Squatting

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Cratos, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Cratos

    Cratos Banned Banned

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    Why is there always so much confusion and questioning about elbow positioning during the squat?

    Step 1: Make your upper back as tight as possible.
    Step 2: Place the bar where you would like.
    Step 3: Unrack and walkout.
    Step 4: Pull the bar down and try to bend it over your back.
    Step 5: Go down.
    Step 6: Come back up.

    It's like some people want to get a protractor out and measure the angle their elbows are at.
     
  2. toonie

    toonie Tuesday

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    So.... I should have my elbows under the bar? Or should I have them back? Do I even need my elbows to squat? Wouldn't pulling the bar down on my back just make the weight heavier since I'm pulling myself down? Should I walk back in after I come back up? I ask because your step by step list suddenly stopped.
     
  3. LatFlare

    LatFlare EADC

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    na man, after you come back up you stand there forever, derp. Do you even lift?
     
  4. RawDawgBob

    RawDawgBob Like's; 100,000,000,000.69

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    The best advice i can give you is go buy/download the encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding by Arnold. He breaks down every movement/position in great detail. I keep it on my desk and refer to it all the time.

    BTW. I'm yoked.
     
  5. lpaulgib

    lpaulgib Blue Belt

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    Do you look down, forward, or up
     
  6. CPP

    CPP Orange Belt

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    Ideally you keep a neutral spine also around your neck. With low bar squat that means look down a little, with high bar the trunk is more upright, so you look more forward.
    The differences between high bar and low bar squat are often a source of confusion for new lifters. I know it was/is for me.
    If you have a lot of trouble keeping the "chest up", exaggerating the arch by cueing head up may help, but it's a bad habit I think.

    Also for low bar: elbows back provides more upper back tightness and a bigger shelf along the scapula for the bar. For high bar this is not needed (as much) and elbows down (in line with the trunk) makes it easier to keep the trunk up right, but I know very little about high bar so please correct me if wrong.
     
  7. dinpappa

    dinpappa Purple Belt

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    I have to agree with Cratos on this one, there seems to be a strong correlation between beeing a beginner and "paralysis by analysis". Or beeing so preoccupied with "the perfect lift" that they eventually end up afraid of going heavy at times. When someone says "that guys as such awesome form" it usually means he is "weak". Sorry to say, im not saying im one or the other, but its an observation.

    Also i like this:

    "If you can’t bench press 225 pounds and you ask a coach whether you need to work on your lockout strength with close grips on a 3-board, and he ignores you or laughs his ass off, then well…you had it coming. I constantly see variations of this kind of questioning thrown about by novice lifters, and it’s both sad and annoying at the same time. Part of it is paralysis by analysis and a lack of perspective, but it’s also sheer overcomplication. For a beginner guy, progressive overload is the name of the game. You just need to keep adding weight to the bar or to keep doing more reps (or both). That’s it—that’s seriously it."


    From: http://articles.elitefts.com/traini...lion-in-iron-its-not-that-complicated-part-4/

    In the end, using elbow angle in squat as an example.... it all comes down to you, your form, your build, your comeptition, gear, mono/walkout, flexibility and so on but what it all comes down to is.... Can you hold a loaded bar in place, on your back as "comfortably" as you can?

    If the answer is yes, then who cares? If it is no, change something until you can.
     
  8. NurseKnuckles

    NurseKnuckles My Mom's stronger than you belt

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    It was a valiant effort Cratos. Your message has been received.

    BTW my when I bring my elbows back (to get teh tightness as someone suggested) I find it raises the bar about 1.5-2" and therefore I end up leaning forward trying to compensate. But when I tighten my lats, pull my elbows in and downish (basically the action of pulling down on the bar) it stays nicely where I want it, my abdomen feel tighter, my back feels tighter and my chest stays upright . Weird.
     
  9. Keosawa

    Keosawa Black Belt

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    People just get confused because a.) different elbow positions, ranging from up-at-the-ears-high to directly-under-the-barbell-low, are acceptable given the lifter and the circumstance and b.) they don't know themselves well enough to know what's "best for them." There is a lot of confusion regarding "absolutes" in squatting and what someone "should" be doing when they squat. People worry about shitty elbow positioning because you can create other issues by holding your elbows too high or too low--it usually comes down to the elbows as determining rotation of the shoulders, and the shoulders determining other issues (i.e. loss of scapular retraction from excessive external rotation and subsequent brachialis pain and/or golfer's elbow; or, excessive internal rotation and thoracic flexion). The elbows become the root cause in certain technical issues, but people freak out about them before they have a technical issue whose cause needs to be rooted out.
     
  10. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    All of this is bullshit without a scientific study proving it.

    /SeriouslyDead
     
  11. Obscure Terror

    Obscure Terror ................................. Platinum Member

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    As someone who read Stronglifts and started squatting high-bar with low bar cues, and subsequently wondered why the weights felt so heavy and my back was always getting hurt, I think you do need to analyse what you're doing. Especially if you don't have access to a real life lifting coach.

    However like all things you need to balance out preparation with actually doing the fucking work.

    To be fair to Cratos, elbow position is the least of your worries when compared to upper back tightness and sorting out your hips.
     
  12. Porch_Rabbit

    Porch_Rabbit Blue Belt

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    I agree that it's a good thing to analyze your own squat and try to perfect your form. Otherwise you get those people whose squats look like a good morning or just something sloppy and then injuries will be more frequent.

    But Cratos' point still stands. People need to just man up, get in the damn weight room, and actually squat.
     
  13. Cratos

    Cratos Banned Banned

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    Brb, perfecting form, remaining weak.
    Brb, paralysis by analysis.
    Brb, only squat 225, but it's ATG.
     
  14. dinpappa

    dinpappa Purple Belt

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    Boom, hit the nail on the head ;)
     
  15. golvmopp

    golvmopp Always outnumbered, never outgunned

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    Slippery slope right here. I'd rather see a novice do a 225lbs atg than a tree-fiddy quarter squat.
     
  16. Gfreak

    Gfreak Purple Belt

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    I understand where you're comin from with this, but these 2 things are NOT mutually exclusive. having good form is very conducive to staying healthy long enough to get strong. And if you're planning on actually going to a high level, perfecting your form should be a fairly high priority for you.
     
  17. Donut62

    Donut62 Black Belt

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    Obviously it seems silly with what he's doing now, but the original point still stands:

     
  18. lpaulgib

    lpaulgib Blue Belt

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    I noticed that a minor tweak in my head position dramatically changes my elbow position. This affects my upper body drastically when I squat. When I am going around 300lbs it is the difference in a good lift or lower back pain. As a man who lifts without a coach, am I wrong to seek information. Especially with the only couple of resources all seem to conflict with each other.
     
  19. toonie

    toonie Tuesday

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    lulz. I always laugh when I see a squat labeled as ATG.
     
  20. Cratos

    Cratos Banned Banned

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    A lot of people get the form part down and end up getting so caught up in "imbalances" or whatever else, they forget the "get stronger" part.
     

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