Squat

Exercise Overview

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Introduction

The barbell squat is widely accepted as the number one strength and mass builder for the entire lower body. For this reason it is a staple in any program for everyone wanting to gain more muscle mass, strength, or speed. Because of its unique reputation, it is a common test of strength for strongman, powerlifting, and is a large factor in weightlifting. No other single lift is so widely accepted in all disciplines.

How to Squat

Find a suitable squat rack (not smith machine), and set the barbell and safety pins in a suitable position. Below you will read the step by step process on performing a proper squat in the common high bar variation. Make sure you practice perfect form every repetition, even on warm ups. The squat is an exercise that may require extra flexibility from some lifters, which we will cover below.

The Setup:Kevin Oak (220) 720 lb Squat

  1. Grip the barbell wider than shoulder width.
  2. Duck under the barbell, and position the bar over the top of the back, resting on the trapezius muscles, but not on the bony portion of the neck.
  3. Tug the barbell down into the traps while actively pinching the shoulder blades to create tightness in the upper back.
  4. Inhale to maintain tightness, and lift the bar out of the rack.
  5. Take as few steps back as possible, and position the feet evenly with a shoulder width or greater distance apart. Toe positioning slightly pointed outward.

The Repetition:connor squat

  1. Inhale while tightening up the upper back, and any tightness you may have lost while walking the weight out.
  2. Shift the majority of the body weight toward the heels of the feet and maintain this balance throughout the repetition.
  3. Unlock the knees and descend by bending at the knees and hips while opening the hips by widening the knees.
  4. Focus on keeping the chest upright and high, and keep the upper back tight.
  5. Descend downward by continuing this motion until proper squat depth is achieved (more on this below).
  6. Once squat depth has been reached, explode upward out of the bottom quickly, while maintaining upright chest position and tightness in the upper and lower back. Continue to force the knees outward throughout the movement.
  7. Release breath.

Grip, foot width, and foot positioning vary slightly between lifters. See the “Variables and Effects on the Squat” section below to get a better understanding on how these changes effect the squat.

Common Squat Form Problems

  • Lack of ankle flexibility: Lack of flexibility in the ankles can contribute to heels lifting off the floor while squatting, falling backward in the squat, and back rounding. A wider stance with the knees pushed out helps to decrease demand of flexibility. Wearing heeled weightlifting shoes can also help as a workaround to inflexible ankles. For a complete guide on improving ankle flexibility, read “Improve Ankle Mobility for Better Squats.”
  • Rounding over (back rounding): Rounding can be caused by a number of factors. Common causes are lack of flexibility in the ankles or hips, improper positioning (see “Variables and Effects on the Squat” below), or lack of upper back strength, and too much weight used.
  • Knees buckling inward: It is not uncommon to see the knees shoot inward while squatting heavy weights. Consciously pushing the knees out throughout the movement and fighting to hold proper form is almost always required. Some recommend special hip abduction exercises (spreading hips open) to help strengthen the muscles required to keep the knees out.
  • Weight on toes (or heels lifting off the floor): See “Lack of ankle flexibility” above and the included article. This can also be a simple fix by consciously keeping the weight on your heels.
  • Inability to reach depth: Most of the time correcting depth issues is simple. Ensure you are sitting your body down between the legs, opening up the hips, and pushing the knees out to create enough room for the body to descend. If flexibility is a problem, a mobility drill called “prying” is a common solution, along with actively sitting into a proper squat position for 5 or 10 minutes at a time without weight. Check out this post on how to improve the squat’s bottom position.

Squat Tips & Mental Notes

Pete Rubish

  • Keep Tight! A big deep breath and tight back helps keep the torso in proper position. Maintain this posture throughout the squat.
  • Move Fast, but Controlled. Controlling the weight on the way down is important, but practice reversing the weight quickly. Big squats and speed go hand in hand.
  • Film Yourself. If you don’t have a seasoned coach watching your every rep, record yourself for instant feedback. Post your video in your training log, or a Q&A section so others can critique or share tips.
  • Purchase a good pair of shoes. Squat shoes should be supportive and stable. Some lifters also prefer a slight heel in weightlifting shoes.
  • Weight back on heels. Keeping the weight back on the heels activates more muscles, and helps prevent the lifter from falling forward.
  • Lead with the chest. Don’t let the hips come too far in front of the torso. The hips and chest should raise together.

