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Old 03-01-2011, 07:34 AM   #1
William Miller
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Keeping chest up on back squats

I struggle to keep my chest up on squats when approaching my 1RM. Can anyone give me some ideas on what I can do to help this? It is definitely limiting my lifts. Sorry no video.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:31 AM   #2
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Keeping chest up on back squats

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Originally Posted by William Miller View Post
I struggle to keep my chest up on squats when approaching my 1RM. Can anyone give me some ideas on what I can do to help this? It is definitely limiting my lifts. Sorry no video.
Are you squatting low bar or high bar?

Without video, it's hard to be helpful other than giving you the cue "chest up."
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:16 AM   #3
Struan Potter
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Re: Keeping chest up on back squats

Practise air squats with your hands overhead I find really helps.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:35 AM   #4
Rebecca Roth
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Re: Keeping chest up on back squats

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Originally Posted by William Miller View Post
I struggle to keep my chest up on squats when approaching my 1RM. Can anyone give me some ideas on what I can do to help this? It is definitely limiting my lifts. Sorry no video.
This is one of my many problems with weighted squats, so I can't really tell you how to fix it, cause its still a work in progress. What does HELP me though is: 1) air squats against a wall (facing it)
2) sit in a squat with just the bar and move around a bit to get the position you want to be in (unfortunately I usually don't have enough time to do this regularly before squat work, but when I do it really helps) and hold it a couple times
3) in terms of verbal cues for me its being told to push against the weight backward on the way up.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:21 AM   #5
William Miller
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Re: Keeping chest up on back squats

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Originally Posted by Tamara Cohen View Post
Are you squatting low bar or high bar?
High bar though that is just because it feels most comfortable.

I believe that I am fine on the way down (or at least not as bad). It is on the way up at heavier weights (relatively speaking) my hips tend to go up first and my back moves towards parallel. I can generally "save" the lift but it can't be good on my back.

I will try the suggestions above. Thanks.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:49 AM   #6
Kenneth Westerman
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Re: Keeping chest up on back squats

I may be misunderstanding, but after watching a video of Rip's about hip involvement in the squat, it seems that he advocates leading with a hip drive then following with the back moving up -- exactly what this thread and also general knowledge would seem to argue against. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Here is the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yha2XAc2qu8
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:11 PM   #7
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: Keeping chest up on back squats

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Originally Posted by Kenneth Westerman View Post
I may be misunderstanding, but after watching a video of Rip's about hip involvement in the squat, it seems that he advocates leading with a hip drive then following with the back moving up -- exactly what this thread and also general knowledge would seem to argue against. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Here is the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yha2XAc2qu8
I think you are confusing "leading" with "hips first, then chest/back/etc." He advocates thinking about and focusing on driving the hips out of the hole, which isn't quite the same as leading with the hips. If you decrease the angle of you back relative to the floor at the bottom of your squat (i.e., lift your chest), you are decreasing the tension in your hamstrings and they cannot contribute as much force coming out of the hole. Your back angle should stay constant relative to the floor until you are well out of the hole with the hips and legs, thus your chest and back should rise at the same rate as your hips.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:33 PM   #8
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Keeping chest up on back squats

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Originally Posted by Struan Potter View Post
Practise air squats with your hands overhead I find really helps.
No. Do not do this. I will hurt you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Miller View Post
High bar though that is just because it feels most comfortable.

I believe that I am fine on the way down (or at least not as bad). It is on the way up at heavier weights (relatively speaking) my hips tend to go up first and my back moves towards parallel. I can generally "save" the lift but it can't be good on my back.

I will try the suggestions above. Thanks.
Keeping your chest up should be much easier in a high bar squat than a low bar squat because of your back angle. Video would be really really helpful. It is much harder to turn a high bar squat into a good morning unless you are reaaaaallly screwing things up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Westerman View Post
I may be misunderstanding, but after watching a video of Rip's about hip involvement in the squat, it seems that he advocates leading with a hip drive then following with the back moving up -- exactly what this thread and also general knowledge would seem to argue against. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Here is the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yha2XAc2qu8
You're misinterpreting the video. A low bar squat, at least the way Rip teaches it, is about hip drive. You drive out of the hole with your glutes and hamstrings. This does not mean that your @ss is coming up before your chest. That would turn your squat into a good morning, which is wrong. In an Olympic style high bar squat, you actively load your quads by shifting your knees and getting your hips back under you as you drive out of the hole. And a powerlifting squat can be quite different from both of these.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:21 PM   #9
Struan Potter
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Re: Keeping chest up on back squats

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Originally Posted by Tamara Cohen View Post
No. Do not do this. I will hurt you.
Explain this then http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDxInzfU26k (WFS)

Last edited by Struan Potter : 03-01-2011 at 01:24 PM. Reason: WFS a link
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:40 PM   #10
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Keeping chest up on back squats

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Originally Posted by Struan Potter View Post
Explain why Tupac is dead and Justin Bieber lives on.

I mean, some things are just beyond my comprehension.

That is a CrossFit video on how to perform an air squat.

What it has to do with a weighted back squat, I do not know.

***Cue angry mob music as the hordes of people who think air squats transfer to weighted squats run to burn me at the stake***
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