Peter Lee Squat Form Check 3/6/16

Brilliant Friends,

I’m sharing a squat form check with you. Peter started lifting last year with a progression powerlifting program. He taped himself and graciously sent me a clip for a form check. This is a set of comments on technique and form based on video of his squat set. I suggest watching the video first on YouTube and then coming back to see my comments.

Peter’s Squat Set

Initial thoughts:

  • Depth is good!
  • Grip and loading bar good!
  • Need front or back camera angle to check knees, spine, and hips.
  • Breathing. Big breath into abdomen, hold until end of squat. Keeps spine aligned!
  • Butt wink. Bottom of squat, pelvis rolls in under body. Makes spine vulnerable under weight. Prevent this by keeping knees pulling out, spreading floor with feet. May be going too low for the amount of hip mobility you have here.

Squat One

Starting Stance

  • Knee looks bent at start. Is this fully extended? See ankle-knee-hip line. Should be as straight as possible. If this is extended, then that’s fine.
  • Feet pointed out at the angle below reduces torque. Keep them pointed forward as straight as possible. You may have trouble keeping spine neutral in the hole with feet forward, but it just takes some warming up of the hips. This adjustment will give you a lot more torque for strength and control.

Peter Lee Squat Form Check 3-6-16 Image 1 The Brilliant Beast Blog.png


  • Control the start. You drop in free fall, sort of crunching at the bottom. Go slow the very first part.
  • Spread the floor with feet.
  • Pull knees out for torque. Maintain these points of tension for control.
  • After the initial descent, rather than “dropping” down into the hole, start “pulling” yourself down into it.

Hole (Bottom)

  • Maintain torque, spreading floor with feet and pulling knees out.
  • Keep head in line with spine. You’re looking straight ahead which pulls your neck up and distracts you.


  • You have really good speed going up. Saw the bar bounce!
  • Looks like you’re keeping knees out, which is great.

Squat Two

  • Bar comes forward on the bounce out of the hole. This pulls your center forward and decreases strength. Mentally keep yourself under the bar.
  • Getting more torque from feet, ankle, knee adjusments will help to keep the bar going straight up and down.
  • See squat three, where the opposite happens.

Squat Three

  • Here the bar stayed straight, but your hips moved forward in the hole. This happens when you lose torque to stabilize.
  • Keep torque through knees, ankles, and feet. Keep spreading the floor. Keep the torque system tight, and you’ll be able to resist the forward slide at the bottom of the squat. You can then use the force of the weight to your advantage going up.

Squat Four

Awesome grind on this one! You maintained form through the struggle.

Squat Five

  • Try pushing back a bit more with your butt/hamstrings as you descend from the start. Looks like you need more of an angle in your hips.

Peter Lee Squat Form Check 3-6-16 Image 2 The Brilliant Beast Blog.jpg

  • Great grind on this rep as well. The twisting on the way up happens when you lose focus. Keep your breath in tight against your abdomen through the whole rep, concentrate on thrusting the hips forward, and keeping the knees pulling out. You’ll maintain a neutral spine this way through the grind (the upward struggle).

Final notes

Peter is looking good here and has been clearly getting stronger from progression training. Recording himself for form and technique is a huge step in making effective adjustments.

I’m grateful to him for being brave and allowing me to post his squats, and my critique, for everyone to see. We hope this motivates you in your journey of strength!

If you want a form check, send me a video link via

Live powerfully,


Feel free to share your experiences, questions, and inspirations here

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