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 Post subject: Squat help
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:06 pm 
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I don't think this is a repeat question, forgive me if it is. I recorded a video of my squat below, but some of you may have some pretty good idea's without watching the video. My knees cave in some while I'm squatting. It's not dramatic, and I've read quite a bit of material on "why" this happens. Even Matt Winning in the "so you think you can squat" video someone posted touches on the subject, but doesn't really say much about ho to fix it. Quite a few people have recommended some accessory band work which I might try, but if anyone here has any good suggestions I'd love to hear them as well.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmnSdeo4 ... AzQNlufVMQ

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 Post subject: Re: Squat help
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:53 pm 
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Hi Justin,

Hows it going...

My advice would be this,

it looks like your feet are a wee bit too flared out, this would certainly be a contributing factor to you knees caving in on the assent, turn them very slightly more in and see if that helps. I always take a quick look down at my foot positioning first before actually squatting.
Id also recommend using a slower negative, pause at the bottom for a split second, then explode to the top. I find using the slower negative and that slight pause deep in the hole gives more power for the assent, possibly this will help reduce your knee's caving in aswell.

Btw, watched some of your videos, great stuff:)

Hope this helps
Rob


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 Post subject: Re: Squat help
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Ok, I've actually flared them out thinking that it might help fix the problem, but I'll bring them back in some as well as the slower negative.

Appreciate the advice. As my lifts have gotten heavier I see more and more area's that need improvement.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat help
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:03 am 
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Hi Justin,
I hope you don't mind me jumping in on this thread, but I have the same sort of issue and it seems pointless starting a new thread. My knees often cave in on the ascent, so I too will try and bring my feet in a little.

However I always find my chest dropping as the weight gets heavier, and I really struggle to keep it up. What sort of accessory work would you recommend to strengthen the ability to keep my chest upright?

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 Post subject: Re: Squat help
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:37 pm 
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Hey Andi, I've gotten some advice from Mark Bell on his youtube channel, here is one of his video's where he indirectly touches on the subject of knees caving in, but that same channel has a lot of info on squatting that I'm going back and reviewing now. The youtube series "so you think you can squat" is another one that someone posted as a thread, but it didn't really help specifically with the issue I'm having.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqQBxu5mB7M

I've seen people say that back rounding had a lot to do with your lower back being weak, not sure though of how true it is, but I think I heard that from Mark Bell as well and he's a pretty good resource. I've also seen a lot of people recommend recommend looking up (not straight up or anything, but not down) while squatting to help prevent you upper back from caving.

I know I didn't really "answer" your question, but I've been looking through a lot of information on the topic and have come across a few good resources for info. I'm sure more people will chime in eventually with even better info.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat help
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:46 am 
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Thanks Justin, I'll check out the videos. It's not that my back is rounding, I have trouble keeping my upper body upright, and I always look up.
Cheers for the advice, hope the stance change has sorted your knee caving issues?

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 Post subject: Re: Squat help
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:28 pm 
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My squat form got a bit better when I thought and took in to consideration the idea of pushing your knees outwards instead of forward. Helped a bit.

I notice when you squat your initial movement is up. Almost a slight push up on the bar instead of holding your core tight with your breath and squatting. I'd try to try those two things and see what happens.


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 Post subject: Re: Squat help
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:50 am 
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Experiment with stance more, drop the weight for a bit, and keep playing around with your footing until you REALLY find the position that works best for you. Sometimes a slight change to stance width and foot angle can make a really big difference, and some people never experiment enough to ever really find their optimal groove because they settle into sub-par positioning and keep with it.

The wider the stance, the more important it is to angle feet outward, push the knees out, and learn to use your hips (squatting wide powerlifting style is almost nothing like a normal bodybuilding squat). Narrower stances are better for many people with feet only slightly angled, as too much flaring outward can shift things and cause knees to cave in. I've seen a LOT worse than what you have going on, I think that with more experimentation, you'll figure things out in due time.

But, definitely do not skip the assistance work, be sure to roll out your quads/hams/hips before squatting, and trying things like paused bottom squats, partials, rock-bottom squats, etc will all help in their own way, but first things first, I'd suggest really working on your stance to find what's 100% most comfortable and you'll likely see some improvement as you build on it.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat help
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:59 pm 
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Thanks guys, I squatted Wednesday and today and I focused on 3 things that I think helped a TON.

1. I did indeed focus on my knees tracking out in the decent and reducing the angle that my feet were pointed out helped some with that. And with that is #2

2. I did take a narrower stance. I had been taking a wider stance to try and fix the problem and my rational was that I see a lot of Olympic lifters with the same problem I've been having where there knees cave in eve ones that are lifting considerable weight. That's nothing against OL, because I'm a fan, but it's rare that you see a power lifter that takes a wide stance have that problem, so I thought maybe there was something to the stance. And maybe there is, but I don't think it was helping me much by taking a wider stance at this point in my progression. Maybe when I'm a little more advanced a wider stance may come into play, but a more narrow stance here helped me out a lot with implementing some of these other concepts (*The stance itself didn't necessarily help, but it helped me practice some of these other ideas).

3. Hips, I think for the first time I really got my hips and glutes involved in the squat.

And James, I did slow down the movement and I consciously eliminated that upward motion that I was beginning with.

All in all I really appreciate your guy's advice. I'm far from perfecting the squat, but this week I really feel like I've made some progress, thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat help
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:45 pm 
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I've actually had similar issues with my knees buckling in on the way up, usually when I get to about 88+% of my 1RM. I realized that my form had gotten pretty bad lately, or maybe it was always bad and I've just noticed now because I've started to have trouble progressing.

I purchased Rippetoe's book, Starting Strength (3rd ed.), and he gives a lot of good cues and information about the main lifts. I've been trying to put some of it into action and it has dramatically changed my technique on squats. I've only been working on it for the past couple of weeks, so it will be a little while until I am comfortable with the changes and they start to stick. I recommend looking it up. It's available on Amazon and it's not expensive at all. It does however read like a textbook (which it basically is), in case you mind that sort of thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat help
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:36 pm 
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VeganEssentials wrote:
Experiment with stance more, drop the weight for a bit, and keep playing around with your footing until you REALLY find the position that works best for you. Sometimes a slight change to stance width and foot angle can make a really big difference, and some people never experiment enough to ever really find their optimal groove because they settle into sub-par positioning and keep with it.

The wider the stance, the more important it is to angle feet outward, push the knees out, and learn to use your hips (squatting wide powerlifting style is almost nothing like a normal bodybuilding squat). Narrower stances are better for many people with feet only slightly angled, as too much flaring outward can shift things and cause knees to cave in. I've seen a LOT worse than what you have going on, I think that with more experimentation, you'll figure things out in due time.

But, definitely do not skip the assistance work, be sure to roll out your quads/hams/hips before squatting, and trying things like paused bottom squats, partials, rock-bottom squats, etc will all help in their own way, but first things first, I'd suggest really working on your stance to find what's 100% most comfortable and you'll likely see some improvement as you build on it.


I had a personal trainer at my gym tell me i'm going to have a lower lumbar injury if I'm going to keep squatting the way I do. Consequently, he has never powerlifted before and said that my "hip drive" was improper. Don't let some people who have taken an online course or a couple classes tell you your form is ugly or what not.


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