squat question

The Swede writes:

coach, I want to ask you about two things regarding your squatting. please remember that your strength are ridiculously superior to mine.

1. when you squat, you tend to fall forward with your torso. isn’t this very taxing on your lower back? or are you just that awesome?

2. when you hit bottom, your butt winks a bit (as do mine). do you perceive this as a problem at any time?

anyone who prefaces their questions with flattery/self-debasement gets a free t-shirt.  i’m just kidding.  thank you, and i will do my best…

here is a video of me squatting 385 from today; it is at half speed for your analystic pleasures hence the first 5 seconds are of me standing there. (fuck you to anyone who thinks this is full speed yes i anticipated your joke celica)

1. I used to worry about bending forward.  I also did it when I squatted in Chucks with my feet wide apart.  Here’s the deal – the bar has to be always over the center of your foot or you’ll tip over unless you’re squatting like 10 kg.  If you watch the video you’ll see that this is for the most part true.  In order for this to be achieved, you can either 1) let your knees go forward or 2) shoot your hips back.  Back in my Westside days I used to believe that you needed to have vertical shins or your kneecaps would shoot off and this made me lean over even more.  But it was all good as long as I remembered to do a squat and hit parallel and not just stick my ass out and do a good morning. (now squatting wide stance like that hurts my knee)  Squatting is not taxing on my lower back in recent memory (knocks on wood) but I also wear a belt usually 275 or more lbs.

source: https://www.t-nation.com/training/squat-mechanics-a-deep-analysis

2. i don’t worry about butt wink. a lot of ink has been spilled in recent years over this.  to me it’s a sign that I went deep enough.  to bolster my position, i just googled it and didn’t read any of the articles that said that it was harmful because they looked scary and could recommend that I foam roll.  Instead I found this: http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/Injuries  – where it says it may be caused by tight hamstrings but is probably nothing to worry about. anyone else want to chime in, feel free.  The older i get the less i realize I know what the fuck i am talking about squat form especially my own.  that’s why i like rippetoe and the powerlifting2win guy who I can just read and ape.


weight: 173.0, AM in tshirt, boxers and sox, not as bad as i thought it was going to be but i need to get this under control

Squat: …385×1; 260,265×3

Bench: …315×1; 260,265,270,275×3

some days you got it some days you don’t

Speed deadlift: 210×3,3; 215×3,3

i did some conventional and some sumo, i know i change what i’m doing deadlift-wise every month.  i think conventional because: 1) it’s closer to my foot position in squat (if that’s a thing; pl2win says it is) and 2) on good days i can pull more sumo but if my knee is sore i can do more conventional, and sumo sometimes makes my knee sore 3) deadlift slippers are easier to put on than chucks 4) i now have a really close stance in deadlift which i think is gonna help because pl2win says that I have short arms.

time: 1:28

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17 thoughts on “squat question

  1. 1. I used to lean way forward in the squat too, maybe not to such an extreme degree as you. I’ve spent the last few years learning how to squat more upright, which is actually possible thanks to my ridiculously long torso. Short torso = more forward lean. I agree that one can lift more weight and hit below-parallel more consistently with the squatmorning method.

    2. I think a small degree of buttwink is OK. I remember watching a video of Broz’s lifters squatting, some of those guys (Mendes comes to mind) display insane buttwink, their ass literally curls all the way under their torso. But they do it every day, with many hundred pounds more than I’ll ever lift AND a close stance. So I guess it can’t be that bad for you. Rippetoe, on the other hand, goes a bit too far in defending the buttwink IMO – it’s a weakness, and as such needs to be corrected.

    3. I blame sumo deadlifts for my present injury. In spite of being T-Rex armed, they never felt right. I vow to never do them again, if I ever go back to deadlifting. So I vote conventional.

    • Hey Fatman, Dmitry Klokov agrees with you.

      What weightlifting exercises are the most useful for beginners?

      I am not a coach. From my experience, I would recommend the basic exercises: Squats, Pulls, and Presses with correct technique. When you see how people train, they have incorrect technique that doesn’t translate into Snatch, Clean, and Jerk. Weightlifting beginners (crossfitters in particular) should not start the classic lifts straight away because their muscles and joints are not ready.

  2. I like this post. I also have some problems with falling forward as well. For me personally, it seems less bad when I regularly do my good mornings. Someone told me it’s especially good morningish on my lowbar squats, and those did bother my back a bit. However someone else told me even my high bars were a good morningish as well. It is something I’m concerned about, and I think it’s not something you should aspire to do, but many people have this idea that you should just not train and switch back to doing wall sits and 1000 squats with a bare barbell or some shit to get perfect squat technique with no possibility of buttwink at any weight ever. Also for me, it does seem obviously weight dependent. I can keep good form with say, 135, all day (maybe I can do a duckwalk with 135lbs all day with no buttwink?) I’d imagine most people can. But form breaks down with weight. So now my figuring with squats is just go as heavy as you can while keeping buttwink minimal. To be fair, though, Clarence Kennedy said having a bit of buttwink is OK.

    I’m now trying to aim for my squats to be like this:

    And stop just below ATG. See, he breaks at the hips almost like a LBBS type squat.

    Whereas like this:

    Whereas that, the knees just move forward and that’s it.

    Overall it probably doesn’t matter and I will probably rub Tiger Balm all over my low back and knees at 50 years old regardless of how much I squat, or if I even squat at all.

  3. I used to worry about vertical shins, not leaning too far forward, etc. Now I just squat and try to keep everything balanced on my feet like coach said. I usually don’t have any pain anywhere.
    I had switched from HB to LB but noticed my form was trending to more of a squatmorning, now my bar placement is in between and drifts more on the high side. When low barring, I noticed my back would be sore, especially on volume days.

  4. Adding to the confusion, a lot of people on the Internet will see a guy squat and be all “OMG buttwink deload to broomstick” when the guy’s lower back is fine; they’re mistaking the changing appearance of the glutes as they stretch out for lumbar flexion. Which is a lot of what I see in that video IMO.

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