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chairohkey

The Training Yard: Where We Get Our Learn On

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This is a common failure point, and is one of mine as well. You need to cue yourself "Chest up". I also find looking straight ahead rather than downish as Rip teaches to help. Be aware of where the weight feels in your feet, making sure to keep it in your heels and not letting the bar drift forward and put the weight on your toes. Finally, I think of throwing my torso backward in the second half of the squat, almost like I'm trying to throw the bar off my back, to counteract this.

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Thanks Gainsdalf. I'll try some of those cues. Do you think it's entirely a form and mental issue, or could there be muscle weakness problems somewhere too?

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If you start doing it right the squat should fix any of those muscle weaknesses if they are there. If you want to add something to work those muscles, you could try good morning as an accessory movement, starting at an appropriately light weight, for 3 sets of 8 after squatting.

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I'm getting read for the next challenge as I missed this one and haven't exercised in a very long time, what I'm trying to figure out is how much increase in weight should I aim to lift by the end of a whole challenge as a goal?

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You shouldn't, that's out of your control. What you want to set a goal for is to squat a given number of times over the course of the challenge with a set progression scheme. You ARE in control of how many times you lift. You aren't in control as much of how your body responds and adapts to that degree of increasing the weight by a certain amount.

The goals are about building habits to help you hit numbers like how much you can lift in the long run, not about the numbers themselves.

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Excuse me warrior type people, but I'm looking for a little advice on lifting, and figured that this was probably the most knowledgeable lifting resource I was likely to come across. 

 

The advice is actually for my wife, regarding squat form. Currently she does one of 4 things when squatting with her working weight (we are only 8 weeks into SL 5x5, and she actually started with body weight squats to make sure she could squat without leaning too far forward to begin with). 1) She doesn't hit parallel, but maintains proper posture during the lift. 2) she goes to parallel and tends to lean forward and come up on the balls of her feet while pushing up. And 3) She goes below parallel and then can't get herself up out of the hole without raising her hips before her torso, and has to finish the movement with something resembling a good morning. It's worth pointing out that during her warm up sets she does manage to go below parallel and with some difficulty push back up while staying on her heels and keeping her torso upright throughout the movement. I'm nor sure if its relevant, but I find it much more comfortable to squat to depth with a high bar style, while she finds the bar sitting that far up on her back extremely uncomfortable, so she tends to sit the bar somewhere between a high bar location and a low bar location.

 

Anyway, I tend to think that her problem is caused by a weakness in her quads and glutes, although I could be wrong about that. And my thoughts for how to correct it tend to be one of two options. 1) stick with the current working weight (or possibly drop it a bit) and wait until her glute and quad strength improves enough to allow her to squat to depth and maintain proper form before continuing with the linear progression. Or 2) develop an accessory and off day program to help improve her form and glute/quad weakness while continuing with the linear progression but not squat to depth until her glute and quad strength improves enough to allow it with proper form.

 

So, which solution would you oracles of the iron suggest? Or perhaps there is a third option I have not considered maybe? Anyway, any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou.

 

P.S. sorry for the overly verbose question, I was just trying to anticipate any possible questions that may arise.

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I mean, if she can do #3 without butt wink, then it sounds to me that it's a matter of proper cuing to keep her chest up and drive with the legs out of the hole rather than the hips, or dropping the weight a bit to the point that she can get out of the hole with proper form, or both.

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The advice is actually for my wife, regarding squat form. Currently she does one of 4 things when squatting with her working weight (we are only 8 weeks into SL 5x5, and she actually started with body weight squats to make sure she could squat without leaning too far forward to begin with). 1) She doesn't hit parallel, but maintains proper posture during the lift. 2) she goes to parallel and tends to lean forward and come up on the balls of her feet while pushing up. And 3) She goes below parallel and then can't get herself up out of the hole without raising her hips before her torso, and has to finish the movement with something resembling a good morning. It's worth pointing out that during her warm up sets she does manage to go below parallel and with some difficulty push back up while staying on her heels and keeping her torso upright throughout the movement. I'm nor sure if its relevant, but I find it much more comfortable to squat to depth with a high bar style, while she finds the bar sitting that far up on her back extremely uncomfortable, so she tends to sit the bar somewhere between a high bar location and a low bar location.

