I reworked my entire squat technique and restarted with just the bar. I use a weird mixture of Rippetoe's style & Westside. Take this with a grain of salt, I think everyone has their own squat style that really works for them, this is mine (and thus my advice is peppered with a lot of mistakes from my own experience). Hopefully this helps someone out. This is going to be stream of thought here so bear with me
- Rip's squat style isn't as wide but imo doesn't sit back as much. I find this much better for the raw lifter. more comfortable and a much more athletic position imo. Without briefs going super wide is kind of awkward. That said, I think you should sit back as far as possible.
- Rip also advocates looking down 5 feet in front of you. This doesn't work for me I'm kyphotic as is! I just have difficulty staying and I'll round my shoulders. So I prefer to look "up". Basically to stand as TALL as possible with good posture and really make my torso one piece, I'm just moving around my hips and bouncing out of the bottom. I don't look at the ceiling, as this throws you way out of alignment (as rip notes in starting strength), I just look forward and stay focused on keeping my back so tight I feel like my pecs will pull off my sternum and my belly pushed out so hard I want to poop. When i was just using the bar I actually did the "hold a tennis ball under your chin" thing. "stacking your neck" really makes a difference. I think that's what rip is trying to get across.
- I've found that basically squatting like I would on the box works for me. Squatting raw I'm not going as wide, so I use rippetoe's parameters for feet width etc, except that i try to sitback and spread the floor a LOT more. Don't be stupid wide, but basically put your knees over your feet and align your bone structure right.
- He also advocates a slight turn out of the toes. I prefer to keep them as straight as possible (per westside recommendation) and I feel it helps me bounce out of the hole a LOT better.
- Spend time mastering your technique. Especially fatigued, nothing wrong with stripping down a bit and getting some singles and doubles in the 75-80% range. It's not going to fatigue you that much and it will go 1000% farther than anything else you have planned. It sounds weird, but until I really REALLY worked on my spatial awareness I don't think I was putting the bar in the most advantageous bar path. Seriously figure it out. Don't just grit through it. Squat, adjust, squat again, put your hips back far enough, tighten your core more, stand up straighter... whatever you have to do. A squat should feel TIGHT, uncomfortable, and like you're about to explode, but it SHOULDN"T hurt. Especially not afterwards. If you're hurting when you squat you're doing it wrong!
Really go Zen buddhist with this... Practice! make your squat BEAUTIFUL. I started over with the bar and just have been working on beauty, slowly incrementally adding a bit of weight every session and I've been seeing the best gains of my life.
- out of the bottom make sure that it is your HEAD that moves first. Again. HEAD MOVES FIRST. Push back against the bar like you're trying to break it over your upper back (use your abs to do this) and simultaneously with your knees spread properly over your feet push the earth away. These tips make me do less of a goodmorning standing up and I try to blast straight out of the hole.
I can't think of anything else so as my personal hero forrest gump would say... "And that's all I have to say about that."