Squat more with feet closer together?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by sabretruth, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. sabretruth Silver Belt

    sabretruth
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    I've always done squats with my feet about shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out. A couple weeks ago I started to change things and started doing squats with my feet quite a bit farther apart than I used to. I wasn't able to squat as much this way. Today I went back to shoulder-width and was able to do weight/reps closer to what I'd been doing before the switch.

    I've always heard the farther apart your feet are, the more weight/reps you can squat. What's going on?
     
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  2. squatsquatsquat Orange Belt

    squatsquatsquat
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    Changing the stance changes the movement. Since you aren't used it it, you were not able to squat as much. It's possible that, if you train it, you will be able to squat more with a wide stance. Don't go too wide though. The super wide squats you see some powerlifters do are only really useful for geared lifting.
     
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  3. Tosa Red Belt

    Tosa
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    A wider squat stance means your hips don't go as far back, your knees don't go as far forwards, and you can stay more upright. However it also puts more stress on the hips, and can potentially put them in a weaker position in the bottom of the squat (if you can still hit depth). Which is why you'll very rarely see raw or single ply squatters use the super wide stances. For multiply lifters it allows them to get the most out of their suit.

    The hip joint and musculature is significantly more suited to movements that are closer to backwards and forwards, rather than out to the sides.

    Also consider to what end are you squatting. It's possible that even if, given practice, you could squat more with a wider stance, the narrower stance might be the better choice, due to increased ROM, and/or it being nicer to the hips.
     
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  4. 1standarduser** Green Belt

    1standarduser**
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    Tosa - that response was awesome and really appreciated.
    I was wondering the same thing as the OP.
     
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  5. yocan Orange Belt

    yocan
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    for what its worth I squat a smidgen wider than shoulder width because it uses my hamstrings more and I care about running under load uphill... so for my goals It seesm to be better, kinda would think for driving into someone the same thing would apply someone corrrect me if my premise is wrong.
     
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  6. scoopj ackson

    scoopj
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    Are you squatting low-bar or high-bar?
     
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  7. WitchCraft Blue Belt

    WitchCraft
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    I don't know why, I always thought a wider stance would be better for the hips. I assumed a narrower stance would kind of crush your hip flexors. No matter what I do, squats hurt my hips so I gave up.
     
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  8. Telf Orange Belt

    Telf
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    Bold to admit to this heresy on Squaturday.

    Seriously though - did you ever get your hips looked at? Squatting is a natural movement, so there might be an issue that needs attending to if every variation you tried caused serious discomfort.
     
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  9. 1standarduser** Green Belt

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    You might want to try out some single legged squat variations.
    They seem to do better for me than regular squatting and DL's, although I (probably foolishly) still squat and deadlift.
    You might also have some luck just doing squats with no weights, and dipping down as far as you can just to try to get some more flexibility.
     
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  10. thugpoet Purple Belt

    thugpoet
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    it may be a flexibility issue. Do u have problems squating without weights
     
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  11. WitchCraft Blue Belt

    WitchCraft
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    To all posters above...I have chronic hip and knee issues. I've torn ligaments in my knees and that's been confirmed but no one completely understands what is wrong with my hip. It's just my left side. It pops, gets tight and the area around it gets numb and sciatic like. I was a long distance runner for many years and I think it finally caught up to me. I can't even do BW squats :-/ Surprisingly, the leg press does not hurt and steps up do not hurt. It's lame and I'd rather squat but it's not worth the pain.
     
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  12. Telf Orange Belt

    Telf
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    That's a shame.
    I had (still have, but much improved) knee issues my whole life pretty much so I can relate. But they are better now than when i was a kid - so you never know - things could improve.
    There should be some sort of badge you could wear, or a letter from Rippetoe or something that excuses you from squats so you don't get dirty looks from S&Pers when doing your leg presses...
     
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  13. WitchCraft Blue Belt

    WitchCraft
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    Yeah, I know! I mean, I do them in booty shorts, so I don't usually get dirty looks from people at the gym but it is embarrassing to put in my training log...
     
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  14. EchoBoomer Banned

    EchoBoomer
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    I fink your freaky...
    I don't want to hijack the thread but we were talking about injuries preventing us from squatting and I don't think that this question is worth another thread. So the question is...

    WTF Sherdog, My hamstrings hurt!?!?!?

    :icon_cry2

    Every time i reach the bottom of the squat, which i usually have no problem in doing so, I feel a slight pull on my right hamstring. I woke up this afternoon and my hamstring was tight. When I stood up I felt a big pull in my hamstring. Is this serious or something that happens to everyone time to time?

    What should I do for rehab, etc...?
     
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    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  15. 1standarduser** Green Belt

    1standarduser**
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    I get it from time to time, but then again my right hip and knee are bad.
    I just don't squat for a week, and do other workouts instead when this happens, and it goes back to the normal state (normal being slightly painful, but not bad enough to affect my daily life).
     
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  16. EchoBoomer Banned

    EchoBoomer
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    I fink your freaky...
    Thanks dude, but I'm slightly painful now and i don't want it to get to the point of affecting my everyday life. I'm just gonna email kstar.

    thanks again bro,
    -echo
     
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  17. sabretruth Silver Belt

    sabretruth
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    I don't squat with the barbell as low as some guys do, but I'm definitely low-bar.
     
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  18. sabretruth Silver Belt

    sabretruth
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    I don't wear suits or anything. Maybe my idea that going wide allows you to squat more is based on seeing PLers wearing suits squatting with a really wide stance.

    For someone who just lifts raw, I think shoulder-width might be best for me. Thanks for the info.
     
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  19. scoopj ackson

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    Then I think shoulder-width is too narrow. In your OP you said you tried squatting with your feet "quite a bit farther apart" than shoulder-width. Why don't you split the difference and see how it feels?

    Does anyone else who squats LB squat with a shoulder-width stance? Maybe I'm wrong. And I guess it will also depend on anthropometry.
     
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  20. Keosawa Black Belt

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    I squat low bar with a stance that's slightly narrower than shoulder width.
     
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