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My Squatting Technique
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Gugooi

http://tinyurl.com/3bufcy

I'd be happy to hear your comments, not only about the spotter and the grunting situation :-).

Thanks,
Guy
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hdlifter

Great form. I like how far back you have the bar seated on your shoulders. That aligns your spine nicely, and it shows how well you rotate around the bar on the ascent. I am self trained, it took me 18 years to learn to squat properly -- void of a block of wood under my heels that was all the rage in the 70's and early 80's. Keep it up, looks like you'll be handling some monster weights soon... and I want to see it when you squat 400#!
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Ciccio

If anything, you should go deeper and turn around a bit further away from the lockout (a bit difficult to see from this angle). This will make the exercise harder and thus more productive.
Rest is close to perfect like HDlifter wrote already.

Franco
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henry_bordeaux

Gugooi,

your thigh bone should always be in line with your foot during the squat. your thigh bone is coming in when you lower, along with your knees and lower leg. you have to keep your knees out. the form you're practicing now will over time put to much stress on your knees and eventually lead to injury.



Henry
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shlevon

Imho you're still well above parallel (defined as the crease of the hip going below a plane horizontal with the top of the knee), if that's important to you.

Also, as a poster above said, make sure that your knees are in line with your toes in the same vertical plain.

I'd also strongly encourage you to watch the following on squat form:

http://video.google.com/...1744&q=dan+john

Pay particular attention to his comments on the differences between squatting between the legs versus squatting on top of the legs. It's the key to squatting deep safely, imho.
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T-Revelations

I was impressed with your form on the first few repetitions....maybe the first 4 or 5. After that your range of motion progressively decreased until your final rep. I would like to compliment you on keeping your lower back strongly arched during the whole set, which is certainly a good thing.

My suggestion would be to drop the weight so that you could complete the set (in this case 12 reps) with the same depth on every repetition. Strive for at least parallel with your lower back arched. Judging from the video you certainly have the flexibility to do this if the weight is decreased.
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rtestes

Mississippi, USA

How I wish Dr. Darden would say get with Drew and produce a good squat video that shows proper form for a HIT squat, one carried to failure. maybe done with two cameras. We have never seen one. Why not? it would only take a few minutes and post on youtube.

Do it before Florida is covered with water and it is too late. Say next week.
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Gugooi

Thank you for all your comments.

I did notice that I hadn't been keeping my knees "out" during that set and I will try to emphasize it on the next workout I'll perform squats.

However, you must take into consideration I have X legs, so there's a limit to this as well, unless I join a near Ballet group.

As important as keeping the knees out may be, I'm glad I was able to keep my back arched during that set, since I don't have much flexibility in my glutes and hams.

About going lower than parallel - I can't without rounding my back, so until I'm more flexible it won't be an option.

Again, thanks for your intelligent comments and concern. I appreciate it.

Guy
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HrothgarRannulfr

Ohio, USA

rtestes wrote:
How I wish Dr. Darden would say get with Drew and produce a good squat video that shows proper form for a HIT squat, one carried to failure. maybe done with two cameras. We have never seen one. Why not? it would only take a few minutes and post on youtube.

Do it before Florida is covered with water and it is too late. Say next week.

Good idea.

There should be a New HIT Revolution Instructional DVD Series that instructs and demonstrates all the essential exercises and shows a complete properly performed HIT workout.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Gugooi wrote:
http://tinyurl.com/3bufcy

I'd be happy to hear your comments, not only about the spotter and the grunting situation :-).

Thanks,
Guy


Gugooi,

Just saw the video; you're close enough to parallel and not rounding your back (good) so I wouldn't worry about going deeper just yet.

Instead, I think you should focus on moving up and down in the same plane (in a straight path); a board under your heels can help with this. Currently you're combining a partial good morning movement with the squat - this both reduces the load on the hams and quads and can cause an injury as you go progressively heavier - going deeper right now will just cause you to do more of a good morning and less of a squat.

I think a greater ROM is secondary and perfect form (straight up and down) at whatever depth you can achieve it should come first - even if it means you have to reduce your current ROM by half.


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Gugooi

Tomislav wrote:

I think you should focus on moving up and down in the same plane (in a straight path); a board under your heels can help with this.



Tomislav,

I never thought of it as a proper form problem, since my torso is long and I have relatively short legs (I'm 1.87 with inseam of 88cm)and I always believed that I bend forward because of this.

From what I know, placing a board under my heels would shift my center of gravity forward, and eventually place more strain on my knees.

What would you say about that?

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Paul25

Hi, I would NEVER put a board under the heels unless you want more % risk of injuring your kness.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Gugooi wrote:
Tomislav wrote:

I think you should focus on moving up and down in the same plane (in a straight path); a board under your heels can help with this.



