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Philip Bjorge 05-22-2009 12:54 PM

Another Back Squat Form Check
Hi Everyone,
I just got into training again and am going to finish off my novice progression. This time I have a friend along for the ride who I'm trying to teach.

Now as for my critique on my form it looks like I need about an inch or so more depth to reach parallell. Is that true? I'm going to attribute this to a month without squatting but any other tips to help get the depth would be helpful. Also I'm looking at my knees and something looks a little funny...

For my friend Brian's squats - It looks like he needs to sit back more, get a more stable base with the ground (shoes?), and get more depth.

[url][/url] (SFW/WFS)

Thanks a lot!

Jim Brikman 05-22-2009 02:41 PM

Re: Another Back Squat Form Check
First guy in the video actually has a pretty solid squat going. The only error I'm really seeing is that the knees are sliding forward through out the entire squat. Because of this, he's losing some hamstring tension and consequently reducing hip drive. The knees should only move forward during the first 1/3-1/2 of the squat motion. There are a few ways to reduce this issue, including "TUBOW" (Terribly Useful Block of Wood - see Starting Strength), shoving the knees out more (when seen from above, they should track exactly over the feet) and wall squats (doing air squats really close to a wall so you don't have room to shove your knees too far forward). It may also be enough to just have the proper mental cue & visualization of how hip drive is generated. Check out [URL=""]this video of Rippetoe teaching hip drive[/URL] (w/f/s, except possibly language) and do the exercise where a friend pushes down on your lower back as you try to squat up. If you can do this and remain in balance and then apply it to the actual back squat, you may end up fixing the knee sliding issue as a bonus.

As for the second guy in the video, things are a bit worse. He needs 1-2" more depth, hips are rising up too fast (he is GMing a bit), I see little evidence of hip drive, and knees are sliding through out the motion. Same things I mentioned above may be helpful, especially the video. They key is driving the hips/butt straight [i]up[/i] from the hole. Instead, it looks like he's just trying to straighten out his legs (leg press) and then lift up his chest (GM).

Graeme Howland 05-22-2009 04:06 PM

Re: Another Back Squat Form Check
^^^ What he said, I would just add as a queue for your friend, he should focus on driving his knees out, I think that will help with the sliding as well as depth. He looks like he is somewhat folding ontop of himself (thighs in the way) whereas he needs to squat between his legs.

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