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Old 12-21-2012, 08:23 AM   #1
Lazarus52980
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Default Low bar squat form check for my son

Its been quite a while since I have posted anything from my son and our attempts at learning the basic lifts from Starting Strength. Here is a video from earlier this week.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7snP0...ature=youtu.be


Any advice on helping him improve his form would be greatly appreciated.

UPDATE: New (and hopefully improved) video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkxneIzyBj0

Last edited by Lazarus52980; 03-18-2013 at 03:21 PM. Reason: To update the video link
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:06 AM   #2
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Firstly, I know there is going to be a lot of discussion on strength training and children. Research shows that strength training can be appropriate, safe, and beneficial to development of an effective nervous and musculoskeletal system and body awareness. However, the suggestion is typically low weight and higher reps. I'd suggest 10-15 reps on average so as not to excessively stress the epiphyseal plates (growth plates).

That said, you have to perfect form with kids. You should lighten the weight up and start at square one with him. You should not be following an adult's strength program (i.e. Starting Strength or StrongLifts). You can do something similar, but it definitely needs to be higher reps.

I would not have him lift barefoot. You can see his arches caving - if he's serious about lifting, get him a good lifting shoe (or something with a nice firm sole. Even a cheap dress shoe with a slight heel will work well). Next - I wouldn't have him lift low bar. Low bar is great because it allows you to lift more weight, but it also predisposes people who have poor shoulder mobility to injury. I'd suggest high bar or front squat in this case. Also, you see how his back rounds? That puts him at risk of lumbar spine sprain, disc herniation, etc. He needs to keep a flat neutral back at all times. That will mean he won't go as low, which is fine. I'm sure he can go below or at parallel without rounding his back. This is important as this will teach him his core awareness for much of the rest of his life. I'll be back in this thread later, but I've got to get to work. Be back later.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:23 AM   #3
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So many different opinions on things... We used to do high bar, but it was recomended to me by a physical therapist from church that we go to low bar due to the less strain on the upper back and neck...(It has nothing to do with being able to lift more)

Shoes are no problem, I will find something for him with a tougher sole. I normally lift barefoot, so I had him do the same thing.

I have been trying to help him to stop before he gets to the bottom and pulls his hips out of position, but I have struggled wtih that. I am mostly looking for advice on that... How do I help him to know when to stop correctly, or how do I help him stretch out more so that he CAN get that low and keep his back/hips in place?
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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Also check if on his way up, his knees don't "cave in". It looks like he may have that issue, gotta get those knees out.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus52980 View Post
So many different opinions on things... We used to do high bar, but it was recomended to me by a physical therapist from church that we go to low bar due to the less strain on the upper back and neck...(It has nothing to do with being able to lift more)

Shoes are no problem, I will find something for him with a tougher sole. I normally lift barefoot, so I had him do the same thing.

I have been trying to help him to stop before he gets to the bottom and pulls his hips out of position, but I have struggled wtih that. I am mostly looking for advice on that... How do I help him to know when to stop correctly, or how do I help him stretch out more so that he CAN get that low and keep his back/hips in place?
just watching it quickly...
watch his head dip as he gets to the bottom. he needs to keep his head up and this should help keep his shoulders back a bit and from rolling his back.

as far as his depth, just have him go down a bit slower and you give him the cue to go back up.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:54 AM   #6
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Also check if on his way up, his knees don't "cave in". It looks like he may have that issue, gotta get those knees out.
I don't think I have watched that very closely, I will keep an eye on it.

Thank you.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:00 AM   #7
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Box squats are a good way to stop him from going too deep. Find a box that is the prefect height and have him just touch it then come back up.

As far as improving flexibility I'm going to suggest mobilitywod...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBHzX...layer_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thTRW...feature=relmfu

Those are the best 2 I have bookmarked but you can look over him site and see if there is anything else that you think might be helpful. Honestly the paelo chair helped me out a ton, just spending 10 min a day at the bottom of a squat makes all the difference in the world when it comes to getting ATG squats.

@SC I thought most people recommending lifting flatfooted until they need more mobility because squatting with a heeled shoe limits ankle mobility.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:24 AM   #8
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I'd suggest starting him off with doing goblet squats with a light dumbell or some other implement. In my experience it's the easiest way to get somebody to squat correctly. By holding an implement in front of him it'll be easier to maintain an upright position and a neutral spine. In the bottom position the elbows should also slide past the inside of the knees, which will force him to keep his knees out.

