Help with my deadlift and squat form

frenchyrules

First Timer
I am 22 years old and weight 69 kg. I recently started squatting and deadlifting and upon filming myself and watching the footage I'm pretty sure I have a lot of room to improve. I tried asking some of the coaches at my gym and they say that my form is fine.

The squat is a regular high bar back squat, and I'm using sumo stance for the deadlift.



Also, back squats cause some slight discomfort in the lower back area, I suspect this is also due to my form. Deadlifts feel fine.
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Your squat looks great, IMO! Great depth, solid torso, good descent and ascent, good hip and knee position, the bar path is basically straight down and straight back up. The only thing I'd change is stand all the way up at the top between reps -- full knee and hip extension, with tight muscles supporting.

I think the deadlift looks good too. The third rep is the best. Your hips are a little high on rep 1 and 2 -- you can see that as soon as you start the lift, the hips rise just before the bar leaves the ground. Try starting with you hips just a bit higher, really get tight and shift your weight back towards your heels just a tiny bit so that the weight stays balanced over your mid foot. Several reps it looks like the weight is forward just a bit, which always makes the lift harder.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
I am 22 years old and weight 69 kg. I recently started squatting and deadlifting and upon filming myself and watching the footage I'm pretty sure I have a lot of room to improve. I tried asking some of the coaches at my gym and they say that my form is fine.

The squat is a regular high bar back squat, and I'm using sumo stance for the deadlift.



Also, back squats cause some slight discomfort in the lower back area, I suspect this is also due to my form. Deadlifts feel fine.
Realize that technical proficiency in these lifts takes time...and lots of practice. Also, technique is a very individual thing. I agree with @Anna C about the full extension at the top of the squat. This means being in a strong tight position. Also, it seems you may be trying too hard to maintain a vertical back as opposed to a flat back. The former causes you to arch way too hard, lose balance and bracing while the latter, while more bent forward, lets your body find the ideal bar path, straight up and down over midfoot. When I started squats, I used to divebomb them, just dropping as fast as possible and praying the rebound would get me back up. It wasn't until, thanks to Pavel, I started focusing on a nice tight descent, like loading a spring and allowing my body to find it's natural path and stack properly. Find your groove, a more controlled descent may help.

As for the deadlift, it looks pretty good, but in addition to Anna's tips, I think you may be shrugging at the top of some reps, using the shoulders to complete them instead of the hips. You basically want to anti shrug through the duration of the deadlift or "make your arms longer". This does a few things when executed properly. It tighten your lats and consequently your midsetion, stops you from trying to pull with your arms, and decreases the total ROM. A drive though of the hips makes the lockout more emphatic and absolute, and doesn't throw the task on smaller muscle groups and make the lift longer. The top should feel like a "static stomp", glutes and legs pressed into the floor and upper torso and abdominals locked.
 

Bill Been

More than 500 posts
Nice job, my young friend!

Fine tuning your squat: lean over a bit more on the descent. See how your back angle changes to slightly more horizontal or "bent over" as you begin to stand back up? That's the angle you're looking for on the way down. Assuming that back angle on the descent will eliminate the need for a back angle change coming out of the hole as well as all the potential that holds for messing up your balance.

Fine tuning for the Deadlift: you're setting up a bit too far from the bar and the whole movement is taking place with you on your toes. This is causing what Anna correctly noted - your hips rise as you begin the pull because you start with them too low and the bar too far forward on your foot. Much like the above point about the squat, your body is assuming the position it NEEDS to assume for the pull. You may as well strive for that position in your setup. Put the bar over your mid-foot when you approach the bar. Reach down without squatting down and take your grip. Push your knees/shins forward to the bar. This sequence will set your hips at that very height they are attaining as you begin the pull in your video. See how they rise 3-4 inches? At this moment you personally may need to rock back off your toes a little bit. I see that when your hips rise, your shoulders move forward to a position that's a little bit too far forward. Setting up as I just described including rocking back off your toes right before you pull, then simply dragging the bar up up your shins to lockout, will make the movement feel both better-balanced and "shorter".

Very well done. This is an excellent basis for beginning a comprehensive strength training program without concerns about "am I doing this right?".
 

Bill Been

More than 500 posts
Why, after giving a detailed set of instructions and corrections for "fine-tuning," this?



-S-
I don't understand what you're asking here, Steve.

I usually assume that a guy who wants form checks for his barbell back squat and deadlift is about to start or has started what I call a "comprehensive" strength program.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
It sounds like you're saying that "concerns about doing it right" are a bad thing.

-S-
 

Bill Been

More than 500 posts
Oh, I see what you mean.

No, I agree with you wholeheartedly that people are very correct to be concerned about their form on all manner of lifts.

That concern, however, very often prevents people - out of an abundance of caution - to conclude that they're "not ready" to begin a comprehensive, focused, progressively-loaded barbell (for example) strength program. My phraseology was not very good, but my intent was to convey to frenchyrules that his form was very convincingly in the "safe" category and he could proceed without concern that he was doing something fundamentally wrong or potentially injurious. Like your deadlift, I can pick out things that can be improved, but both are a long way from dangerous, especially if I could convince you to stop exhaling at lockout.

Hahahahahahaha!!!!! I crack me up!!!!
 

Robert Noftz

Triple-Digit Post Count
I am 22 years old and weight 69 kg. I recently started squatting and deadlifting and upon filming myself and watching the footage I'm pretty sure I have a lot of room to improve. I tried asking some of the coaches at my gym and they say that my form is fine.

The squat is a regular high bar back squat, and I'm using sumo stance for the deadlift.



Also, back squats cause some slight discomfort in the lower back area, I suspect this is also due to my form. Deadlifts feel fine.
It would probably be a good idea to work with a Strongfirst Instructor at a seminar or with personal training. I just had my first lesson today with an instructor at a gym. I wish I would have done it from the beginning. I could tell after one lesson that her instruction will help me avoid strain on my lower back and also utilize my strength more efficiently. It was about an hour and twenty-minute drive one way, but it was worth it.
I spent time reading descriptions in books and watching videos, but it just wasn't enough. I was having some issues with lower back strain after I deadlifted and sometimes after squatting. Also, I thought my squat was more low bar than it really was. On a spectrum of high and low it was probably high by most standards. I thought I was demonstrating my low bar squat to the instructor and she said it was a nice looking high bar squat. She then proceeded to show me some things that I didn't know. There is only some much you can see on your own.
BTW, I posted this same reply to a post someone else made.
 
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