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Old 03-25-2011, 07:14 PM   #1
Daniel Frankel
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Form check help: Back Squat/Front Squat/Deadlift/Overhead Press

I was wondering if anyone was willing to provide me with any critique on my form for the following videos.
*Note: On the last overhead press, my knees dipped the slightest amount, but I don't know whether to call that an overhead press, or push press, taking into account how little my knees bent. Please comment what you feel it is.*

Back Squat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqFYRGPeOtg (WFS)

Front Squat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcHOVcXVqRs (WFS)

Deadlift:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wkmxpw1rKsc (WFS)

Overhead Press:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ackuJwmTtno (WFS)
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:57 PM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Form check help: Back Squat/Front Squat/Deadlift/Overhead Press

First congrats on focusing on the big important exercises. Some of your classmates in the back are busy playing with unnecessary movements at this time. So good focus. I wish I had focused on the stuff you are working on now when I was your age but caught up needing to do pec dec, bi's and tris.

Here's my review from press to back squat.

Press
Looked good overall. Way to get the bar over midline. Just keep your whole body tight from start to finish. Your butt should be squeezed tight, thorax locked down (not rolling back) and have a good tight grip on the bar.

Deadlift
Not too shabby. Why are you using the reverse grip? At this stage in the game, stick with a regular grip or learn to hook and build up grip strength now so you aren't chasing it later. I usually reverse grip only when doing triples or less. Your grip should be able to handle now.

Keep the bar close to your shins at the start, looks like your let it roll away in your set up. Otherwise setup looked good. A few of your reps you'd extend your knees (straighten them) almost all the way before extending the hip. This makes it look almost like a stifflegged deadlift which will limit the amount of weight you can lift. On the way up start with knee extension but before your knees are straight start hip extension to drive through. The on the way down, start by bending the hips then soon after bend the knees. This will also help prevent having to roll the bar around your knee.

Front Squat
1st rep looked almost perfect. After that I thought all of them were too high. The top of your knee should be parallel or above the bend in your hip. Push your knees out like the devil so your butt can pass by your legs on the way down. Sit a little more back so that your knees don't extend so much over your feet. It's ok for your knees to move forward as long as they track with your feet, but yours go too far forward in my opinion and this makes the lift too hard. If you sit back more you'll be able to handle more weight and go deeper easier.

Back Squat
As should be in all the lifts, you should be a tight platform. You looked a little shaky once you took the bar off the racks. In the rack under the bar, take one final breath and then become tense/rigid. Your wrists are bent back a little, when the weight gets heavier this can be painful and bad for the wrists. Consider putting your thumb over the bar with your fingers so your wrist remains straight and just use pressure to pin the bar to your back.

Like the front squat, most of your back squats seemed high and your knees exntend way to far forward. Push you knees out like crazy and descend down and back not just down. Imagine having your shins vertical (you don't have to have them completely vertical but use it as a mental guide to help you). Ideally the weight should put pressure on the middle of the foot, but you might want to lean to having the weight more on the heels of your feet to help prevent your knees from extending forward.

On some of your squats your knees even came in a little. Push them out on the way down and the way up.

Keep up the good work and good luck.

PS--your footer says 46 pulls--is that 46 pullups--how do I get there?
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:50 PM   #3
Daniel Frankel
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Re: Form check help: Back Squat/Front Squat/Deadlift/Overhead Press

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
First congrats on focusing on the big important exercises. Some of your classmates in the back are busy playing with unnecessary movements at this time. So good focus. I wish I had focused on the stuff you are working on now when I was your age but caught up needing to do pec dec, bi's and tris.

Here's my review from press to back squat.

Press
Looked good overall. Way to get the bar over midline. Just keep your whole body tight from start to finish. Your butt should be squeezed tight, thorax locked down (not rolling back) and have a good tight grip on the bar.

Deadlift
Not too shabby. Why are you using the reverse grip? At this stage in the game, stick with a regular grip or learn to hook and build up grip strength now so you aren't chasing it later. I usually reverse grip only when doing triples or less. Your grip should be able to handle now.

Keep the bar close to your shins at the start, looks like your let it roll away in your set up. Otherwise setup looked good. A few of your reps you'd extend your knees (straighten them) almost all the way before extending the hip. This makes it look almost like a stifflegged deadlift which will limit the amount of weight you can lift. On the way up start with knee extension but before your knees are straight start hip extension to drive through. The on the way down, start by bending the hips then soon after bend the knees. This will also help prevent having to roll the bar around your knee.

