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Thread: Back squat

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    Back squat

    I’m at 205 on back squat right now also I’m 146 if that matters and I may do a reset on this one but I’m wanting to make sure my form looks good. Any tips or am rounding my back? I don’t feel I am but I want to make sure


    https://imgur.com/a/3rBWndY
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    Your camera angles and closeups are the worst. You're doing a 1/3 ROM on a smith machine.
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    It's about a mile high
    Move the camera down then?
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Your camera angles and closeups are the worst. You're doing a 1/3 ROM on a smith machine.
    It’s hard when I work out by myself to the camera somewhere to get the shot I’ll try again.
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    Here’s a better one

    https://imgur.com/a/NvdT8UC
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    Originally Posted by Calikid32190 View Post
    Here’s a better one
    Marginally better video - it's easier to see what's going on from a proper side angle. Like I said above, you're barely going down. You're also doing the same fidgety foot thing you do with the RDLs. I'm assuming it's all you have available at PF, but I think the smith machine isn't helping your form on exercises.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Marginally better video - it's easier to see what's going on from a proper side angle. Like I said above, you're barely going down. You're also doing the same fidgety foot thing you do with the RDLs. I'm assuming it's all you have available at PF, but I think the smith machine isn't helping your form on exercises.
    This is correct I hate the smith machine because it puts me in weird forms. My school opens back up this weekend and I’ll have my free weight again. With a barbell I’m used to being able to walk out the weight and set my footing but on the smith machine you’re not moving anywhere because the bar is where it’s at. The walk out really helped with my feet not being so fidgety but it’s not possible with a smith machine
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    Originally Posted by Calikid32190 View Post
    This is correct I hate the smith machine because it puts me in weird forms. My school opens back up this weekend and I’ll have my free weight again. With a barbell I’m used to being able to walk out the weight and set my footing but on the smith machine you’re not moving anywhere because the bar is where it’s at. The walk out really helped with my feet not being so fidgety but it’s not possible with a smith machine
    Just repost from the side when you're back with a regular barbell. In the meantime, try to go lower without hurting yourself.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Just repost from the side when you're back with a regular barbell. In the meantime, try to go lower without hurting yourself.
    I think that’s why I’m afraid to do the back squat. When I was first starting out I did the barbell version and the weight all went backwards taking me back with it and some how my knee flew up and hit me right under my chin and busted it open and I need to get it stitched. I know that was probably fluky that my knee got right under my chin when I went back with the weight. I think I feel a little more confident in doing the barbell though because I was doing it before the virus messed it all up and closed everything.
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    Honestly if you can’t do a barbell squats, you’re better off using a leg press or hack squat. Or dumbbell/ goblet squats. Smith machine squats are just not a good idea for a beginner.
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    Originally Posted by Calikid32190 View Post
    I think that’s why I’m afraid to do the back squat. When I was first starting out I did the barbell version and the weight all went backwards taking me back with it and some how my knee flew up and hit me right under my chin and busted it open and I need to get it stitched. I know that was probably fluky that my knee got right under my chin when I went back with the weight. I think I feel a little more confident in doing the barbell though because I was doing it before the virus messed it all up and closed everything.
    Sorry to hear that, probably a form issue. Will need to see the video.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Sorry to hear that, probably a form issue. Will need to see the video.
    Ok I’ll do that on Monday when I go back to school. I fell my form is way better with a barbell than a smith machine. Yet people try to say smith machines are better because they force proper form. I don’t feel that’s true and it’s more easier to get better form on a barbell
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Honestly if you can’t do a barbell squats, you’re better off using a leg press or hack squat. Or dumbbell/ goblet squats. Smith machine squats are just not a good idea for a beginner.
    I’m doing fierce 5 intermediate so those are already included. But on Monday I’ll be back to being able to use a barbell again. Might have to drop the weight a bit because it’s been since March that I’ve gotten to work with a barbell.
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    Originally Posted by Calikid32190 View Post
    Ok I’ll do that on Monday when I go back to school. I fell my form is way better with a barbell than a smith machine. Yet people try to say smith machines are better because they force proper form. I don’t feel that’s true and it’s more easier to get better form on a barbell
    Oh, I meant the video falling backwards. Smith machine forces you into a fixed movement, which has its own issues.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Oh, I meant the video falling backwards. Smith machine forces you into a fixed movement, which has its own issues.
    Fixed movement isn’t good correct? When I’ve watched some of the powerlifting videos on here they have one where he does the back squat and is able to walk out the weight. He shows 3 different ones. Close wide and normal. I think having my feet set I’m able to control it better. I keep my feet closer as I’m not super wide so I don’t go for a wide stance
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    Originally Posted by Calikid32190 View Post
    I think that’s why I’m afraid to do the back squat. When I was first starting out I did the barbell version and the weight all went backwards taking me back with it
    I had that problem when I started doing squats (not on the Smith machine). I followed the "sit back and down" instruction which put the centre of mass over my heels, and to prevent falling backward I leaned forward more. This resulted in me firstly not getting to parallel and secondly the load initially being put on my lower back when I started moving up (like starting the lift with a good morning). As the weight slowly increased I began to get sharp twinges near the bottom of my spine, eventually deciding I was doing something badly wrong and decided to start again with a light weight.

