Form check: Squats, Barbell Rows

Hi all,

Im new (October) to lifting and only use the StrongLifts 5x5 advice to guide me, I think Im okay if a bit slow compared to Mehdi but would appreciate an experienced eye before I hurt myself? :sweat_smile:


Squat side view

Barbell row


Looks good! Just avoid a butt wink in the bottom of the squat, and a knee lock-out in the top.

In rows, I don’t drop the weights between each repetition, but gently turn the weights with control and then forcefully lift again. Also, use your upper back as well by dropping the shoulders in the bottom and then lifting them in the top.

Perfect squat technique by Lu Xiaojun (olympic weightlifter): Lu Xiaojun 🇨🇳 255kg / 562lbs x3 Squat Session 2018 World Championships Training Hall [4k] - YouTube


Buttwink :sweat_smile: okay I think Ive worked that one out and know some form problems that might be the source :+1:

The row technique letting the weight go is part if the SL protocol as is locking (but not hyperextending) the knees, but Ill have a look at the shoulders :+1:

Row - Between reps

Squat - between reps

Here’s a good demonstration of different rowing techniques. What I was referring to is the “bodybuilding row”.
Alan Thrall’s youtube channel is generally good for all lifting exercies.

In the end, I’d pick what’s most fun, feels best, and is most applicable to my sport.


Looks ok to me. One thing I don’t like is the way your knees collapse inward as you come out of the hole when you squat. To me, this was always indicative of weak glute (and to a lesser extent)/hamstrings…so your knees collapse inward to transfer the load back onto your quadricpes and vastus medialis. If you pay attention you may also notice the weight shifting from your mid-foot more towards your toe at this point. Be careful with that. It can make your knees sore. :wink:

You’ve got a great place to lift. I really like the look & feel of that gym.


Try and do some pause squats, where you pause for 3 seconds when you’re in the hole. It wil work your stability and better your squat form (you have a Little bit of a wobble). That’s why I’m proposing a pause squat.


Yup, that’s the main thing I noticed. I’d just add to consciously think of pushing your knees out and track your foot as you come out of the bottom of the squat. This is very common with those new to squats, so its just something to work on. Otherwise it looks good!


That’s good advice! Another thing you might want to try is just to simply wiggle your toes or lift your toes before you start to squat. Make sure all of your body knows your center of gravity is supposed to stay well behind the balls of your feet. I was once coached to execute the entire squat motion with my big toes lifted off the floor…as a form check.


Thanks for your time guys - I now think my stance is a little narrow and knees are not flared out, which I dont think you’d see given the camera angle.

Ive also learned from Alan Thralls videos that my camera angle itself maybe be a problem(!) :sweat_smile:

Agreed. Putting a band around your feet and stepping laterally to each side for a few sets will help activate the glutes, as will side-lying leg raises or clam shells. Doing these before squats can be very helpful.

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Good form, noticed the right knee thing too but also noticed that your setup was off. It seemed as if you’re left foot was farther forward than your right. When I step out of the box I always align both my feet, deep breath (fill your tummy up and brace) and then squat down. I also prefer to keep a narrower grip on the bar (flexibility permitting) as it allows you to create more tension in your back.

All in all focus on fixing the right knee…could be a variety of things but Id start with the band as mentioned above. Its not only great for glute activation but also for propioception.

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Hi all, Im back into lifting after a few months off so Im at much lighter weights at the moment.

For some reason I have not found as clear angles, but can I ask for another form check? Bench press included now. Apologies for the non athletic attire.


I noticed I wasnt going parallel on the left vid so corrected on the right


Pendelay Rows

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The squats looked good to me. Maybe a little bit of but wink at the bottom but nothing terrible. And it could also just be your jeans pulling. Also, I’m jealous of your proportions because I can’t stay that vertical without my knees going a foot over my toes.

On the bench, I would start by having your rack be a bit lower. You get all tight and set up and the lose it all when you have to press up to lift off. Your shoulder blades should stay packed during the lift off. And then the same thing on every rep. It’s probably a bit because this looks like super light weight for you but you don’t want to be ‘throwing’ the weight up at the top of the rep. You can see how loose you get just by how much you rock on the bench. Keep it a bit tighter and more controlled. Also, as you get heavier you may find that you have to adjust your bar path to arc back toward your head a bit instead of the straight up and down path.

I’ve never done pendlay rows so I can’t give too much help. But from the side view, be careful with how you initiate the movement with your back before the bar leaves the ground. You start all tight and then pull up and your upper back rounds, and then you row. Your shoulder blades and lats should stay tight as you initiate the movement.

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