View Full Version : Back Squat

Matt DiVito
09-26-2007, 04:09 AM
Coach Rippetoe, sorry for the delay in getting this video of my back squat put up. The internet on the FOB wasn't letting me access youtube for the past couple weeks. Everyone feel free to put in their two cents on my form. Thanks.


Trevor Thompson
09-26-2007, 09:26 AM
first thing that i see i that your heels may not be completely "stuck" to the ground, now from all i have done and seen and know the heel of the foot should be pressing into the ground in order to power up out of the hole and then through the lift. Keep that whole foot glued to the ground. (from the angle of the video you can easily see only one side, a front view would be awesome, to see where your knees are tracking and such.)

Chris Walls
09-26-2007, 10:07 AM
It does look like you rock onto your toes a bit at the bottom. Make sure you keep your weight in your heels, stick that butt back against the imaginary wall, and slide that butt up and down it.

If you post another one, instead of from the side or front, shoot it from the front and off to the side (at an angle) :)

Matt DiVito
09-26-2007, 11:57 AM
Thanks guys. Making sure my heels were "glued" to the ground was something I hadn't really focused on. I'm pretty sure I keep my knees tracking over my feet b/c that's something I consciously make an effort to have happen.

What about my lower back position? What got me to post this originally was a guy in the gym acted like I was doing it all wrong and about to blow my back out at any second.

Chris Walls
09-26-2007, 12:02 PM
hard to say from this angle as your back get mostly blocked by the plates. But it looks like there might be some rounding at the bottom. If you think about rubbing your butt up and down an invisible wall it might help (if your butt winks at the bottom it comes off that wall right?), also try to find some of the squat therapy threads for other exercises you can do to help with keeping your back from rounding.

Chris Spealler
09-26-2007, 12:44 PM
Matt... can't really tell because of the plates but it looks like the bar is positioned pretty high on your back. If it is, try a lower position for the bar and keep your chest high in the squat.

Trevor Thompson
09-26-2007, 07:33 PM
A lower position might help, nearer to the middle of your traps.

Jon Knutsen
09-27-2007, 02:27 AM
As others have noted the plates make it tough to see your entire back position, however, there's one thing I noticed even with the plates...

If you look at the position of your back on the descent and at the bottom of the squat, everything looks pretty good. However when you start to rise up out of the squat, your hips begin to ascend but your chest doesn't rise at the same rate which compromises the angle of your back momentarily. If the hips rise faster than your upper body, the back tends to round for a moment and the chest faces more downward as opposed to forward. On the first rep it's not overly noticeable, however, by the third and fourth reps it becomes more prominent.

Just my two cents but this could be what the other guy at the gym was noticing.

Matt DiVito
09-27-2007, 05:15 AM
Jon, thanks for pointing that out. Is there anything specific to do that will assist in keeping my chest rising at the same rate as my hips?

Jon Knutsen
09-27-2007, 10:43 AM
As some of mentioned, lowering the bar on your back might help a bit. Whenever the bar is resting on the very highest point of your torso, as in the top of your shoulders, the weakest link becomes your ability to maintain midline stabilization.

Keep the elbows under the bar and drive your chest up when you ascend from the squat. It's just a matter of building up that strength and stability.

Takes this for what it's worth - but Coach Rip used me (my body type that is) for a deadlift demo at a cert seminar. I'm 6'4" with long legs and a short torso. This makes my torso lean almost horizontal to the ground when I get in my correct starting position to start the deadlift. My legs have lots of power to lift the bar but my back is the weakest link in the lift. As a result, when I hit my max load, my legs still feel like they have juice but my back can't maintain midline stablization and I abort the lift before wrecking something. Coach Rip made the point that someone with my body type would never be a "great" deadlifter but that wouldn't stop me from gaining greatly from deadlifting. It just means I won't be breaking any records in the near future. These same issues can apply to the squat. However, after saying all that, the stronger my core gets and greater my ability increases to maintain midline stabilization during squats, deadlifts, etc. How do I do this? From deadlifting, squatting, and so on. Your body type looks similar to mine and I would guess that you're in the same boat.

Matt DiVito
09-27-2007, 12:17 PM
I am in the same boat as you when it comes to body type. I do the Starting Strength workouts, so I've been deadlifting religiously for about the past month. When I do a full range of motion on the squat however, the amount of weight I can lift is embarrassingly light. Anything over 200 and my form just gets completely wrecked. I know my legs can handle more weight than my back/core is able to stabilize right now. So, I guess I'll be sticking with the light weights until the muscles in my back catch up.

Jon Knutsen
09-27-2007, 05:49 PM
You're definitely not alone when it comes to long legs, short torso. Although I might not be a great powerlifter with my frame, I still enjoy playing basketball and dunking with ease at age 33. Can't have it all I guess, but we can sure try.

Leonid Soubbotine
09-29-2007, 07:12 AM
Just comes with time and practice.

I'm 6'3" at 225 - my squat max jumped to 374 (+33) lbs after Mark helped me with my bar placement.

DL max is 462. And dunking is easy.

Just keep at it. Do lots of front, overhead and back squats and you'll get better.
No reason to complain about body type. Being tall is awesome!