    I had a go at modifiying the downward motion so I didn't sit back so much when starting down, I mostly went straight down and wasn't so worried about pushing my knees past my toes, as long as they followed the line of my feet, which is how I squat if I need to get down to do gardening with a hand trowel. This so far has worked much better for me, the weight is over the centre of my feet, I am not feeling like I am about to fall backwards, I am not leaning so far forward, and I can squat deeper. I am still in the process of building up the weight slowly (COVID stalled me for five months), and the test will be when I get back to the weight I was doing with the faulty technique, will the spinal twinges not reappear. If not, I have probably sorted the form which suits my dimensions.

    To summarise, if you are losing balance backward, try squatting more straight down and less sitting back, and keep your knees out and don't worry if they go past your toes.
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    Originally Posted by Calikid32190 View Post
    Yet people try to say smith machines are better because they force proper form.
    Smith machines are dangerous. They force you *out* of proper form and into unnatural arcs that can tear muscles, strain tendons, ligaments, and bones. Only thing they're good for is standing calf raises.

    Originally Posted by Calikid32190 View Post
    Fixed movement isn’t good correct? When I’ve watched some of the powerlifting videos on here they have one where he does the back squat and is able to walk out the weight. He shows 3 different ones. Close wide and normal. I think having my feet set I’m able to control it better. I keep my feet closer as I’m not super wide so I don’t go for a wide stance
    A wider stance can help with depth and also keep you from tipping forward because your hips have more room to sink down, rather than having your femur pull your pelvis forward when it touches your hip socket. For you now, OP, just experiment with different stances once you get to barbell squat again.

    Try to get an angle where we can see your stance clearly too. 45 degrees from the back at the level of your hips is ideal.
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    Originally Posted by Calikid32190 View Post
    Fixed movement isn’t good correct? When I’ve watched some of the powerlifting videos on here they have one where he does the back squat and is able to walk out the weight. He shows 3 different ones. Close wide and normal. I think having my feet set I’m able to control it better. I keep my feet closer as I’m not super wide so I don’t go for a wide stance
    Your body will determine your stance. Bone structure, hip insertions, upper leg insertions among others.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Smith machines are dangerous. They force you *out* of proper form and into unnatural arcs that can tear muscles, strain tendons, ligaments, and bones. Only thing they're good for is standing calf raises.



    A wider stance can help with depth and also keep you from tipping forward because your hips have more room to sink down, rather than having your femur pull your pelvis forward when it touches your hip socket. For you now, OP, just experiment with different stances once you get to barbell squat again.

    Try to get an angle where we can see your stance clearly too. 45 degrees from the back at the level of your hips is ideal.
    Thank you and I’ll for sure do a different video when I get to use a barbell. I agree with smith machines not being all the great and for the people who say that they put you in the correct form I find that to not be true. They do make me end up in some weird forms and all of the videos I’ve watched have people use barbells so it’s hard to implement what I’ve seen from those on the smith machine. I can’t wait to have the barbell back
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    Originally Posted by asrl78 View Post
    I had that problem when I started doing squats (not on the Smith machine). I followed the "sit back and down" instruction which put the centre of mass over my heels, and to prevent falling backward I leaned forward more. This resulted in me firstly not getting to parallel and secondly the load initially being put on my lower back when I started moving up (like starting the lift with a good morning). As the weight slowly increased I began to get sharp twinges near the bottom of my spine, eventually deciding I was doing something badly wrong and decided to start again with a light weight.

