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BendtheBar 04-09-2012 11:06 AM

Common Squat Mistake - Elbows Flaring up
One of the most common squat flaws I see are "elbows flaring up." I was helping a lifter this morning, so I thought I would share this.


When the elbows are up, the chest is not out, the back is not tight, and you'll tend to lean forward when squatting.

bamazav 04-09-2012 11:17 AM

Great bit of help. Wish I could get my FFTK folks to listen to me when I tell them this.

J_Byrd 04-09-2012 11:52 AM

A lot of this depends on 2 things.

1. High bar vs low bar
2. Hand placement.

With a low bar and wide hand grip, if I rotate the elbow down I will get very bad bar roll. Just something to keep in mind.

5kgLifter 04-09-2012 12:02 PM

Elbows up, elbows down? :confused:

BendtheBar 04-09-2012 12:03 PM

My greater point was about rolling the elbows up in the hole, and a lack of focus on tightness in general. I merely posted this so beginners and those still relatively new to the squat could watch for this tendency in their videos.

BendtheBar 04-09-2012 12:05 PM


Originally Posted by 5kgLifter (Post 231176)
Elbows up, elbows down? :confused:

Starting Strength DVD -- Squat - YouTube

I'm talking about the elbows rolling up during the squat due to a lack of back tightness.

BendtheBar 04-09-2012 12:16 PM

1 Attachment(s)
See in Ripp's teaching video the elbows are not flared up. "Up" is relative. Driving them "up and back" in setup creates tightness. This obviously is individual, but it doesn't mean flaring them up parallel to the ground during a rep, which is the flaw I am talking about.

The flaring I am discussing is from improper setup and a loose back. The elbows are allowed to drift up. Rippetoe doesn't do this. If Rippetoe saw someone with elbows drifting up during the squat he would correct them, because the back and arms aren't tight.

Notice his shoulder to elbow angle stays pretty close to his torso angle. This is not changing during the reps.

BendtheBar 04-09-2012 12:21 PM

Sorry, I didn't explain things as well as I should have.

5kgLifter 04-09-2012 12:22 PM

That helps clarify the first post a lot.

BendtheBar 04-09-2012 12:29 PM

I can see in this video that the lifter is consciously trying to keep his back tight. He makes adjustments, and when the elbows creep up, he locks them, and his back down:

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