Variables and Effects on the Squat

Note: A heavy barbell must always remain inline, over the foot while squatting. If the barbell drifts too far forward or backward during the movement; balance is lost and the lifter will either fall over, or make a compensation by rounding the back.Damien Pezzuti Legs

  • Feet and Knee Width: A wider base enables the lifter to squat without as much knee forward drift. This is useful in keeping upright, especially with poor ankle flexibility.
  • Ankle Flexibility: Without enough forward knee movement, the body may not be able to create balance with a straight back. To accommodate for this, the back may round over to move the center of mass keeping the lifter from falling backward.
  • Bar Position: The lower the bar is positioned on the back, the more forward torso lean is created to create balance. The opposite is required in the high bar squat and its even more upright cousin, the front squat.
  • Knee Drift: Forward knee movement allows the lifter to remain more upright, especially when in combination with the high bar position.

Squat Styles and Variations

The squat is an exercise that can be changed dramatically between styles and variations. Different squat techniques shift muscle emphasis, and change the dynamics of the lifts. Unless otherwise noted, the same setup and form is used.

Low Bar Squat

The low bar squat is similar in every way to any other squat, except that the barbell is resting lower on the back instead of the traps. The positioning can be more difficult to find in comparison to the high bar squat, but this bar placement generally allows for more weight to be used. For this reason, it is the most common squat style for powerlifters.

Due to the barbells change in position, the center of mass is shifted. This changes squat form slightly, making the back angle tend to lean over more, and the butt shoot further back. This keeps the knees back further and reduces quadricep and knee stress while shifting the emphasis onto hamstrings, glutes, and the back.

Olympic Squat

661 Lb Squat with no knee wraps

This squat is typically thought of as a very deep squat, with the lifter usually wearing a heeled olympic weightlifting shoe. The Olympic Squat, or Back Squat, is a squat olympic weightlifters use to aid their competition lifts, so the form is changed slightly to replicate the positioning required.

Because of its extreme upright position, this squat requires the most quadriceps and forward knee movement of all styles. These squats are usually performed with nearly complete upright posture. The heel on weightlifting shoes allows for more forward knee movement before the heel raises off the floor. This keeps the torso upright and the lifter’s weight back on the heels.

Wide Stance Sumo Squat

This style of the squat is simply performed with a very wide stance, well outside shoulder width. Emphasis shifts to glutes and hamstrings, and away from quads. This stance is commonly used in conjunction with the low bar placement. Wide stance squatters are also typically queued to sit far back into the squat to create a vertical angle of the shins. This wider stance can shorten the range of motion, allowing for heavier weight lifted.

When taken to extremes, this style is usually not recommended for typical lifters due to the increased difficulty squatting to depth, and added strain onto the hips.

Front SquatCaleb Williams (152) 458.5 Lb/208 Kg Front Squat

The Front Squat is a squat in which the barbell rests over the front of the shoulders by the throat, instead of the back. This difference in position shifts emphasis to the quadriceps while keeping the back in an upright posture. This squat allows for greater depth, and less back strain, and is a very popular complement to the squat.

There are two suggested ways to hold the barbell for front squats, also known as the “rack position“. None are comfortable, and they may take some time to adapt.

