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After reading answers to my previous question (Struggling with barbell row and overhead press - StrongLift), I decided to record my sessions and seek advice on my form.

Would love to hear about what I am doing wrong and what I can do to improve my form. Apologies for weird angles and so many people. Thanks

  • Oh man those are super-sideways. Could you rotate them right-side-up? – Dave Liepmann Jul 22 '15 at 20:55
  • Are these your 5-rep-maxes? How much are you lifting in each one? – Dave Liepmann Jul 22 '15 at 21:02
  • Is there any way to get videos without people constantly walking in front of the camera? Camera being closer for bench might be better too, from the distance right now, it almost looks like you're shrugging up with each rep. – Alex L Jul 22 '15 at 21:27
  • @DaveLiepmann Lifting according to the StrongLift App. The squat is max in the video, rest of them have a room of around 5-10 lbs to my max except for deadlift. – Prakash Wadhwani Jul 23 '15 at 16:35
  • @AlexL Yes, I will try and get a better video this Saturday with the hope that there will be less people on the weekend. I can't promise for closer on the bench, because there are limited places to stick my phone for a clear view. – Prakash Wadhwani Jul 23 '15 at 16:37
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These all look fairly correct.

Minor Corrections

  • Squat: Mostly fine. Stay tight. Keep your chest up.
  • Barbell row: Mostly fine.
  • Bench: can't really tell, mostly fine.
  • Overhead press: mostly fine, can't really tell.
  • Deadlift: Mostly fine. I'd focus a bit more on setting your lower back position before each rep. Also, there is no reason for you to alternate your grip at this weight. For the time being, just use a double overhand grip. If your grip starts to give you trouble, use a hook grip (thumb inside) and chalk.

The Real Fix

All these lifts look generally fine because they're so light. You're able to do the lifts quickly and gloss over any technique errors or weaknesses. The solution is clear: keep adding weight. Lifting is good. Lifting heavy is way better.

The best thing you could do for your form is to steadily add weight to the bar and modify your expectations. Get ready for it to get a lot harder.

  • Thanks a lot for the feedback. What happens with adding more weight is, I miss reps, especially on the 4th and 5th of squats, OHP and row. That kind of demotivates me a bit to wake up early for the next workout, and makes me thinking on changing the program. Although I understand I need to eat like hell, which I am mostly struggling at! – Prakash Wadhwani Jul 23 '15 at 16:43
  • @PrakashWadhwani With the kind of bar speed in those videos, there is absolutely no way you should be failing with 5 or 10 more pounds on any of those lifts. You have a lot of room to add weight, as long as you recognize that the bar will move more slowly and that you'll have to brace yourself, breath, and reset between reps. – Dave Liepmann Jul 23 '15 at 16:53
  • Looking at it again, the big thing you need to do is stop breathing during each rep. Take a big breath before each rep, brace your core, and hold your breath throughout the rep. Exhale when done with the rep, take a breath or two if necessary before the next one, then inhale and brace again. You could squat 25 more pounds today if you do that and get your mind right. – Dave Liepmann Jul 23 '15 at 16:56
  • Ok, will make sure to do this on my next workout (Saturday). Thanks again! – Prakash Wadhwani Jul 23 '15 at 17:01
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    One thing I noticed, at least on the first rep, is that you kind of dive bomb into the hole on your squat. While this works for some, it also makes it easier to lose any tightness that you achieve before initiating the movement. Try slowing the decent a little in conjunction with @DaveLiepmann's advice on breathing. – Alex L Jul 23 '15 at 18:18
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Squat: It seems like the weight is really light for you, you're bouncing around pretty fast. Your depth is great. Read up on butt wink, because you've definitely got that going on. I can see your toes dancing around a bit which is great because it means you're driving through your heels.

Bench: As Dave said, you're really light on that lift. I think a tighter position is better, at least when you're around 5RM. Keep your feet flat, but bring them closer to your head (if that makes sense). Keep your back tight, glutes tight, and really feel the contact between your upper back and the mat. Tight.

Row: Light. Everything's easy when it's light. I would get in the habit of loosening your grip at the bottom, as it makes you really come to a dead stop at the bottom. Better to take an extra second between reps and do them right then haul ass and bounce around.

Overhead press: Light. I think the pop-your-head-through movement is normal when it's lighter, but when it gets heavier most tend to sort of bend backwards a bit and nearly incline bench it up, your head going in right near the end.

Regardless of all that, and especially with the lighter weights, you want to hold the bar up at lock out for a second or two.

Deadlift: Light. Pretty hard to see from the back, it's mostly a side angle thing.

  • I don't think the butt wink is much of an issue right now. For some (myself included), it goes away when the weight gets heavier. – Alex L Jul 25 '15 at 5:20
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    Yeah I don't think it's the end of the world, but the guy should read up. – Eric Jul 25 '15 at 5:21
  • Thanks a lot for your advice, does the butt wink mean I am going too deep or is it because my spine is a bit in extension? In any case how do I get rid of it? – Prakash Wadhwani Jul 27 '15 at 16:55

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