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Barbell Squat form check

All Pain No Gain

Level 1 Valued Member
Hello all,

Hoping to get a form check for my Squat. Here is my previous form check.

The most important advice was that I needed to slow down and control my descent to consistently reach depth. Another issue was that my heels were coming up at the bottom of the squat (probably due to my basketball shoes). I worked on some pause squats and some pin-squats. Oh yes, and shoes! I got a pair of lifting shoes; however, they were the cheapest pair out there that I could afford.

I am wondering how the form looks now. And how do I improve it? I do think that my descent is a bit more controlled now. Should I get it even more slower?

Set 1 235 lbs 5 reps

Set 2 235 lbs 5 reps


Any ideas on this? - I have been having a sharp pain in the top of my fibulas (the right one is more noticeable and more concerning). It hurts when I squat, especially on the way up from the bottom. I tried taking two days off in between my squat sessions - when I do this, the pain goes away momentarily. But by the time I get to my second working set in my next session, the pain comes back. When I poke this spot, I can feel the pain a bit. I read in the Starting Strength forums that this might be caused due to the greater knee angle in the high-bar squat. I guess my question is, have any of you experienced such a case? If yes, what did you do? Not asking for medical advice, just your experience with this.
 

Hung

Level 7 Valued Member
Personally, I find it pretty good (I'm not an expert on squat technique). The only small thingI notice is when you breathe in I can only see your chest raise up so I cannot say that your breathing is effective or not.

About the pain, I dont know.
 

All Pain No Gain

Level 1 Valued Member
Personally, I find it pretty good (I'm not an expert on squat technique). The only small thingI notice is when you breathe in I can only see your chest raise up so I cannot say that your breathing is effective or not.

About the pain, I dont know.
Thanks for taking a look q.Hung. I noticed that too, that I am not bracing my belly enough.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
Descent speed looks better, yes... more controlled. I see a few more details to analyze but I'm on only a phone at the moment; will take another look when back at my computer.

Are these intended to be low bar, or high bar?
 

Daniel Vintila

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Your squats looks alright. There are a few things you can definitely do better.
Before going down into the squat breathe into your stomach, not chest (you can see your chest moving when you inhale) that will help you with abdominal tension and try to "bend the bar" by bringing your elbows down and forward a bit.
The descent is better but you could try to be more active and pull yourself down into the "hole".
I cannot tell for sure due to your big hoodie but it looks a bit like your hips are rising a bit too quick compared to your shoulders and you lose a bit that angle that is created by your hips and torso. To end your squat you use a lot of back muscles. If you pay attention on most reps on the last portion of the squat you bring your chest out, that's when you can see it. It could be that your back is stronger than your legs. As I said I am not 100% sure, due to the clothing.
Anyway overall is a good squat but with some minor improvements could get way better.
If you need any further help please let me know as I would be happy to help you.

For the fibula issue I cannot help you as I have never experienced or had a student that experienced that before.
 

All Pain No Gain

Level 1 Valued Member
Descent speed looks better, yes... more controlled. I see a few more details to analyze but I'm on only a phone at the moment; will take another look when back at my computer.

Are these intended to be low bar, or high bar?
Hello Anna, phew I was wondering when you would take a look at this. Yes, high bar squats. And thanks for taking a look.
 

william bad butt

Level 7 Valued Member
Do an internet search of "low bar" vs "high bar" squat. It seems like you are attempting to do low bar squat. Please confirm? You mentioned "starting strength" and they do low bar, FYI, I assume.
 

All Pain No Gain

Level 1 Valued Member
Do an internet search of "low bar" vs "high bar" squat. It seems like you are attempting to do low bar squat. Please confirm? You mentioned "starting strength" and they do low bar, FYI, I assume.
Hello william, yes I am aware of the types. I am doing high bar squats here, even though my torso angle is a bit horizontal, like that of a low bar. I have a greater knee angle and the bar sits on my traps - like the high bar version. Also, I lead with the chest and the head, which is again a feature of the high bar squat. If I try to get more upright (like the Oly lifters), I tend to fall backwards. This torso angle, regardless of the high bar or low bar barbell position, is the most comfortable for me. I guess you could say I should then probably switch to low bar. I am fairly new to lifting, so it could be the case that I started doing it incorrectly (i.e., with a rather horizontal torso angle) and got used to it.
 

william bad butt

Level 7 Valued Member
Hello william, yes I am aware of the types. I am doing high bar squats here, even though my torso angle is a bit horizontal, like that of a low bar. I have a greater knee angle and the bar sits on my traps - like the high bar version. Also, I lead with the chest and the head, which is again a feature of the high bar squat. If I try to get more upright (like the Oly lifters), I tend to fall backwards. This torso angle, regardless of the high bar or low bar barbell position, is the most comfortable for me. I guess you could say I should then probably switch to low bar. I am fairly new to lifting, so it could be the case that I started doing it incorrectly (i.e., with a rather horizontal torso angle) and got used to it.

