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    Registered User OKapricot's Avatar
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    Substitute for Squat? Deadlift?

    Learning more about the body and proper exercise form, it's obvious I need to work on a few things before I continue squatting and deadlifting. I get a lot of posterior pelvic tilt way before my legs are parallel to the floor on a squat, similar (but not so pronounced) on the deadlift. I'm going to stop doing these for a few weeks while I work on improving my flexibility until I can keep a neutral back at or below parallel.

    How best can I simulate these exercises? Leg press? Good mornings?

    Cheers,
    J.
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  2. #2
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Do you have posterior pelvic tilt when you're standing?
    Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
    Galatians 4:16
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Do you have posterior pelvic tilt when you're standing?
    ^^^

    Most people who think they have something wrong with them, don’t. They are just weak.
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    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    ^^^

    Most people who think they have something wrong with them, don’t. They are just weak.
    No offense, but... that applies to a lot of what you routinely say about a lot of conventional exercises.
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    Registered User OKapricot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Do you have posterior pelvic tilt when you're standing?
    Slight anterior tilt when standing normally.

    I most likely am weak, that's why I want to avoid for a few weeks to build a bit of strength and flexibility where I need to.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by OKapricot View Post
    Learning more about the body and proper exercise form, it's obvious I need to work on a few things before I continue squatting and deadlifting.
    You won't learn to squat without squatting.

    yes, using a lighter weight and focusing on form and spine alignment is a good idea before going heavier

    Also, it might be an idea to learn proper hip hinge using something like alan thrall's video on doing the Romanian deadlift before doing conventional deadlift. But again, you don't learn a movement without doing it...
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    Registered User OKapricot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    You won't learn to squat without squatting.

    yes, using a lighter weight and focusing on form and spine alignment is a good idea before going heavier

    Also, it might be an idea to learn proper hip hinge using something like alan thrall's video on doing the Romanian deadlift before doing conventional deadlift. But again, you don't learn a movement without doing it...
    I agree, I'm just conscious of my back. While working on flexibility etc mentioned above, would it be an idea to just Squat to the point where my hips tilt? Bearing in mind this starts around 20 degrees above parallel.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    A lot of people think flexibility is synonymous with stretching. Actually, stretching is a relatively minor part of that. It can help you get into the right ROM for your exercise if you are too stiff without it. But if you can do a squat to good depth with a light weight - and without losing spine position, you should keep practising exactly that with progressively heavier weight... It is resistance training that make permanent changes to muscle belly length because it can break down and rebuild tissue - whereas stretching on its own does not do that.

    A lot of the time it isn't actually muscle flexibility that's the issue, it's habit/coordination.

    So can you do a full squat unloaded with good spine position? That's the first question.
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    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    Start with goblet squats and sumo deadlifts using a dumbbell to work on form.
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    Originally Posted by OKapricot View Post
    I agree, I'm just conscious of my back. While working on flexibility etc mentioned above, would it be an idea to just Squat to the point where my hips tilt? Bearing in mind this starts around 20 degrees above parallel.
    Believe it or not, most people who squat and DL regularly are also conscious of their backs.

    That being said, it's up to you if you want to do them but you're prob going to get more people trying to help you do the lifts than tell you what you can do to avoid them, if it's simply a matter of maintaining form while under a load.
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    Registered User OKapricot's Avatar
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    So doing bodyweight I get to a touch above parallel before my lower back starts to tilt. Squatting while holding 5kg at arms length in front of me I can get my legs parallel, but not ATG. I feel my core working hard like this, not something I'm feeling with the Barbell.

    I would much rather keep doing the exercises, especially if that's the best way to improve. It's just hard to tell, as someone with limited experience, what I am doing right vs wrong.

    Having read Alan Thrall's page and seen his video on RDLs, I am pretty confident I'm doing those right, just lowering too far and I guess that's why I'm getting some pain. I'll definitely carry on with RDLs. As for squats, I'll reduce the weight and go as deep as I can before any rounding - hopefully the depth will improve over time?

    Thanks for everyone's input so far!
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    Post form videos if you want specific feedback on anything you could improve. For squats, you don't need to go ATG... just work on getting to parallel or just past.
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    @OKapricot
    If you squat in a rack, you can put the safety bars to the depth you're comfortable with and squat using light weights. Say just the bar or add some light weight plates. If you do such squatting before every workout, whether it's leg day or not, you'd improve your technique. Lots of practice is the key. You can think of such squatting with light weights or no weights as a general warm-up. After a while you'll get the hang of it.

    posterior pelvic tilt way before my legs are parallel to the floor on a squat
    Do you roll your shoulder blades back?
    Also it helps to imagine you're squatting to sit down on a small chair behind you.
    If you've got mirrors in the gym, use them.
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    Registered User OKapricot's Avatar
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    The main reason I signed up to this forum was to post a form video but I didn't realise you needed 50+ posts to put links in.

    Good idea on the safety bars, I will do that from now on. It will also give me an idea of progress as I will be able to see the bars getting lower.