Front Squat
1st rep looked almost perfect. After that I thought all of them were too high. The top of your knee should be parallel or above the bend in your hip. Push your knees out like the devil so your butt can pass by your legs on the way down. Sit a little more back so that your knees don't extend so much over your feet. It's ok for your knees to move forward as long as they track with your feet, but yours go too far forward in my opinion and this makes the lift too hard. If you sit back more you'll be able to handle more weight and go deeper easier.

Back Squat
As should be in all the lifts, you should be a tight platform. You looked a little shaky once you took the bar off the racks. In the rack under the bar, take one final breath and then become tense/rigid. Your wrists are bent back a little, when the weight gets heavier this can be painful and bad for the wrists. Consider putting your thumb over the bar with your fingers so your wrist remains straight and just use pressure to pin the bar to your back.

Like the front squat, most of your back squats seemed high and your knees exntend way to far forward. Push you knees out like crazy and descend down and back not just down. Imagine having your shins vertical (you don't have to have them completely vertical but use it as a mental guide to help you). Ideally the weight should put pressure on the middle of the foot, but you might want to lean to having the weight more on the heels of your feet to help prevent your knees from extending forward.

On some of your squats your knees even came in a little. Push them out on the way down and the way up.

Keep up the good work and good luck.

PS--your footer says 46 pulls--is that 46 pullups--how do I get there?
Thanks for the detailed reply, i appreciate it.

Deadlift: I was actually using a mixed grip, but camera angle didnt show it. The one where the bar rolled forward was an anomaly, 100% of the time, i bruise up my shins while doing DL's because i dont let the bar lose contact with it. As for the hook grip, my hands are actually too small I cant get a good enough grip around my thumbs lol

As for the front and back squats, and the hips coming up first on my deadlift: My deficiency seems to be my glutes, and slightty my hams, which is why my hips seem to come up first (at least this is what my coach has been telling me, and it seems to make sense). I think im going to be doing some sumo-deadlifts for awhile in order to train my posterior chain a little more to catch up with the rest of my muscles.


Finally, the pulls: Ive always been a fan of pullups, and i have just been using the GTG method for a long time (go to a pullup bar, knock out a set of 5-10, keep walking). About two months ago, i tried a crazy method that seemed to work for me short term, but i discontinued it after about 3-4 weeks to ensure i wasnt overtraining. (Before i explain it, my biggest strong point is my muscle endurance with bodyweight exercises. My back could easily handle about 100 pulls in a workout and not feel it the next day (time to go weighted i guess). I train mostly bodyweight, which is why i need to start going heavy with the above lifts + more)

Heres what i did:
Rule 1: 100 pullups (at least) must be completed each day, regardless of whether they are part of that days WOD (i kept it to sets of 15-25, occassional 30)
Rule 2: 1000, yes 1000 pulls must be completed each week (average 150 a day).

Some days i did 15 in the morning, 85 after school, etc. In one week i went from 30-35. A week after that, i had fitness testing in fitness class. Luckily my gym teacher is a crossfit believer and lets me butterfly, and i hit 40. I continued with this method, and 2 weeks later, was time for another fitness test (i had to do them a couple weeks early due to something). I managedto knock out 46 in a minute, one unbroken set. My current goal is 50, but when i tried for it 2 weeks ago, i only hit 44. Im hoping to get it by june.


Long story short: Grease the Groove (GTG), it works like crazy.

And again, thanks for the reply
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:45 AM   #4
Andrew G. Greenberg
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Re: Form check help: Back Squat/Front Squat/Deadlift/Overhead Press

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Frankel View Post
Thanks for the detailed reply, i appreciate it.

Deadlift: I was actually using a mixed grip, but camera angle didnt show it. The one where the bar rolled forward was an anomaly, 100% of the time, i bruise up my shins while doing DL's because i dont let the bar lose contact with it. As for the hook grip, my hands are actually too small I cant get a good enough grip around my thumbs lol

As for the front and back squats, and the hips coming up first on my deadlift: My deficiency seems to be my glutes, and slightty my hams, which is why my hips seem to come up first (at least this is what my coach has been telling me, and it seems to make sense). I think im going to be doing some sumo-deadlifts for awhile in order to train my posterior chain a little more to catch up with the rest of my muscles.


