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Training wife: squat problems

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  • Training wife: squat problems

    I started training my wife about a month ago. She's a 40 year-old novice. The first day, she was having problems reaching depth on her squat. As she descends close to parallel, her torso slowly falls forward and her weight tips onto her toes. This occurs even when she uses no weight (pvc pipe as barbell). She describes it as something she can't control. It didn't seem like a technique issue to me, nor a mobility problem since she's very flexible. Also, I have her in heeled shoes, so I doubt its due to her ankles. I did some googling and found some sources that say the issue could be a lack of strength in her quads. My solution was to have her perform box squats (using a flat bench) that put her slightly above parallel. She performed these well, and we worked up from 35 to 70 pounds for sets of five over the course of three weeks. I figured we were ready to try full depth squats, so we tried with the pvc pipe again. However, the issue persists, if not slightly improved.

    My question is, am I diagnosing the problem correctly? Should I continue progressing with the box squats, or try something else? Any insight is appreciated.

  • #2
    Hi, maybe get her to try without the shoes. Those could be messing up her balance. If she is new to lifting, then the heeled-shoes are probably throwing her balance off. Use a lower box, have her touch her butt and go. No sitting. Do these without any weights. See if she can get the balance factor down. Get her to lean more, like in a low bar squat, that should allow her to reach back with her hips. Anyways, I am a beginner.


    • #3
      Hey, is she still having trouble with her balance? I feel like an issue like this is usually due to both poor coordination due to unfamiliarity with the movement and/or a stance issue. My wife had the same problem with squats when I first introduced her to barbell training - she too claimed it was something she couldn't control and that she just couldn't do them despite having a decent base of lower body strength and mobility from running and yoga. I basically realized that we were trying to force her into a stance width and foot angle that her anatomy (particularly her hip structure) didn't agree with. After some trial and error (and plenty of patience and encouragement) we found a combination that worked. After a few sessions of bodyweight and empty barbell practice, she got the hang of it.