When Should You Start Individualizing Your Technique?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Fighting Sprite, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Fighting Sprite

    Fighting Sprite Green Belt

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    Hey folks,

    So, I was squatting on monday, and on my heavy(relatively speaking, of course) set I began to fuck with my technique. After a couple reps I began to shift my weight forward out of the hole. On my last two reps, I sat back less. The weight went up and down much easier and cleaner. I didn't really mean to do this, but it happened.

    Basically, I've left wondering if I should stick with more traditional low-bar squat technique, or if I should begin to adjust it based on my given strengths. When did you guys begin to individualize your technique, and when would you suggest another lifter should start?
     
  2. Keosawa

    Keosawa Black Belt

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    Once you're self-conscious enough of your technique to tweak it and see if those changes improve your lifts, you're ready, in my opinion. Technical self-consciousness, more so than any arbitrary number, is what separates a beginning from an intermediate lifter.
     
  3. Jake Pudenz

    Jake Pudenz Green Belt Professional Fighter

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    For my clean, which is technically superior than my snatch, I have tweaked things to what works best for me and my leverages. I have been able to do this because I have achieved a good level of technical ability on the lift.

    However, my snatch was beginner level at best and for awhile I was trying to tweak the technique to what I thought would work best for me but I just ended up spinning my wheels. Once I started doing the lift more like the "textbook" way, my numbers started shooting through the roof.

    Basically, I echo what Keo is saying.
     
  4. tkdyo

    tkdyo Orange Belt

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    I agree with keo, its more about if you can figure out those adjustments that determines your readiness. Im still a beginner myself, but I figured out for me to comfortably go below parallel on my squats I need to have my feet a little closer together than shoulder width apart for some reason, even though it seems like its generally recommended to go shoulder width or wider.
     
  5. Revok

    Revok Brown Belt

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    When you've had a thorough postural assessment and have a solid understanding of all your mobility-stability imbalances.

    If you don't have this knowledge, how do you know the changes you're making are for the best? If hula-hooping up out of the hole adds 10kg to my squat because I've got a heinous QL imbalance, should I do it? I've also got terrible glute activation so I don't bother completing my hip extension, but that's okay, because Relativism.

    This is not Nam. This is lifting. There are rules.
     
  6. Keosawa

    Keosawa Black Belt

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    Hmmm. I deleted the disclaimer in my post that qualified my statement with, "assuming said technical changes do not increase the risk of injury." This post made me come back and amend that.
     
  7. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    To some degree, you'll do it as soon as you begin lifting, just because people have different proportions. For example, if two people, one with short femurs and a long torso, and one with long femurs and a short torso, start learning to deadlift, they'll naturally end up using different technique, assuming there's any competence in the source they're learning from.
     
  8. AtlSteel

    AtlSteel Green Belt

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    I would add the tangential moment arm analysis that Rip advises, but that takes a bit of an investment in equipment. I'd stop lifting altogether until I had that analysis. Otherwise you'll just keep getting stronger and figuring shit out for yourself.
     
  9. Revok

    Revok Brown Belt

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    Pubmed search: 'strawmanning and bravado protect against musculoskeletal dysfunction'

    Nope.
     
  10. Babyeater

    Babyeater Yellow Belt

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    The thing is, what you're describing is what would make my squat easier. But probably not better. It sounds like a shifting away from engagement of the hips, which you just don't want to be the case when building your squat. You're already doing lowbar, which allows (well, alright, necessitates) more of a forward incline in the torso. Now you have to support that with hip drive, and it's going to be harder to do so if you're not "sitting back." Every squat I do recently has been a massive battle to keep my hips in place. Okay, not massive, but I'm absolutely determined to make them drive the squat and keep my chest up. I can use the cue "chest up," but ultimately I know that power from behind is what's going to make following that cue a lot easier. So I'm forcing power from behind as much as I can while squatting and I'm reinforcing it when I do assistance work. But that IS just me, and my squat, and not necessarily you. Video would help here--I'd suggest a form check before you start sitting back less.
     
  11. Fighting Sprite

    Fighting Sprite Green Belt

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    From today. I'll get another one on Monday when I go heavy (relatively speaking, of course). Wow, I should probably worry about GMing the weight, before I fuck around with how far I should sit back. The two could be connected, no? Perhaps hips come forward to try to get back under the bar?

    Thanks everyone for the help.
     
  12. Babyeater

    Babyeater Yellow Belt

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    The thing is, I'm jealous of your ability to sit deep into these and break at the hips well. I would capitalize on it. I'd work on speed out of the hole to do so--perhaps low box squats, perhaps paused squatting. It would be really great to see a higher weight video to view your breakdowns--I think that will be the most telling way to evaluate your hip use.

    One thing I'm seeing here that I'd suggest you think abut is what you're doing with your neck/traps during the squat. It appears you're really looking down/neutral-forward and down while squatting, which isn't at all an issue, but you're not really "packing" your neck into the squat and doing so would help your upper body stay solidly in position throughout the squat, particularly out of the hole. I think some people look directly upward while squatting in order to force themselves back into that "neck-packed" position, and you don't have to do that, but if looking up a few feet higher helps you get your neck into a neutral, packed-into-the-bar position, this may help with keeping your chest up.
     
  13. Fighting Sprite

    Fighting Sprite Green Belt

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    I have 113x5 on Monday. That should do the trick.

    I might add some supplemental squatting exercises. I'm trying to think of where I'd fit them. Right now I have Monday-heavy squats, Wednesday-deads and front squats, Friday-heavy squats, Saturday-light squats. Perhaps in lieu of light squats on saturday. I would have to make sure I keep them pretty light, though. Maybe front squats aren't what I need right now and that's where I could fit some squat variations. Thoughts?

    Once upon a time, I was trying to do something mark bell talks about. It's also supposed to keep the chest up.



    starts around 2:00

    Can't say I've really paid attention to it lately. I'll have to mess around with some things there and see what works best.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  14. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    The squats in your video looked pretty good. Perhaps you were sitting back a tad too much before?
     

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