View Full Version : Squat Rx Videos

Boris Bachmann
07-01-2007, 11:45 PM
I'm making a series of squat instructional videos to help people trouble-shoot common errors and tips to improve their squat - I posted the first one in a couple of threads, but have since made more. Let me know what you think!

Squat Rx #1: Lower Back Rounding at the Bottom of the Squat

Squat Rx #2: GMing Out of the Hole

Squat Rx #3: Engaging the Glutes and Hamstrings (Part I)

Squat Rx #3: Engaging the Glutes and Hamstrings (Part II)

(Message edited by Boris on July 02, 2007)

Blair Robert Lowe
07-03-2007, 11:59 AM
Nice, thanks. I'm going to direct these to a client. I do remember sort of doing good mornings out of a back squat in yesteryears when I would go heavy...well, I think I did.

A plethora of other interesting exercises too.

Mark Lattin
07-11-2007, 06:13 AM
These were very helpful to me. Thank you.

Boris Bachmann
07-15-2007, 09:02 PM
I'm glad they had some useful info for you guys!

I made two more. Hopefully, you'll find them as helpful.

Squat Rx #4: Bar Positioning and Squat Depth

Squat Rx #5: Hip & Hamstring Mobility and Flexibility

(Message edited by Boris on July 15, 2007)

Peter Dell'Orto
07-15-2007, 09:40 PM
Very helpful stuff. I'll be trying some of your drills to increase my comfortable squat depth, which is just a little above parallel.

Thanks for the good videos - clearly shot, clear instructions, and straightfoward. I especially appreciate the lack of extra background noise and music.

Boris Bachmann
07-17-2007, 10:46 PM
Thanks Peter.

I've made another video - this one is about supplemental exercises - probably not much that will be new to the CrossFit crowd, but I hope you like it.

Squat Rx #6: A Dozen Supplemental Exercises
12 exercises for knee, hip, lower back, and shoulder strengthening and stability are presented.

Part I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIECuX8o88c

Part II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4NwygdsF_c

Peter Dell'Orto
07-18-2007, 05:29 AM
Nice, thanks, those are good. I think it's flexibility rather than strength of my hamstrings that is limiting me, but every little bit of knowledge I can accrue helps.

Peter Dell'Orto
07-20-2007, 09:25 PM
Boris, I've also referred a self-described squat-hater to these videos on another forum. Hope you don't mind. After seeing Squat Rx #1 he seemed much more positive about squatting. Good stuff.

Boris Bachmann
07-20-2007, 09:41 PM
Heck no! Thanks!

I've been keeping busy and made another:

Squat Rx #7: Bands and Chains

Boris Bachmann
07-25-2007, 10:53 AM
Squat Rx #8: Shoes

Boris Bachmann
07-26-2007, 08:41 PM
Squat Rx #9: JV Squats & Overhead Squats

Squat Rx #10: Set-Up & Breathing

Boris Bachmann
08-08-2007, 10:26 PM
Squat Rx #12: 5 Common Squatting Issues (Part I)

In part I, I talk about the heels raising off the floor, hips shifting laterally, and the knees bowing in and out while squatting. Also features the song, "I Like to Squat It!".

Boris Bachmann
08-09-2007, 01:13 AM
Squat Rx #12 (Part II)

Part two talks about upper back and shoulder pain when back squatting.

(Message edited by Boris on August 09, 2007)

Anthony Bainbridge
08-09-2007, 02:38 AM
Wow, you kettlebell guys know a lot about squatting ... ;)

I'm a bit behind on the vids, lack of proper internet at home, but I'll catch up this weekend.

Boris Bachmann
08-09-2007, 05:32 AM

Thanks Anthony! ...btw, you can't call me a KB guy around here - there are WAY too many people at these forums who could wipe up the floor with me!

Veronica Carpenter
08-09-2007, 10:27 AM
D@mn, I wish I had high-speed!

Boris Bachmann
08-09-2007, 11:13 AM
I wish you did too - I'd love to hear your feedback.