  1. Clean Grip (Recommended) – This is the most secure position for the front squat, but requires the most wrist flexibility. Only two or three fingers are placed around the bar with the elbows pushed up high throughout the repetition with the barbell resting on the front deltoids. Check out the full guide on how to build a great rack position.
  2. Cross Arm – This grip is a less demanding flexibility wise, and is an alternative to the Clean Grip. Cross the wrists with thumbs pointing upward. Place the thumbs around the bar, pushing the shoulders upward and rotating until the barbell is placed in the proper position on the front deltoids. Use the thumbs only as a guide, they are not meant to support the weight of the barbell in anyway.
  3. No Hands – Sometimes called “Zombie Squats”, this is a coaching aid to teach proper bar placement, and is best used with lighter weights. The arms are held straight forward at shoulder width, extended throughout the repetitions. If the barbell isn’t in the proper groove, it will begin to roll right off the shoulders. This is a great warm up drill if you are having a difficult time finding that sweet spot for the barbell to rest.
  4. Wrist Straps – For those who are not flexible enough to use the clean grip, but want a more secure rack position. Put the wrist straps over the barbell as if the barbell is your wrist. Place the two straps shoulder width or wider, and grip each loose end. While gripping firmly, rack the barbell on the front of the shoulders as normal. Use the straps to lightly secure the bar, similar to what is done on the clean grip.

Advanced Squatting Noteseric

  • Build tension on the descent. Some high level squatters sometimes explain this as if compressing an inner spring. Coiling themselves up to create a blast out of the bottom position.
  • Hit the bottom with speed. Another technique used for speed out of the bottom position. A controlled bounce out of the bottom reverses the weight.
  • Three step walkout. Some say three steps is all it should take to walk out weight. Stand up with the weight using both feet, take one step back to create distance from the rack, place your other foot back in line with the other, and take one last adjustment step for your favorite stance.

Squat Assistance Exercises

Many lifters agree that there are no substitutions for the squat and its variations for improving the squat. However, there are some less taxing assistance exercises to bring up weak points that many find useful. They are:

  • Good Mornings
  • Lunges / Split Squats
  • Step-ups
  • Leg Press
  • Glute-Hamstring Raises
  • Weighted Hyperextensions
  • Reverse Hyperextension
  • Weighted Abdominal Work
  • Hamstring Leg Curls
  • Glute Bridges
  • Hip Belt Squat Machine

Squat Misconceptions

  • “You shouldn’t squat deep” or “Knees shouldn’t go over toes”: Deep squats with forward knee position are not only safe, but have been shown to help alleviate knee pain by strengthening the muscles around the knee cap. Weightlifters who practice very deep squats with a lot of forward knee movement have very low knee injury rates, and commonly squat very frequently and heavy – it is not rare for weightlifters to squat on a daily basis.
  • “Sit back, keep shins past perpendicular”: This is a common technique taught by lifters who are using supportive equipment to aid the squat, or plan to in the future. If you are using supportive equipment, using a very wide stance and sitting back does allow for the equipment to be used more effectively by stretching the clothing material. Unequipped, or raw lifters, have no material to “sit back” into, or to rely on to get out of the bottom position. For the majority of lifters who do not use equipment, it is usually worth it to have some knee drift to incorporate the quads and allow for more bounce out of the bottom position.
  • “Squats are bad for your knees”: The deep squat is one of the bodies most natural resting positions. Young children play in this deep squat position, and in some cultures the squat is still used in place of chairs and toilets. The body has been well adapted to getting in and out of the deep squat position on a regular basis.

Squat Injury Risk and Prevention

Possible injuries can include back, knees, hips, and sometimes minor wrist or elbow pain. As with all exercises, risk of injury is drastically reduced when performing proper form.

The back must remain in a neutral or slightly arched position throughout the movement. This provides the spine its strongest position for loading. If the upper or lower back becomes rounded over and the chest is dropped, chances of injury increase due to the spine being in a more vulnerable position.

Knee injury rates are also drastically reduced when taking into account two main factors. Knee tracking, and foot weight distribution. The knees should track inline over the toes, and should not buckle inward at any point during the lift. Weight distribution should remain on the back of the foot, the heels, instead of the toes.

It is common for lifters to notice elbow and bicep pain while bench pressing, and its root cause, the squat, is sometimes overseen. Lifters that practice the low bar technique are most susceptible to this pain, with the solution usually being grip and elbow position changes. To release pressure off the elbows and shoulders, a widened grip is sometimes recommended. In the case with new lifters, larger rear deltoids are sometimes required to hold the bar in a more secure low bar position, allowing for the stress to be taken off the arms, shoulders, and elbows. It is important to keep the weight of the resting barbell off the arms and wrists as much as possible.

