Jake Arrieta, Your Squat Form is Terrible

Ugh. Jake, I love you man, even though you never found success with the Orioles (I blame them, not you, don’t worry). I’m very happy you found such great success with the Cubs! And congratulations on your NL Wild Card game win!

Here’s one reason I blame the Orioles: they were giving you terrible advice on your squat form. You’re going to hurt yourself squatting like this:

You’re hyper-extending your lower back, placing a lot of stress on it. You should lift with a neutral spine to prevent your lower back from carrying all the weight.

Your upper back is not tight. This is going to make it hard to keep your chest up throughout the squat (especially when combined with a hyper-extended lower back). The bar will also hurt your shoulders by digging into the muscle. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to create a nice ‘shelf’ of muscle for the bar to rest on.

I’m assuming this was taken at the deepest point in your squat. (The safety pins look like they might prevent you from going much lower, anyway.) If so, you’re going to hurt your knees by using only your quads to squat the weight. You need to break parallel, get your hip crease below your knees. This will activate your hamstrings, glutes, and entire posterior chain. It’ll save your knees because your hamstrings will prevent your quads from pulling on them too much. Plus, more muscles used = more weight squatted = more velocity on that fastball.

Jake, please. Have a look and squat properly. I know this tweet is two years old; it was taken before you were traded. Hopefully the Cubs fixed your form!