Finally, the pulls: Ive always been a fan of pullups, and i have just been using the GTG method for a long time (go to a pullup bar, knock out a set of 5-10, keep walking). About two months ago, i tried a crazy method that seemed to work for me short term, but i discontinued it after about 3-4 weeks to ensure i wasnt overtraining. (Before i explain it, my biggest strong point is my muscle endurance with bodyweight exercises. My back could easily handle about 100 pulls in a workout and not feel it the next day (time to go weighted i guess). I train mostly bodyweight, which is why i need to start going heavy with the above lifts + more)

Heres what i did:
Rule 1: 100 pullups (at least) must be completed each day, regardless of whether they are part of that days WOD (i kept it to sets of 15-25, occassional 30)
Rule 2: 1000, yes 1000 pulls must be completed each week (average 150 a day).

Some days i did 15 in the morning, 85 after school, etc. In one week i went from 30-35. A week after that, i had fitness testing in fitness class. Luckily my gym teacher is a crossfit believer and lets me butterfly, and i hit 40. I continued with this method, and 2 weeks later, was time for another fitness test (i had to do them a couple weeks early due to something). I managedto knock out 46 in a minute, one unbroken set. My current goal is 50, but when i tried for it 2 weeks ago, i only hit 44. Im hoping to get it by june.


Long story short: Grease the Groove (GTG), it works like crazy.

And again, thanks for the reply
Daniel, first of all, I think it is awesome that you are doing these lifts at such a young age. I wish I had known about them when I was 16.

Your form for the most part is fine. I just wanted to comment on this: My deficiency seems to be my glutes, and slightty my hams.

Please keep in mind that at 130 pounds, your whole body is the weak link. Don't get caught up in worrying about the posterior chain. Just keep doing the basics and you will gain weight, get stronger, etc. Keep it up!
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:16 AM   #5
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: Form check help: Back Squat/Front Squat/Deadlift/Overhead Press

Daniel,

Good job on the lifting.

On your back squats, are you doing high or low bar? It looks to me like a high bar position, which differs in mechanics, and the "sit back" cue is not applicable.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:21 AM   #6
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Form check help: Back Squat/Front Squat/Deadlift/Overhead Press

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Allen Hanson View Post
Daniel,

Good job on the lifting.

On your back squats, are you doing high or low bar? It looks to me like a high bar position, which differs in mechanics, and the "sit back" cue is not applicable.
In principal I agree with Scott, that high bar should feel more down. But, looking at the OP's knees, they really extend forward, in my mind more so than even for a high bar squat. Is there a better way to address too much forwad knee movement? Just asking to learn. Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:02 AM   #7
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: Form check help: Back Squat/Front Squat/Deadlift/Overhead Press

Knee position generally will take care of itself with proper back angle (i.e. determined to keep bar position over the center of the foot). The more erect the torso (FS = Most, HBBS = intermediate, LBBS = least erect), the further out over the toes that the knees will travel.

If you have SS 2nd ed, refer to Fig 2-31, page 31.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:27 AM   #8
Daniel Frankel
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Re: Form check help: Back Squat/Front Squat/Deadlift/Overhead Press

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Allen Hanson View Post
Knee position generally will take care of itself with proper back angle (i.e. determined to keep bar position over the center of the foot). The more erect the torso (FS = Most, HBBS = intermediate, LBBS = least erect), the further out over the toes that the knees will travel.

If you have SS 2nd ed, refer to Fig 2-31, page 31.
Thanks to all, iappreciate the feedback. For the BS, i think i do high bar, although im not sure EXACTLY how much further down low bar is, ill get my coach to show me.

So to the quoted poster, would you say that the bar is over the balls of my feet, not the middle of my feet?
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:20 PM   #9
Shane Skowron
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Re: Form check help: Back Squat/Front Squat/Deadlift/Overhead Press

This is a good start especially for someone young.

The biggest issue is that your squats aren't low enough. Fix that and you'll be on your way to some bigger weights.
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:38 PM   #10
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: Form check help: Back Squat/Front Squat/Deadlift/Overhead Press

Daniel,

I apologize; I should have watched all your reps in the first place. You definitely have the bar on top of your traps ("high bar"). Difficult to say for sure from the camera angle, but it does look like the bar is too far out over your toes at the bottom. Do you feel like the weight is on the balls of your feet? If so, you need to work on a more erect torsoAlso, it definitely looks like you could go considerably deeper, especially for a high bar squat. Your stance looks a bit wide for a HBBS.

Scott
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