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Squat tips
(Read 11181 times)
Christian Burger
Staff  [Moderator, German Translator]
 
Austria Austria Male 598 posts
« on: November 21, 2008, 04:58:09 pm »

I tought it would be a good idea to have a thread dedicated to squat form tips and improvement.

To start off: My main concern currently is keeping the arch in the lower back and having the knees not travel forward at the bottom position of the squat.

What I am doing to adress this is:
Free Squatting a lot
Flexibility work
Learning by looking at the squat rx video series on youtube (Highly recommended).
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Wade Dare
Lifter
 
United States United States Male 493 posts
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2009, 09:09:41 pm »

I actually find I'm a little more successful in hitting depth if I allow my knees to travel a bit forward in the squat.  Allows me to keep my arch better and keep a more vertical back angle, sparing my herniated disk.

The idea of the knees not travelling forward works better for lifters who use gear and trains them to sit back in the squat suit.  If you don't have a suit, then you're gonna want to shorten whatever lever arms can be shortened safely to move that weight.

The real trick is keeping the knees out and chest up when squatting, so as much muscle mass as possible is engaged in lifting the weight and the lever arm created by the back is as short as possible..
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 12:10:54 am »

Now, I'm neither the model of proper squat form or impressive poundage, but like Wade I have a trashed back. Like Wade, I've also found that letting the knees come forward makes for a less acute angle in the low back which keeps the low back happier.

My impression is also that RAW lifters in general tend to let the knees come forward a bit while equipped lifters will favor sitting back to get maximum stretch out of the gear. This is also dependent on squat width; the narrower you go the harder it obviously is to sit back with vertical shins (and the narrower you go, the more acute lower back angle you will get trying to accomplish that). And the limits to how wide you can squat and still make depth in turn depends on the squat depths rules enforced in your federation. You don't see that many really wide squatters in the IPF simply because trying to go that deep that wide is really hard on the hips (and perhaps also because you don't gain as much sitting back aggressively in single-ply gear as in stronger stuff?).

I believe that there is no single optimal squat technique, rather it depends on a lot of these external factors (and that's not even touching differences in anatomy between those "built to squat" at one end and the "squatting deadlifters" at the other). For example, there is a world of difference between how the NASA DVDs explain proper squat form and how the EliteFTS Exercise Index does it, but the tapes spring from very different equipment (not only gear, the monolift also plays its part here) and squat depth contexts. In that sense it's also interesting to note how the Westside guys squat like in gear when they train RAW (often with a box for better transfer). But what do you do if you compete both RAW and equipped? Use different techniques? Create a golden compromise? Use form optimized for one when competing in both?

What do you think? Am I missing the boat on this one?
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Wade Dare
Lifter
 
United States United States Male 493 posts
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2009, 03:48:34 am »

No - I think you've nailed the central difference between competing raw and competing in gear.

Strong is strong though and there's a lot of carryover both ways.  Big geared squatters tend to be big RAW squatters and vice-versa.  I would think an experienced lifter could make the transition between the two styles for two separate contests easily.  Lifters with lesser training lives might face more of a challenge in trying to do their best in both worlds, I'm presuming.  Literally presuming, as I have no experience with gear.  Don't even own a belt...

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A stitch in time means that someone repaired a hole in the fabric of the universe.
Christian Burger
Staff  [Moderator, German Translator]
 
Austria Austria Male 598 posts
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2009, 08:01:17 pm »

Thanks for the responses.

Letting the knees travel forward really does help attaining depth. For that matter I worked with the description in "Starting Strength" of the squat. It took quite a while to get the misconception out of my head to not let the knees travel forward. What I was previously doing was that at the bottom of the lift the knees would travel forward. And that's not a good idea ...

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Nico Feliciano
Lifter
 
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Male 8 posts
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 03:37:45 am »

check out the mark rippetoe videos on you tube. Lots of good info
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Wade Dare
Lifter
 
United States United States Male 493 posts
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2009, 12:34:25 am »

check out the mark rippetoe videos on you tube. Lots of good info

In those videos, Rip has the lifter concentrate on having the small of the back rise, but what isn't stressed - and what I think ought to be stressed - is that the hips and shoulders should rise out of the bottom at the same rate - as a unit.  It's easy to start doing a good morning out of the bottom when concentrating on making the hips rise which can cause the lifter to fold over at about mid point of his rise.
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A stitch in time means that someone repaired a hole in the fabric of the universe.
Nico Feliciano
Lifter
 
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Male 8 posts
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2009, 05:10:41 am »

I agree with your statement. If you do raise your hips/shoulder/chest as one unit it would be more beneficial.
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