Tomislav,

I never thought of it as a proper form problem, since my torso is long and I have relatively short legs (I'm 1.87 with inseam of 88cm)and I always believed that I bend forward because of this.

From what I know, placing a board under my heels would shift my center of gravity forward, and eventually place more strain on my knees.

What would you say about that?


Gugooi,

Form is paramount; Henry's comment on form is also correct, although I had to watch the video a second time to see that (less pronounced than the good morning inclusion).

Try the board - you will see that although it looks like it might encourage you to lean forward, the effect is the opposite (physics) and it will actually tend to force you to go up and down in a straight line and drop the good morning movement.

I also prefer to squat with a shoulder width stance and my feet straight, but the wider toes out stance is preferred by many (squating shoe may work better for elevation with such a stance) - you might want to experiment with both and see what feels more bio-mechanically correct for you.

Paul25,

Why do you believe this to be so? Thought it was disproven some time ago; Squatting shoes have a built in heel for just this reason (same as using a board).




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kurtvf

Paul25 wrote:
Hi, I would NEVER put a board under the heels unless you want more % risk of injuring your kness.


Where did you hear this? This nonsense should have died out with idea that lifting weights made you slow and clumsy and that if you stop training muscle turns to fat. I guess some things never change.

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davise

Stuart McRobert is greatly against putting a board under your feet. Lots of other HIT type trainer are too. What I don't understand is why anyone can't squat flat footed? If you can't you have very poor flexibility and need to address that.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

rtestes wrote:
How I wish Dr. Darden would say get with Drew and produce a good squat video that shows proper form for a HIT squat, one carried to failure. maybe done with two cameras. We have never seen one. Why not? it would only take a few minutes and post on youtube.

Do it before Florida is covered with water and it is too late. Say next week.



I'm sure something could be worked out.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

davise wrote:
Stuart McRobert is greatly against putting a board under your feet. Lots of other HIT type trainer are too. What I don't understand is why anyone can't squat flat footed? If you can't you have very poor flexibility and need to address that.


If your foot placement and form are correct you should not need to use a board or anything to prop up your heels unless you have very, very inflexible ankles.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Drew Baye wrote:
If your foot placement and form are correct you should not need to use a board or anything to prop up your heels unless you have very, very inflexible ankles.


Hi Drew,

Been using the board for nearly 20 years; are you suggesting there is only one proper foot placement for squatting? I keep my feet pointing straight and shoulder width apart - I imagine you endorse a wider, toes out stance (think both are fine).

I think my ankles are not "very, very inflexible", rather extra flexible, here's why:

I only squat once every 10 or 20 days, but in the warmer months I do a lot of nature walks and mountain climbing - always wearing roman sandals; I think this makes your ankles more flexible and that a hiking boot actually immobilizes your ankle.

I also do some dinasour style training for fun when I play football - I throw a 200 lb friend over either shoulder and run for about 30-40 feet.

I know you've done a tremendous amount of research so I have a controversial question for you on tendon hypertrophy - do you think it is possible from training, and if so would you happen to recall any references (articles, books, url)?

From my personal experience I think it can happen - but the only research I've seen supporting this is very odd, suggesting it's only possible at a young age if you grew up on a farm running around barefoot (incidentally I actually did, but I still think that idea is silly - that it would have more to do with training).

Here's what happened:

Several years ago I was engaging in the aforementioned football fun and caught my foot in the turf (it was frozen) - went straight down with 400 lbs of friends on my shoulders and loud snap - broke a bone in my foot.

I was walking around fine afterwards though, and could feel the bone move only if I jumped hard or ran really fast (actually kept playing football for a bit right afterwards before I decided I better stop); when I went to the podiatrist he took some x-rays, called another dr over, then another and finally shared the topic of the conversation with me (I was getting worried at that point) - he said that they had never seen tendons (and ligaments? don't remember) that thick, and that most people with much less severe damage wouldn't be able to walk at all, explained that the reason I couldn't even feel the damage when walking normally was because the thick tendons were holding my foot together perfectly. He had some trouble deciding if I should wear the blue shoe and they finally told me to wear it for x amount of time (I wore it for a day and threw it out since it seemed he really didn't think I needed it and it was messing up my stride).

Thus my question - do you think it's possible the tendon hypertrophy was a result of:

1. My training; the heavy squats, the dinasour stuff or the mountain climbing in sandals (if so, which would be more likely to contribute?)

2. The odd research was actually correct and it was only because I grew up on a farm and run around barefoot at a young age.

(Please don't say genetics).