Joshua Bird
08-09-2007, 02:02 PM
These vids are great...I actually came across the first one a week ago searching the board to try and cure my awful butt wink below parallel (videos forthcoming) Thanks Boris!!

Veronica Carpenter
08-10-2007, 04:12 PM
Hey Boris, logged in at the library and viewed a few - not bad, not bad at all. :-) You did a great job on the ones that I saw. :biggrinthumb:

Boris Bachmann
08-11-2007, 06:35 AM
Thanks Josh and Veronica!

Matt Thomas
08-11-2007, 10:16 PM
If I go as far down as I possibly can my lower back rounds and my butt droops like in video number 1. It straightens out as I come back up. Should I stop squatting this low and only go as low as I can while keeping my back straight or should I continue to squat full depth and just keeping working on my flexiblity and trying to straighten it out? Is it dangerous for the back to do that at the bottom of a squat?

Joshua Bird
08-12-2007, 06:38 PM

Yes it is dangerous. I have the same problem as you and I box squat as low as I can while keeping the arch in the lower back. I'm going to work on the drills that Boris outlined until I can go full depth without rounding. Also, if you keep going full depth with the rounding still happening you are reinforcing bad mechanics. There is a great thread about it here:


Boris Bachmann
08-12-2007, 10:09 PM
I've had a lot of discussions about this over the past couple of months. To be honest, the only thing I am 100% sure of is that everyone should be trying their damndest to maintain their arch throughout the entire range of motion.

Lyle McDonald told me that he had discussed the idea w. Marty Gallagher and that Marty said something along the lines of flattening was natural and nothing to be concerned about. No one would question Marty's knowledge of lifting, but I don't know what to think of that. I don't agree but I respect the hell out of Marty Gallagher.

Squat Rx #13: Box Squats, Pause Squats, and Oscillatory-Isometric Squats

As soon as I uploaded this, I realized that I was doing "Oscillatory-Reactive" squats rather than "Oscillatory-Isometric" squats. A true oscillatory-isometric squat would pause at the top of the range of motion before free falling an inch or two below the sticking point. Doing this would allow you to 'reset" a little and make maintain a groove a little easier than what I showed in the video.

Anywho, I hope you like it and can learn something from it.


Dave Winchester
08-13-2007, 09:53 PM
Thanks Boris, I think the videos are very informative.

I have just as of lately begun to notice that I may have some tailbone tucking going on; however, I'll need to find where the digicam went so I can get a video (looking sideways in the mirror sans weight only leaves room for suspicion).

Either way, I really liked all the mobility and stretching drills; I'm now adding them to my warm-up as they really made my hips loosen up more.

Boris Bachmann
08-13-2007, 10:46 PM
I'm glad to hear that - thanks!

I've posted some thoughts about a few of the exercises in Squat Rx #5 - apparently, Mike Boyle and Shirley Sahrmann advise against rotational exercises in general. I personally think that, in life, you twist and if you aren't flopping around like a fish, windshield wipers et. al can be stability-building exercises, BUT if Mike Boyle and Shirley Sahrmann say so, it is something that should be listened to very carefully.

So, I guess I'm saying be careful and use your good judgement.

Dave Winchester
08-14-2007, 03:31 PM
Boris, considering the fact that I have tight hamstrings (and other muscles to boot), what would you recommend for stretching frequency? Until maybe a week ago I never stretched after a workout.

I was thinking 2-3 times a day doing some static stretches over the whole body to get ROM where it's needed. Think it's overkill?

Boris Bachmann
08-15-2007, 10:23 PM
I'm sorry, but I really couldn't advise you on specific stretching protocol except to say, just like lifting, you really need to build into it. If you've never really stretched before, it's going to be very easy to overdo it. Almost all of my stretching for squatting, personally, consists of bottom position work, glute stretches, IT band stretches, and traditional hamstring stretches and I do them prior to training - I know, I know everyone says how bad it is and it makes you weak, etc., but I do it anyway. I also do it when I'm just sitting around the boob tube.

