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Form check - squats and deads

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Doubleoqueso, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. Doubleoqueso

    Doubleoqueso Active Member

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    For both, I keep my feet shoulder width apart, toes straight forward. My main goal is to target my butt, which happens to be a bit sore today, so I'm happy :)

    I just want to hear what the JSF gurus have to say about my form.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXCi1aeYTbA
     
  2. Gorilla

    Gorilla Active Member

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    Definitely never keep your toes straight as thats a good way to hurt your knees. I also seem to detect some leaning forward as you squat. Could be too much weight being used (I do notice you are coming down kind of quick) or perhaps you are not pushing your shoulders back and puffing your chest out. Back looks a touch rounded in the deadlift. Try lowering your hips a bit more. Im sure someone like Zen will have more to add for ya, but those are my thoughts...
     
  3. Doubleoqueso

    Doubleoqueso Active Member

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    Exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I didn't even know about the shoulders/chest thing. How should the feet be?
     
  4. Gorilla

    Gorilla Active Member

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    Feet should always point in the direction of the knees. You can always do a test without weight and look at which way your knees tend to point as you squat down. I usually find a very slight point outward with the toes does the trick. Whenever you unrack the bar, you should basically be like a soldier standing at attention: shoulders back, chest out. If you cant do that, then you have too much weight on you :tucool:
     
  5. George

    George Senior Member

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    Those squats could be a touch lower. Not saying you have to bottom out but they're maybe an inch or two above parallel. It could just be the angle, though. :)
    I would also suggest that you step back from your rack instead of forward. It's a lot easier to walk backwards with a load on your back before the set instead of after when your legs are fatigued.
    You're locking out your legs too soon on those deads.
     
  6. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    #6 RTE, Dec 15, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  7. anfeyd

    anfeyd Active Member

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    I'm sure someone will come alone and analyze these for you.

    However, just one thing that pointed out at me--on your deadlifts you want to keep the bar as close as possible to you the whole way up and down. Basically, if you don't wear long socks expect to have permanent scars on your shins as they will continually break open. Even after the bar clears your knees you want to have the bar against your thighs.

    As previously mentioned, face the rack whenever you unrack the bar for squats. The reason your glutes are sore is because your squat really is more of a good morning. You need to keep your chest high facing the front--act as if someone is touching your back with an icecube and keep that position. You may be looking too close on the ground. Try looking at eye level or further away on the ground while keeping your spine neutral. Break at the hips and descend while keeping your chest high.

    I would go in depth but I hurt my back and I have to go take care of it now hah :doh:
     
    #7 anfeyd, Dec 15, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  8. Doubleoqueso

    Doubleoqueso Active Member

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    I'ma try this stuff on Monday, see how it goes :)
     
  9. Doubleoqueso

    Doubleoqueso Active Member

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    I guess Zen doesn't care to critique my squats/deads :cry:

    Thanks everyone else, though! Today is a squats/deads day, can't wait to try them the right way!
     
  10. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    Squats: Elbows forwards, chest up, drive head back into the bar, look up the whole time - if you look forward at the wall, you've failed. Get below parallel for training.

    Deadlifts: You need to just practice more. You should have your shoulders pinched back at the bottom of the lift. You need to pull back and up. Your toes should actually be able to almost come off the ground. Try to transition smoothly so you don't do a two-part lift.
     
  11. anfeyd

    anfeyd Active Member

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    I disagree. The more I look up the worse my form gets without me knowing. When I look straight ahead or slightly down keeping my neck in line with my spine I have a lot more kinesthetic sense about my body as well as being able to maintain proper form better.
     
  12. Gorilla

    Gorilla Active Member

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    Never look up when squatting. It breeds terrible form and makes you look like an idiot in the gym. Eyes forward.
     
  13. cajunman

    cajunman Well-Known Member

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    Snap your fingers, snap your neck :tucool:

    Squats: might want to experiment widening your stance. I don't think you have the flexibility to do shoulder-width stance deep squats - don't get wedded to one width if it's not working. Tape the floor, experiment from 24" to 32". (I'd recommend starting 30 - 32" and working in.) Narrow stances work better with higher bar placement and dropping the ass down (not so much back), wider stances work well with low-bar, vertical shins, ass back. (Clearly, depending on your limb proportions/flexibility, this does not apply to everyone. But right now you are not so much squatting as folding down. Low back does not look flat. I can't remember who it was that was descibed as, when he squatted, it was like he "folded himself into his asshole and unfolded himself again"...:eek:...you're not that bad, but nail down form.