Video Demonstration of Proper Squat Form

56 Comments

  1. Brandon

    Squats are king.
     
    That is all. 

    You think so? I still like deadlifts… maybe if I didn’t suck at squats so badly my mind would change. Squats are just so technical, with mobility, and form being such huge factors. I think deadlifts are a better test of strength, with squats testing more leg strength and mobility. What do you have to say about that? :D

    Reply
  2. Ironwolf

    You think so? I still like deadlifts… maybe if I didn’t suck at squats so badly my mind would change. Squats are just so technical, with mobility, and form being such huge factors. I think deadlifts are a better test of strength, with squats testing more leg strength and mobility. What do you have to say about that? :D

     
    Squats are a true test of strength. Even skinny kids can pick up a lot of weight while deadlifting. You don’t have to be as well developed in your core and upper body to hold the weight. There is something about putting a heavy weight on your back, moving downwards and then fighting to get back up that the deadlift can never make up for.

    Reply
  3. MindofShadow

    I think squats > deadlifts just because it seems you see a LOT more 400 and 500 deads than you do 300 and 400 squats (to depth) in the (regular) gym. 
     
    Plus… it takes brute strength, technique, mobility, balls (the feeling as you reach parallel is like no other in lifting)… plus it brings the powerlifting world into a flame war after every meet. 

    Reply
  4. anonymous_burn

    I’d add too that when my squat’s going up my deadlifts go up too but it doesn’t work the other way around at all (for me). 
     
    Squats have been going great for me lately, I finally figured my form out and things have been great. 
     
    Question for more experienced folk, when did you start using knee wraps? I’m in the low 300s without them but like every guy I know I long for bigger weights and more chains and am considering starting to cheat more. I’m not competing or getting ready for a competition so fed standards don’t play into whether I’d use them or not. 

    Reply
  5. HulkingOut1984

    I like them both equally but I do believe it is more important to do squats regularly than dong dead lifts. It seems I could months without dead lifting and put a PR as long as I just get generally stronger by doing things like squatting so to me its the number one lift in developing strength and dead lifts are number one in testing brute strength. 

    Reply
  6. MindofShadow

    I’d add too that when my squat’s going up my deadlifts go up too but it doesn’t work the other way around at all (for me). 
     
    Squats have been going great for me lately, I finally figured my form out and things have been great. 
     
    Question for more experienced folk, when did you start using knee wraps? I’m in the low 300s without them but like every guy I know I long for bigger weights and more chains and am considering starting to cheat more. I’m not competing or getting ready for a competition so fed standards don’t play into whether I’d use them or not. 

     
    I used them when I got over 455. 

    Reply
  7. RJorg

    I’d add too that when my squat’s going up my deadlifts go up too but it doesn’t work the other way around at all (for me). 
     
    Squats have been going great for me lately, I finally figured my form out and things have been great. 
     
    Question for more experienced folk, when did you start using knee wraps? I’m in the low 300s without them but like every guy I know I long for bigger weights and more chains and am considering starting to cheat more. I’m not competing or getting ready for a competition so fed standards don’t play into whether I’d use them or not. 

    Use them whenever you want. They might improve your technique, even.
     
    I start wrapping at like 225 these days.

    Reply
  8. Brandon

    I used them when I got over 455. 

     
     

    Use them whenever you want. They might improve your technique, even.
     
    I start wrapping at like 225 these days.

    How tight do you guys wrap up on a typical training session? Do you have a different meet day wrap and training wrap?

    Reply
  9. hastalles

    Upvoted all the pro-squat posts cause that’s just what I do.
     
    What’s the deal with wraps and belts…. Seems like EVERYONE with a decent squat wraps up. Is it a knee health thing? Or just… more weight = more better. :D
     
    And belts… Same question. If your midsection wasn’t your weak point, would you not get anything out of a belt?
     
    Will I be burned alive as a heretic if I keep going beltless? :D

    Reply
  10. MindofShadow

    How tight do you guys wrap up on a typical training session? Do you have a different meet day wrap and training wrap?