 

So, which solution would you oracles of the iron suggest? Or perhaps there is a third option I have not considered maybe? Anyway, any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou.

 

 

Although, I am nothing close to an expert on squats, it does sound a lot like an issue a few warriors (including me) have. The inability to stay on your heels without leaning forward too much.

 

I figured out that my ankle/calf mobility is poor because I can't even get close to this test. "If they [knee caps] can touch the wall from 5″, they [your ankles] have pretty good mobility." I do this pretty much everyday as a stretch to help warm up my calves and I am especially hopeful that yoga will help with this area as well (i.e. down-facing dog pose; trying to get my heels on the ground). I also do the first fix noted in this article 

 

Bodyweight squats are the hardest for me because I don't have a counter weight to make myself feel stable and not like I'm going to topple backward. but I keep the weight low (and do mostly goblet squats only) while I try to get my anlke/calf mobility where it needs to be for a good formed squat. It's also good to practice BW squats facing a wall, trying to get your feet as close to the wall as possible without your face banging it on the way down lol

 

Hermione Gainser with the warriors does/knows a lot of good squat mobility exercises, too!

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I mean, if she can do #3 without butt wink, then it sounds to me that it's a matter of proper cuing to keep her chest up and drive with the legs out of the hole rather than the hips, or dropping the weight a bit to the point that she can get out of the hole with proper form, or both.

 

Okay, possibly a dumb question, but I'm still really new to lifting, and there are clearly still some significant holes in my knowledge base: but, what is butt wink?

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I'm going to be a bit dirty here to explain the literal etymology of it. Open the spoiler at your own risk:

Imagine as he squats down he has no pants on and his brown eye is looking at you. When he gets close to the bottom, his hips roll under and butt cheeks come together, then on the way up this reverses. The brown eye is winking at you.

The lower back rounds as he appraoches the hole and unrounds as he comes out of it, eaming the lower spine is now flexing back and forth while under load. This is a recipe for disaster. You want to keep the orientation of your pelvis compared to your torso constant throughout the entire movement to avoid this.

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Okay, possibly a dumb question, but I'm still really new to lifting, and there are clearly still some significant holes in my knowledge base: but, what is butt wink?

The rounding of your back and rolling of the hips that you described coming out of the bottom.

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Okay, thanks guys, I may need to do a deeper study of both mine and my wife's form during squatting at depth. And then start again at the weight at which we have good form and restart our progression from there. Which is a shame, I was finally starting to feel some real pride about my progress.

 

Although it does concern me, we had 3 introductory sessions with a personal trainer when we signed up to the gym, and she checked our form on both squats and deadlifts to ensure we had good form. And her comments were that I had good form, and that my wife had acceptable form (apparently she didn't think depth was important at all, as my wife was barely achieving a half squat at the time).

 

Anyway, I'm off to do the work, and I'm sure if no one minds I will be back with more questions before too long. Thank you again.

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Everybody in the same boat it seems. I'm still working on my squat form, too. Judging by the ankle mobility assessment thingy, it's not them. I can easily move my foot 6'' away and still keep my heel on the ground. ;D

Me thinks the culprit is my hamstring...gonna work on that and staying upright...CHEST UP!

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Everybody in the same boat it seems. I'm still working on my squat form, too. Judging by the ankle mobility assessment thingy, it's not them. I can easily move my foot 6'' away and still keep my heel on the ground. ;D

Me thinks the culprit is my hamstring...gonna work on that and staying upright...CHEST UP!

 

nice! jealous of that ankle mobility you have. i know some people around here need to do a lot of hip mobility as well for the same squat symptoms.

 

 

Okay, thanks guys, I may need to do a deeper study of both mine and my wife's form during squatting at depth. And then start again at the weight at which we have good form and restart our progression from there. Which is a shame, I was finally starting to feel some real pride about my progress.

 

Anyway, I'm off to do the work, and I'm sure if no one minds I will be back with more questions before too long. Thank you again.

 

it is a bummer, but better now than later! it definitely feels like something I will be working on for the rest of my life... good thing I like this sh*t.

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I'm sorry, am I your wife? Because that's exactly what's going on for me. 

