Can't do squats with proper form?

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PdevC
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Can't do squats with proper form?

#1 Postby PdevC » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:44 pm

I don't know if it's a flexibility problem, or a reduced range of motion because of my body weight(im 232 lbs at 5' 6"), but I cannot do squats with proper form. I keep my back straight/slight arched, I've tried putting the rack as high as my neck and as low as below my chest, and I always grab the bar with my wrists straight. I've tried widening my grip, I've tried shortening my grip. But once I duck under the bar and I position it between my shoulders and lats, my wrists bend as my hands go under the bar, intercepting part of the weight. The only way to avoid this is to bring the bar up, on top of my spine, above the shoulders, right below the neck. When laying down it feels bruised in that area, as I did a few sets with the bar that high on my first day of SS, the last few workouts I've just made a few failed attempts to get into proper form and then quit.

Since my gym membership comes with 3 free personal training sessions, I set one up on thursday, but I'm not confident about it, and am worried said personal trainer might try to push a different program on me, probably one high in machine exercises. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to fix my form without having to rely on my local gym's fitness trainers?

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chewybaws
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Re: Can't do squats with proper form?

#2 Postby chewybaws » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:19 am

The bar is likely to bruise you no matter where you have it, if it's your first time (or first time in a while) - that's not a sign it's in the wrong place. But if you do choose to do high bar make sure it's sitting on your trap muscles and not actually pushed against your neck.

I think when many people attempt low bar, they have the bar TOO low - in a position where if you stood completely upright the bar would roll down your back if your hands weren't there. I aim for the shoulder blade area to find my sweet spot, however it didn't feel like it was "locking in" till I got used to it. With low bar you really need to squeeze your elbows up to form a "shelf" so the bar sits on the muscles.

There is the chance you could have it in the right place and it could be a flexilbility issue, where shoulder dislocations, wrist and pec stretches would come in.


You gotta just keep practicing and experimenting till you get it right unfortunately. Don't worry about your wrists being bent, as long as you can stand up straight and your back's taking the weight that's all that matters. Try wrapping your thumb round the bar if you're not already if it's still uncomfortable on the wrists.



EDIT: http://stronglifts.com/squat-bar-position/ There's links to related stretches at the bottom of that page.

PdevC
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Re: Can't do squats with proper form?

#3 Postby PdevC » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:21 am

chewybaws wrote:The bar is likely to bruise you no matter where you have it, if it's your first time (or first time in a while) - that's not a sign it's in the wrong place. But if you do choose to do high bar make sure it's sitting on your trap muscles and not actually pushed against your neck.

I think when many people attempt low bar, they have the bar TOO low - in a position where if you stood completely upright the bar would roll down your back if your hands weren't there. I aim for the shoulder blade area to find my sweet spot, however it didn't feel like it was "locking in" till I got used to it. With low bar you really need to squeeze your elbows up to form a "shelf" so the bar sits on the muscles.

There is the chance you could have it in the right place and it could be a flexilbility issue, where shoulder dislocations, wrist and pec stretches would come in.


You gotta just keep practicing and experimenting till you get it right unfortunately. Don't worry about your wrists being bent, as long as you can stand up straight and your back's taking the weight that's all that matters. Try wrapping your thumb round the bar if you're not already if it's still uncomfortable on the wrists.



EDIT: http://stronglifts.com/squat-bar-position/ There's links to related stretches at the bottom of that page.
Thanks man, I'm no longer having wrist problems(putting the thumb under the bar instead of over was my problem), but am now having trouble putting it all together, I worry I might have inflexible hamstrings because I find it impossible to keep my lower back arched at the bottom of the lift. Can't touch my toes either. At least 3-4 inches short.

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chewybaws
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Re: Can't do squats with proper form?

#4 Postby chewybaws » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:37 am

I can only touch my toes when I'm warmed up and I can't hold it, can only dip down to touch them (we're talking with locked out knees). But my flexibilities improving.

Stretches I've been doing are;

http://youtu.be/RpJab7LcbxEThe beginner's hamstring stretch at 1:00. I do this everyday, and while I do it I grab a plate, hold it with straight arms above my face and work my way to the floor behind my head keeping the arms straight to stretch out the shoulders (I'm inflexible their too, and it takes the focus off the tight hamstring stretch and I can hold it for longer).

http://youtu.be/ExZwvdgAe6gI modify these and stick a fixed barbell over my feet and grab that instead. Working my way down to being able to grab my toes. On the last rep I hold it for 8s both at the top and bottom. Obviously a great stretch for the groin as well, and the benefits are direct to squatting. Try and really flatten out your whole back at the bottom.

I try to stretch out hams everyday


If you want a great mobility warmup also try this http://www.defrancostraining.com/ask_joe/archives/ask_joe_08-10-03.html#question04


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