     
    I warp by myself and I can only wrap so tight by myself and never really tried to “crank it down.” Plus i use old school inzer wraps I got in like 2007 lol.
     
    I have never used wraps in a meet so no comment there. 
     
    I haven’t used wraps in a long time. I feel like a loser using them with under 500 so I haven’t used them since the last time I did that. 

    Reply
  11. MindofShadow

    Upvoted all the pro-squat posts cause that’s just what I do.
     
    What’s the deal with wraps and belts…. Seems like EVERYONE with a decent squat wraps up. Is it a knee health thing? Or just… more weight = more better. :D
     
    And belts… Same question. If your midsection wasn’t your weak point, would you not get anything out of a belt?
     
    Will I be burned alive as a heretic if I keep going beltless? :D

     
    Both. More weight plus it feels safer. Although I don’t know how much wraps help safety wise. They don’t like the patella track properly at all. I don’t feel anymore safe with wraps versus my kono knee sleeves personally. 
     
    You know who else goes beltless… Paul Carter. You guys grow more similar by the day and should be best buds.

    Reply
  12. hastalles

    They don’t like the patella track properly at all. 

     
    Always been worried that would happen, glad to see I’m not crazy :D
     

    You know who else goes beltless… Paul Carter. You guys grow more similar by the day and should be best buds.

     
    God fucking damn it. :D 
     
     
     
    ….and I can’t think of anything to disprove the Paul Carter connection with, wtf :|

    Reply
  13. RJorg

    Upvoted all the pro-squat posts cause that’s just what I do.
     
    What’s the deal with wraps and belts…. Seems like EVERYONE with a decent squat wraps up. Is it a knee health thing? Or just… more weight = more better. :D
     
    And belts… Same question. If your midsection wasn’t your weak point, would you not get anything out of a belt?
     
    Will I be burned alive as a heretic if I keep going beltless? :D

    Funny thing about the belt: I’ve started pushing my beltless squat up and suddenly it’s like the belt isn’t that important anymore. Maybe better bracing technique is making it less essential.
     
    Tried the technique that Elliot described (vacuum) around 5:45:

     
    Do that a bunch of times walking around and you start to get an idea of how to do it. Then do it under a bar and it still kinda works. Trying to pull the rectum up is a very important part of the technique :D I hit 505 no problem last week doing this which is like 100lbs later than my usual last beltless set.

    Reply
  14. Brandon

     Trying to pull the rectum up is a very important part of the technique :D I hit 505 no problem last week doing this which is like 100lbs later than my usual last beltless set.

    This is interesting… So which bits do you do under a heavy squat? Do you pull the stomach in?

    Reply
  15. RJorg

    This is interesting… So which bits do you do under a heavy squat? Do you pull the stomach in?

    Hard to describe… practice just standing and then walking around to get the feel for it. Exhale all the way with your belly and when empty, simultaneously try to pull navel to the spine and pull rectum up. When I “got it”, the sensation was unique… huge activation of core muscles I’d never felt before… very tightly braced and almost electrifying.
     
    When under the bar, I tried doing the same thing except I kept the air instead of exhaling.

    Reply
  16. MindofShadow

    What the hell? Didn’t you guys follow bodybuilding before you got cool and found real lifting? Vacuuming has been around for a long time.
     
    In fact, I do a lot of my ab stuff while fully exhaled and vacuuming (like ab wheel, palof presses, planks). Makes it harder so I don’t have to do as many reps/time lol. 
     
    Vacuuming used to be a big thing in the strength and conditioning world and the rehab world when trying to strengthen the core after injury once people figured out how important the transverse abdominis was to lumbar and SI joint stability. It feel out of fashion because it didn’t work as well in practice as it did in theory. That is why it has shifted to abdominal bracing (which when does right involves doing a kegal contraction as well to contract the pelvic floor) instead especially with the research of low back king McGill.
     
    EDIT:
     
    Was that a fucking laugh track? Thsi is why I avoid these dudes lol

    Reply
  17. RJorg

    What the hell? Didn’t you guys follow bodybuilding before you got cool and found real lifting? Vacuuming has been around for a long time.
     