There are probably great resources on the web - I'll keep an eye out for some. I really like Pavel's stuff. Starke's book is pretty good, but it could be dated now. I'll look into it for you, but start doing some research and let me know what you come up with.

(Message edited by Boris on August 16, 2007)

Dave Winchester
08-16-2007, 06:09 AM
Fair enough. I'll research it and send anything interesting your way, also.

Ben Moskowitz
08-22-2007, 02:34 PM
http://www.trickstutorials.com/index.php?page=content/flexibility go to steps 2 and 3

All links safe, to various relevant materials on flexibility for squatting

I would say they are ranked in order of authority/helpfulness. The tricks tutorials site has an insane number of stretches and is funny though.

As for programming,
here's what I could get from the best of the best:
Stretch. just do it. You probably don't do it, so if you start doing it, kabam! you get flexy. I am working at this level.

Stretch 15-60 seconds per pose/stretch. Shake it out. If you've got the time and the will, repeat for 3-5 sets.

Randomly stretch, intelligently. Just like Coach says to mix up your WOD time of day sometimes, same goes for stretching. Do it a little bit, and do it often. Kinda like myofascial massage.
However, this doesn't mean "oh, I'll just do this stretch cuz it looks cool, and ooh, that one makes me feel all hurty so I'll avoid it."
You should try to stretch all your muscles, especially the ones giving you trouble (for me the list is upper back, front, and shoulders for OHS; glutes, ITB, hams, calves/soleus for squats; hip flexors, quads for lunges cuz I fence; and hey lower back and abs because I can't do bridges, pikes and straddles very well. UUUghh, I think I just covered all the muscles in the body.)
Also, mix up which stretches you do. Do you back squat all day every day? No! There's FS, OHS, trap bar, etc.

This is sorta time consuming if you stretch your entire body. Like... 10-15-20 minutes. Maybe do 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, you get the idea.

Another couple of things to try are isometric/PNF stretching and dynamic stretching. PNF is basically tensing the muscle for 7-15 seconds, and then releasing. You will drop into greater ROM. It's incredible. Just take it easy with these, like every other day or so.

Dynamic stretching is great for warmup and mobility. Plus, static flexibility in hamstrings is worthless if you don't have the dynamic flexibility to say, drop into a squat.

Passive, a.k.a. "normal" static stretching is good just about anytime. If anything hurts, cut it out. take it easy, and breath deeply and regularly. Breathing actually has a profound effect on relaxing your muscles. You "drop" pretty well with this one too.

Well now, I should quite typing and start stretching.

edit: Just to throw this out there, some of the most functional stretching I believe I have come across are:
Samson stretch
Samson stretch with stick (Dan John)
Shoulder dislocates, inlocates, eagle grip (drills and skills), back and forth, etc.
"Pushing the Universe away" (upper thoracic mobility, see Dan John)
Goblet squat - Mr. Olympia Chest, Buddha belly (breathing, Dan John)
Goblet squat pushing the knees out with the elbows, PNF style
Hanging, Swinging back and forth, and kipping pullups (Coach)

I suppose the "quickest fixes" for lower body flexibility outside of the above are:
front split
side spit

I think I underrepresented drillsandskills on the "functional" bit, the stretches listed are pretty darn good, comprehensive, and vast.

Boris Bachmann
08-28-2007, 10:19 PM
Squat Rx #15: The Front Squat

If you are familiar with the front squat, you might find this one pretty basic, but hopefully you'll get something from it.

Scott Mahn
08-29-2007, 12:47 PM
These are great Boris.

I hope you'll also do a series for the deadlift. I've been self training for 3-4 weeks now and finally caught a side view of myself in the mirror. Wow my lower back was rounded - I had no idea!

But to get the curvature I had to bring my hips down to my calves.

Of course the love-handles make it hard to see what's really going on down there. Can't wait till they are gone.

Ben Moskowitz
08-29-2007, 05:50 PM
These are great Boris.

I hope you'll also do a series for the deadlift. I've been self training for 3-4 weeks now and finally caught a side view of myself in the mirror.

