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    The Squat Form Thread

    We probably see more squat form checks than any other form check. This is because the squat is a fairly complicated movement with a bunch of variables. This thread will be a great resource for people wanting to critique their own squats without having to post a video. Once you understand these principles and can’t see any major squat issues with your squat video THEN post a form check thread.

    Balance



    Taking a look at the above picture you can see that regardless of the type of squat you are doing you will want the bar over your mid foot. You want the bar here for the entire lift. This means the bar should be moving in a straight line up and down. For each squat variant this will mean different knee travel and different torso lean. You’ll notice that the low bar squat has the least forward knee travel, the most backward hip travel and the most forward lean. In contrast, the front squat is the complete opposite. It has the most forward knee travel, the least backward hip travel and the most upright torso. High bar squats fall between the two in every aspect.

    Bar Placement

    For the low bar squat the bar will sit on your rear deltoids as shown in pictures 1 and 2. When you get into the squat position your rear deltoids will create a shelf for the bar to sit on. The bigger your deltoids get the easier this will be. Picture 2 shows the deltoids creating this shelf. For high bar it will sit up on the traps as shown in picture 1. For front squat the bar will sit on your front deltoids. The bar will be coming over your collar bone area. I have found the higher up on my arm the bar is resting the less painful it is for me. This is shown in picture 3.





    Grip

    Grip is largely determined by your mobility. For back squats the closer you can get your hands the tighter your upper back should be. Most people’s shoulder flexibility won’t allow a close grip during back squats. Use a grip width that allows you to squat pain free. You can also play around with a closed under the bar grip or a behind the bar open grip. Open grip is more common with low bar squats and closed grip is more common with high bar. You’ll notice that during the behind the bar grip your wrist will remain straight, while in the closed grip your wrist will be bent and thumb wrapped around the bar. Some people prefer a hybrid of the two. You can see the open grip in picture 2 above and the closed grip in the picture below.


    For front squats there are two main variations. There is a clean grip seen in the front squat picture in the bar placement section. You’ll notice the hands aren’t wrapped around the bar. Just the fingers keep the bar from rolling forward. In picture below you’ll see old Arnold using a crossed arm grip. This is a good option for those of us that experience pain doing a clean grip. If you keep your elbows up then the bar will sit there by itself; you shouldn’t really have to hold it.



    Head and Back

    You can either keep a neutral head position (eyes forward) like shown in the picture in the balance section of this post or you can keep your head vertical. I prefer to keep my head vertical as it helps keep my upper back tight and my chest up. Either position is fine as long as you don’t look down. You want to keep your back slightly curved backwards. Once you achieve this position you’ll want to tighten your back and core to maintain this position for the duration of the lift. The tighter you are the more effort will ultimately be transferred to the bar.

    Unracking

    Before you unrack the weight you should be sure you are tight. Keep your core and back tight enough to maintain the head and back posture as well as bar placement already discussed. When you lift the weight out of the rack you’ll want to do so as if you were squatting the weight. Pretend it is a mini squat to get the lift started. Once out of the rack you’ll want to take a step back and set up your stance. The fewer steps you can do this in the better. After a few weeks it should be one step with each foot and you should be ready to squat.

    Stance

    Most people should start at roughly a shoulder width stance and go from there. How wide or narrow your stance is directly relates to how much forward knee travel, backward hip travel or forward lean you will need to keep the bar over your mid foot. Sometimes it is a combination of all 3. It is something each lifter has to experiment with and find what works for them. Limb length is a big factor here. When you’re trying different stances always point your toes in the direction your thigh is pointing during the squat. Ex: If your legs are pointing out at 45 degrees then so should your toes. When you squat you want to “spread the floor” with your feet. Pushing outward on the sides of your feet and pushing the knees out helps to bring more muscles into the lift, particularly hips. You’ll want to keep your feet flat on the floor, but some people find that pretending to push out on the outer half of their feet helps activate their hips.

