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Darwin's Form Checks - Endless Forms Most Beautiful


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This started initially as a goal in one of my challenges. Since then I've just been using it to keep track of my form changes and improvements.

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Here's the first video of me squatting 200 lbs.

 

 

All I have right now is one side view that is tilted sideways. But hey its a start. I tried a front view, but the only place to put my phone was down on the ground and not much room so the angle really sucked. I'll post more as I get things figured out at the gym.

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I'm coming forward too much. Sometimes on the way down, sometimes on the way back up. I'm not sure if I'm quite hitting parallel. Maybe on a couple reps.

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Youtube has a way to rotate the video just as a quick FYI.  

 

Thanks rooks. I was on that page and don't know how I missed the rotate button. I think I thought it was undo/redo or something.

 

The changes should be up soon.

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Weight Loss Quest: Start 270 lbs., Goal 199 lbs., Current 270 lbs., Waist: ,45.0 in., Bodyfat%: 33%

 

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September 28, 2013 - Squat 205#

Set 1: Side view

Set 2: Side view

Set 4: Rear view

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The coming forward too much definitely. One thing you might pay attention to is your ankles, you don't really want them to move that much. Ideally your knees should not go very far over your toes, your butt just sticks way out.

Overall your form isn't bad, but you look like you're sort of slumping forward with the weight at the bottom and not entirely correcting until you are back at the top on several reps.

 

Mostly it looks like you're trying to lean forward a bit to keep your balance, which is a tricky thing to beat.

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If you're going to keep your feet that wide, you need to shove your knees out to brace your hips. See in the rear view how you're rolling in on your feet? This is pretty obvious as you're not wearing shoes (0:21). That means that your knees are bailing inwards, which is resulting in a loss of power from your hips. 

 

Another thing, if you're going to setup with a low bar position, you need to get your ass back more. At the moment, you're showing great ankle mobility and your knees are tracking way past your toes. Good on you, that's great for a high bar squat, but you actually want your shins much closer to perpendicular for low bar. And move your ass back. Move it. 

 

Look, imagery. 

080518-lowHighTorque.jpg

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If you're going to keep your feet that wide, you need to shove your knees out to brace your hips. See in the rear view how you're rolling in on your feet? This is pretty obvious as you're not wearing shoes (0:21). That means that your knees are bailing inwards, which is resulting in a loss of power from your hips. 

 

Another thing, if you're going to setup with a low bar position, you need to get your ass back more. At the moment, you're showing great ankle mobility and your knees are tracking way past your toes. Good on you, that's great for a high bar squat, but you actually want your shins much closer to perpendicular for high bar. And move your ass back. Move it. 

 

 

Thanks for the advice Seth.

 

Yeah, I think at the time, now a month ago, my squat was a bit confused over whether or not it was high or low bar, so maybe I was kinda in between. I think a lot of this had to do with my grip which is pretty wide in the vid compared to now. Right around that time I started to get bruises on the spine of the scapula too because the bar wasn't quite low enough. Since then I've actually brought my grip in by about 6 in on either side. This also lets me engage my lats more and create that shelf on the traps. So now I should be doing an actual low bar squat.

 

Hmm... I always felt like my ankle mobility was a problem.

 

I've also switched to lifting with shoes on. I used to go barefoot because I would go to the gym in my running shoes which had too much padding and made it feel like I was going to roll my ankles out. I got reacquainted with an old pair of indoor soccer shoes with low, flat, and hard/sturdy soles which I like.

 

Also my stance is probably a bit narrower now and I'm working more on keeping my knees from caving.

 

All that said, I'll have to post some new vids and see how the changes are

Level 3, Rebel

Currtent Challenge
Previously known as: Curl Brogo, Darwins_Demon, Vincent Van Bro

2020 Respawn Battle Log || Tarly's Ten Level Nutrition Plan

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Weight Loss Quest: Start 270 lbs., Goal 199 lbs., Current 270 lbs., Waist: ,45.0 in., Bodyfat%: 33%

 

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Holy shit I haven't posted here in forever... Here are a few recent ones.

 

275# -- April 30

 

 

Since the above, I've widened my stance. With that, at lower weights I'm pretty good about keeping things in place, but look at 315# (my 1 RM as of January)

 

315# -- May 17

 

 

315# -- May 17

 

 

I'm still getting too far forward and rounding my back.

 

I think its time for some box squats.

 

Also, I recently discovered, or maybe just decided to do something about, the asymmetry in size/strength of my left and right legs.

 

All this sucks, because I know I have the overall strength, at least in my legs to lift more, probably quite a bit more, but these issues with form are making 315# too difficult to go beyond safely.

 

I think its time for some box squats.

