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Old 06-13-2011, 08:21 PM   #1
Om Puri
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Back Squat (going low enuf? lower back rounding?...)

Please critique my form.
I'm trying not to go too deep as that makes my lower back round & causes pain. Back Squat 180x5 WFS
I'm trying to shove knees out as much as possible. Am I hitting parallel? Keeping chest up?...
Thanks!


PS -
I should have filmed the 2 big morons (220 lbs w/ beer guts) @ the Squat Rack after me today who did nothing but curls (70 lbs) & ate protein bars between sets. Seriously.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:33 PM   #2
Kevin Burns
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Re: Back Squat (going low enuf? lower back rounding?...)

Going deeper will help your lower back not hurt it. You aren't going low enough to the point where your glute muscles are going to activate to help you get out of the hole. You should be going down fast and using the bounce (muscle contraction) to help you come up fast out of the hole. When you can learn how to do this your squat is going to be much faster than it is now.

I just had this problem myself where it seemed my lower back was doing most of the work. Going as deep as I could fixed it almost immediately.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:44 PM   #3
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Back Squat (going low enuf? lower back rounding?...)

Definitely have to go deeper. Maybe do a lighter set deeper and post it so we can tell if there is any issue with your low back. It looks fine here, just need to get down.

When you go deeper what do you mean by pain?

I wonder if your knees can push out wider to let your pelvis pass through your legs easier.

Do you push your gut out when you go down, that often helps me have a stable torso and keeps the back in good position.

Also, sometimes looking slightly down seems to lock me into place better.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:22 PM   #4
Om Puri
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Re: Back Squat (going low enuf? lower back rounding?...)

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Originally Posted by Kevin Burns View Post
Going deeper will help your lower back not hurt it. You aren't going low enough to the point where your glute muscles are going to activate to help you get out of the hole. You should be going down fast and using the bounce (muscle contraction) to help you come up fast out of the hole. When you can learn how to do this your squat is going to be much faster than it is now.

I just had this problem myself where it seemed my lower back was doing most of the work. Going as deep as I could fixed it almost immediately.

When I go deeper my lower back rounds and that causes dull pain. That doesn't seem safe. How/Why is a faster Squat better?

I will try to go faster and deeper with a lighter weight and post it here in a couple days.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:25 PM   #5
Om Puri
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Re: Back Squat (going low enuf? lower back rounding?...)

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Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
Definitely have to go deeper. Maybe do a lighter set deeper and post it so we can tell if there is any issue with your low back. It looks fine here, just need to get down.

When you go deeper what do you mean by pain?

I wonder if your knees can push out wider to let your pelvis pass through your legs easier.

Do you push your gut out when you go down, that often helps me have a stable torso and keeps the back in good position.

Also, sometimes looking slightly down seems to lock me into place better.
Robert, my knees are shoved out pretty much as possible. And my gut is pushed out. I will try the looking slightly down. Thanks.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:43 PM   #6
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Back Squat (going low enuf? lower back rounding?...)

It looks to me like you're basically doing a good morning, using your back, not your legs, to move the weight up and down.

Please post video of a full depth squat, with light weight if necessary for good form.

Katherine
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:41 AM   #7
Steve Bray
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Re: Back Squat (going low enuf? lower back rounding?...)

do some pelvic tilts to activate the spinae erector muscles before squatting.

this is from my friends website (wfs) have a good read of it!
http://www.rangeofmotion.net.au/blog/fixing-squat
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:41 AM   #8
Brad Kay
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Re: Back Squat (going low enuf? lower back rounding?...)

Hello,

It looks to me like your intent is to be doing something closer to a low-bar / powerlifting squat, as opposed to a high-bar / olympic squat in which case I would respectfully disagree with those above who recommend going as deep as possible as fast as possible. Such technique is used by those performing a high-bar / olympic squat to great effect, but when performing a low-bar / powerlifting squat, the technique is rather to draw yourself down into the hole with your hip flexors, loading your hamstrings and glutes as you do so.

That said, even for a low-bar / powerlifting squat, you are stopping short of parallel, which it looks like you could comfortably get to. Also, if you watch the video over, you might notice that you initially raise your hips faster than your chest, which might be why someone noted that it looks like you are basically doing a good morning. Lift your chest at the same rate as your hips, and you will drive with your hamstrings and glutes throughout the range of the movement.