    Buttwink

    This is really common in beginners and intermediate athletes. Near the bottom of the squat some lifters lose the neutral spine in their lower back. Excessive buttwink is a real issue and can cause massive joint damage (I just had a buttwink related surgery myself and the rehab is over 6 months.) Depending on the cause of the buttwink it can be fixed a few different ways. I typically advise lifters not to squat as deep until their excessive buttwink is fixed. During that time work on hip mobility and work on keeping the core tight during squats. There are a myriad of videos on youtube of stretches for a deeper squat and if your issue is mobility related this can work well. The below video isn't targeted directly at squat depth, but is a great overall lower body stretching routine.



    Valsalva Manuever

    The valsalva maneuver is a very effective method of tightening your core. It should be done during each rep. You hold your breath and pretend to forcefully breath air out of your lungs. This combined with tightening of your abs and back make for greatly increased abdominal pressure.

    Knees



    You will want to keep your knees over your feet at all points throughout the lift. Do not confuse this for forward knee travel. See the above picture for reference. I have no clue what this guy is doing, but it shows good knee position. Lol. You do want to actively put outward pressure on your knees to help engage glutes, but they will still be over your feet. Many people find forcing their knees out more when in the hole is beneficial.

    On to forward knee travel. Look at the picture below to see different amounts of knee travel for different squats. You can see that during a low bar squat the lifter’s knees don’t move forward much at all while the torso leans way forward. The hips do almost all of the moving during this lift. In contrast, during the front squat the knees move forward considerably more so and the lifter sits down instead of back so that the lifter can keep their torso nearly vertical. A high bar squat falls between those two extremes in every aspect.



    Chest up

    A lot people have issues with dropping their chest when coming out of the hole. This is known as good morninging the weight up. This is a huge loss in efficiency and isn’t good for your back at heavy weights. Keeping your back and core tight and keeping a vertical head position all help to eliminate this issue. When weight gets heavy you’ll have to actively resist the bar with your head and neck. You don’t want to move your head from the previously discussed position, but to maintain that position will require active resistance to the bar. Elbow placement is quite controversial in regards to keeping your chest up. You’ll see many people advising to keep them up or down, but the truth is if your upper back is strong enough you won’t have an issue with keeping your chest up. Put your elbows where it is comfortable. Below is a video showing how to do it correctly as well as how to do it incorrectly. You’ll notice in the second squat (incorrect) I drive my hips up first and then follow with my back.



    Depth

    You can use any depth you want, but you are going to look like a douche if you don’t at least hit parallel. You don’t want the girls at the gym secretly laughing at you. The more upright your torso is the easier it will be to hit lower depth. As a general rule of thumb don’t try ATG while doing low bar; your buttwink will be awful.

    Shoes

    When you squat in most shoes you put yourself at a disadvantage for several reasons. The biggest reason is most shoes have a sole that is compressible. This means that when begin to squat back up some of your effort is absorbed into your shoe and never makes it to the bar.

    Olympic shoes-Oly shoes will require less ankle mobility to use than flat soles, but promote more knee travel. Many people also prefer the raised heel since it changes leverages. Oly shoes also help "glue" you to the floor, allow a large degree of outward pressure if desired and are just a very stable platform from which to squat. They do increase range of motion since they promote more hip movement, but considering all the benefits this isn't a concern for most lifters.

    Here is a good thread reviewing a handful of popular oly shoes
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...light=adipower

    Here is another video discussing other popular oly shoe options ranging in price


    Flat Soled Shoes- Olympic shoes aren’t for everyone. If you have enough ankle mobility to complete the squats of your choice then flat soled shoes can be a great option. These shoes can be bought for much cheaper than oly shoes in most cases. Chucks, Vibrams, wrestling shoes, skate shoes…etc. I’ve got a pair of Walmart brand Chucks with the insole removed that work great for $20. You can also squat barefoot, but many gyms won’t allow that and you should also keep in mind how vulnerable your bare feet are around a bunch of weights.