    In fact, I do a lot of my ab stuff while fully exhaled and vacuuming (like ab wheel, palof presses, planks). Makes it harder so I don’t have to do as many reps/time lol. 
     
    Vacuuming used to be a big thing in the strength and conditioning world and the rehab world when trying to strengthen the core after injury once people figured out how important the transverse abdominis was to lumbar and SI joint stability. It feel out of fashion because it didn’t work as well in practice as it did in theory. That is why it has shifted to abdominal bracing (which when does right involves doing a kegal contraction as well to contract the pelvic floor) instead especially with the research of low back king McGill.
     
    EDIT:
     
    Was that a fucking laugh track? Thsi is why I avoid these dudes lol

    Ya, I know vacuuming is as old as dirt, but no one every explained it in detail to me before. All I read was the elitefts/T-Nation version where you are supposed to push your belly out against your belt. While true in part, there are a few key details left out of that description.

    Reply
  18. Brandon

    Any of you guys use weightlifting shoes with a heel, or always go flat footed? I’m always switching between the two, never sure what I like best.

    Reply
  19. Clutz15

    Any of you guys use weightlifting shoes with a heel, or always go flat footed? I’m always switching between the two, never sure what I like best.

     
    I use a 1/2 inch heel, I prefer it to my 3/4s. 

    Reply
  20. Brandon

    Heel

     

    I use the Adidas Powerlifts, which is about .6 inch? I love them, I can’t imagine squatting without them now. I squat pretty narrow, for reference’s sake.

     

    I use a 1/2 inch heel, I prefer it to my 3/4s. 

     
    Just curious… why?
     
    I just recently started using them when I squat high bar because I think my ankle mobility wasn’t quite there. It might feel better, because I can put more weight on my heels without them coming up, but it’s hard to tell.

    Reply
  21. RJorg

    Just curious… why?
     
    I just recently started using them when I squat high bar because I think my ankle mobility wasn’t quite there. It might feel better, because I can put more weight on my heels without them coming up, but it’s hard to tell.

    Can’t speak for the other guys, but less pain and easier to get to depth. Trade off is that it’s easier to get pitched forward.

    Reply
  22. MindofShadow

    I had to bring my stance in due to my back. Before I was much more of a “posterior chain” squatter. I would squat rather wide for raw and use chucks. I can’t rely on my back to go through that as much so I had to bring my stance in and doing that with chucks just felt terrible.
     
    Much easier to get to depth with the heels and much easier to stay upright. 

    Reply
  23. anonymous_burn

    I’ve been playing with my stance for a while. I started pretty wide and in chucks but it didn’t feel great on my hips and I never felt really strong or explosive, everything was slow and I wasn’t getting stronger. I moved everything in, got the new shoes, and shifted the bar down on my back a touch and it all clicked. I haven’t found that I have trouble with pitching forward at all, it’s actually the exact opposite and I can stay back on my heels a lot better (that’s probably ankle flexibility?). 
     
    I’ll say too that they’re just generally nicer shoes. I would post a picture for reference if I was at home but the whole bottom of the shoe is wider and the surface is a lot grippier than my Converse. In my chucks when I’d push my knees out I always felt like I might rock over onto the side of my foot, everything’s a lot more stable in the Powerlifts.

    Reply
  24. Brandon

    I haven’t found that I have trouble with pitching forward at all, it’s actually the exact opposite and I can stay back on my heels a lot better (that’s probably ankle flexibility?). 

     
    I feel the same way actually, so maybe it is ankle flexibility. The adipowers feel like my feet are in cement. I think the foot sits into a plastic cup, and everything is very snug.

    Reply
  25. 1morerep

    I start with crain power shoes, change to adidas weigthlifting shoes and change about 1 year ago to Chuck’s. So far they feel better (at least for my stance), on the floor as well on my feets, kept me in balance!!!

    Reply
  26. Brandon

    I start with crain power shoes, change to adidas weigthlifting shoes and change about 1 year ago to Chuck’s. So far they feel better (at least for my stance), on the floor as well on my feets, kept me in balance!!!

