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  1. #1
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    Squat form check

    Hi guys,

    Could you please critique my form? I used to have low back pain in the past when squatting, which is thankfully now gone. However I'm getting middle back pain now, which feels spinal rather then muscular. Considering the pain I'm experiencing, I wanted to ensure I perfect the form.

    Also, any ideas of what the mid-back pain may actually be and what's causing it?

    Please see the videos below. In one of them I'm pausing at the bottom (while the weight is still light at the beggining of the program) and in the other video I'm pausing both at the bottom and half way.

    1. Squat form check - pause at the bottom and half way
    https://youtube.com/shorts/opyVxdPLRxM?feature=share
    2. Squat form check - pause at the bottom
    https://youtube.com/shorts/02X-NCutSh4?feature=share

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    You're not bracing properly. Your back extends as you lower.
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    No air at all



    Your stance is overly close for your build, while we can squat with varying widths you're not giving your hips any room to open, and this is resulting in lots of knee travel forward and no depth.
    Take the feet out a bit and "open your taint".

    Could probably do with keeping head neutral and not looking up, It's not the biggest deal but the head tends to lead the rest of the body and craning your neck up will likely not help neutralize the core.

    Can't see any reason to ever pause halfway up like that.

    Probably want to ditch the running shoes.

    It's a lot to work through, but the good news is you've got tonnes of progress to make just on technical gains
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    Registered User Fitsy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    No air at all



    Your stance is overly close for your build, while we can squat with varying widths you're not giving your hips any room to open, and this is resulting in lots of knee travel forward and no depth.
    Take the feet out a bit and "open your taint".

    Could probably do with keeping head neutral and not looking up, It's not the biggest deal but the head tends to lead the rest of the body and craning your neck up will likely not help neutralize the core.

    Can't see any reason to ever pause halfway up like that.

    Probably want to ditch the running shoes.

    It's a lot to work through, but the good news is you've got tonnes of progress to make just on technical gains
    Thanks heaps mate! So next time I'll try not to look up, feet wider, brace properly, squat barefoot.

    I'll post soon another video for your feedback if that's ok 😀

    Am I going deep enough?

    Am I over arching?
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    Am I going deep enouugh?
    You're high on all reps.

    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    Am I over arching?
    You're not supposed to arch.
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    Registered User Fitsy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    You're high on all reps.



    You're not supposed to arch.
    Thanks mate. Do you suggest going all the way down? I believe im just hitting parallel now, sligthly below.

    What's the best way to prevent l5-s1 from reinjury? I thought keeping that lower arch would help.
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    Thanks heaps mate! So next time I'll try not to look up, feet wider, brace properly, squat barefoot.

    I'll post soon another video for your feedback if that's ok 😀

    Am I going deep enough?

    Am I over arching?
    Haha yeah, but take 1 fix at a time if you need too, it'll feel weird changing things at first.

    No and yes a little, but the above things will sort out all that, specifically bracing and foot position will sort depth and neutralize the torso
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Haha yeah, but take 1 fix at a time if you need too, it'll feel weird changing things at first.

    No and yes a little, but the above things will sort out all that, specifically bracing and foot position will sort depth and neutralize the torso
    Hey mate, I tried changing a few things as discussed. Please see the video below. What do you think?

    It seems like I have butt wink at the bottom which concerns me due to serious l5-s1 injury. Is this usual?

    https://youtu.be/rDkyHnTvQis
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    Hey mate, I tried changing a few things as discussed. Please see the video below. What do you think?

    It seems like I have butt wink at the bottom which concerns me due to serious l5-s1 injury. Is this usual?

    https://youtu.be/rDkyHnTvQis
    Pretty solid improvement.
    Keep working on the bracing, try unlocking hips slight at the start before you descend.

    But twink alone isn't a mechanic for injury.
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    You're not bracing properly. Your back extends as you lower.
    This. You look flimsy like a noodle.

    You need to take a big gulp of air and hold it in your gut
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post

    What's the best way to prevent l5-s1 from reinjury? I thought keeping that lower arch would help.
    No

    It's not as bad as rounding - but can lead to rounding because you can't maintain that position at the bottom of the movement. Your spine will move - and lumbar movement under load is the worst.

    Better to keep back fixed straight. Think about pulling shoulders back but without raising your chest - and think about pulling abs back towards your spine at the same time.
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Pretty solid improvement.
    Keep working on the bracing, try unlocking hips slight at the start before you descend.

    But twink alone isn't a mechanic for injury.
    Thanks mate! What do you mean by unlocking the hips?

    Next time I'll take a bigger breath and tense abs even more.
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    Thanks mate! What do you mean by unlocking the hips?

    Next time I'll take a bigger breath and tense abs even more.


