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Barbell DL & Squat Form Check

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
I agree, super solid on both!

Most people like to look out for deadlift. You might experiment with you gaze, maybe 12 feet in front of you, not hyperextending the neck but looking up through your eyebrows at the start and keeping your eyes fixed on that spot through the lift.

Your deadlift lockout position could be a bit more solid and strong, but it's adequate. Have you experimented with hook grip, or mixed grip? Do you do double overhand with no straps for your lighter sets? It's a good idea to build your grip as much as possible along with the rest of your strength. Straps are OK for some purposes, but don't use them if you don't have to.

Nice job on squats. There's so much that can go wrong with these, but you seem to have avoided most common pitfalls! Your set-up is good, your depth is perfect, and your back is super tight and solid, which fixes so much.
 

Hardartery

Level 5 Valued Member
I think the Deads looked just fine. You're dragging the thighs slightly, which is good, and you're keeping the shoulders back and maintaining a good position. I don't see so much positive in the squats. Your hips come up before your shoulders, causing a slight Goodmorning action. You are leaning so far forward that I'm surprised your heels didn't lift off. If you did video from the side I'm betting that the bar path is very forward, possibly past the toes at points. That is a mechanically inferior groove. I could tell you to sit back, and probably spark a cluster of argument, but it is what it is. Sit back. You are using your back and not your legs to perform the lift, and the part that your legs do manage to help with are quads and calves. You don't appear to be getting any glute or hamstring involvement. It looks like a bad Deadlift with the bar on your shoulders instead of in your hands. Try to get the weight onto your heels, I'm guessing if you focus on that you will at least get the weight in the middle of your foot instead of pushing off of your toes.
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
I totally disagree w. your assessment. It's a low bar squat and his hips are not rising faster than his upper back. If any GMing is present, it's almost nonexistent.
 

william bad butt

Level 7 Valued Member
I agree with everyone else's comments. Good job on the squat. Off to a really good start. But I also agree that you could sit back a bit more. I like to visualize pushing my a#@ backwards to initiate the lift. When I review the video of my squats, I pay attention to see of my shins are perpendicular with the ground. Use your hips! Initiate the move with your hips. You are doing this! Just experiment doing it a lil more.

Great job!

Regards,

Eric

- fyi I am not a qualified trainer. Everything I say is just based on my personal experience with me and the few friends I've helped over the years.
 

Reardon55

Level 5 Valued Member
I think the Deads looked just fine. You're dragging the thighs slightly, which is good, and you're keeping the shoulders back and maintaining a good position. I don't see so much positive in the squats. Your hips come up before your shoulders, causing a slight Goodmorning action. You are leaning so far forward that I'm surprised your heels didn't lift off. If you did video from the side I'm betting that the bar path is very forward, possibly past the toes at points. That is a mechanically inferior groove. I could tell you to sit back, and probably spark a cluster of argument, but it is what it is. Sit back. You are using your back and not your legs to perform the lift, and the part that your legs do manage to help with are quads and calves. You don't appear to be getting any glute or hamstring involvement. It looks like a bad Deadlift with the bar on your shoulders instead of in your hands. Try to get the weight onto your heels, I'm guessing if you focus on that you will at least get the weight in the middle of your foot instead of pushing off of your toes.
I thought the first two squats looked fine. On the third, i agree with @Hardartery, the hips definitely are rising faster than the shoulders at the start. And on the fourth, especially so. I’d keep the load and reps down to where you groove that second rep pattern.
 

minaam

Level 2 Valued Member
Most people like to look out for deadlift. You might experiment with you gaze, maybe 12 feet in front of you, not hyperextending the neck but looking up through your eyebrows at the start and keeping your eyes fixed on that spot through the lift.

