give equipped a go as it feels natural to me to squat this way.. might also be why im finding sumo deads so comfortable.
I didn't know anyone found sumo dead's 'comfortable' ! Freak
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Ader on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:40 am

Marks1972 wrote:exactly as it sounds, they can be done arched, flat and rounded, however i wouldnt touch rounded if i were you, start with arched then move to flat when youre comfortable, rounded is more specific to recovering a squat or deadlift going bad but would be dangerous if your dont have the power in your erectors to keep your back safe.
Very true! I round my back at the top nowadays to give the bar a flat base - If I arch the bars on a vertical back and I end up killing my shoulders and wrists - Takes a bit of time to adapt to that. For that reason, I find with a big arch it's easier to squat with the bar higher rather than lower

Arch back is teh strongest/safest - Look at teh Squat RX stuff on youtube - the guy talks and walks you through teh back position.

At the end of teh day foot width and back arch and high/lowbar positioning is what you feel comfortable with - Over time you may adapt to achieve certain objectives but a natural wide stance guy like Mark is never going to go really narrow for example, so you just need to experiment a bit.
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Pingu on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:50 am

Great advice there Ader, thank you. I've already linked the RX stuff and along with the other links people have given me here, am going to be doing some birthday Squat research tomorrow! :D

I like the fact I need to experiment and try new things. I seriously doubt I will ever find squats boring, but the trying things out makes it that much more interesting. And useful...

Hey Mark, you may see me in those knee wraps yet! ;) :lol:
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby GymBunny on Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:42 pm

I suspect a slightly wide stance is easier for women because of our proportionately wider hips. I know I'm a lot more balanced when I use a wider stance. Though wide PL stance I initially found really hard, but I know that's due to my poor glute activation and weak hams.

I'd second what the guys are saying about Good mornings. The movement is controlled by piveting through the hips and to start I would definitely agree with keeping your back arched to protect the mobile base of the spine.
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby cleaver on Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:22 pm

GymBunny wrote:I suspect a slightly wide stance is easier for women because we like to spread them all the time



^^ Amended to be true :lol:
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Re: Squat Technique

Postby Pingu on Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:29 pm

GymBunny wrote:I suspect a slightly wide stance is easier for women because of our proportionately wider hips. I know I'm a lot more balanced when I use a wider stance. Though wide PL stance I initially found really hard, but I know that's due to my poor glute activation and weak hams.

I'd second what the guys are saying about Good mornings. The movement is controlled by piveting through the hips and to start I would definitely agree with keeping your back arched to protect the mobile base of the spine.


Good point GB. Never thought of that. I would say my glute/ham weakness is also a reason I find it more of a struggle when is a really wide stance.

Arched GMs it is!

cleaver wrote:
GymBunny wrote:I suspect a slightly wide stance is easier for women because we like to spread them all the time


Honestly :roll: :lol:
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