Q&A: Casey Williams – “What is wrong with my Squat?”

By: Brian Carroll

Casey Williams and Squat Form:

Question: “Why do I feel unstable? I never fall back on a squat. My Squat is off in general. I know that I’m still ahead of schedule on the squat (compared to other cycles) but form is off. I feel like I’m babying it on the way down as well“

What I See

Hello Handsome Bob,

To start, the un-rack is a bit off. You don’t look totally wedged from the go. You rotate your head down as soon as you take the bar out of the rack. This tends to flare your upper back (watch your elbow as the weight gets heavy, IT RISES!). If you get that reference, I like you even more.

The falling back: IMO – it’s a result of your upper back not being locked it and head position. You kind of hinge on the way up as you drive your heels, especially when the weight gets heavy. The movement causes you to be unstable and therefore rock back on your heels as you try to compensate for bad leverage.

Potential Solution

Get your head up a little more and lock in your upper back. Don’t wait to ‘pull your elbows down’ during the transition, get it right from the start. No micro-movement. Lock your lat’s in and don’t let them budge.

You’re still early in cycle to worry too much. Fix what I see is the major cause now, and you will find your descent speed and groove.

Make sure to hammer your upper back; i.e. barbell rows, chest supported rows, McGill chins, shrugs etc.

Also, work on the thoracic mobility movements that I showed you last time and get your upper back in the best position possible. If you don’t have anyone that will let you lap your face, I feel bad for you. JK – use a bench!


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Brian Carroll

Brian is a world-class powerlifter with over two decades of elite and pro-level powerlifting under his belt. Coming back from a devastating back injury in 2012 that broke multiple bones and that most experts said he would never recover from, he has returned to the pinnacle of world-class lifting (while 100% pain and symptom-free) and is now dedicated to helping others avoid the same mistakes that he made in the past through private and group coaching in Jacksonville, FL. Brian’s impressive recovery has given him the opportunity to teach and deliver talks to physical therapists, chiropractors, medical doctors, professional strength & conditioning coaches and experts from all facets of sport, on how to avoid injury, while building anti-fragile strength and resilience in athletes.
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