Squat, proper form

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 09, 2010 12:53 AM GMT
    Well I am confused and need advice, what is the best form to squat? Some one led me to Mark Rippetoe and his method. But some say his form is too low and hurts the knees too much. What do you guys think?

    Here is a site with Rippetoe's method:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yha2XAc2qu8&feature=channel
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    Jan 09, 2010 1:25 AM GMT
    I do like his explanation, he is right too, or at least I believe he is from my own research and testing differing techniques.

    Although, he is only showing a squat down to parallel with the ground, the same applies for full squats.

    there is lots of stuff around about having knee problems developing from squats, but, if your knees and legs are perfectly fine and baring any real total fuck ups, I don't believe squats will cause knee problems, if you have correct form and don't do bounces and shit, the movement from go to woe, should be done with control, control down, control up and back again.
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    Jan 09, 2010 1:45 AM GMT
    I didn't know there were different "methods" for squatting. I've always thought that squatting down till your thighs are parallel to the deck is correct form.

    If your knees are hurting, then it's possible that you're leaning forward too much. If you take an overhead view of yourself, your knees should not protrude past your toes too much. If it is, then widen your stance a little.

    And drive with the heels and hips. You can see it in the video on the guy's first attempt. He's pushing the weight up with his upper body and then tucking his hips under to complete the movement. Watch his hips/ass twitch. Bad.

    Also, don't use a lifting belt. Too many guys use a belt as a crutch. And it only makes their squatting form worse.
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    Jan 09, 2010 2:01 AM GMT
    With squats, it is best to mainly use your legs to prevent injury to your back. You should use the hip drive, but not as exaggerated as he is teaching it. If anything you should squat as if you are sitting in a chair and on the way up, drive your hips forward. The main key to squats is to not let your chest fall towards the ground as this hurts your back. Keeping your chest up will help with your form and prevent any injury.
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    Jan 09, 2010 2:42 AM GMT
    jeff61189 saidWith squats, it is best to mainly use your legs to prevent injury to your back. You should use the hip drive, but not as exaggerated as he is teaching it. If anything you should squat as if you are sitting in a chair and on the way up, drive your hips forward. The main key to squats is to not let your chest fall towards the ground as this hurts your back. Keeping your chest up will help with your form and prevent any injury.

    I think the over exaggerated movement is being taught for effect for the person learning. I've noticed this a lot with trainers and mates teaching mates, they over exaggerate a lot of the movements and the person learning eventually falls into there own grove with correct technique and develops a nice fluid movement that isn't as exaggerated.
  • UFJocknerd

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    Jan 09, 2010 3:42 AM GMT
    Parallel is not too low; it's just right. Ending the descent before parallel actually creates more tension in the knee than going to parallel.
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    Jan 09, 2010 4:05 AM GMT
    This is true with being over exaggerated, but it works for practice purposes. And UFJockNerd...so true!
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    Jan 09, 2010 4:35 AM GMT
    Thanks gentlemen, I appreciate the information. I went from 65lbs in June to 300lbs in December, but I wasn't going parallel, through maybe some bad advice. So I wanted to reteach myself and go to parallel and Rippetoe had good reviews of his book, but you never know who to trust when you are told narrow stance, wide stance etc.

    I will move forward now, with no belt, (used it maybe twice and didn't like it) and see where I can go, but stop if it isn't feeling right.

    I dropped to 185lbs to get to parallel last week
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    Jan 09, 2010 7:00 AM GMT
    This guy should be SHOT! Number one, if you are trying to teach proper technique you don't load up the bar with tons of weight and then have the person stand there and hold it the whole time your trying to explain to them how to correctly complete the movement! Geez. And if is technique is so "good", why can't he demonstrate it himself? Hmmmmm!

    Driving through the heels and straight up through your hips....yes. Leaning forward like he has him doing and keeping your eyes on the ground.....NO, NO, NO! The spine MUST always be neutral to prevent injuries. Keeping the eyes up and fixed on a point high on the wall in front of you or on the ceiling will keep your back in the correct neutral position as long as you don't lead with the hip coming out of the squat.

    Lead with the ass going INTO the sqaut and sit back just a bit like sitting in a chair (this will keep your knees behind or at least not extending over, your toes). Parallel is good. Unless you are training for a strength competition which requires a full squat below parallel, it's not necessary BUT stopping before is generally harder on the knees (especially at extremely heavy weight, depending on the individuals strength).

    I don't know what his guys credentials are....maybe he comes from a powerlifting background and this kid is into that but generally speaking for the average lifter whose training to build and shape the muscles and not worried about squatting the maximum amount of weight or winning a sanctioned competition.....what he's teaching is not good, nor very safe form.