    When shopping for this type of shoe there are several things you want to look for. The tighter (side to side) shoe you buy the better outward pressure advantage it can provide. The smaller and harder the sole the better the shoe will perform. You want all of your effort getting to the bar and not absorbing into your sole.

    Conclusion

    Just like any other complicated lift you shouldn’t try to work on every aspect of form at once. Work on just a few things at a time until you get the hang of it. Once those parts of your form become second nature then move onto other lacking areas of your form. When you begin working on complicated aspects of form it is best to focus on one thing at a time for weeks at a time.

    For a more in depth look at squats check out the “So You Think You Can Squat” video series on youtube.
    Last edited by davisj3537; 06-01-2016 at 09:16 PM.
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    Reserved for possible future edits. Let me know what you think.
    Last edited by davisj3537; 03-27-2014 at 12:06 AM.
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    Awesome thread man, I am fairly new to squats and its quickly becoming my favorite lift. That being said i have read many threads/articles trying to nail my form and this has some great info love the diagrams also. i now know that i squat low bar.. never knew, Thanks for the info!
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    Love reading these threads the night before leg day. Thanks OP.
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    good stuff as always davis, glad you included candito's videos on shoes. I'm a long legged guy and oly shoes have eliminated lower back strain for me, they help me keep a much more upright position.
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    I need about tree fiddy davisj3537's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BenD4Me View Post
    good stuff as always davis, glad you included candito's videos on shoes. I'm a long legged guy and oly shoes have eliminated lower back strain for me, they help me keep a much more upright position.
    I've been impressed by the majority of videos of his that I've seen. Generally good quality info. Oly shoes do seem to make a big difference for taller people.


    Thanks for the support dudes.
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    Originally Posted by davisj3537 View Post
    I've been impressed by the majority of videos of his that I've seen. Generally good quality info. Oly shoes do seem to make a big difference for taller people.

    Thanks for the support dudes.
    yep I'd recommend all his squat videos, especially the ones differentiating high bar vs low bar vs hybrid, as well as the one on foot position.

    and I still dont know how you only have 7k reps.
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    Originally Posted by BenD4Me View Post
    yep I'd recommend all his squat videos, especially the ones differentiating high bar vs low bar vs hybrid, as well as the one on foot position.

    and I still dont know how you only have 7k reps.
    I never thought I'd get to 7k. lol

    I'm gonna go scope out the foot position one. That stuff always entertains me.
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    Quick glance over and I didnt see a single point I don't agree with. Well written and easy read. Will try to go over it when I have more time. Good job OP
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    Brilliant thread, Davis.
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    Lu, Phoenix

    Thanks guys. Just trying to help the forum.
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    Good read! Off the top of my head, only things I'd add are:

    -- foot position: feet should be pointed out, 15 to 30 degrees. Quite a number people have misinterpreted one of Kelly Starrett's videos to mean that feet should be pointed straight ahead in the squat, with knees still tracking outward, in order to generate "torque". Even Kelly would agree though that applying torque to the knee under a load is not a good idea. Point your feet outward so that your knees simply "hinge" as you squat down.

    -- On chest up: something I find really helps with keeping the chest up is to think about driving the back of the neck into the bar. I like to think of it as, "always be actively resisting the bar": the weight wants to bend you over forwards, so you need to make sure you don't let it.

    -- Knees "caving": even though you may be actively trying to keep your knees out, they may still be collapsing inward as you drive up out of the bottom of the squat. One cue that usually works to solve this problem is to think about pushing through the outside halves of your feet. It is essentially another way of getting you to "spread the floor", ie engage the hip abductors.

    -- what to do with your elbows. Some people like to cock their elbows way up to a near-horizontal position. Others say the elbows should literally point straight down. Both are wrong. In both cases, it will be hard to maintain the proper thoracic extension coming out of the bottom of the squat. If the elbows are too high, the bar can roll up on your neck and pin you forwards. If the elbows are rolled forward under the bar, it is that much harder to keep your chest up.