    Deadlifts: sit back, keep knees back, flat lower back. Bar closer to shins at start, bar moves vertically.
     
  14. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    You shouldn't need to watch yourself to adjust your form. You should be able to squat fine without a mirror.

    Looking up involves having your eyes look up. It's an excellent practice and is key to moving the body properly. If you ask anyone who squats anything, they're always looking up. How would it make you look like an idiot?
     
  15. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I've been busy with some work stuff the past few days. When I get home I will be able to check the video.
     
  16. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    [​IMG]

    There's a lot of guys that like to keep their neck and back neutral throughout the whole lift, and if that means looking slightly down when they get to the bottom it isn't a huge problem.

    I can't find a good picture on the net at the moment but I think Pudzianowski is another one like this.
     
  17. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    ... and there are a lot of guys who keep their head driven back into the bar and keep their eyes up. I was watching the entire time at AWPC worlds, and the majority of the lifters were looking up, or ahead and up. Most people go where their eyes go. Please note that in your picture, he has his head driven back into the bar. This is pretty important.

    In Tate's squat 900 article, he talks about keeping the head driven back into the bar. Although he says the eyes should be looking straight ahead, I think the key point to note is that the eyes should never be looking down. You can look straight ahead, but looking up can make a big difference in the bar path out of the hole.

    I still stand by my statement that you should not be squatting while looking in a mirror.
     
  18. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    OP, for your squat:

    1. Look at a spot on the wall around chest height when you're standing erect and don't take your eyes off of that spot.
    2. Push your elbows forward and underneath the bar, pinning them to your sides and retracting your scapula fully. Keep your wrists neutral in this position. If you can't do this, widen your grip slightly until you can.
    3. Turn your feet out slightly, as keeping them straight forward is not doing you any favors.
    4. Before you start your descent, push your butt backwards just slightly (by tilting your pelvis forward) and raise your chest in a "proud" posture.
    5. Start your descent by breaking at the hips, sitting back into the squat, not by breaking at the knees. Keep your chest proud throughout the whole movement. If you video-tape from the front and have a graphic on the front of your shirt, you should be able to read it throughout the squat.

    For the deadlift, again, keep your chest proud. For your eyes, use a spot on the wall at least navel height when you are standing erect. Keep the elbows locked at the start of the pull. There is no need to keep looking down before each pull -- eyes on your spot.

    I'd agree with that.

    Note though that anfeyd said "kinesthetic." He wasn't talking about watching himself in the mirror or actually looking at his body.
     
    #18 chicanerous, Dec 19, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2007
  19. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Well there are that. Oddly enough my brother the powerlifter was taught that way. But by no means do you have to fail a squat if you don't pull your head back. There are pretty strong arguments against stabilizing the back with an exaggerated head position, but lots of guys do it different ways. The list of illustrious squatters who actually look down is pretty long.



     
  20. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    OK I've had a look. Your squat is OK from the waist down. Your back might be rounding a little, I can't be sure. You want to maintain either a neutral position of the spine from the head to the hips, or alternatively a slightly arched back and neck. The neutral position is to reduce the beating your discs take; the arch choice is more about pre-stressing the back with the idea that more weight can be supported that way. But whichever way you go, don't squat with a forward rounding of the back.

    Pull your shoulders back, but not with your elbows. What I mean here is that the pulling the shoulders back is done as scapular retraction. It depends on your particular shoulder flexibility, usually if you have the shoulders retracted properly, the elbows are not up high behind you. With your hands at your sides place your shoulders in the position to support a bar. Now raise your arms as if you were holding a bar to squat. If your shoulders come back forward as you raise your hands, then that's not so good. If the shoulders stay set, then it's not that big a deal where you elbows point. Keep in mind you do NOT support the bar with your hands - it is held up entirely by your traps.

    As far as depth, you could go deeper, even I go a little deeper. But it's not really that big a deal since you are getting the knee past 90 degrees of flex, which is where the careful biomechanic studies show that you are maxing out the force on the knee. In practice I tend to squat to where the thighbone is parallel to the ground, which is past hamstrings parallel, but not as deep as powerlifting legal. Don't get all cranked up about depth - if you get the knee flexed past 90 degrees the squat will be pretty effective for training.

    Another thing to consider is box squats. Mainly to deload the legs at the bottom, but for another thing, to let you know what depth you are going to.

    As far as your deads, sometimes you lock the knees out before the hips. That's a matter of style, and different guys do it different ways. But if you can get comfortable coordinating the extension of knee and hip to overlap more, then you are taking it a little easier on the lower back.
     

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