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    Jan 09, 2010 2:19 PM GMT
    and there is one group that says to look up when squatting, and another group that says that will mess with your back so you should look straight ahead or down.
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    Jan 09, 2010 3:09 PM GMT
    I'm glad this topic came up. I *know* that I have not been getting the most out of my squats, and I'm pretty unconfident about them. I've never worked out with a trainer, so what I do know about proper squat form I've learned from reading. Rippetoe's method seems to make sense physiologically, that the drive should be from the hips/butt; and in my own experience looking down slightly below horizontal seems best. Shortnsexystud, when I look up my neck does not feel neutral because my head is tilting back. Do you have a pic or vid of what good form while looking up looks like?

    In general, I feel a lot of tension in my neck/shoulders when I squat because of the weight of the bar, and it's very distracting. I've been thinking about buying one of these: http://squatsponge.com/ to make it more comfortable. The bar pads at my gym are thin and basically useless, and I like how this one keeps the bar off your spine. Maybe with that distraction gone, I can focus more on getting my legs and hips working the way they should.

    --Carlos
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    Jan 09, 2010 3:34 PM GMT
    pecfan saidand there is one group that says to look up when squatting, and another group that says that will mess with your back so you should look straight ahead or down.

    there are more then two groups, some say up, some say down, some say straight ahead and others well, close your eyes and hope for the best.
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    Jan 09, 2010 4:32 PM GMT
    I'll have to take some pics and post them with correct form.

    Looking up helps keep the SPINE neutral. Basically if you visualize a pole running though the center of your body from head to toe, as you squat the shoulders should slide down the pole and in the squatted position the knees and the shoulders should be close to directly over each other. So with you thighs parallel to the floor, the back would be at approximately a 45 degree angle and should stay there as you drive the weight up through the heels and the hips and the shoulders should slide up the pole until you are standing up again.

    As far as the discomfort of the weight, that's squatting for you. The heavier to go, the more uncomfortable it will be until you get stronger. I use a mantaray when squatting heavy but I'll checkout the squatsponge and see what it's all about.
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    Jan 09, 2010 4:51 PM GMT
    Shortnsexystud saidLooking up helps keep the SPINE neutral. Basically if you visualize a pole running though the center of your body from head to toe, as you squat the shoulders should slide down the pole and in the squatted position the knees and the shoulders should be close to directly over each other. So with you thighs parallel to the floor, the back would be at approximately a 45 degree angle and should stay there as you drive the weight up through the heels and the hips and the shoulders should slide up the pole until you are standing up again.

    if I take your analogy of a pole, then, when you are standing upright, with correct posture, looking forward, you would be in a neutral position correct.
    However, for a lot of men (a lot, not all) there neutral position is naturally looking down slightly, not at the floor, but perhaps 2 feet (I'm crap at imperial) below directly in front.

    So using your analogy of a pole and keeping that neutral position through the range of motion of a squat, your head position would be required to stay in the same physical position, but your visual reference point would change as the angle of your upper body changed as you come into a squat.

    however, looking up, would cause a curve to farm (especially in the neck, but, also through your entire spine), especially if you where to find a point higher on the wall or roof and maintain that visual reference your head would have to move back further as you moved into that 45 degree angle.

    Just so it's clear, my post isn't to debate what your saying (what I think is immaterial right now), but to understand it and your reason for it, I'm just following what you say in my own head and with what I know and trying to work it out.
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    Jan 09, 2010 8:15 PM GMT
    I don't force myself to look up. I keep my head naturally inline with my back, and keep my eyes focused on an imaginary horizon ahead of me. I see some guys tilt their head all the way back and stare straight up at the ceiling. wtf. One wrong move and they're going to fall on their ass.

    On the topic of discomfort on the shoulders.. I used to have the same problem. I couldn't do squats without a pad on the barbell. But I've learned the right way to position the bar on my shoulders, and now it's not an issue. You need to do two things: 1) Bring your chest out and your shoulders back. 2) Place the bar on top of the meaty part of your traps, slightly above the rear deltoids. Too many guys place the bar too high on their neck, and this is where the pain comes from.

    By keeping your chest out and shoulders back, you're creating a little cushion for the barbell to rest on. It also helps stabilize the bar.
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    Jan 09, 2010 9:32 PM GMT
    Thanks Tanker. I think maybe I need to clarify a little. It might be more appropriate to say keep your EYES focused on a spot a bit high on the wall or the ceiling. You don't have to tip your head way back. Sorry, my poor choice of words. However, if you let your focus drop too far down in front of you, that will tend to make you shift your weight forward OFF your heels and onto the balls of your feet, then you will lead with your hips coming out of the squat putting strain on your lower back. You want the chest and shoulders to stay up and not come forward pulling your weight forward.
  • Whipmagic

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    Mar 09, 2013 10:59 PM GMT
    A few months ago, someone posted a picture of two guys kissing while doing overhead squats. And people were arguing about whether the form was proper. It was a really hot pic, and I'd like to forward the link to a workout buddy. Unfortunately, I cannot find the thread, or the picture here anymore. Perhaps the thread was deleted? Does anyone know where I can find it? Thanks!
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    Mar 10, 2013 2:12 PM GMT
    Whipmagic saidA few months ago, someone posted a picture of two guys kissing while doing overhead squats. And people were arguing about whether the form was proper. It was a really hot pic, and I'd like to forward the link to a workout buddy. Unfortunately, I cannot find the thread, or the picture here anymore. Perhaps the thread was deleted? Does anyone know where I can find it? Thanks!



