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How to Squat – Tip #3 – Setting the Lower Back

How to Squat Training Series

In the next installment in the “How to Squat” video series we will look at setting the lower back.  This, along with intra-abdominal pressure and bracing, is the final piece of stabilizing the torso.

Setting the lower back is as easy as slightly arching the lower back (into it’s natural curve) while taking a huge breath and isometrically contracting the abdominals simultaneously.

Tip #3 – Setting the Lower Back

When you first watch the video it might look like Ryan is overarching his lower back.  He is in fact, just setting it hard into its natural position and holding it.  Most times when lifters unload the bar from the way they assume a posterior pelvic tilt under the weight.  This position isn’t optimal especially when we talk about stabilizing the lower back and pelvis prior to squatting.  He has to consciously move his pelvis back to neutral and “set it”.   And like we stated, this is a dual effort with the bracing of the abdominals and his breathing pattern.

Coaching Cues

Remember, don’t just squat down.  You will lose tension!!!  Move the hips slightly back (loading the hamstrings and glutes and setting the back) and spread the knees.  The act of spreading the knees will lower you (under tension) into the hole.

Stay tuned for Tip#4 in the “How to Squat” series where I tell you why it is so important to “save your CNS” for the work ahead.

How to Squat – Tip #3 – Setting the Lower Back

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By on December 19th, 2010


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Comments (7)

  1. Posted by - Roberto Aguilar on December 26, 2010

    Awesome tip, it instantly fixed my squat thx smitty!!!

  2. Posted by - Michael Maxwell on December 29, 2010

    Hey Jim, I am not sure I am seeing this correct or not… and I know you discuss it, but to me it looks like your squatter is definitely pushing into an excessive anterior pelvic tilt. Maybe this person just has a “normal” postural allignment of lordosis?

    • Posted by - Smitty on December 30, 2010

      Michael, it might look that way but he is just setting his back and moving his hips back to start the movement. Good call out though! – Smitty

  3. Posted by - shawn collins on January 1, 2011

    My fitness goal for 2011 is to get ripped. I lost the weight I wanted to loose by using your products. Now I want to get ripped, and increase my cardio, using a extreme body weight program if you have one. I also want to get my lingere site of the ground which I just launched on the web.

  4. Posted by - Keith on January 1, 2011

    I will try that in my next leg day. I love doing squats, and I love the tips to perform this exercise.

  5. Posted by - notbanned on July 30, 2013

    What about that butt-wink ?

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