Level 3, Rebel

Currtent Challenge
Previously known as: Curl Brogo, Darwins_Demon, Vincent Van Bro

2020 Respawn Battle Log || Tarly's Ten Level Nutrition Plan

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Weight Loss Quest: Start 270 lbs., Goal 199 lbs., Current 270 lbs., Waist: ,45.0 in., Bodyfat%: 33%

 

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I'd try and get a touch more depth as well.  Also, I feel like you aren't bracing at all in the beginning of the lift.  Maybe I'm just not noticing it, but it seems like you just get the weight and squat.  Make sure you are tightening up the glutes and abs with a bit breath, then squat, all the way through.  Especially on a PR attempt or heavy single.  It should help with the rounding.

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Thanks for the feedback guys!

 

I'll try these cues. I definitely have them in mind when I start but on the heavier attempts all seems to go out the window when I begin the descent. Next round of squats I'll be focusing more on them throughout.

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Currtent Challenge
Previously known as: Curl Brogo, Darwins_Demon, Vincent Van Bro

2020 Respawn Battle Log || Tarly's Ten Level Nutrition Plan

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Weight Loss Quest: Start 270 lbs., Goal 199 lbs., Current 270 lbs., Waist: ,45.0 in., Bodyfat%: 33%

 

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I put some of this into action today. After taking the above advice and rereading how to squat in starting strength, I also dropped my gaze to the floor and really pushed my ass back. I was able to check a few reps by tracing the edge of the mirror next to the squat rack. Looks a lot more straight up and down, and the bar stays right above mid foot, but another couple of check vids are due to know for sure.

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Level 3, Rebel

Currtent Challenge
Previously known as: Curl Brogo, Darwins_Demon, Vincent Van Bro

2020 Respawn Battle Log || Tarly's Ten Level Nutrition Plan

My Fitness Pal Profile || NF Epic Quest Character Page || Instagram

Weight Loss Quest: Start 270 lbs., Goal 199 lbs., Current 270 lbs., Waist: ,45.0 in., Bodyfat%: 33%

 

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Bah! It's been ten months!

 

I'm squatting more, but it looks like I've learned very little.

 

Also, there's benches and deads in there.

 

These are a recent run at some PRs. I was specifically trying to get 1000s in a PvP challenge. Kinda sprinting for the finish line with little regard for doing it right. I know there's tons of form issues, but I just need as much feedback and advice as possible.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Level 3, Rebel

Currtent Challenge
Previously known as: Curl Brogo, Darwins_Demon, Vincent Van Bro

2020 Respawn Battle Log || Tarly's Ten Level Nutrition Plan

My Fitness Pal Profile || NF Epic Quest Character Page || Instagram

Weight Loss Quest: Start 270 lbs., Goal 199 lbs., Current 270 lbs., Waist: ,45.0 in., Bodyfat%: 33%

 

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Squats:  Really focus on getting that upper back tight.  I think you already spotted it, but you are rounding and the weight is getting a bit ahead of your midfoot as you come out of the hole.  Either your backs not tight enough or you are just bringing your butt up faster then your upper body can do.  It's tough when you nearing a 1RM, but just keep working on it.  I'd like to see a set of 5 at around 75% of your 1RM.  Maybe around 300. 

 

Bench:  Hard to really say.  You look a little wobbly on the bench so I'd say you could probably benefit from getting a bit tighter.  

 

Deadlift:  Maybe again try tightening the upper back.  Looks like you are letting your shoulders droop a liitle bit in your setup which could be adding to the rounding.  Again, rounding a bit as you near the 1RM is expected a bit, but we want to prevent it as much as possible.  

 

Hope that helps a bit.  

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Bench:  Hard to really say.  You look a little wobbly on the bench so I'd say you could probably benefit from getting a bit tighter.  

 

I cannot even tell from this angle.  Do you mean something like pulling the shoulder blades together with everything you got when grabbing the bar?

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I cannot even tell from this angle.  Do you mean something like pulling the shoulder blades together with everything you got when grabbing the bar?

 

That's part of it.  But tight core, tight butt, tight legs.  Everything should be solid when you are benching.  Looking at Darwin's video again, the reps actually seem a lot better then I was thinking.  Bench is tough to critique through video IMO.

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Thanks Rooks!

I've got some more vids coming. I did my weekly DL workout yesterday and caught some 5's at 315# My next squat workout is 5's and the last set is at 295#.

Level 3, Rebel

Currtent Challenge
Previously known as: Curl Brogo, Darwins_Demon, Vincent Van Bro

2020 Respawn Battle Log || Tarly's Ten Level Nutrition Plan

My Fitness Pal Profile || NF Epic Quest Character Page || Instagram

Weight Loss Quest: Start 270 lbs., Goal 199 lbs., Current 270 lbs., Waist: ,45.0 in., Bodyfat%: 33%

 

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