    It appears here
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  • Whipmagic

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    Mar 10, 2013 2:31 PM GMT
    lookinforcars1 said
    Whipmagic saidA few months ago, someone posted a picture of two guys kissing while doing overhead squats. And people were arguing about whether the form was proper. It was a really hot pic, and I'd like to forward the link to a workout buddy. Unfortunately, I cannot find the thread, or the picture here anymore. Perhaps the thread was deleted? Does anyone know where I can find it? Thanks!



    It appears here
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1938441?forumpage=10


    Have fun icon_biggrin.gif


    Thank you!
  • tnlifter

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    Mar 10, 2013 2:37 PM GMT
    I squat a lot (not odd, being an Olympic lifter, it happens lol). This is what I was told.

    Squat all the way down. Butt to your ankles. It builds the glutes quads & hamstrings, not to mention your butt gets to looking better, which has benefits when you go out lol. DO NOT LOOK DOWN! Your head follows your eyes. Keep your eyes focused on a spot slightly above you and look at nothing else the entire time you're squatting. Keeping the eyes up slightly up forces you to keep your back straight. Toes should be pointed slightly out. I've seen some that point their knees forward and they are the ones who complain "my knees hurt" when they squat. Take a deep breath, then start down by breaking at the hips and sticking your butt out first, then folding the legs, while the upper body stays perfectly straight. My photo is me in the bottom of a front squat for a clean and jerk. Good luck!
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    Mar 20, 2013 3:30 PM GMT
    I had a lot of trouble keeping my legs in the stance, found out i wasnt using my hip flexers and glutes enough, so training now specifically on those (lunges, lunges, lunges), and it gets a lot better, can squat deeper and with more confidence...now to get the weight up again
  • therealmike

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    Mar 25, 2013 12:06 PM GMT
    Squats are probably my favourite exercise at gym.

    This was the way I was taught:
    - have your feet a little more then shoulder width apart and splayed outwards about 30 degrees.
    - majority of your weight should be on your heals and outer foot.
    - when you go to squat, take a deep breath, focus on a point in front of you a few feet above your head height, bend your knees forward, keep your chest as up as possible and try and squat as low as comfortably possible.
    - on the way back up, drive through your heals and outer foot engaging your glutes, quads and hamstrings.
    - I was told the lower you squat the better the stretch you will get which will ultimately lead to a better bubble butt :-)
    - if you are having pain in your knees, you can drop your weights and halve the pace of the exercise. I personally find stretching really well prior during and after the exercise improves my range of movement and keeps my muscles loose and prevents tightness. Taking Krill oil daily has also helped with improving my joint pain.

    I hope this can help you in some way and I haven't just waffled shit haha!


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    Apr 09, 2013 10:37 PM GMT
    I ripped my shorts doing squats today icon_sad.gif
  • GWriter

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    Apr 09, 2013 11:14 PM GMT
    tnlifter saidI squat a lot (not odd, being an Olympic lifter, it happens lol). This is what I was told.

    Squat all the way down. Butt to your ankles. It builds the glutes quads & hamstrings, not to mention your butt gets to looking better, which has benefits when you go out lol. DO NOT LOOK DOWN! Your head follows your eyes. Keep your eyes focused on a spot slightly above you and look at nothing else the entire time you're squatting. Keeping the eyes up slightly up forces you to keep your back straight. Toes should be pointed slightly out. I've seen some that point their knees forward and they are the ones who complain "my knees hurt" when they squat. Take a deep breath, then start down by breaking at the hips and sticking your butt out first, then folding the legs, while the upper body stays perfectly straight. My photo is me in the bottom of a front squat for a clean and jerk. Good luck!


    IMO this is the best answer so far.
    No one had mentioned elevating the heels. A 5-lb plate under each heel can do the trick. (There's a reason squat shoes -- 5/8 inch wooden heel -- were invented and why most Olympic lifters use them!). I was taught how to squat by Charles Poliquin and Pierre Roy, so I may be wrong but I ain't ignorant! Lol
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    Apr 09, 2013 11:20 PM GMT
    I thought proper form involved watching a hot guy do squats! icon_redface.gif