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  • Squat: advice on wide stance?

    While migrating from a low bar squat to a high bar squat, I generated nasty tendinopathy in my knees. So now I’m building a much wider stance, to reduce the front-to-back distance of my femur.

    I’d prefer to NOT create another set of problems for myself like I did with my knees, so I’m asking in advance:

    Regarding very wide stance high bar squats, are there any major DOs or DON’Ts that one should be aware of?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    What prompted you changing from low bar to high bar?

    If you want your form checked, feel free to post a video to our FB group.
    IG / YT

    Comment


    • #3
      LOW BAR SQUAT
      I did the SS low bar squat for a few years. I struggled with it at first, but once I figured out to widen my stance and keep my torso more vertical, I became proficient with it, regularly working over 405. I maxed at 515. I grew to love it, however, it never really worked my legs as much as I would have liked.

      DEADLIFT TECHNIQUE
      For me, the low bar squat was very much a glute, hips, back movement. Which was fine at the time, because I was really struggling with my DL technique. Back in Feb 18, I worked with a record holder powerlifter (you would know him, but I’m not going to name him) to correct my DL. He fixed my DL form on our second coaching session and I haven’t struggled with it since. He also recommended, among other things, that I was already very posterior dominant and that I should spend some time building up my high bar squat to work on my anterior chain.

      HIGH BAR SQUAT
      He made a program for me that included lots of high bar work: regular, pause, tempo. Lots.

      I dropped my low bar work sets from ~455 at the time to 315 for the high bar, and still I immediately injured my lower back, and had to take 3 weeks off from squatting. When I returned to high bar squats, ultra-cautious this time, I rebuilt from 135 up. As I approached 255, my knees were screaming like never before, until I finally just had to stop squatting and figure out what I was doing wrong.

      Long story short (too late, I know), I realized that I was relying on my knees too much instead of sitting back, as I’d done with the low bar. However, I literally couldn’t perform that movement with any significant weight, so I started doing all kinds of mobility work.

      BBM: SQUAT IS A PERSONAL STYLE
      In the meantime, I watched this video by you guys: https://youtu.be/bavApW4inVg?t=2477
      In it, you point out that squat form is a personal style. I had never thought of it that way, instead trying to adhere to whatever dogma I’d come across about it (cough, cough), regardless of how my body was built.

      That caused me to research the femur:torso ratio. I went to a rehab clinic and had a physical therapist take my measurements. Turns out my femur:torso ratio is 1.1. Apparently, anything 1+ makes squatting below parallel difficult. That made a lot of sense to me, because I’d already instinctively figured out with my low bar squat, that I had to widen my stance and keep my torso more vertical to perform it with any real weight.

      SQUAT GOALS
      I love squats and start going slightly crazy when I can’t do them. But now that my DL is fixed, I get more than enough posterior chain work from deadlifting. For time and efficiency reasons, I want to adjust my squat from posterior dominant to more of a balance with anterior work—not all the way, but more.

      So now, my goal is to determine the optimal squat form for my body measurements that will:

      1) provide balanced work between my posterior and anterior chains (I’m also going to experiment with a more hybrid bar position),
      2) allow maximum volume, frequency, and intensity,
      3) be sustainable for many years to come.

      WIDE STANCE
      Hence my question if you guys ever see cause for contraindications when it comes to squatting with a wide stance?

      FORM CHECK
      Thanks for the form check offer. I’ve never filmed my lifts. Now that I’ve joined this forum, I guess I’ll have to learn how to do that.

      Comment


      • #4
        So, to be clear, your entire reason for going down that rabbit hole was because the low bar squat you were doing "didn't work your legs as much as you would have liked"? I'm not really sure all of this was worthwhile, to be honest, compared to just squatting more (frequency and/or volume). Ånd if you wanted more quad work, you could still use something like a high bar, front squat, belt squat, or even a leg press.

        There are no "movement contraindications" when it comes to stance width in the squat. Everything needs to be assessed in terms of tolerability and performance.
        IG / YT

        Comment


        • #5
          Not at all. To be clear, my entire reason for going down that rabbit hole was because “I worked with a record holder powerlifter” who “recommended, among other things, that I was already very posterior dominant and that I should spend some time building up my high bar squat to work on my anterior chain,” and who “made a program for me that included lots of high bar work: regular, pause, tempo. Lots.”

          I share your thought. I’m also not really sure all of this was worthwhile. Especially considering how screwed up my sleep has been for the past month because of the pain in my knees.

          Thanks for your feedback.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by IronMike View Post
            LOW BAR SQUAT
            I did the SS low bar squat for a few years. I struggled with it at first, but once I figured out to widen my stance and keep my torso more vertical, I became proficient with it, regularly working over 405. I maxed at 515. I grew to love it, however, it never really worked my legs as much as I would have liked.

            DEADLIFT TECHNIQUE
            For me, the low bar squat was very much a glute, hips, back movement. Which was fine at the time, because I was really struggling with my DL technique. Back in Feb 18, I worked with a record holder powerlifter (you would know him, but I’m not going to name him) to correct my DL. He fixed my DL form on our second coaching session and I haven’t struggled with it since. He also recommended, among other things, that I was already very posterior dominant and that I should spend some time building up my high bar squat to work on my anterior chain.

            HIGH BAR SQUAT
            He made a program for me that included lots of high bar work: regular, pause, tempo. Lots.

            I dropped my low bar work sets from ~455 at the time to 315 for the high bar, and still I immediately injured my lower back, and had to take 3 weeks off from squatting. When I returned to high bar squats, ultra-cautious this time, I rebuilt from 135 up. As I approached 255, my knees were screaming like never before, until I finally just had to stop squatting and figure out what I was doing wrong.

            Long story short (too late, I know), I realized that I was relying on my knees too much instead of sitting back, as I’d done with the low bar. However, I literally couldn’t perform that movement with any significant weight, so I started doing all kinds of mobility work.

            BBM: SQUAT IS A PERSONAL STYLE
            In the meantime, I watched this video by you guys: https://youtu.be/bavApW4inVg?t=2477
            In it, you point out that squat form is a personal style. I had never thought of it that way, instead trying to adhere to whatever dogma I’d come across about it (cough, cough), regardless of how my body was built.

            That caused me to research the femur:torso ratio. I went to a rehab clinic and had a physical therapist take my measurements. Turns out my femur:torso ratio is 1.1. Apparently, anything 1+ makes squatting below parallel difficult. That made a lot of sense to me, because I’d already instinctively figured out with my low bar squat, that I had to widen my stance and keep my torso more vertical to perform it with any real weight.

            SQUAT GOALS
            I love squats and start going slightly crazy when I can’t do them. But now that my DL is fixed, I get more than enough posterior chain work from deadlifting. For time and efficiency reasons, I want to adjust my squat from posterior dominant to more of a balance with anterior work—not all the way, but more.

            So now, my goal is to determine the optimal squat form for my body measurements that will:

            1) provide balanced work between my posterior and anterior chains (I’m also going to experiment with a more hybrid bar position),
            2) allow maximum volume, frequency, and intensity,
            3) be sustainable for many years to come.

            WIDE STANCE
            Hence my question if you guys ever see cause for contraindications when it comes to squatting with a wide stance?

            FORM CHECK
            Thanks for the form check offer. I’ve never filmed my lifts. Now that I’ve joined this forum, I guess I’ll have to learn how to do that.
            Kenny Croxdale? Is that you???

            Comment

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