In any case, take what I say with a grain of salt. I was raised in the Mark Rippetoe / Starting Strength school of training, and as such am much more comfortable with a low-bar / powerlifting squat, or at least one that is much closer to that than to a high-bar / olympic squat, although I appreciate the advantages of the latter. Either way, advice that applies to the technique of one doesn't necessarily apply to the other.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:40 PM   #9
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Re: Back Squat (going low enuf? lower back rounding?...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
It looks to me like you're basically doing a good morning, using your back, not your legs, to move the weight up and down.

Please post video of a full depth squat, with light weight if necessary for good form.

Katherine
Katherine, I can only get about 2 inches or so lower. My flexibility is not great. I am doing Low Bar Back Squat. Would what you said still apply? I will post another video tomorrow with lighter weight and try to go lower. In the mean time I will do more mobility drills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bray View Post
do some pelvic tilts to activate the spinae erector muscles before squatting.

this is from my friends website (wfs) have a good read of it!
http://www.rangeofmotion.net.au/blog/fixing-squat
Thanks, Steve. I will try some of those mobility exercises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Kay View Post
Hello,

It looks to me like your intent is to be doing something closer to a low-bar / powerlifting squat, as opposed to a high-bar / olympic squat in which case I would respectfully disagree with those above who recommend going as deep as possible as fast as possible. Such technique is used by those performing a high-bar / olympic squat to great effect, but when performing a low-bar / powerlifting squat, the technique is rather to draw yourself down into the hole with your hip flexors, loading your hamstrings and glutes as you do so.

That said, even for a low-bar / powerlifting squat, you are stopping short of parallel, which it looks like you could comfortably get to. Also, if you watch the video over, you might notice that you initially raise your hips faster than your chest, which might be why someone noted that it looks like you are basically doing a good morning. Lift your chest at the same rate as your hips, and you will drive with your hamstrings and glutes throughout the range of the movement.

In any case, take what I say with a grain of salt. I was raised in the Mark Rippetoe / Starting Strength school of training, and as such am much more comfortable with a low-bar / powerlifting squat, or at least one that is much closer to that than to a high-bar / olympic squat, although I appreciate the advantages of the latter. Either way, advice that applies to the technique of one doesn't necessarily apply to the other.
Thanks, Brad. I will try to get the chest & hips to raise at the same time. If you can believe it, my hips used to rise much faster. I thought I had made some progress, but obviously more is needed.

I will also do some glute bridges before the next squat session tomorrow. Apparently a lot of people have inactive or dormant glutes from too much sitting, not to mention shortened hip flexors & dormant psoas (I certainly do!).

Thanks all. I'd appreciate any more advice.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:48 PM   #10
Richard Colon
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Re: Back Squat (going low enuf? lower back rounding?...)

a few suggestions, in no particular order of importance

1. Try box squatting. Have a box that gets you just below parallel so there are no questions. I've seen it help a ton of people that start to get so low that lower back starts to round. Going low helps you use the other parts - mainly posterior chain stuff. It distributes the load to more than just the quads.

2. There is a bit of driving with the hips first without the chest/shoulders moving up. Maybe drive your head back into the bar a bit (doesn't mean your eyes need to be looking up at the ceiling). This might help with keeping upright using the whole body as a unit to squat up rather than isolating the push to the back.

3. Either strengthen your core (takes time and squatting is a great way to do it) or for a quick fix, work on your breathing and what you are doing with your core/trunk/abs as a brace. It locks your back and keeps things really tight below the chest. Thats key to help with the bit of "folding over" you seem to have.

4. Even though I said no order of importance, this is the big one. Go to Elitefts.com and look up their 'So you think you can squat series'. Its 5+ videos I think and they are gold. Especially if you are working with a bit more of a low bar/powerlifting squat vs. the oly high bar, anyone with an 1100lb squat has figured some stuff out and you should listen. Thats the guy that does the videos.

Lighten the weight, work on technique and generally just...keep squatting. Thats the #1 thing. The more problems you have that you don't address (sloppy or a bit shaky on technique), combined with increased weight and you interfere with the most important part - 'the ability to keep squatting'...
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