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Old 04-22-2009, 12:36 AM   #51
David Gray
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Re: Squat form check

Greg, you will be tarred and feathered for your apostasy, and drawn and quartered for your heresy.

In the meantime, by looking forward, I take it you mean keeping the neck in a neutral position, which I don't think Rip would argue with, not much. Some of it depends on experience, too. He wants the novice to avoid injury, and maintaining the eyes down/forward gaze helps minimize the risk of cervical strain. But experienced lifters he gives a lot of leeway to. My own gaze seems to settle a few feet in front of my stance, that's what works for me. If someone's eyes follow the wall with the neck in a neutral position, if it works for him, good.

However, I've had guys come up to me in the cage and tell me I'd do a lot better if I looked up at the ceiling when I drove up. But in a low bar squat that would force me to try to maintain a more vertical torso, and all sorts of problems ensue from that, all of which weaken the hip drive. I just thank them and move on. Given I couldn't even squat my own BW at that time, the right thing to do was to follow Rip's guidance until I had a base of strength and experience to branch out from.

I guess in this matter I'll default to what Glenn Pendlay wrote in another post on this board (replying to someone who was trying to get him to endorse high-bar squats in the SS program instead of low-bar: If you're going to do Starting Strength, then do Starting Strength, because it works perfectly to do what it advertises it can do. Since Glenn is always right, this must be the truth.
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:04 AM   #52
Greg Pieris
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Re: Squat form check

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Originally Posted by David Gray View Post
In the meantime, by looking forward, I take it you mean keeping the neck in a neutral position, which I don't think Rip would argue with, not much.
Yep. But plenty of strong powerliftings look up - obviously not recommended for beginners, but we shouldn't pretend that this doesn't work for a lot of very strong people.

Quote:
Some of it depends on experience, too. He wants the novice to avoid injury, and maintaining the eyes down/forward gaze helps minimize the risk of cervical strain. But experienced lifters he gives a lot of leeway to. My own gaze seems to settle a few feet in front of my stance, that's what works for me. If someone's eyes follow the wall with the neck in a neutral position, if it works for him, good.
Absolutely.

If you were training by yourself, you could do a lot worse than do everything Rip recommends. If you are experienced or have an experienced coach, it might be necessary to tweak a few things to get the right result. Classic example is the guy in the SS DVD who Rip says to think about lifting the chest rather than raising the hips (which is usually the opposite of what he would usually recommend).

For me, hip drive is not an issue. Looking down helped me develop the feel of correct hip drive that in my novice phase. However, my (very experienced and well regarded) coach has identified I actually need to keep a more vertical torso position than I currently use. Chest up by itself doesn't work as a cue for me. Looking down makes it very difficult for me to employ the cue to get the result. I've tried spotting different spots on the ground and wall. and a spot on the wall straight ahead plus the chest up cue works best for me right now.
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:38 AM   #53
Robert Callahan
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Re: Squat form check

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Originally Posted by Greg Pieris View Post
In the DVD when he does that demonstration, did anyone else think he provides a lot more resistance when he gets them to look up? Whether a subconscious thing, or a deliberate ploy to build confidence in the trainee to trust his look down recommendation, that's what it looks like to me.
I thought about that as well, but having attended the Barbell Cert as well as using that method to teach numerous people how to squat I can tell you with a fair amount of certainty that it significantly helps people drive up out of the hole. I know when I use it that I push down no harder when they look up than when they look down, if anything I push harder when they look down because their drive is so much more aggressive.

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Originally Posted by Greg Pieris View Post
Yep. But plenty of strong powerliftings look up - obviously not recommended for beginners, but we shouldn't pretend that this doesn't work for a lot of very strong people.
To be fair though Power lifters use an ultra wide stance that allows for a much more vertical back angle. That vertical back angle allows them to have a closer to neutral neck position while looking slightly up (I have seen none that look at the ceiling).


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Originally Posted by Greg Pieris View Post
Classic example is the guy in the SS DVD who Rip says to think about lifting the chest rather than raising the hips (which is usually the opposite of what he would usually recommend).

For me, hip drive is not an issue. Looking down helped me develop the feel of correct hip drive that in my novice phase. However, my (very experienced and well regarded) coach has identified I actually need to keep a more vertical torso position than I currently use. Chest up by itself doesn't work as a cue for me. Looking down makes it very difficult for me to employ the cue to get the result. I've tried spotting different spots on the ground and wall. and a spot on the wall straight ahead plus the chest up cue works best for me right now.
This is exactly correct. Everyone is different and thus will need slightly different cues to achieve "perfect" form. There are several cues that Rip and others use frequently because many novices make similar mistakes, but that does not mean all novices should be using them.

Bottom line, do what works for you!
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:01 PM   #54
David Gray
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Re: Squat form check

Here's some encouragement:

WFS http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/default.a...=57953&tid=109

A fastidious adherent to the Rip method can find some quibbles here, but the weight moved speaks to itself. As Robert noted, the back is more vertical because the stance is wider, but as he looks forward he never cranes his neck back--no risk of cervical compression here. Great depth, the bar stays over the center of his foot as if it's on a rail. As with many heavy lifters, I've noticed the knee comes back just slightly before it locks in place for the drive. And look at the hip drive. His back angle is exactly the same through the drop, but then the knees pop back a little and BANG you see his hips pop up behind the weights. Just beautiful.

And Uncle Pukie comes to visit at the end, too!
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:21 PM   #55
Robert Callahan
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Re: Squat form check

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40 REP SQUATS!!!! How much weight is that?!?!

Well I feel like a *****, and that guy is one sick F***!
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:37 PM   #56
Thomas Green
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Re: Squat form check

Haha, of course it's on eliteFTS.com. That's why I want Tate to also do barbell certs. I'm pretty sure that'll never happen though

40s pretty insane. We always do sets of 20 after our powerlifting workouts, but that's something I've never seen before.
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:26 PM   #57
Greg Pieris
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Re: Squat form check

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Originally Posted by Robert Callahan View Post
To be fair though Power lifters use an ultra wide stance that allows for a much more vertical back angle. That vertical back angle allows them to have a closer to neutral neck position while looking slightly up (I have seen none that look at the ceiling).
That's true about the back angle, but most powerlifters at my club use a neutral stance almost exactly the same as what Rip recommends - some adopt a slightly wider stance, but none use the ultra wide stance. I think it depends on the lifter's proportions, the coach, the federation (what depth they judge!) and what sort of suits they allow.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:20 PM   #58
Leigh An Jaskiewicz
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Re: Squat form check

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Originally Posted by Robert Callahan View Post
40 REP SQUATS!!!! How much weight is that?!?!

Well I feel like a *****, and that guy is one sick F***!
It was a continuous drop set starting with 500x8 all the way to 135x8. His stance is much closer than when he competes in powerlifting.
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