View Full Version : Interesting explanation of squat form


MonsieurGeorges
08-02-2011, 01:57 AM
this is great no-BS drawing showing proper squat form
http://photos-e.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sf2p/v329/27/82/1250149417/n1250149417_30095132_258.jpg

I think sometimes I start doing them like figure C, not good

paulsinghnl
08-02-2011, 12:45 PM
i learnt figure B but with the chest out, figure A seems so wrong cuz you push your knees in front of your feet, which i learnt (from a movement scientist) you're not supposed to do. a lot of pressure on your knees.. what's going on here?

CubanGuyNYC
08-02-2011, 08:32 PM
I've been training off-and-on with weights for decades. I've read all kinds of articles and books, some of which have conflicting suggestions. On more than one occasion, I've read that your knees should not extend beyond your toes during the squat. It's also been suggested many times that one shouldn't do "full" squats, but stop at the parallel position.

Depending on what your goal is (bodybuilding, powerlifting, etc.) the form varies somewhat. Bodybuilders want to focus all the stress on the quadriceps muscles. They tend to use a closer stance, with the knees not extending beyond the toes. Powerlifters want to use as much of the body as possible to lift maximum weight. They like to use a wider stance.

Based on everything I've read, and my own experimentation, I've come to believe that the knees extending somewhat beyond the toes isn't a problem. However, stopping at "parallel" has always caused me knee pain. One thing you should try never to do is bend over too much at the waist. This is a clear breakdown in form. It places a great deal of stress on the lower back and can cause a terrible injury.

I definitely agree with figure "A".

ChiTown2Diego
08-03-2011, 06:03 PM
Oh Yeah! SQUATS!!!

First off if anyone is doing squats as shown in "C" Stop Doing 'Em. You are stressing your L5 S1 vertebrae with multiple times the actual weight on the bar. Aside from risking injury your just wasting time practicing bad form. Real results are hard enough to come by as it is so there is no additional need to also waste time in the process. Find someone qualified to show you how to perform the exercise. Stick to unilateral leg movements in the meantime.

CGNYC is right in that the knees going slightly beyond the toes won't necessarily cause issues as warned by most "experts". The concern without getting too geeky revolves around the patellofemoral compressive force or the interaction of the patella as the knee moves into flexion and the degree of contact of the patella based upon the degree of knee flex. Bottom line is that studies haven't determined how much force is too much. The position of the lower back really is of more concern. That is not to say to disregard the knees but the back is typically placed in more risk of injury.

Once your form is solid and consistent you can safely go as low as your biomechanics will allow. Most people can be effective with a squat that is between "a" and "b". Olympic style athletes who have practiced the intricacies of the squat movement for years typically perform the movement as illustrated in sample "a".

Aside from the actual squat form, two tips that will help add strength and a solid base to your lift; 1. Upper back/traps should remain actively strong throughout and can even push into the bar at the top portion of the movement. Correct position of the back could be established by pretending you are holding a pencil between your shoulder blades. 2. Focus on the weight of the movement to remain balanced on the heels of your feet. Pretend you are holding your ground in anticipation of someone trying to shove you out of your spot. Dig your heels into the ground as you drive the weight up and don't allow the balance of the weight to shift towards the toes.

CubanGuyNYC
08-05-2011, 06:27 PM
Two more tips I'd like to add:

1- Your head should be held up when you perform squats. (Figure "A" illustrates this.) This helps you keep your back in proper alignment. A good way of ensuring you keep your head up is to look up at the ceiling as you go down with the weight.

2- Unless you're very experienced in performing squats, always use a good weight belt when using heavier weights. (I prefer the heavy-duty belts favored by powerlifters. You should get your own. Forget those flimsy straps usually lying around the gym.) I can't stress this enough. Squats exert tremendous pressure on the lower back. A back injury is for life. And, unless you have great medical insurance or a hefty bank account, you're going to be in bad shape for a long, long time.

With proper form, the first couple of "warm-up" sets can be done without a belt. (This is the way I like to start my own session.) Once you get to your "working sets", the belt should be employed.

Jack3d
08-05-2011, 08:25 PM
There is nothing wrong with figure B besides maybe the head pointed down and not keeping the chest up.

Also your knees are not supposed to point forward they are supposed to point out slightly as you squat. The Squat is not an up and down exercise, even though it might look like it is. And knees going past the toes is inevitable in you are doing full squats. Full Squats are better anyway, especially for your knees.

CubanGuyNYC
08-05-2011, 10:36 PM
There is nothing wrong with figure B besides maybe the head pointed down and not keeping the chest up.

Also your knees are not supposed to point forward they are supposed to point out slightly as you squat. The Squat is not an up and down exercise, even though it might look like it is. And knees going past the toes is inevitable in you are doing full squats. Full Squats are better anyway, especially for your knees.

Your highlighted statement means that figure "B" is wrong, plain and simple. The reason for keeping the head up and the chest out is primarily to protect the lower back and, of course, to focus the work on the thighs (and glutes, for weightlifters and powerlifters). Leaning forward with the head down, as illustrated in figure "B", exerts tremendous pressure on the lumbar region of the back. It's a recipe for disaster.

Most lifters will point their knees slightly outward; it allows you to lift more weight more comfortably. But many bodybuilders point their knees straight forward, especially when squatting under a "Smith" machine. It emphasizes the quadriceps muscles (upper thighs).

chinajerseys
08-06-2011, 03:05 AM
wow ,this article is pretty cool ,it's so fantastic ,which led me find a new life style and

Darkstranger
08-06-2011, 01:03 PM
This diagram is showing how correctly perform the "olympic squat", there are other variations. Not everyone can squat that deep without relaxing their lumber region which is ill advised.

A certain amount of forward lean is acceptable, only excessive forward lean is a problem where the bar path travels beyond midfoot pulling you forward.

Also if you squat powerlifting style with low bar and wider stance, chances are you'll have to lean forward.

I squat using the powerlifting stance and breaking parallel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uii-W1mam5o