Your deadlift lockout position could be a bit more solid and strong, but it's adequate. Have you experimented with hook grip, or mixed grip? Do you do double overhand with no straps for your lighter sets? It's a good idea to build your grip as much as possible along with the rest of your strength. Straps are OK for some purposes, but don't use them if you don't have to.
Thanks @Anna C! I will definitely experiment with my gaze and see how that goes. As for grip, I haven't had much success with a hook grip. I've got pretty small hands. As for a mixed grip, I tend to corkscrew a little and can't activate my lats as much as I would like to. For now, I've settled on a double overhand for my warm ups and straps for my top set.
Your hips come up before your shoulders, causing a slight Goodmorning action. You are leaning so far forward that I'm surprised your heels didn't lift off. If you did video from the side I'm betting that the bar path is very forward, possibly past the toes at points. That is a mechanically inferior groove.
Thanks for your feedback @Hardartery! There seems to be some conflicting advice online as to the ideal way to initiate the ascent. The folks at Starting Strength argue that you should initiate the ascent by driving up with your hips and allowing the slight shift in back angle that comes with this. This will also usually result in the knees pulling slightly back. The folks at Juggernaut Training Systems argue that the back angle should remain constant and that the knees should remain locked in place for the first third of the ascent. I'm not sure what's taught at SFL. @Anna C, would you be able to shed some light on this, given that you've attended SFL and are also familiar with SS?
I thought the first two squats looked fine. On the third, i agree with @Hardartery, the hips definitely are rising faster than the shoulders at the start. And on the fourth, especially so. I’d keep the load and reps down to where you groove that second rep pattern.
Thanks @Reardon55! I hit the right safety pin on the third rep which threw me off. I remember feeling the weight moving towards my toes and struggling to bring it back over mid-foot.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
There seems to be some conflicting advice online as to the ideal way to initiate the ascent. The folks at Starting Strength argue that you should initiate the ascent by driving up with your hips and allowing the slight shift in back angle that comes with this. This will also usually result in the knees pulling slightly back. The folks at Juggernaut Training Systems argue that the back angle should remain constant and that the knees should remain locked in place for the first third of the ascent. I'm not sure what's taught at SFL. @Anna C, would you be able to shed some light on this, given that you've attended SFL and are also familiar with SS?
I think that most systems know and teach that a consistent back angle for the lower part of the squat on both descent and ascent is ideal. Where you see the hips come up first with Starting Strength is an overemphasis on the hip drive concept. A bit of the "good morning" effect (hips rising before shoulders) is often tolerated in the beginning to make sure the lifter really "gets" this feeling and intent of driving up with the hips with a low bar squat (which, incidentally, goes along with many other components of the Starting Strength squat model such as exact bar placement, gaze, stance, grip -- all factors which may be different with other methods/models and therefore detract from the effectiveness of the hip drive concept). But the "slight shift in back angle that comes with this" (driving with the hips) IS an error that should be corrected, even with Starting Strength. Yours isn't that extreme, is most noticeable on rep 3 and 4 as others noted, and you've got other reps that are good, so you know what it should be. They "master cue" for the SS low bar squat is mid-foot balance, so a focus there can sometimes fix what else is wrong during reps provided the back is good and stiff and the set-up is correct, which yours is.

The knees in place is a bit trickier... obviously knees are connected to hips with a fixed length bone called the femur so the hip movement will affect the knee location... but there are a few other confounders there such as the degree to which the knees are shoved out that makes this a little harder to declare exactly where the knees should be during the ascent. I like to have them fixed in place for the lower part of the squat, myself, but I do see a lot of SS lifters have that backwards shift on ascent. Bar path should be pretty straight from the side, so that can be another clue as to overall efficiency and balance.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I thought the first two squats looked fine. On the third, i agree with @Hardartery, the hips definitely are rising faster than the shoulders at the start. And on the fourth, especially so. I’d keep the load and reps down to where you groove that second rep pattern.

@minaam, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

On your third and fourth squats, you're also dropping the bar on the right side and/or lifting it faster on the left.

It also looks to me like you could carry the bar lower than you are.

-S-
 

minaam

Level 2 Valued Member
I think that most systems know and teach that a consistent back angle for the lower part of the squat on both descent and ascent is ideal. Where you see the hips come up first with Starting Strength is an overemphasis on the hip drive concept. A bit of the "good morning" effect (hips rising before shoulders) is often tolerated in the beginning to make sure the lifter really "gets" this feeling and intent of driving up with the hips with a low bar squat (which, incidentally, goes along with many other components of the Starting Strength squat model such as exact bar placement, gaze, stance, grip -- all factors which may be different with other methods/models and therefore detract from the effectiveness of the hip drive concept). But the "slight shift in back angle that comes with this" (driving with the hips) IS an error that should be corrected, even with Starting Strength. Yours isn't that extreme, is most noticeable on rep 3 and 4 as others noted, and you've got other reps that are good, so you know what it should be. They "master cue" for the SS low bar squat is mid-foot balance, so a focus there can sometimes fix what else is wrong during reps provided the back is good and stiff and the set-up is correct, which yours is.

The knees in place is a bit trickier... obviously knees are connected to hips with a fixed length bone called the femur so the hip movement will affect the knee location... but there are a few other confounders there such as the degree to which the knees are shoved out that makes this a little harder to declare exactly where the knees should be during the ascent. I like to have them fixed in place for the lower part of the squat, myself, but I do see a lot of SS lifters have that backwards shift on ascent. Bar path should be pretty straight from the side, so that can be another clue as to overall efficiency and balance.
Thanks so much for the clarification on this!

welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

On your third and fourth squats, you're also dropping the bar on the right side and/or lifting it faster on the left.

It also looks to me like you could carry the bar lower than you are.

-S-
Thanks for the warm welcome, Steve. You're definitely right about letting the bar drop on the right side, hence me hitting the safety on my third rep.

As for the bar placement, I'll see if I can get it any lower. At the moment, it does feel like it almost falls into place on the "shelf," as I hear it so often described.
 

Chase Hines

Level 5 Valued Member
DL looks good. I’d avoid using the straps when possible.

SQ looks good. I agree with @Steve Freides on bar placement. It looks like it could be a bit lower. That may even put you in a better grove/position. Play around with it to see what feels the best.
 
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