 

The trouble out of the hole, in my experience, is weak or sleepy glutes.  I do a good amount of glute activation now and that's helped a good bit.  If she sits a lot (at work) then it's highly probable.

 

The rest of it sounds a lot like ankle mobility (and possibly some hip, hamstring, etc).  You can do the test above that CM linked.  Here's another test to determine if it's ankle related. And here's a good ankle mobility video that has a bit of a test in it, too.

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Okay, thanks guys, I may need to do a deeper study of both mine and my wife's form during squatting at depth. And then start again at the weight at which we have good form and restart our progression from there. Which is a shame, I was finally starting to feel some real pride about my progress.

 

Although it does concern me, we had 3 introductory sessions with a personal trainer when we signed up to the gym, and she checked our form on both squats and deadlifts to ensure we had good form. And her comments were that I had good form, and that my wife had acceptable form (apparently she didn't think depth was important at all, as my wife was barely achieving a half squat at the time).

 

Anyway, I'm off to do the work, and I'm sure if no one minds I will be back with more questions before too long. Thank you again.

 

Shoulda been your first clue. It's so hard for new lifters to tell if a trainer knows what they're talking about because they don't know themselves.

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This is kinda on the same lines, eg glutes.

 

I have a teeny tiny butt, its rubbish and really uncomfortable (it is better looking than the one i had 78lbs ago though). I never feel squats in my glutes, and i feel i should to improve this problem. I've tried widening my stance, nothing. I have a similar problem coming out of the hole i think and more glute/hammy activation might well help there too. I have no problem hitting depth, i regularly bash against the supports on the squat rack (which can't be lowered). Part of me feels i'm "bouncing" (not sure correct term) off my knees rather than my hamstrings/glutes.

 

Anyone got any tips how i can get those big guys into my squat game?

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Oh, and one other small query while i'm here regarding bench press...

 

I can get my shoulders tight and behind when i set up but when i lock out at the top of the lift the left one tends to lose tension. Am i simply locking out too fast, too much? Using my shoulders too much (at all?). My left side always seems stronger which is weird considering i'm right dominant.

 

I don't have a vid i'm afraid.

 

Thanks

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Oh, and one other small query while i'm here regarding bench press...

I can get my shoulders tight and behind when i set up but when i lock out at the top of the lift the left one tends to lose tension. Am i simply locking out too fast, too much? Using my shoulders too much (at all?). My left side always seems stronger which is weird considering i'm right dominant.

I don't have a vid i'm afraid.

Thanks

Don't lock out by bringing your shoulders forward. The lockout is in your elbows. Its not how high you push the bat.
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This is kinda on the same lines, eg glutes.

I have a teeny tiny butt, its rubbish and really uncomfortable (it is better looking than the one i had 78lbs ago though). I never feel squats in my glutes, and i feel i should to improve this problem. I've tried widening my stance, nothing. I have a similar problem coming out of the hole i think and more glute/hammy activation might well help there too. I have no problem hitting depth, i regularly bash against the supports on the squat rack (which can't be lowered). Part of me feels i'm "bouncing" (not sure correct term) off my knees rather than my hamstrings/glutes.

Anyone got any tips how i can get those big guys into my squat game?

Keep squatting, struggling and deloading and reloading. I think it took a couple years for my posterior chain to really wake up. Progrssion is not a straight line. More of a sawtooth pattern
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Keep squatting, struggling and deloading and reloading. I think it took a couple years for my posterior chain to really wake up. Progrssion is not a straight line. More of a sawtooth pattern

And you'll think "finally. I've got it". Then find a bunch more 6 months later
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Don't lock out by bringing your shoulders forward. The lockout is in your elbows. Its not how high you push the bat.

 

Ok gotcha, thanks. That was my guess after today's workout too.

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Warrior friends!

 

Stopping over from Adventurers land to ask for your help!  I am pretty much brand new to lifting, and I would love some pointers.  I don't even own my own weight set yet, I am a clean slate, please be my Yodas! 

 

Do you have any favorite articles/sites/workouts for beginners? 

 

Is it worth it to find a personal trainer to help you starting out, or can you learn the basics on your own and then advance using a gym/trainer?

 

Is there a good way to gauge where you are, strength wise, before diving in?

 

Ermm.... that's it for now I think!  I would appreciate any advice. :) 

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