View Full Version : How is my back squat?

Peter Dell'Orto
07-13-2007, 11:40 PM
Now that I think I got my deadlift okay, it's time to check my back squat.

http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/pdellorto/Shooto/Workout/?action=view&cur rent=bc406b79.flv (http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/pdellorto/Shooto/Workout/?action=view&current=bc406b79.flv)

I'm not in a rack because there isn't a way to video record the rack except from straight behind me as I squat. But this is the form and depth I use.

I'm stoked to back squat; I haven't been able to do it heavy before. I had a postural/muscle balance problem that made it very dangerous. I just got that fixed, so now I'm eager to squat away. Once my form is right that is.

Thanks ahead of time for your help.

Gant Grimes
07-17-2007, 09:50 PM
You're a little high. The last one was pretty close to proper depth. I can't see your feet, but it looks like they may be a bit close together, especially considering your height. It makes it harder to poke your knees out so your hips can sink to a proper depth.

Peter Dell'Orto
07-18-2007, 12:44 AM

Thanks. Yeah, I'm not getting low enough. I've been doing hamstring stretches to try and correct that.

I'll try widening my feet...I can't position the camera in such as way that you can see them but they may be the problem. I'll try some alternate foot spacings and check the video to see what happens.


Anthony Bainbridge
07-22-2007, 06:53 AM
You seem to start the movement by bending your knees. You want to think about pushing your butt back (hips first) and then let your knees follow.

And I think if you improve your hamstring flexibility, it will help both your squat depth and your deadlift positions.

George Mounce
07-22-2007, 08:04 AM
I actually like the fact you videoed from the side rather then the back, I noticed more right away.

I agree with Anthony. While not a perfect way to do it I put my cursor on where the bar is at its top point, and then put a pencil where you end up at the bottom.

Your squat movement looks like this - /. Your knees go well forward of your feet. Try keeping them over your toes and pushing with your heels. Focusing on butt back will help correct this.

You want straight up and down travel like this - |.

Bringing your butt back will help correct that movement. Keep using that camera to critique yourself and you'll get it in no time!

Peter Dell'Orto
07-23-2007, 05:32 AM
Good timing guys - I saw these comments about 30 minutes before I left for the gym to lift.

I tried squats again as my warmup. I did three sets, trying to keep my butt back as suggest. I don't think my form actually improved, just got differently bad. Sorry you can't see my feet, I can't move the bench and I can't move closer to the far wall either.

This video looks a little better, but I felt my back rounding a little. w/f safe.
http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/pdellorto/Shooto/Workout/?action=view&cur rent=6550d8a9.flv (http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/pdellorto/Shooto/Workout/?action=view&current=6550d8a9.flv)

This next video may not be w/f safe, I'm lifting with no shirt and it's not pretty. You can clearly see my arch going away and I still get my knees a bit forward. You can also clearly see why I'm trying to eat more and bulk out to a higher weight class.
http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/pdellorto/Shooto/Workout/?action=view&cur rent=34218128.flv (http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/pdellorto/Shooto/Workout/?action=view&current=34218128.flv)

Thanks for the coaching and the encouragement. This digital camera takes crappy snapshots but it's very convenient for video...which is very useful for banishing suckage from my technique.

Boris Bachmann
08-12-2007, 10:31 PM
I'd echo what everyone else has already said, but it looks pretty good to me! How tall are you exactly?

Peter Dell'Orto
08-13-2007, 04:56 AM
193 cm aka 6'4", but I'm only 84kg/about 185 pounds. Not much for a fighter.

The recent squats look pretty good? That's good. I've been studying your videos...but I still can't manage much weight on them. And I feel like I'm folding up too much, not keeping my torso upright at all.

(Message edited by pdellorto on August 13, 2007)

Keith Wittenstein
08-13-2007, 05:29 AM
You are holding the bar incorrectly. Your feet are too narrow. You are not coming down low enough. I suggest you read Starting Strength and every article Mark Rippetoe has written.

Before worrying about the bar, I recommend learning to air squat correctly. Once you can achieve the proper depth with the heels on the ground and your back arched, you'll be able to manage the bar better.

Peter Dell'Orto
08-13-2007, 06:15 AM
Reading Starting Strength is a bit impossible at the moment - I'm in Japan, so the cheapest I can get it for is more than $65 and around 4-6 weeks of waiting, or $80+ with faster shipping. That's a bit much. So I'd prefer to go with stuff on the web. Plus I'm a more visual learner - I've read lots about squatting, but I can't "see" what I'm doing wrong just by reading, but by comparing my own videos to one another as I make adjustments.

- I'm holding the bar incorrectly. In what way? Too high? Too low? Hand or elbow positioning?
- Feet too narrow - yeah, I'm trying to find a good positioning. In the last video - the shirtless one - I'm just slightly more than shoulder-width apart. I'll try a wider spacing next time.
- How low is enough? I know I'm bending over, but I'd thought I came down to a little below parallel in those last two videos (the ones from 7-23-07) albiet with a little loss of back arch.

My air squat is fine - my front squat is pretty good, too. I've got no issues with them, just with the back squat. It's only when the bar is on my back I have problems.

Thanks for the help.

Boris Bachmann
08-13-2007, 07:36 AM
check out squat rx videos about positioning the bar (#4, I think). #12 (part II) talks about bar positioning too - it starts out talking about the manta-ray, but then gets into upper back stuff.

Looking at it again, after Keith's comment, made me see that your elbows aren't rotating downward as you descend into the hole. It's not necessarily a huge problem, but it something to look at.

IMHO, your squats aren't ATF, but they are to parallel. Your knees seem to track a bit forward, but again not a huge problem. You do have some forward lean that could be a problem with a heavier weight. I would just keep working on hip and hamstring flexibility and work at that bottom position holding onto a rack or something. Maybe you're already doing all of this though.

edit: also, like I said in my previous post, I'd echo what others were saying about trying to widen stance, etc.

(Message edited by Boris on August 13, 2007)

Mike Griffith
08-30-2007, 10:22 PM
here is a safe link I found that explains Starting Strength, http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=998224.