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BloodandGuts

Gugooi wrote:
http://tinyurl.com/3bufcy

I'd be happy to hear your comments, not only about the spotter and the grunting situation :-).

Thanks,
Guy


Guy, pick up a copy of the book "Starting Strength" and learn proper squatting technique. Mark Rippetoe devotes 50 pages just on the squat including common and not so common problems with form and technique.
Believe me, after reading it, you will realize you need a lot of work on it.
(I did too and still do!!) This is meant as constructive criticism, so please dont take it as an insult!
Your feet and knees are wrong, your hip depth is way too shallow and your spotter should NEVER, ever pull you up by your abdomen!
(think about what can happen to your lower back if someone pulls your abs in!)
anyone who tells you to worry about hip depth later is giving you bad advice. Hip depth is of the utmost importance for a proper SAFE squat. Yours didnt ever drop below the line of your knees which means your hams and glutes are not allowed to stretch fully which means they arent building in enough tightness which means your knees take the brunt of the load at the bottom of your reps. Couple that with the fact that you arent keeping your knees in line with your feet and you're asking for trouble down the road or possible sooner!
Some will tell you, "hey i dont go below parallel and my knees are fine" and that may be so, but are you willing to risk injury or tendon probelms just because someone else didnt have them?
beyond that you will get a ton more benefit out of the movement by doing it properly so again, I urge you to get a copy of that book. You'll be glad you did!!

regards,
B&G
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shlevon

Have to second the recommendation for Starting Strength. Best description of proper/safe squatting form I've seen to date.
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tc16

First of all, to be able to put a video of yourself actually exercising needs some kudos.

Depending on what rep/cadence your going for, I would say to slow it down a little and go for 3/3, judging by the clock its about 2 secs max both pos and neg, also a pause in the contracted position really helps. Just an observation not meant to be a critisism in any way.

Good work.

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Mr. Strong

I have just watched your video. The form was terrible. The range of movement was too short. There was also a lack of intensity, you were about 2 weeks short of failure when you ended the set. And what the hell was that guy doing behind you?
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Tomislav

New York, USA

BloodandGuts wrote:
anyone who tells you to worry about hip depth later is giving you bad advice.

Hi B&G,
You are referring to my advice, curious how you can say it's wrong while explaining that you are still learning how to squat:

(I did too and still do!!)

Take that to it's logical conclusion and when you have finished learning how to squat (no longer learning how) you may come to a different conclusion.

All else being equal, squatting to parallel is much easier on the knees than deep squatting; and in practice many people have form problems deep squatting compared to squatting to parallel.

Hip depth is of the utmost importance for a proper SAFE squat. Yours didnt ever drop below the line of your knees...

This is also unsubstantiated; again, people tend to break form with deep squats more than with squatting to parallel.

Some will tell you, "hey i dont go below parallel and my knees are fine" and that may be so, but are you willing to risk injury or tendon probelms just because someone else didnt have them?

I think not going below parallel and using a board are both techniques to ensure safe squatting and to avoid injury or tendon problems - you've attacked going to parallel as less safe, and Drew has explained that using a board is also unsafe - may cause "very, very inflexible ankles" (ie, tendon atrophy); as Drew is an exercise scientist with many years of training and research I'm interested in hearing him substantiate this and have provided targeted personal experience to the contrary to discuss.

In your case, I would refer back to your previous quote of still learning how to squat; about 15 years ago I exceeded 405x20 (yes only to parallel) and have only squatted heavier and/or more reps since then - injury free progression with heavy weights for so long belies your claim as well; you squat heavy and wrong for just a couple of years and you're going to get an injury.

I hope you will stay injury free in your quest to learn to squat.
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davise

One of the most neglected muscles by everybody are the ones running down the front of the shin. In addition to full ROM calf raises maybe a dorsiflexion exercise with full range of motion might help.

Even though I think most of us get enough stretching from weight training maybe in your case hanging your ankles off a curb or step and also sitting into a full bodyweight squat and holding for 30 seconds several times during the day might help.

When I was overseas (Korea) I was amazed that people would gather in a circle and sit and talk while in a full squat position instead of sitting in a chair or sitting on the ground. Some of these folks were over 70 years of age and didn't appear to have any knee issues.
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Paul25

kurtvf wrote:
Paul25 wrote:
Hi, I would NEVER put a board under the heels unless you want more % risk of injuring your kness.

Where did you hear this? This nonsense should have died out with idea that lifting weights made you slow and clumsy and that if you stop training muscle turns to fat. I guess some things never change.



Stuart Mcrobert and Brooks Kubink just to name a few well known trainers say so m8 and I take thier opinion highly more than you!

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