I remember when I could barely squat 315 pounds and I was proud of that. Recently I squatted 804 pounds at a 240 bodyweight. There are a lot of years and even more learning that happens when you add 500lbs to your squat and I want to tell you the top 3 things that I have noticed help you squat more immediately.
1. Think elbow position, not chest position. Do this experiment with me, stand up and put your elbows up like you are about to squat. Now, attempt to push your elbows forward past your chest. Did you notice how your chest, shoulders and head automatically opened up and went back? That’s the position you want to hold when you start and finish a squat. The best way to add this to your form is to push your elbows forward as you descend and push them forward as hard as you can as you come up. This was the most influential form change I have ever made.
2. Let’s talk about knee wrap placement because I think this is the easiest fix that is most often overlooked or ignored. Many people end up biasing their knee wrap toward the bottom of the knee, when in reality, you need to bias your knee wrap toward the top of the knee cap and over the knee cap. To do this you start the wrap at the bottom of the knee cap with half the wrap going below the knee cap and the other half going up. From here, you go up the leg, never going higher than half a wrap at a time, and stop when you are two wraps above the knee. You will then do two full wraps at this point then start back down the leg in the fashion you went up, finishing the wrap on top of the knee cap. When wrapping a knee you attempt to pull all the slack out of the knee wrap on every pass OVER the knee.
3. Stop worrying about your head position. I have never seen this make or break a squat, just keep your head up and throw it back when you are coming out of the hole. This will que you to keep your chest up and to lean back and push your back and shoulders into the bar as you come up.
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