Yury Belkin teaches the squat, bench and deadlift



Squat video:

  • bar placement can be either: traps, delts, low on the delts. Yuri says not to do super lowbar as it will destroy your elbows and shoulders
  • says he starts his warmup with 120kg (260lbs), never empty bar
  • wider grip puts pressure on the elbows, so he recommends to grip narrow
  • three step walkout, unrack with both feet squared
  • initiate the squat with the knees, not the hips
  • keep chest high, chin high
  • don’t hyperextend, keep the spine neutral
  • don’t lean too far forward
  • butt wink is due to 2 reasons – lack of flexibility and lack of skill
  • keep torso straight when doing multi-ply
  • says he tried high bar but didn’t work for him. switched back to lowbar and gained 40kg (90lbs) in 2 weeks to his squat.

Bench vid cliffs:

  • Russian Bryce Lewis says he tore his pec and is forced to do close grip bench now. Yuri says no, just need to tweak the technique a bit to shift the load to the triceps without narrowing the grip
  • Yuri says that in contrast to every other bench press guru, he thinks triceps should initiate the press and pecs finish the lift. Because of that, the technique needs to be adjusted in a manner that maximizes the « comfort » of the triceps. Then explains how Russian Bryce tore his pec – stretched the pecs too much at the bottom and then tried to initiate the press with the pecs, which put too much load on the muscle and it couldn’t take it.
  • you should keep elbows close to your body at the start of the lift (45 degrees) and then flare them out a bit to finish the press.
  • says people bench of their toes to increase the arch and simply don’t have enough mobility to go flat foot. says flat foot feels better for him because there’s more contact area and obviously Yuri doesn’t have any issues with mobility
  • says it’s beneficial to grip wider unless you have some imbalances
  • shows how to arch (around 8 min mark). 8:35-9:08 is how he likes to do it
  • says you need to arch your chest, not your lower back
  • pinch your shoulders together
  • says it doesn’t matter if the bar goes straight up and down or travels in the x-axis as well. all that matters is that the bar returns back to its original position
  • how to use leg drive and not lift the butt off the bench? drive towards the bar, not straight up

Deadlift video


  • Use low heel stable shoes
  • We start with the legs, so lock out with the legs first and only then with the back. Do not lock out legs and back at the same time. Also don’t lock out legs too early and fall forward. You should feel this moment.
  • Hips closer to the bar, knees more out.
  • No need to hyperextend during the lockout .
  • Feet width: shins must be vertical in the start position for the best start of the pull. Leg size and flexibility impact it.
    If short legs, stance will be narrow or conventional deadlift should be used.
  • If the bar moves away from the body, don’t pull the bar closer, but move yourself closer to the bar.
  • First couple inches use legs only, then start using torso, then lock out knees, and then lock out back.


  • Heels under hips, outside parts of legs are parallel to each other
  • Grip as close as possible to shoulder width without knees getting in the way
  • Back as vertical as possible in starting position, but not so vertical that will make the bar hits the knees
  • Just like in sumo, legs start the pull, legs lock out first, then back.


  • Mixed grip makes scoliosis worse. He uses straps until one month out, only then starts using mixed grip. The hand with stronger grip is the overhand one.
  • Why does back bends: 1) bad technique 2) weak legs, weak start. This is why without squatting deadlift starts to suffer.
  • Shrug at the top is waste of energy
  • Weak grip leads to using arms more and possibility of bicep injury (plus adding couple inches to ROM). Arms must be relaxed, like ropes.

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