Squatting to a box will help as well. It'll teach him to sit back and you can set the height a bit higher to limit the range of motion at first. Get him to go as low as he can while still maintaining a neutral sprine.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lazarus52980 View Post
So many different opinions on things... We used to do high bar, but it was recomended to me by a physical therapist from church that we go to low bar due to the less strain on the upper back and neck...(It has nothing to do with being able to lift more)

Shoes are no problem, I will find something for him with a tougher sole. I normally lift barefoot, so I had him do the same thing.

I have been trying to help him to stop before he gets to the bottom and pulls his hips out of position, but I have struggled wtih that. I am mostly looking for advice on that... How do I help him to know when to stop correctly, or how do I help him stretch out more so that he CAN get that low and keep his back/hips in place?
If he's maintaining the bar in the right position with high bar, there's low stress on the neck. With a low bar position, there's always excessive stress on the shoulders. To each his own, but I also do PT and I'd probably prefer the high bar over low bar for a child. Even better, front squat would be the best overall to reduce abnormal joint stresses.

If you lift barefoot, you have to have supraphysiologic range of motion for a deep squat. Because most people don't have that, they cave in at the arches of their feet, causing their knees to go in. When the knees go in, that's the most common position of traumatic knee injury (ACL, MCL, LCL, meniscus tears, etc).

You guys need to perfect his form before ever putting a bar on his bar. It's called spine hip dissociation. He needs to be able to maintain a neutral spine when flexing and extending his hip. Body weight box squats might be the way to go. If you get a box that's the perfect height for him to touch it just as he gets below parallel, I think that'd be ideal. Then he can practice pushing his hips back toward the box, touch it, and stand back up. That would fix his going too low and hopefully him rounding his low back out. He probably goes all the way down because it's more difficult to stop oneself and control his core/back. It's a strength and motor planning issue. That's why you guys shouldn't use weight until he can do that squat with perfect form - it's a weakness issue in addition to a coordination problem that needs to be fixed.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:20 AM   #10
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Also check if on his way up, his knees don't "cave in". It looks like he may have that issue, gotta get those knees out.
That's likely a function of his arches caving in because he's not wearing shoes, but always good to cue someone to keep their knees out.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:10 PM   #11
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His main issue:
-crashing at the bottom, he is going down way too fast imo. Tell him to go down slower
-head looking down, tell him to look forwards or slightly upwards from parallel.
-have his feet a tiny bit wider, should be about shoulder width as a starting point.
-focus on taking a ***breath at the top of the squat to BRACE HIS TRUNK***. This makes for a MUCH STRONGER drunk.
-have him force his knees out so that they track over his toes, they should ideally never cave in.
-as he comes up in the squat have him push his hips forwards so they get under the bar. Ideally you do not want your hips behind the bar for long when you squat up.

I favour Oly high bar squats as that is what I do.

He can go full depth so why stop him. He just needs to get strong and learn how to do the movement correctly. It's mostly down and only a few minor things to correct.

Good job.

My youngest bro started at 6 or so but his attention span wasn't that great so we got him back in at 11. He's been competing in OLifting for 6yrs now and numerous National titles and even some International comps for Britain.

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Old 01-05-2013, 09:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Koing View Post
His main issue:
-crashing at the bottom, he is going down way too fast imo. Tell him to go down slower
-head looking down, tell him to look forwards or slightly upwards from parallel.
-have his feet a tiny bit wider, should be about shoulder width as a starting point.
-focus on taking a ***breath at the top of the squat to BRACE HIS TRUNK***. This makes for a MUCH STRONGER drunk.
-have him force his knees out so that they track over his toes, they should ideally never cave in.
-as he comes up in the squat have him push his hips forwards so they get under the bar. Ideally you do not want your hips behind the bar for long when you squat up.

I favour Oly high bar squats as that is what I do.

He can go full depth so why stop him. He just needs to get strong and learn how to do the movement correctly. It's mostly down and only a few minor things to correct.

Good job.

My youngest bro started at 6 or so but his attention span wasn't that great so we got him back in at 11. He's been competing in OLifting for 6yrs now and numerous National titles and even some International comps for Britain.

Koing
I agree with all points except for bringing the hips forward early. I know this is a Oly lifting strategy, but it causes excessive shear force on the knees, encourages quad dominance, and sometimes even encourages a posterior thorax when squatting (hips forward, back backward). If he can learn to utilize his glutes better, pushing the hips through should only come about at the top of the squat.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:55 PM   #13
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I agree with all points except for bringing the hips forward early. I know this is a Oly lifting strategy, but it causes excessive shear force on the knees, encourages quad dominance, and sometimes even encourages a posterior thorax when squatting (hips forward, back backward). If he can learn to utilize his glutes better, pushing the hips through should only come about at the top of the squat.
The hips should go forwards as you come up in the squats. Hips shouldn't be left behind in the squats. There is no way to squat up if you leave our hips behind. Most people just aren't conscious of this affect when they do squat. They do for the most part drive the hips in forwards under the bar, but if they make a conceited effect it'll improve the squats.