Yeah agreed. Except for me it was a trainer saying "hey, your going to herniate a disc" on that 7x1 DL day. Fortunately my lower back just got real sore. It's starting to feel normal as of today.

Geoffrey Riddle
08-31-2007, 08:05 PM
Squat Rx #15: The Front Squat

Hey, what about #14???? (I really do need all the help I can get!)

Boris Bachmann
08-31-2007, 09:14 PM
Thanks Geoff! I kind of figured that the material in this video would all be very well covered material for CrossFitters, but I appreciate the interest.

Squat Rx #14: 7 "Core" Exercises

Brad Thompson
09-01-2007, 12:41 PM
Hey - Thanks!

I am working on my squats - through tight hip issues. This is exactly what I needed.

David Wood
09-01-2007, 05:47 PM
Hey Boris:

We're really pestering you today . . . link is "safe" (or not), RIGHT?

Boris Bachmann
09-01-2007, 06:34 PM
Yes. Very safe.

Boris Bachmann
09-02-2007, 11:24 PM
Squat Rx #16: The Hack Squat

How to perform the hack squat is discussed. It is safe for the whole family (although I do use the word "butt"... ;) ).

Ben Moskowitz
09-07-2007, 01:47 PM
This is sort of related, it's an article about getting the hips to fire. (w.f.s.)

Plus, Boyle says we need ankle, hip, thoracic mobility and knee, lower back, and shoulder stability. I agree. The Samson stretch wins again as a warmup stretch. I might try throwing in some of the other stretches, plus some activation exercises occasionally.

Boris Bachmann
10-03-2007, 09:35 AM
I've actually been planning to revisit glute amnesia in a Squat Rx - thanks for the link.

Extremely work/family safe... (there is some Pantera in the second video, so loud music may not be so work safe... you decide)

Squat Rx #17: Westside Basics (Part I)

Squat Rx#17: Westside Basics (Part II)

Boris Bachmann
11-13-2007, 02:20 PM
Squat Rx #18: Concentric and Zercher Squats

family and work safe

Leonid Soubbotine
11-13-2007, 03:48 PM
Boris- thank you for all the excellent videos!

It helped me get my ohs up by quite a bit!

Leo S.

Boris Bachmann
11-14-2007, 06:47 PM
Thanks Leonid!

Eddie Clark
11-19-2007, 10:33 AM
Bump. This thread should be a sticky or something.
Great stuff!

Randy Tarasevich
11-20-2007, 06:26 PM
Do you offer digital coaching as a service to your clients? If so, how has it worked out for you?

Boris Bachmann
11-20-2007, 10:54 PM
I don't do "online coaching" if that's what you mean, but I've gotten a lot of PMs from people asking me to take a look at their form via YouTube.

Mike Gray
04-09-2008, 05:57 AM
Say guys,

Is there anywhere to download the whole set of "Squat RX" vids in one sehbang and keep it locally?

I really appreciate the work Boris has put into this. After straining my back on a CFT last weekend and starting some "squat rehab," I've had to get serious about my form, particularly in terms of letting my weight come forward and hunching over. I knew I had some issues before, but these vids are giving me some great ways to work on them.

David Gessen
04-14-2008, 12:34 AM
I have downloaded every single squat RX video.
Where did you get the cool "SKWAT!" t-shirt?

You won't believe what shoes I have found for squatting! Just get into the "Equipment" forum and I'll tell ya :)

Everyone who wants to download the videos just enter here:
http://www.tubeg.com/ WFS

paste the youtube link you want to download and wait until the download window appears(about 30 sec).

Boris Bachmann
04-14-2008, 06:28 PM
Thanks everyone.

I made the shirt - I ran out. If I ever make more, I'll try to let everyone know and sell you one at cost+whatever shipping it takes.

Mark E. Wallace
04-15-2008, 11:37 AM
Everyone who wants to download the videos just enter here: http://www.tubeg.com/ WFS

For you Firefox users out there, there are also several extensions available for downloading YouTube vids.