    Better balance with Chucks you say? Interesting. Wow, you’ve got a lot of shoes my friend. Did you like the adidas more than the Crain’s?

    Reply
  27. 1morerep

    Better balance with Chucks you say? Interesting. Wow, you’ve got a lot of shoes my friend. Did you like the adidas more than the Crain’s?

    About the same…not much difference. Use the adidas to the gym just because, not because any liftings advantage. The only thing the Crain make me looks taller!!! LoL! In serious note, I stay with the chucks.I have low chuck’s, over ankle chucks (superman white) and I even have costum made chucks…

    Reply
  28. MindofShadow

    On squats…
     
    Best thing I ever did was start doing Goodmorning variations after squatting. So I would do my 1-3 sets of squats and then do 5×5 good mornings afterwords rotating through bent knee, straight leg, and seated each week.
     
    Went from a low 300′s squatter to a mid 4′s squatter and I attribute most of it to GM’s. The thing that sucks most about my back is that I can’t do them heavy (ie 5×5 or 3×5 straigh sets) anymore (except for with an SSB which makes absolutely no since to me at all).
     
    Now I never did the Westside ME GM thing because well… I did it once about scared the shit out of myself (315×3 gms… never again). I thought any instance I was have instant cauda equina syndrome. 

    Reply
  29. avoutour

    On squats…
     
    Best thing I ever did was start doing Goodmorning variations after squatting. So I would do my 1-3 sets of squats and then do 5×5 good mornings afterwords rotating through bent knee, straight leg, and seated each week.

    Even though I don’t compete powerlifting, I felt like my atlas stone was lacking, started adding in GM and my stone strength has gone up quite a bit, great for the posterior chain

    Reply
  30. Brandon

     
    Went from a low 300′s squatter to a mid 4′s squatter and I attribute most of it to GM’s. 

    Wow thats pretty awesome! Did you have any signs that GM’s would help your squat so much, like rounding, getting pitched forward, or something else?

    Reply
  31. MindofShadow

    Wow thats pretty awesome! Did you have any signs that GM’s would help your squat so much, like rounding, getting pitched forward, or something else?

     
    I can’t remember why I started doing them, all I know is that my first session was 95x5x5  and it wasn’t easy so year… really weak lol. 

    Reply
  32. RJorg

    Pretty convinced that GMs help me keep a more upright torso during the squat. Of all the fun variations I think the straight up barbell GM to navel height is the best for squat. But not 100% sure on that.

    Reply
  33. MikeMelter

    The good morning thing makes sense too since the low-back is generally the limiting factor in the squat.  I like good mornings but I think after a point, there are diminishing returns.  I like to really feel the muscles working on them and I usually do a quick pause at the bottom.  

    Reply
  34. Brandon

    Why is it that a GM’s excel in strengthening the lower back for squats, and deadlifts don’t to the same degree?
     
    Also, high bar or low bar for GMs?

    Reply
  35. MindofShadow

    Pretty convinced that GMs help me keep a more upright torso during the squat. Of all the fun variations I think the straight up barbell GM to navel height is the best for squat. But not 100% sure on that.

     
    I’d agree with that

    Reply
  36. RJorg

    Why is it that a GM’s excel in strengthening the lower back for squats, and deadlifts don’t to the same degree?
     
    Also, high bar or low bar for GMs?

    Low bar baby. It’s for your back, hips, and hammies, not your neck.

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  37. MikeMelter

    I like the high-bar good morning because it increases the lever arm making the low back work harder.  There doesn’t need to be a ton of weight on the bar in order to get a good training effect, imo.  The deadlift definitely hits the low back as well but I like the good morning because it specifically strengthens the muscles that are used when fighting getting pitched forward.  

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  38. avoutour

    How do you do a highbar GM without it rolling up your neck?

     I could be doing this incorrectly, but I place it in the same spot I do for a squat and just arch my low back hard and look forward, I usually dont have any problems with the bar rolling and whatnot

    Reply
  39. DOA

    SSB good mornings. havent gone above 165 for 10 reps. Typically stay at 135 for 3-5 x 10-15 and it has made my posterior alot strongr during squats and deadlifts.