Excess shearing force on the knees? Have you seen him drop in hard in the video? quad dominance? The guy will be fine if he does other training and does dynamic stretches before training and warms down properly.

No benefit to leaving the hips behind unless he is doing a low bar PL squat and even then he'd want to push his hips in forwards and drive them under the bar. It just makes the squat harder.

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Old 01-06-2013, 09:03 PM   #14
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The hips should go forwards as you come up in the squats. Hips shouldn't be left behind in the squats. There is no way to squat up if you leave our hips behind. Most people just aren't conscious of this affect when they do squat. They do for the most part drive the hips in forwards under the bar, but if they make a conceited effect it'll improve the squats.

Excess shearing force on the knees? Have you seen him drop in hard in the video? quad dominance? The guy will be fine if he does other training and does dynamic stretches before training and warms down properly.

No benefit to leaving the hips behind unless he is doing a low bar PL squat and even then he'd want to push his hips in forwards and drive them under the bar. It just makes the squat harder.

Koing
I agree he will push his hips forward naturally. I'm against him doing that excessively or early. There are a lot of Oly lifters that push them forward too early, which definitely increases risk of injury.

Overall, talking about the hips coming forward is a bit confusing. They will come forward as he extends his hips, that's fine. But forcing the pelvis forward early messes with muscle length-tension relationship, causes abnormal back position, etc. I'm not saying you're wrong about getting the hips forward, but I'm saying doing it too early can be detrimental.

Shear forces on the knees isn't about stretching or maintaining proper length. Shear force is abnormal and dangerous most of the time. That's why I'm mentioning it.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:20 PM   #15
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His hips mainly stay behind the bar too long in the squats imo for most of the reps. His first rep the worst thing is he collapses completely at the bottom and this is probably his biggest technical error at the moment.

His other reps he leaves his hips behind for too long imo. They should be coming in. A lot of Oly lifter that push them forwards too early? Most Oly coaches have no idea about this and have to be told to drive the hips in forwards. Never seen an OLifter injured with hips coming in early in over 13yrs of training.

Abnormal back position? His abnormal position is leaning over too much at the bottom of his squats when he collapses.

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Old 03-18-2013, 02:44 PM   #16
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Its been a few months, so I thought I would update this thread with the current status of our efforts to improve my sons squat technique.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkxneIzyBj0

As always, advice on how we can improve is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:02 PM   #17
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Needs to work on his depth, have him strength more. I like to prescribe him swinging his legs forwards and backwards, each leg, one at a time. Do 25-30x. Start slow go a tad higher every 3-5 swings. Then to swing across the body, same thing, start slow, then go faster later on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaQPfi8f27E

He should be doing goblet squats with no weights. Needs to sit more upright and work on his depth. He is 7, his mobility should be perfect at this age.

I'd use the same weight but only make him do 7reps. Remember he is 7, more important to build depth and correct technique than weight. For kids less than 14 I'd stop them 2-3reps short of them getting to a point where they are *struggling*.

Hips are coming in better but his lean forwards imo is a tad excess. I always prefer a high bar upright squat than a low bar lean over pl squat. His form is perfect for a pl squat.

Get him some oly shoes or some chucks to squat in. Flat heels.

Koing
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:12 PM   #18
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Why do you prefer oly squat over pl squat? Is it just preference or did you information on why choose one over the other.

I feel like the oly squat doesn't differentiate enough from the front squat in terms of muscles stimulated, so I personally do pl squat to work out my posterior chain and do front squats to really burn up my quads.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:38 AM   #19
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Why do you prefer oly squat over pl squat? Is it just preference or did you information on why choose one over the other.

I feel like the oly squat doesn't differentiate enough from the front squat in terms of muscles stimulated, so I personally do pl squat to work out my posterior chain and do front squats to really burn up my quads.
ROM is greater
Less time spent at parallel which is the weakest point for the knee
Less lean forwards

I'm an OLifter, PL squat is completely the wrong position for me.

I'd rather a 7yr old kid be able to squat deep and change it up later than to be stuck squatting one way. It'll be much harder for him to switch to a high bar deep squat if he only does his PL style of squat right now. I can guarantee his range won't improve if he only goes to just a bit below parallel with a lean forwards right now. I'm all about working full ROM unless you have a specific reason.

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