Question on squat technique - wide stance?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by CroSpartacus, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. CroSpartacus

    CroSpartacus Yellow Belt

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    I read an article saying that one should place his feet wider in the squat stance so that it forces more work on your hamstrings, which can lift more weight. I was wondering if this means you can place your feet as wide as you would like to. I am flexible from my days in martial arts, and my squat stance is more like a sumo squat. I was wondering if squatting very wide is a form of 'cheating' or is this just a matter of preference? It felt easier to do the squat because a wide stance makes you squat down quicker than you would in a regular stance.


    Also, after you squat all the way down, do you rise and lock your legs after each rep just like you're normally standing?
     
  2. ronin0352

    ronin0352 Lift, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

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    Everybody's body is different. Many (most?) people cannot utilize a very wide squat stance unless using a squat suit. If you can use it, go for it. The question is, can you get deep enough with that wide stance.
     
  3. big_john127

    big_john127 Profess¬°onal Lurker

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    What Ronin said, and you always do full reps.
     
  4. hatchoo

    hatchoo Orange Belt

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    I squat with a wide stance because it's comfortable for me (i just realized my stance was wide when i started recording my lifts for form checks). Just like what they said, it's hard to get below parallel unless you're really flexible. There are some reps when i thought i went low, but looking at the vid it looked like i barely just got to parallel.

    I also read on starting strength(?) that the wider the stance, the less your feet should be pointing out. To me, aa long as your knees track with your feet then you'll be fine.
     
  5. Morganation

    Morganation Brown Belt

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    For my stance I have them fairly wide apart with my toes pointing out slightly.
     
  6. ExtremeStandard

    ExtremeStandard Yellow Belt

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    As stated above it's your preference, depending on your goals, and your focus. I Olympic weight lift. I keep my stance quite narrow and toes pointed out almost 45 degrees. I then focus on completing full, slow, controlled squats. Striving to get my ass to my calves because the snatch and clean + jerk at heavy weights become easier if you can squat low to get under the bar. I mean don't get me wrong I used to do a wide squat and only go to parallel before weight lifting. My focus was just to lift squat the most weight in a power lifters type squat. Now the goals and focus has changed as stated.
     
  7. zhangmaster12

    zhangmaster12 Blue Belt

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    I stand pretty wide because I have really long legs and I can hit depth pretty well.

    For front squats I stand oly-style tho.
     
  8. BigBadMike

    BigBadMike Guest

    Joe Defranco-
    we DON'T have our athletes squat with a narrow stance! Coaches that say a narrow squat stance is more "sport-specific" are full of ****! First of all, we are firm believers in getting our athletes STRONG; squatting with a narrow stance does NOT make your wide stance squat stronger, yet wide stance squatting WILL make a narrow stance squat stronger. I will always choose the lift with the most carry-over! Also, a narrow stance will not strengthen the external rotators of the hip (which are usually weak) and places far too much stress/shearing forces on the patella. A wider stance DOES address the often-overlooked external rotators of the hip, hamstrings and places MUCH LESS stress on the patella if you "sit back" properly. If a wide-stance squat works MORE muscle while placing LESS stress on your knees, why the hell would any coach have his/her athletes squat with a narrow stance? Is a pyramid built with a narrow base? I think not!! The bottom line is to squat wide, but don't go to the extreme!

    personally i tend to squat with a widish stance but if i'm front squatting than it's more narrow but just do whatever feels most comfortable
     
  9. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    I've messed with all sorts of stances. Once the weight is heavy, I feel much more stable with a wide stance. Going deep becomes difficult though. I'll often do my lighter sets with a more narrow stance though.
     
  10. CoreCanyon

    CoreCanyon Geez, lots of new people.

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    When we have students try to really widen out, the first thing that happens is their knees dive inward. It is almost 100% with the kids who widen out.

    Not saying that it'd happen w/you, it's just a pretty interesting observation that I had.
     
  11. PWR1982

    PWR1982 Green Belt

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    No offense to Joe DeFranco, but wtf. When I started doing narrow squats, I could barely do 60% of my wide stance squat, and now, even today I can squat at least a bit wider stance, even though I haven't squatted that way for a very long time. Another thing I should say is that while I'm not sure whether narrow stance is more sport specific, but having a strong deep front squat/olympic squat has more to do with your vertical jump (and with how fast your start is in a sprint etc) than a low bar wide stance squat where you sit back extremely. Whether being explosive is an important strength aspect in your sport, I don't know - but if it is, trying to improve your front squat/olympic squat is a good thing to do, I'm pretty damn sure about that. I also don't agree that doing wide stance low bar squats will improve your front squat/olympic squat faster than actually doing those squats, but I'm not as sure about this.

    Maybe by narrow DeFranco means heels together or something, which I would also consider stupid, but otherwise I wouldn't make it so clear as he does and just say that wide stance is definitely better.
     
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  12. rckvl

    rckvl Blue Belt

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    Everybody will vary some on what stance works best for them. I personally prefer a slightly wider than shoulder width stance. I forgot who said this and I am sure I am messing it up a bit, but someone who back squats 700 will be able to front squat 500, but the person who front squats 500 will not be able to back squat 700. I'm sure I messed up the numbers a little, but you get the idea. I want to say it's Dave Tate who said this but I really can't remember.
     
  13. PWR1982

    PWR1982 Green Belt

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    Someone who deadlifts 1000 will be able to back squat 500, but a person who back squats 500 will not be able to deadlift 1000. I don't see what the correlation you wrote is supposed to mean...

    Either way this isn't something that is that simple to solve, and opinions on this vary even amongst experienced lifters and coaches. I had completely different experience with wide stance squatting than what DeFranco is saying. I couldn't front squat 220 when my low bar wide stance max was 315, and I was doing mainly wide stance back squats. That is a poor ratio between a front squat and back squat. Wide stance squatting certainly didn't help my narrow stance that much, while after doing narrow stance back squats for quite some time, my front squat has improved a lot more, and the ratio is more normal now. Maybe my front squat improved even faster when I was doing wide stance squats, and I just didn't realize it because my back squat improved a lot more compared to it. I don't know...
     
  14. ZisDeadBaby

    ZisDeadBaby Guest

    I squat quite a bit wider than shoulders and it benefited me and I still go ATG.
     
  15. rckvl

    rckvl Blue Belt

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    The correlation is pretty simple, back squats carryover to front squats much better than front squats carry over to back squats.
     
  16. Indivdude

    Indivdude Blue Belt

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    My coach at college said my right knee tends to turn inwards a bit when I did a real wide stance. So that's a possibility.
     
  17. rckvl

    rckvl Blue Belt

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    Though I am pretty sure I messed up the numbers or something. I was hoping by posting the gist of what was said someone else would remember having seen it and post the correct quote.
     
  18. Indivdude

    Indivdude Blue Belt

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    Nah i think you're right though I don't remember why it seems familiar. Google search, here I come.
     
  19. Searcher

    Searcher Yellow Belt

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    Whatever stance has you squat the deepest in whatever toe pointing orientation requires you to squat the deepest is the one for you. You can practice super wide squats or super narrow squats with toes pointed in or out without weight for flexibility.
     
  20. BigBadMike

    BigBadMike Guest

    he's quite a controversial figure in the strength and conditioning industry but you can't question his results. I agree with you though- if you want a high front squat than train your front squat. same as if you want a high bench than you train your bench. I havn't read any of his books i've only seen extracts here and there but yeh there's probs a lot more clarification to it than just that 1 paragraph, which he wrote.
     

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