OK. Ill let others respond. I feel very comfortable giving advice on the low bar squat but not necessarily the other one. But in general I think you are doing well. One minor thing is you need to get a lot tighter. Breath into your belly or groin ( groin not possible, just a cue). Everything should be braced and tight.

In terms of your knee pain... This is basic stuff but make sure your knees and toes are tracking and in alignment. Knees and toes should be pointing the same way. Keep those knees out on the ascent. Don't let them cave in at all.
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
+1 to @william bad butt Drive your knees out hard on the ascent. Some people practise this with some kind of band around their knees to give them something to work against (with lighter weights on the bar, naturally). It might make a big difference to your pain.

Also, cheap lifting shoes are fine. You don't need anything massively over-engineered to squat; Anything with a heel lift and a hard sole will work just fine. Squatting in anything with a cushioned sole is likely to impose greater demands on your stability and this in turn could upset your knees.
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
Your form looks okay to me, but if you want people to get really nit-picky about it, more angles is better. It looks like the knees bow inward and the hips twist slightly on the ascent and that's definitely not preferable. Again more angles would make it easier to tell. The pain is a concern.
 

All Pain No Gain

Level 1 Valued Member
Your squats looks alright. There are a few things you can definitely do better.
Before going down into the squat breathe into your stomach, not chest (you can see your chest moving when you inhale) that will help you with abdominal tension and try to "bend the bar" by bringing your elbows down and forward a bit.
The descent is better but you could try to be more active and pull yourself down into the "hole".
I cannot tell for sure due to your big hoodie but it looks a bit like your hips are rising a bit too quick compared to your shoulders and you lose a bit that angle that is created by your hips and torso. To end your squat you use a lot of back muscles. If you pay attention on most reps on the last portion of the squat you bring your chest out, that's when you can see it. It could be that your back is stronger than your legs. As I said I am not 100% sure, due to the clothing.
Anyway overall is a good squat but with some minor improvements could get way better.
If you need any further help please let me know as I would be happy to help you.

For the fibula issue I cannot help you as I have never experienced or had a student that experienced that before.
Hello Daniel,

Thanks for the form check. Really appreciate the feedback. I will work on the bracing part. I have noticed that I am mostly just breathing into my chest and not bracing my mid core. The hips rising thing could be due to me trying to drive with the hips as I get tired in the later reps. I will try to keep the torso angle consistent, thanks for pointing this out. Really helpful.
 

All Pain No Gain

Level 1 Valued Member
Your form looks okay to me, but if you want people to get really nit-picky about it, more angles is better. It looks like the knees bow inward and the hips twist slightly on the ascent and that's definitely not preferable. Again more angles would make it easier to tell. The pain is a concern.
Hey Boris, yes you're right my hips twist shifting my balance from both legs to a single leg. I just looked at a front angle video and that is definitely the case. Sometimes this happens because of the pain in my fibula, which causes me to push more with the other leg - shifting my balance. Oh god I didn't notice this before ... this is awful. Thanks for pointing this out. Although I have no idea how to correct this ...
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
Hello Anna, phew I was wondering when you would take a look at this. Yes, high bar squats. And thanks for taking a look.

I agree with what's been said so far. And some of what I see is just what it looks like when a low bar squatter switches to high bar. This was me as well, until I dialed into more of an Oly lifting high bar squat form. What helped me do that is watching a lot of weightlifters do their back squats on YouTube and Instagram, and absorbing more of that style. It's somewhat subtle -- I mean, it's still going down and up with the weight using full body tension but mostly legs and hips as prime movers... still a squat -- but the style affects the tension, effort, tempo, etc. Anyway, here are the 3 things I'd suggest to focus on specifically:
  • Initiate the descent with knees and hips together. Currently your initial emphasis is more on hips.
  • Better breathing as others have said for overall torso stiffness. And brace the abs hard for the entire duration. Like someone's going to punch you in the stomach.
  • Pick a focal point for your view -- straight out in front of you, and fix your gaze on it.
Good work -- keep it up!

As for the pain, balance, etc... I don't know on the pain, but don't push the weights until you know that's not making it worse. As for balance and shifting, put some focus directly on your feet and feel the pushing equally with both while keeping the weight mid-foot the whole time. That helps me.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Elite Certified Instructor
It's interesting when we see high bar and low bar technique mixed together - seems not to work very well.

Great if we could see a kettlebell goblet squat, just to see how squatting without a heavy weight works for you.

-S-
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor

Here's a set of squats I did a few years back.. please observe these two details

1. The walkout
2. How I inhale and my midsection expanding before initiating the descent. This helps you get and stay tight

Hope this helps
 
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