    This is an exaggeration to make the point, doesn't need to be a huge movement.
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    What's the best way to prevent l5-s1 from reinjury? I thought keeping that lower arch would help.
    You can injure yourself this way too with heavy weight. Try to keep spine neutral/natural.
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    Originally Posted by Ironface View Post
    This. You look flimsy like a noodle.

    You need to take a big gulp of air and hold it in your gut
    Thanks my man, I'll try better next time!
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    You can injure yourself this way too with heavy weight. Try to keep spine neutral/natural.
    Will do, thanks mate!
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    No

    It's not as bad as rounding - but can lead to rounding because you can't maintain that position at the bottom of the movement. Your spine will move - and lumbar movement under load is the worst.

    Better to keep back fixed straight. Think about pulling shoulders back but without raising your chest - and think about pulling abs back towards your spine at the same time.
    And the best way to prevent rounding is to take a big breath in and squeeze abs?
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    No

    It's not as bad as rounding - but can lead to rounding because you can't maintain that position at the bottom of the movement. Your spine will move - and lumbar movement under load is the worst.

    Better to keep back fixed straight. Think about pulling shoulders back but without raising your chest - and think about pulling abs back towards your spine at the same time.
    Thanks mate. Do I need to consciously focus on maintaining lumbar spine neutral at the bottom? Or is that achieved automatically by bracing and not going lower than the point where my low back rounds (determined by my own mobility)?

    I'm very concerned that I may re-injure my lumbar region as I have a herniated L5-S1 disc. Doctor said never squat, by screw that
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    Thanks mate. Do I need to consciously focus on maintaining lumbar spine neutral at the bottom? Or is that achieved automatically by bracing and not going lower than the point where my low back rounds (determined by my own mobility)?

    I'm very concerned that I may re-injure my lumbar region as I have a herniated L5-S1 disc. Doctor said never squat, by screw that ������
    Yes. This is about muscular coordination - which is a learned thing. I had the same issue - over extending - leading to buttwink at the bottom.
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    What do you guys think about my form from today?

    https://youtu.be/Mrcl0hJaxUU
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post


    This is an exaggeration to make the point, doesn't need to be a huge movement.
    What do you think about this mate?


    https://youtu.be/Mrcl0hJaxUU
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    It does look a lot better. Perhaps you could go a little deeper - try it and see if you can without losing lower back position

    I don't know what your usual training load is but the next test will be to try more and see if you can still maintain form.
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    What do you think about this mate?


    https://youtu.be/Mrcl0hJaxUU
    That looks good mate. Some people may say you're slightly too high but unless you're planning on powerlifting that doesn't matter. You'll be hitting your quads well doing them like that
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    It does look a lot better. Perhaps you could go a little deeper - try it and see if you can without losing lower back position

    I don't know what your usual training load is but the next test will be to try more and see if you can still maintain form.
    Thanks mate. I'm very cautious how deep i go because of bulging disc. I do think that this is the deepest i can go before i start rounding my back. I'll give it a go though.

    I think weightlifting shoes helped a bit as i round my back a bit less i think.
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    @WolfRose7
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    What do you guys think about my form from today?

    https://youtu.be/Mrcl0hJaxUU
    Night and day compared to the start of this thread.
    Huge improvement in a short amount of time mate, well done.

    Kepp at the cues, especially tightness and air and keep it going as you add weight.
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Night and day compared to the start of this thread.
    Huge improvement in a short amount of time mate, well done.

    Kepp at the cues, especially tightness and air and keep it going as you add weight.
    That's good to know, appreciate it mate!

    Would you be able to comment on my friends form as well? He just started doing squats and I'm not the best person to help him. Please see below.

    https://youtu.be/Mq1gE1Xe5I8
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    What do you think about this mate?


    https://youtu.be/Mrcl0hJaxUU
    This is much better
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    That's good to know, appreciate it mate!

    Would you be able to comment on my friends form as well? He just started doing squats and I'm not the best person to help him. Please see below.

    https://youtu.be/Mq1gE1Xe5I8
    Too light to assess much, just get him to watch the breathing and bracing stuff as well and practice getting big air.
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Too light to assess much, just get him to watch the breathing and bracing stuff as well and practice getting big air.
    Thanks bro, I'll let him know!
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    Originally Posted by Fitsy View Post
    That's good to know, appreciate it mate!

    Would you be able to comment on my friends form as well? He just started doing squats and I'm not the best person to help him. Please see below.

    https://youtu.be/Mq1gE1Xe5I8
    I'd make your friend aware of the below as he works on form and adds weight to the bar, since they may become bigger issues:

    - Pretty sure the bar is dipping down a bit to his left as he goes down, which could be due to hip shift, a non-centered bar, etc.

    - At the top of his last rep right before he goes to re-rack, he does a bar repositioning and releases/changes his grip.
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