    Instead, just allow your elbows to hang at the place naturally dictated by the bar position and hand spacing. For high bar this will be roughly 45 degrees. For low bar, a little higher.


    One last note: for high bar you want to keep a bent wrist. Using the thumbless grip with a straight wrist will not be comfortable.
    Last edited by tidnab; 03-27-2014 at 06:49 AM.
    How to eliminate lower back rounding (aka "butt-wink") in the squat, a definitive guide:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=153644231
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    Good Read, OP!

    Originally Posted by tidnab View Post
    Good read! Off the top of my head, only things I'd add are:


    -- Knees "caving": even though you may be actively trying to keep your knees out, they may still be collapsing inward as you drive up out of the bottom of the squat. One cue that usually works to solve this problem is to think about pushing through the outside halves of your feet. It is essentially another way of getting you to "spread the floor", ie engage the hip abductors.
    To add to the inward knee travelling issue, I find that I can keep my knees over my toes and eek out more depth if I 'reopen' (for lack of a better word) my hips at the bottom. Essentially, it's like finishing off the descent in between my hips.

    Now I guess just keeping them open would be sufficient, too, but actively opening them again (in essence just making sure they stay open), I feel it improves my form noticeably.
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    This is a great article! The only thing I would add is that torso angle also depends on your body proportions too...I think a lot of people are confused by that, thinking everyone's torso angle should look the same if they have the same bar position, but it doesn't really work like that... Femur length, torso lengrh, bar position, stance width, foot angle, and the amount of forward knee travel all affect torso angle and as long as the bar is over midfoot for the whole lift then your torso angle is fine!
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    As far as grip, aren't you always supposed to use a "behind the bar open grip" as opposed to "closed under the bar grip"? A closed under the bar grip will let a lot of the weight rest on your wrists & arms which isn't correct as opposed to your back and body as a whole. I remember reading that in the Starting Strength book but I could be wrong!
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    Originally Posted by fitfanatic123 View Post
    As far as grip, aren't you always supposed to use a "behind the bar open grip" as opposed to "closed under the bar grip"? A closed under the bar grip will let a lot of the weight rest on your wrists & arms which isn't correct as opposed to your back and body as a whole. I remember reading that in the Starting Strength book but I could be wrong!
    Yes, Rippetoe promotes the thumbs behind the bar grip, because he teaches low bar position. You would need a tremendous amount of shoulder flexibility to be able to get your thumbs under the bar and at the same time keep your wrists straight while "pinching" your shoulder blades together. Either grip is fine if you have the flexibility. But the key is that there is zero weight on the arms. all the weight should be on your back. The arms are only there to keep the bar from rolling off your back.

    FYI - Good job referencing Starting Strength. It's the BIBLE for the low bar squat!
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    Originally Posted by kaleida View Post
    This is a great article! The only thing I would add is that torso angle also depends on your body proportions too...I think a lot of people are confused by that, thinking everyone's torso angle should look the same if they have the same bar position, but it doesn't really work like that... Femur length, torso lengrh, bar position, stance width, foot angle, and the amount of forward knee travel all affect torso angle and as long as the bar is over midfoot for the whole lift then your torso angle is fine!
    This should probably be an entirely separate thread, TBH. Individual body mechanics play a much bigger role in form on some lifts than others, and there really isn't a good discussion of everything that comes into play. The low-bar squat is a good example of a lift where this is apparent, as is the pendlay row. Deadlifting conventional vs. sumo is a less pronounced example.
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    Originally Posted by fitfanatic123 View Post
    As far as grip, aren't you always supposed to use a "behind the bar open grip" as opposed to "closed under the bar grip"? A closed under the bar grip will let a lot of the weight rest on your wrists & arms which isn't correct as opposed to your back and body as a whole. I remember reading that in the Starting Strength book but I could be wrong!
    The open grip should only be used for low bar squats. For high bar squats, you want your wrists to be bent.
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    Originally Posted by tidnab View Post
    Good read! Off the top of my head, only things I'd add are:

    -- foot position: feet should be pointed out, 15 to 30 degrees. Quite a number people have misinterpreted one of Kelly Starrett's videos to mean that feet should be pointed straight ahead in the squat, with knees still tracking outward, in order to generate "torque". Even Kelly would agree though that applying torque to the knee under a load is not a good idea. Point your feet outward so that your knees simply "hinge" as you squat down. I feel this is still too generalized of a rule of thumb. If someone squats westside wide then their feet would point the same direction as their thighs at the bottom of the squat. Obviously that isn't something most people do, but in general your feet should always point in the direction your thigh does at depth.

    -- On chest up: something I find really helps with keeping the chest up is to think about driving the back of the neck into the bar. I like to think of it as, "always be actively resisting the bar": the weight wants to bend you over forwards, so you need to make sure you don't let it. I wanted to avoid this wording as it may be construed as keeping your head too far back. I agree it is a good cue. I may consider working it in with careful wording.

    -- Knees "caving": even though you may be actively trying to keep your knees out, they may still be collapsing inward as you drive up out of the bottom of the squat. One cue that usually works to solve this problem is to think about pushing through the outside halves of your feet. It is essentially another way of getting you to "spread the floor", ie engage the hip abductors. I'll consider working in this method of "spread the floor" cue.

    -- what to do with your elbows. Some people like to cock their elbows way up to a near-horizontal position. Others say the elbows should literally point straight down. Both are wrong. In both cases, it will be hard to maintain the proper thoracic extension coming out of the bottom of the squat. If the elbows are too high, the bar can roll up on your neck and pin you forwards. If the elbows are rolled forward under the bar, it is that much harder to keep your chest up. I agree there are many different view points on this. I'm going to look further into and reevaluate what I've typed.

    Instead, just allow your elbows to hang at the place naturally dictated by the bar position and hand spacing. For high bar this will be roughly 45 degrees. For low bar, a little higher.


    One last note: for high bar you want to keep a bent wrist. Using the thumbless grip with a straight wrist will not be comfortable. I've seen people do it both ways for both squats. I agree what you've typed is the norm, but different strokes for different folks. I've been flamed for this before. lol. I may add in that the open for low and closed for high is the norm.
    First off, thanks for the detailed response. I typed some responses above. I'll try and weave in some of this rewording.
    Originally Posted by lee__d View Post
    Good Read, OP!



    To add to the inward knee travelling issue, I find that I can keep my knees over my toes and eek out more depth if I 'reopen' (for lack of a better word) my hips at the bottom. Essentially, it's like finishing off the descent in between my hips.

    Now I guess just keeping them open would be sufficient, too, but actively opening them again (in essence just making sure they stay open), I feel it improves my form noticeably.
    Thanks for the input man.
    Originally Posted by kaleida View Post
    This is a great article! The only thing I would add is that torso angle also depends on your body proportions too...I think a lot of people are confused by that, thinking everyone's torso angle should look the same if they have the same bar position, but it doesn't really work like that... Femur length, torso lengrh, bar position, stance width, foot angle, and the amount of forward knee travel all affect torso angle and as long as the bar is over midfoot for the whole lift then your torso angle is fine!
    I touched on this a bit. I started to write a portion or two on how stance can affect all these things. I decided against it as trying to explain how all these things can relate in a myriad of scenarios would be lengthy. I'm with unstrong that this sounds like an entire thread by itself.
    Originally Posted by fitfanatic123 View Post
    As far as grip, aren't you always supposed to use a "behind the bar open grip" as opposed to "closed under the bar grip"? A closed under the bar grip will let a lot of the weight rest on your wrists & arms which isn't correct as opposed to your back and body as a whole. I remember reading that in the Starting Strength book but I could be wrong!
    Like mike said, he teaches low bar. You'll see a lot more closed grip during high bar squatting. You also see some of it during low bar. It is entirely personal preference. I got flamed one day for cracking on a guy for using closed grip during low bar in the PL section. The flame was justified because one method isn't the best for everyone. There are elite PL guys using closed grip. It just isn't a black and white scenario.
    Last edited by davisj3537; 03-27-2014 at 09:56 AM.
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    Thanks for the input guys. I've weaved in something from most of your responses. I'd love to read more about elbow position if anyone has any good links; thus far all I've found are forum conversations about it. Nothing that I would consider respectable.
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    I low bar squat, therefore I practice the way Rippetoe teaches:

    From Starting Strength:
    ''The bar should be placed in the correct position... ...and then secured in place by lifting the elbows and the chest at the same time. When the elbows come up and the chest comes up, the hands are pushed forward and the bar is actually forced forward into the back....''

    Another Rip Quote (not in book):
    "Elbows-up provides a platform of tight, contracted muscle for the bar to rest on, the "shelf" that you feel form for the bar. If the bar is placed just below the scapular spine, the posterior delt becomes a secure landmark on the back for bar placement. It also places the elbows in a position where they are not loaded, and if the wrists are kept straight with the thumb over the bar all of the load is on the back. Elbows-down relaxes all those muscles and allows the bar to rest on skeletal components that do not benefit from the pressure, and places some percentage of the weight on the wrists and elbows. The "chest-up" cue further contracts the upper fibers of the erector spinae and smaller ribcage muscles, and thus maintains the normal anatomical position of the thoracic vertebrae. The combination of elbows-up and chest-up traps the bar securely in place, and removes bar movement as a variable for the lifter."

    Now keep in mind he does acknowledge that not everyone agrees and this works best for low bar. Take David Tate. Who is very well known and also friends with Rip feels that the elbows should be pointed down.

    Here's a decent video of Rip showing bar and elbow placement: (I don't have link privileges yet. So add the "www" and the "com" where it belongs)

    .allthingsgym. /mark-rippetoe-on-the-squat-bar-position/
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    Originally Posted by unstrong View Post
    This should probably be an entirely separate thread, TBH. Individual body mechanics play a much bigger role in form on some lifts than others, and there really isn't a good discussion of everything that comes into play. The low-bar squat is a good example of a lift where this is apparent, as is the pendlay row. Deadlifting conventional vs. sumo is a less pronounced example.
    I just mention it because such a high percentage of "help my squat!" threads around here seem to be people whose thighs are longer than average (because those proportions make squatting really hard!)...and a high percentage of people who reply to them are people whose proportions are more normal or people whose torso is longer than average (because squats are going well for them!)
    Body proportions change a lot though ... I wouldn't expect advice that worked for someone with different proportions to work for me or vice versa.
    I try to pop in every now and then and sort out the confusion when I see it happening.
    Last edited by kaleida; 03-27-2014 at 11:54 AM.
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    Originally Posted by kaleida View Post
    I just mention it because such a high percentage of "help my squat!" threads around here seem to be people whose thighs are longer than average...and a high percentage of people who reply to them are people whose proportions are more normal or people whose torso is longer than average (because squats are going well for them!)
    Body proportions change a lot though ... I wouldn't expect advice that worked for someone with different proportions to work for me or vice versa.
    I try to pop in every now and then and sort out the confusion when I see it happening.
    I agree, and think that you might be the best candidate to write the thread
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    Originally Posted by dieselmike View Post
    I low bar squat, therefore I practice the way Rippetoe teaches:

    From Starting Strength:
    ''The bar should be placed in the correct position... ...and then secured in place by lifting the elbows and the chest at the same time. When the elbows come up and the chest comes up, the hands are pushed forward and the bar is actually forced forward into the back....''