    Reply
  40. Brandon

    I have a weird question regarding squats that came to mind… (possible physics?) :D
     
    Why do lighter weights, when squatted with speed, hold momentum and fly off the traps? Why would we not “jump” along with the weight, even slightly?
     
    This is all making me think more about how I perform the squat. How the force applied may differ between jumping and shoving/thrusting a barbell off the back. Should speed squatting light weights cause the feet to leave the floor?? (yes I realize actually jumping in the air with weight on the back might not be a best practice :D)
     
    (example: External )
    The_Thinker_Rodin-2.jpg

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  41. hastalles

    Physics, how does it work? :D The bar flying happens to me when the bar is carrying so much force (i think force might be the wrong term, but you get the idea) that it breaks through my ‘pulling down into my traps’ force. If you could glue the bar to your traps, your feet would leave the ground some amount on those reps instead.
     
    I think that’s accurate, somebody better at squatting AND at physics (RJorg?) correct me if I’m wrong. :D

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  42. Brandon

    What is it that makes the force different in a jump squat vs a normal squat of the same weight? I mean, I can either A: jump squat 225, or B: launch 225 off my traps by squatting slightly differently, and I’m not so sure the main differing factor is pulling the bar down onto the traps harder. Is it?

    Reply
  43. hastalles

    What is it that makes the force different in a jump squat vs a normal squat of the same weight? I mean, I can either A: jump squat 225, or B: launch 225 off my traps by squatting slightly differently, and I’m not so sure the main differing factor is pulling the bar down onto the traps harder. Is it?

     
    You know what, I think you’re right :o

    Try jumping without using your calves and see what happens. :o

    But it’s not just because of the extra force from your calves…. Try a jump with only your calves to test that theory out. Say you got 6 inches from the calf-less jump, and 2 inches from the calves only jump. Now do a normal jump. I’m guessing it was a little bit higher than 8 inches :D

    Someone please explain this :o

    What does this mean?! Squat on your toes? I’m confused. :D

    Reply
  44. RJorg

    If you were a rigid body, and fixed to the bar, then when you hit lockout the momentum of the bar would lift you up. How much depends on your weight, the bar weight, and the bar velocity when you hit lockout. Being compliant means that even if you were fixed to the bar, your body could extend some before your feet leave the ground.
     
    Just a fun thought experiment. I suppose you could do a real experiment. Jump squats are a thing, right?
     
    Edit: this is assuming that your technique doesn’t call for deceleration of the bar as it approached lockout. If velocity magnitude is near zero at the top then there is no launching of bar or body.

    Reply
  45. Speer

    It’s important to to develop tightness in the entire body, tension in the proper muscles, and get your body in proper position before you even unrack the bar. Once the bar is unrack maintain that tightness in your body. Set your feet, externally rotate the hips to create tension in the abductors to stabalisers the hip socket. Then you start the decent of the squat. If you don’t have that tension in the body before you squat it’s hard for the body to gain the proper tightness. The body will stabalise the weight however it can. Even if that means defaulting to bad positions ie. knees go into valgus collapse, hips anterior rotation, knees shooting far past toes, anterior femoral glide, and the femor interiorly rotating.

    Reply
  46. Dan Harrison

    Vaccuuming while squatting, bad idea. Heavy squats in the gym have injured me more than any other lift. I buld all my pro level power with banded box squats and Westside, as well as a lot of deadlift work. It’s funny, I’m more of a natural squatter but my deadlift doesn’t go up just because my squat does, it’s the other way around!
     
    RE: Knee wraps, Malanichev seems to put them on very lght at around 160kg! Then tighten them each set.
     
    For a safer and probably more effective alternative to regular squats, try pause squats. Coan’s favorite accessory lift to squats and no dangerous rebound at the bottom. I’m not sure which takes more of the hit with a rebound, the knees or the discs in the low back! I’ve damaged both from gym squats.
     
    In Strongman the 3 most important things are max overhead, max deadlift, and leg endurance. My training is now focused on those 3 things. I will do regular non-paused squats for high reps or pause squats for very explosive doubles.

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