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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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    Thanks for the advice! I put it all to use today. Wider stance, look at one spot, back straight, chest out. It was very awkard and difficult, especially trying to tilt my pelvis forward. It looked to me like my knees went way too far forward, and whatever I did this time, it made my lower back hurt something fierce for a lil while. I did feel it more in my hamstrings than usual.

    Today wasn't a deadlift day, but I squat each lift day. So, am I worse off than before or am I getting closer?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGCKxez205g
     
  2. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    It looks improved and iit looks OK.
     
  3. Doubleoqueso

    Doubleoqueso Active Member

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    :eek:

    Well, if Zen says so, then I'll keep doin it like that :confused:
     
  4. Gorilla

    Gorilla Active Member

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    Just something for you to try if you can, do it barefoot....BTW, how much weight are you using?
     
  5. anfeyd

    anfeyd Active Member

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    I don't look at myself in the mirror. Why does looking up make your body move properly? If you're going to to do a vertical jump do you look in the air the whole time in your setup? Granted they are two different movements I think the general concept applies.

    I mentioned nothing about watching myself squat as I squat.
     
  6. Gorilla

    Gorilla Active Member

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    I guess I dont squat anything then :rolleyes: I agree, the mirror is useless and should be banned from the gym, however, I dont recall anyone mentioning a mirror. I am aware that there are some guys who advocate looking up, as when I first began, that is how I was taught. However, it didnt take me long to figure out that tilting the head up or even rolling the eyes toward the ceiling, can throw your form off, sometimes without you even realizing it. I also didn't see the point of it. And yes, it made me look like an idiot because people started to wonder what the hell I was staring at on the ceiling! But hey, if it works for you, power to you, but as some of zens examples show, there are plenty of guys who can squat a heck of alot more than most of us, who don't seem to be tilting their heads up. Anyways, don't want to get too caught up in the theories here...
     
  7. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I do lots of squats but that does not make me the final authority. There is a whole range of effective and safe squatting motions. I don't particularly believe there is a single "best" motion that everyone should copy. I think your current squat execution is basically OK. If you keep working out and thinking about it, you will come to your own particular conclusions which may or may not mean keeping your current form. I'm just saying that if you do the squat the way you are doing it now, it doesn't look like you are running excessive risk, and you will be able to make progress with it.
     
  8. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    The people who recommend this use it as a cue.

    In the school of thought where you set your back in an arch, then some people believe that the arch should continue through the neck. Now if you set your back in an arch, you should make sure you maintain that arch throughout the whole motion. There is also a little stabilization of the traps to make the "shelf" that holds the bar. One thing that can screw up that maintenance is if you look down and it moves your head, or relaxes your shoulders, it could be a bad thing under a heavy load. So avoiding looking down is recommended.

    In this situation, there are two sorts of people, as anyone who has been through getting progressive addition eyeglass lenses knows. There are "head movers" and "eye movers". "Head movers" are people who move their head more than slewing their eyeballs in order to look at something. "Eye movers" are people who tend to keep their head steady and direct their gaze with eye movement. It's much easier to satisfy "head movers" with progressive lens prescriptions than to satisfy "eye movers". Opticians tell you to try and become a "head mover" and that might work for some people (not for me as it turns out).

    In the context of squatting, controlling the direction of gaze could make sense for people who are "head movers". For those of us who are confirmed "eye movers" that advice usually sounds weird.

    Now there is an entire other school of thought about setting the back - that you should not tighten the back into an arch, because that requires more energy to maintain than a neutral position, and is at more risk of collapsing. The arched back also focuses more of the load on a smaller area of the intervertebral discs. This school of thought (to which I belong) recommends that if you are going to do a large volume of squats, then you want to do it with the neutral spine and with as little as possible extra muscle contractions. Looking up or down is not necessary if you squat this way, but it is not really terrible.

    There are lots of pros and cons for the different schools of thought. For example the tight arch people can reason by analogy with pre-stressed concrete that the extra stress on the dorsal part of the spine will be relieved by the load of the bar. Those of us in the neutral spine school will respond that if that were true, then the arch would straighten somewhat as you pick up the load - and you can see lots of guys who keep their arch under the bar, we can claim that they are exposing a small fraction of their intervertebral discs to all the load, etc.

    Since there are examples of guys who have squatted heavy (like 1000 pounds) who do it in the various different styles, it seems to me that if there is a "better" school of thought it would be in the reduction of the risk of chronic injury. I'm pretty sure that there aren't a lot of data for that sort of distinction to be clear - the chronic injury risk of squatting is not really that different between the two schools of thought. So you get to "listen to your body" if you want. I don't think there is a "one size fits all" answer to squatting form.
     
  9. Doubleoqueso

    Doubleoqueso Active Member

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    Well, I lift in skate shoes, and they're pretty flat. If the floor of my gym wasn't nasty 40 year old grody carpet stuff, I'd probably try that :P

    I only rep 140 (plus the bar ~ I'm guessing it weighs about 10-15lbs) for squats right now :o But hey, I'm really close to repping bodyweight! Yeyah. Big milestone for me :)
     
  10. Doubleoqueso

    Doubleoqueso Active Member

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    Maybe not, but I value your input.
     
  11. Gorilla

    Gorilla Active Member

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    I was just asking about the weight since there are times it looks like you may benefit from taking a some off. Was not sure how heavy you were going....congrats on the progress :tucool:
     
  12. Gorilla

    Gorilla Active Member

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    wimp....J/K!!! :p:D
     
  13. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    I think he's talking Dave Tate levels of "anything", not JSF levels.

    I know I'm not even to "suck" level in the world of powerlifters that betastas is involved in.

    Interesting conversation, though.
     
  14. cajunman

    cajunman Well-Known Member

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    :nod: QFT

    I saw a fairly well-known powerlifter squat 800 with his chin down and eyes looking around six feet from his toes. But his back was flat. Arguing about where your eyes should be looking misses the point.
     
  15. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    That does look better than the last video.

    A few things:

    1. That first lift off was kind of messy. The second one looks much better. Try to do it like that each time.

    2. For the chest proud with the pelvis tilted cue, imagine someone has an icecube and has just pressed it into the small of your back. The chest lifts and the back arches slightly. Once you have that position, try to maintain it throughout the squat. Keep in mind, however, I'm part of the "arched back" group that zens talks about, so this pelvic tilt is part of the way that you set up to squat with one.

    3. Your second set looks the best. Try to emulate it. However, keep the chest up, retract the scapula, and try to continually push those elbows forward under the bar. If you watch, you'll notice that your upper body is "swimming" through space a bit. This is because you aren't maintaining a completely tight static upper back and chest position with all of these cues.

    4. Work on hamstring and hip flexor flexibility, which will enable you to get deeper with a neutral back. As it is, you're almost rounding near the bottom because of a lack of flexibility, I believe.

    You might benefit from the exercise descriptions in Mark Rippetoe's book Starting Strength which has some great advice and cues for nailing the squat. Watching Dan John's squat video (which is floating around somewhere on this internet thing) would also be a good idea.
     
    #35 chicanerous, Dec 19, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2007
  16. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Yeah, that's why most of the examples I mentioned are guys who squatted 1000# or, in the case of Yuri Vlasov, was an Olympic gold medalist heavyweight weightlifter who is also considered one of the strongest men in history. You get a lot of people who get cranked up over form - I say go spend a few hours on youtube and actually think about what you see.
     
  17. Doubleoqueso

    Doubleoqueso Active Member

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    I didn't have much luck finding a video ~ But danjohn.org has an archive of informative newsletters.
     
  18. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    Here.

    Also another here.
     

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