    Another Rip Quote (not in book):
    "Elbows-up provides a platform of tight, contracted muscle for the bar to rest on, the "shelf" that you feel form for the bar. If the bar is placed just below the scapular spine, the posterior delt becomes a secure landmark on the back for bar placement. It also places the elbows in a position where they are not loaded, and if the wrists are kept straight with the thumb over the bar all of the load is on the back. Elbows-down relaxes all those muscles and allows the bar to rest on skeletal components that do not benefit from the pressure, and places some percentage of the weight on the wrists and elbows. The "chest-up" cue further contracts the upper fibers of the erector spinae and smaller ribcage muscles, and thus maintains the normal anatomical position of the thoracic vertebrae. The combination of elbows-up and chest-up traps the bar securely in place, and removes bar movement as a variable for the lifter."

    Now keep in mind he does acknowledge that not everyone agrees and this works best for low bar. Take David Tate. Who is very well known and also friends with Rip feels that the elbows should be pointed down.

    Here's a decent video of Rip showing bar and elbow placement: (I don't have link privileges yet. So add the "www" and the "com" where it belongs)

    .allthingsgym. /mark-rippetoe-on-the-squat-bar-position/
    Will rep on recharge. You mean two highly respected people have completely opposite views on the same concept? Welcome to the wonderful world of fitness. lol
    Originally Posted by kaleida View Post
    I just mention it because such a high percentage of "help my squat!" threads around here seem to be people whose thighs are longer than average (because those proportions make squatting really hard!)...and a high percentage of people who reply to them are people whose proportions are more normal or people whose torso is longer than average (because squats are going well for them!)
    Body proportions change a lot though ... I wouldn't expect advice that worked for someone with different proportions to work for me or vice versa.
    I try to pop in every now and then and sort out the confusion when I see it happening.
    I think you should write the thread about it. Srs

    edit: So does unstrong. lol
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    Originally Posted by unstrong View Post
    I agree, and think that you might be the best candidate to write the thread
    I have my blog post about a really common long-femur / short-torso person problem (center of gravity shifting forward onto the toes) ...I'm interested in feedback maybe I could make a separate article about it. I kind of like keeping it simple too.


    long-femured squat angles

    I wrote that when I finally figured out why I couldn't get below parallel and why I couldn't "keep the weight on my heels" like everyone said I should.

    I think the same problems I ran into seem to be a pretty common theme for "help my squat!" threads around here. "Can you check my form? Why does my weight go onto my toes?" (along with a video where the squat is way above parallel and femurs look absolutely huge) ...and then a lot of replies where people recommend things that sound anatomically impossible to the person doing the squats... like "you're leaning over too much, don't do that"
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    Originally Posted by davisj3537 View Post
    Will rep on recharge. You mean two highly respected people have completely opposite views on the same concept? Welcome to the wonderful world of fitness. lol
    Yes. That was my point which I forgot to mention. I think certain aspects of the lift (such as elbows up or down) is not necessarily a right or wrong thing. It is a very personal thing based on ones build and flexibility. Watch that video I posted and you see how Rip creates that "shelf" on the dude's back with the elbow out. Then search an animal like Ronnie Coleman squatting high bar and his whole back is a shelf! LOL
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    Originally Posted by magic15 View Post
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    Originally Posted by davisj3537 View Post
    Thanks for the input guys. I've weaved in something from most of your responses. I'd love to read more about elbow position if anyone has any good links; thus far all I've found are forum conversations about it. Nothing that I would consider respectable.
    Check the "Chest up, elbows down" Smittydiesel video from your OP.
    How to eliminate lower back rounding (aka "butt-wink") in the squat, a definitive guide:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=153644231
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    Nice article. I've recently reset to work on keeping my chest up and abs tight so I don't good morning the weight because I felt myself doing that a couple weeks ago. I'll have to watch Rippletoe's video on the grip and elbow because I'm having issues with that, too.

    Edit: yeah, I can see why my freaking arms hurt so much now lol...
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