Instructional - Olympic Weightlifting

Squat With The Hips & Knees Together

When back or front squatting for weightlifting, the primary goal is maintaining an upright posture all the way through the motion. In other words, we’re trying to avoid any more forward leaning of the trunk than is necessary.

In order to do this, the hips need to move as directly downward as balance and proportions allow, rather than being pushed backward as is typical of squats outside the sport of weightlifting.

This requires bending the hips and knees together rather than leading with the hips as you initiate the squat. In a proper squat, the hips will move backward and the knees will move forward to only the extent necessary to complete the motion between sitting and standing.

There is no need to break the hips first and sit back to initiate a squat, and doing so tends to encourage lifters to sit farther back with the hips than they otherwise would.

The resulting greater forward inclination of the trunk means a worse structure for supporting weight on the shoulders or overhead, and greatly increases the moment on the hip and spinal joints, making it increasingly difficult to maintain back extension and trunk position.

Simply set the proper back arch and pressurize the trunk, create tension throughout the legs and glutes, and then bend the knees and hips simultaneously to sit as directly into the bottom of the squat as you can while maintaining pressure across the whole foot. Reverse the motion and stand as if you’re a piston, driving the head and chest directly back up to the standing position.

If you struggle to maintain an upright posture in the squat, supplement your squat training with pause squats and slow eccentrics with weights that don’t exceed your ability to move correctly.

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