    I squeeze my shoulder blades together slightly to rest the bar across the traps. I feel like I "lead the way" with my hips as if sitting down but will make sure to really focus on it next session.
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    put a video on youtube, just post the v=[code] from the URL and someone will embed it for you
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    Registered User OKapricot's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help lads, I will put a (better) video up tomorrow.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    No offense, but... that applies to a lot of what you routinely say about a lot of conventional exercises.
    Not really, the only way to get stronger at squatting and deadlifting is to squat and do some kind of hinge work, which will help drive the deadlift up.
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    Rack pulls
    T bar squats

    For fixing form try deadlifting light but with a box behind you calves, make sure as you go down and up when pulling that the back of your calves are touching the box keeping you at a more 90 degree angle and work on lower back strength with good mornings and back extension

    Also do you squat high bar or low bar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Not really, the only way to get stronger at squatting and deadlifting is to squat and do some kind of hinge work, which will help drive the deadlift up.
    I agree, but I was saying the comment struck me as a little odd in the first place since you tend to denounce barbell training as a whole - saying things like it's a cheap imitation or doesn't count since it's evenly loaded seems to fall in the same category as your original comment here.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    I agree, but I was saying the comment struck me as a little odd in the first place since you tend to denounce barbell training as a whole - saying things like it's a cheap imitation or doesn't count since it's evenly loaded seems to fall in the same category as your original comment here.
    No, barbell training just isn’t the end all be all of training. Nor is it superior to any other method of training (unless your training goal is to get stronger at barbell movements). I just simply denounce barbell purist, not all barbell exercises. Hell, I still do incline bench, behind the neck press as part of my programming and deadlift once a year when I feel like it.
    Last edited by BeginnerGainz; 05-13-2021 at 11:34 AM.
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    So I set the safety bars to a height just below where my lower back starts to round (so I'm not bouncing the bar off). I did 3x10 @ 80kg, the video shows my third set.

    youtube.com/shorts/HFmbtcDOQQo?feature=share


    With the RDL I particularly focused on the range of motion before lower back starts to round, as well as loading the hams and driving through with the glutes. 3x8 @ 80kg.

    youtube.com/shorts/WUFfA3i_CwY?feature=share


    Bonus bench press video. Focusing on keeping Shoulder blades back, chest out and elbows tucked.

    youtube.com/shorts/PW0ZREjFIQ4?feature=share


    How does the form on my exercises look? Will be very appreciative of any criticism, thanks lads 👍
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    Squat:

    You're not going down low enough and are overextending your back. I'd lower the weight, stick a box behind you at parallel and use that as your guide instead of the safeties (which you hit 2x), and work on keeping your back neutral. You may be confusing a neutral spine with rounding your back.



    RDL:

    Don't look in the mirror to the side during lift. Start with the bar closer to you & pull the slack out of the bar before lifting, and work on moving bar vertically up/down closer to your legs while you move your hips back/forth. You're overextending your back again here too. You don't need to lean back so far on lockout - just tighten up your hips and back. Not crucial but prob better if you don't keep your head lifted up throughout.



    Bonus BP:

    Didn't watch bonus BP video but also embedded it below for others.

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    Registered User OKapricot's Avatar
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    Thank you for embedding the videos.

    It seems and feels like any lower than that in the squat and I get that "butt wink" and I understand that is lumbar flexion? So I guess my back is over extending to compensate for a weak core?

    Think I understand what to try next time. Thanks very much for your input!
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    Originally Posted by OKapricot View Post
    It seems and feels like any lower than that in the squat and I get that "butt wink" and I understand that is lumbar flexion? So I guess my back is over extending to compensate for a weak core?
    I'm gonna guess you have the ability to get lower than that on your squat without buttwink. You're prob overextending on both lifts bc you're worried about rounding your back - from the angles and your shirt I couldn't really tell if it was only slight or more pronounced.
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    It doesn't look like you're doing your back any harm, so I'd say do continue squatting and continue trying to improve your technique. You can experiment with the height of the bar. See this:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/weightlifti...bar_vs_lowbar/

    I don't think your squat looks too bad as it is. But yeah, it looks like your lower back muscles are struggling some towards the deep end of the squat. So squatting and deadlifting more could help with that. Say in a month or two your squat would look better just by getting stronger. And air2fakie's advice is solid. Drop weight, put a box behind you, and get more comfortable with the movements. Like this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBc_2Jyp3tM
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    Thanks for your input.

    The things I've paid a lot of attention to the last few times are resting bar higher up, slightly wider stance, tightly squeezing abs, "sitting back" with hips, driving up with hips. I think I had been holding the bar too low, not bracing hard enough and not using my hips enough. I am now squatting deeper and with what I think is much better form. I also feel a good ache in my lower back afterwards as if I'm properly using the spinal erectors?

    Still doing my homework on this and it looks like I start with a slight anterior tilt which leads me to believe that what I think is rounding is actually just the movement of the spine from slight anterior to neutral, so from an injury viewpoint, pretty safe.

    I will keep practicing and post another video in the next few weeks, hopefully with you guys agreeing my form is better.

    Edit - I haven't been able to get one of the boxes as they've all been in use.
    Last edited by OKapricot; 05-20-2021 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Boxes
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    This whole thread and no bracing comments. Unless I missed one skimming it.

    You are not going to squat with a neutral core without learning how to breath and brace.

    See Chris duffin bracing on YouTube

    There's zero point worrying about depth, trying to be neutral, or much else without sorting that.
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