- Mark

Derek Hui
04-26-2008, 04:27 AM
Thanks Boris, your Squat RX has been a great info tool to the library.

John Barrett
07-18-2008, 06:26 AM
Thanks for all the effort and the information, perhaps a compilation DVD should be in the works.

I am unfamiliar with the spoken and unspoken rules of Youtube. So, is it all right with you if I download some the films? If I can get them on to DVD or something I can play'em in my basement/gym. I just feel weird about not asking is all.

And that box for squatting. I couldn't get a good enough look at it to figure out how it's built. It is about twice as long as the ones that most guys have put together, but it doesn't appear to be adjustable. Any tips on that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again. Your presentations are some the best that I have seen.


Boris Bachmann
07-18-2008, 06:58 AM
I've thought about a DVD, but I don't know if the resolution would be good enough for that - redoing the main points might be an idea at some point.

Feel free to download them - I know a lot of people have uploaded the YouTube videos to other sites so that they could download them to their computers. No problem whatsoever.

The boxes in the video are actually pulling blocks. It's about 10" high - a little low, so I put some bumper plates under it for squatting. A rectangular box works better for me anyway - the base is narrow enough to straddle and long enough that I don't have to worry about overshooting and landing on my arse.

Thanks a lot for the kind words.

Tarun Suri
07-19-2008, 11:35 AM
Mr. Squat, I'm really happy I found these videos immediately after I gained interest in Oly lifting and decided to go bar to PVC bar and perfect the basics before I start straining.

Immediately, I noticed that my lower back rounds at the bottom of the squat and that furthermore, my upper body is quite horizontal at the bottom of the back squat, for that matter even air squats.
I wasn't able to do a "wall" squat without touching the wall!

At 1:40 of Squat rx #1, where you get into the bottom of the squat and hold onto a cage to starighten out the lower back, I do not feel a stretch in the hamstrings and hips.
Instead, I feel a small strain on my quads as though they are working and a small pressure on my knees as I ascend.
Am I performing the stretch/excercise incorrectly?

I experimented with holding a heavy object (kettlebell, db, etc.) between my feet at the bottom of my squat to lower my center of gravity and straighten my back.
I feel an extreme stretch for my hips in that position.
I wanted to confirm is this would be an adequate substitute if would be unable to squat holding a cage to be beneficial.

Your input as well as anyone elses on the forum is much valued.

Boris Bachmann
07-19-2008, 06:53 PM
At 1:40 of Squat rx #1, where you get into the bottom of the squat and hold onto a cage to starighten out the lower back, I do not feel a stretch in the hamstrings and hips.
Instead, I feel a small strain on my quads as though they are working and a small pressure on my knees as I ascend.
Am I performing the stretch/excercise incorrectly?Yes, try to outwardly rotate the hips and sit back a little further - you should feel it in the groin, hips, and hamstrings. If you don't, let me know.
I experimented with holding a heavy object (kettlebell, db, etc.) between my feet at the bottom of my squat to lower my center of gravity and straighten my back.
I feel an extreme stretch for my hips in that position.
I wanted to confirm is this would be an adequate substitute if would be unable to squat holding a cage to be beneficial.Sure.

Boris Bachmann
08-15-2008, 07:33 PM
Squat Rx #21: "Hips Back" (WFS)

Travis Cudlin
08-15-2008, 08:29 PM
I refer as many people as possible to these videos Boris, just awesome.

I'm still waiting on the SKWAT shirts :mad:.


Adam Gray
08-16-2008, 02:09 AM
While I was searching YouTube for the Squat RX videos, I ran into an unfortunate cross-up with search key-words.

Long story short, after I was done watching this guy squat...I felt it had to share it.

w/f/s, if you're okay with rolled gym shorts and excessive shirtless posing...

Seriously. This video disturbs me.:yikes:

Elizabeth Terris
08-16-2008, 02:45 AM
:rofl: Now that IS funny! Is he posing, or sniffing his underarm?