    I had a go at modifiying the downward motion so I didn't sit back so much when starting down, I mostly went straight down and wasn't so worried about pushing my knees past my toes, as long as they followed the line of my feet, which is how I squat if I need to get down to do gardening with a hand trowel. This so far has worked much better for me, the weight is over the centre of my feet, I am not feeling like I am about to fall backwards, I am not leaning so far forward, and I can squat deeper. I am still in the process of building up the weight slowly (COVID stalled me for five months), and the test will be when I get back to the weight I was doing with the faulty technique, will the spinal twinges not reappear. If not, I have probably sorted the form which suits my dimensions.

    To summarise, if you are losing balance backward, try squatting more straight down and less sitting back, and keep your knees out and don't worry if they go past your toes.
    So going straight down rather then sitting down and back works better here? I think when I was using the barbell I would also go straight down rather than back and down. When I did start literally going straight down it didn’t feel like I was going to lose my balance
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    This is a slanted smith machine. If you want to achieve depth in this machine, the mechanics will be different.
    I personally like to face the other way but the most important point isnt that.
    The most important point is that you have to put your feet forward and squat upright.
    I used this as high rep variation when commercial gyms were closed in my apartment gym and you can see the amount of depth even with close stance i was able to achieve to really target quads.
    Smith squats are not same as bb squats. i am putting another pic with my BB squat and you can see even with high bar i am not at same depth and i have slanted torso.
    dont mimic normal bb squats in smith machine.
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    Last edited by ofgrammatology; 08-11-2020 at 11:31 PM.
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    Terrible form. mediocre 3 half-reps. Too much shaking, poor depth, and only 3 reps?

    Leave your ego and start out with an empty bar and not in the smith machine. Weighing 140 lbs and doing reps like that will only make you look more ridiculous. Wide stance sit at the bottom and explode up.




    Smith machine can work but only if you're inter-advanced as the positioning is very tricky. Here's jay cutler demonstrating a very good form on the smith machine

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    Only going to half depth (or less)

    Lower back is hyper-extended, you want a natural curve there not that much of an arch

    You don't look very 'tight'. Quite shaky and wobbly
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Smith machines are dangerous. They force you *out* of proper form and into unnatural arcs that can tear muscles, strain tendons, ligaments, and bones. Only thing they're good for is standing calf raises.
    This is just wrong. Smith machine are excellent but the body positioning is very tricky for exercises like squats or rows,
    So a beginner is in most cases will be better starting with free weights (barbell, DBs)

    But simth machine definitely has its place in bodybuilding. And you'll be surprised how many variety of great exercises you can do with it that you otherwise wouldn't be able to do with free weights.
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    Originally Posted by Calikid32190 View Post
    So going straight down rather then sitting down and back works better here? I think when I was using the barbell I would also go straight down rather than back and down. When I did start literally going straight down it didn’t feel like I was going to lose my balance
    If you are off balance feeling like you are going to fall backwards then yes. Have a go with a bodyweight squat, you should be able to get right down with your feet flat on the floor and maintain balance just by holding your arms in front of you. If the weight is over your mid foot at the bottom, it is easier to visualise driving up by trying to leg press the floor down, and you won't overload your lower back.

    The correct technique is going to depend somewhat on your own body dimensions. Someone with long femurs might have to adopt a wider stance and avoid sitting back much before going down.
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    slightly disagree. i have long femurs. you can see in the pics i posted above. if anything during normal high bar squats i do better with raised heel and slightly narrow stance. and when it comes to smith squats my stance is very narrow with feet up front . but in principal you are right, everyone's different.
    for smith squats , normal squat mechanics dont apply as bar path is fixed. you cant sit back and get depth. placing feet forward in a way that sort of mimics hack squat mechanics and staying upright seems to be a better option and during lockdown i played around with a lot of stances and styles to settle on that. you can refer to pics above.
    tbh, at the end of it, i started liking smith squats quite a bit and thinking of re starting them as an accessory for quad specific work.

    Originally Posted by asrl78 View Post
    If you are off balance feeling like you are going to fall backwards then yes. Have a go with a bodyweight squat, you should be able to get right down with your feet flat on the floor and maintain balance just by holding your arms in front of you. If the weight is over your mid foot at the bottom, it is easier to visualise driving up by trying to leg press the floor down, and you won't overload your lower back.

    The correct technique is going to depend somewhat on your own body dimensions. Someone with long femurs might have to adopt a wider stance and avoid sitting back much before going down.
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