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Old 09-30-2008, 08:04 PM   #21
Andrew M. Smith
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Re: Back Squat...

While your form was pretty good, I do notice one issue. You need to draw your elbows under the bar a bit. You've set them high up behind you and it's causing you to close at the chest.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:50 PM   #22
Robert Callahan
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Re: Back Squat...

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Originally Posted by Andrew M. Smith View Post
While your form was pretty good, I do notice one issue. You need to draw your elbows under the bar a bit. You've set them high up behind you and it's causing you to close at the chest.
You want your elbows up high behind you as that traps the bar on your shoulders. If you drop your elbows under the bar you have the tendency to let your hands take some of the weight which is not a good thing. It is not hard to keep the chest up and elbows up at the same time
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Old 10-01-2008, 05:35 AM   #23
Andrew M. Smith
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Re: Back Squat...

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You want your elbows up high behind you as that traps the bar on your shoulders. If you drop your elbows under the bar you have the tendency to let your hands take some of the weight which is not a good thing. It is not hard to keep the chest up and elbows up at the same time

You can get the same effect by drawing the elbows under and squeezing the shoulder blades together. This allows the lifter to stay a bit more upright and makes it much easier to get the chest up and out. When the elbows ride high, the lifter tends to lean forward at the bottom a bit and can lead to a GM coming out of the bottom.
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:35 AM   #24
Bryan Gates
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Re: Back Squat...

Proper form is shoulderblades together and elbows as high as you can get behind you. This provides a fundamentally more stable hold for the bar. Drawing the elbows under tends to make people support the bar with their hands.

I actually found that I could maintain a more vertical torso when I started keeping my elbows high. It feels much more stable and reduced the "fear" of the bar dropping off my back.

Also the TUBOW is explained very well in Starting Strength.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:34 AM   #25
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Re: Back Squat...

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Proper form is shoulderblades together and elbows as high as you can get behind you. This provides a fundamentally more stable hold for the bar. Drawing the elbows under tends to make people support the bar with their hands.
That is NOT proper form. The weight can be supported just as easily by squeezing the middle of the back and the shoulder blades together while drawing the elbows underneath. The chest comes up, the shoulders are pulled tightly together, the back is forced into a tighter arch and the body is put into a more athletic position.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:51 PM   #26
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Re: Back Squat...

The Bar is resting primarily on the posterior deltoids in a low bar back squat. These muscles are flexed and acting as the best support when the elbows are HIGH.
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:22 PM   #27
Andrew M. Smith
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Re: Back Squat...

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The Bar is resting primarily on the posterior deltoids in a low bar back squat. These muscles are flexed and acting as the best support when the elbows are HIGH.
It may be easier to create a better "shelf" by keeping the elbows high, but at the expense of closing the chest, losing a bit of tightness in the arch, and causing the weight to shift forward. This isn't what you want at all when squatting heavy weight. It may cut it when doing something light, but as you start hitting heavy ME squats, you're going to run into trouble.

I'm not a big guy in the least bit and I have no trouble supporting a 455 back squat with the elbows tucked under. It IS the strongest position. If you don't have the size to support any substantial weight, work on beefing up your upper back. There's no excuse for using sub-par technique.
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:26 PM   #28
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Re: Back Squat...

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It may be easier to create a better "shelf" by keeping the elbows high, but at the expense of closing the chest
Why does keeping your elbows high have to close the chest? Myself and many people I have taught and seen online are very capable of keeping their elbows up and chest up at the same time.
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:42 PM   #29
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Re: Back Squat...

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Why does keeping your elbows high have to close the chest? Myself and many people I have taught and seen online are very capable of keeping their elbows up and chest up at the same time.
For many people the act of bringing the elbows up typically allows them to only squeeze together the traps. The chest opens up in a much more pronounced manner when the middle of the back is drawn together as much as possible. This forces the chest out and tightens the lower back arch.
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:52 PM   #30
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Re: Back Squat...

I have never met a person with a problem of keeping their chest up at the same time as their elbows so it must not be that common....
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