T Nation

Are Some People Not 'Built' for Squats

I’m asking because I feel like for some reason squatting isn’t “for me” necessarily. I enjoy doing it, but I feel like there’s something off with my squat and I can’t figure out what it is. For my height I have shorter than normal legs, and a longer torso, so I always figured squatting would be easier and more natural for me. My high ever was 475 at 197 lbs. While in college.

However, now when I squat I feel almost like my quads are getting ‘squished’ when I do the movement, kind of like there’s not enough room on my upper leg for them. Also, even though my hams and glutes are sore in the days following squatting workouts, I feel like my quads are MUCh more sore. Throw in the fact that in recent months squats have begun hurting my back for some reason, and I’m starting to wonder if some people just aren’t built for them…

if you’re human, you’re built for squatting.

how else do babies learn to walk.

Can you post a video of your technique? Or at least find a qualified trainer in your area to help you.

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
I’m asking because I feel like for some reason squatting isn’t “for me” necessarily. I enjoy doing it, but I feel like there’s something off with my squat and I can’t figure out what it is. For my height I have shorter than normal legs, and a longer torso, so I always figured squatting would be easier and more natural for me. My high ever was 475 at 197 lbs. While in college.

However, now when I squat I feel almost like my quads are getting ‘squished’ when I do the movement, kind of like there’s not enough room on my upper leg for them. Also, even though my hams and glutes are sore in the days following squatting workouts, I feel like my quads are MUCh more sore. Throw in the fact that in recent months squats have begun hurting my back for some reason, and I’m starting to wonder if some people just aren’t built for them…[/quote]

5’6 here
no matter how hard i try, my hips curl in when i go down past parallel.

I hate to disagree with JF, BUT…

different builds have different mechanical advantages. I assume the OP is talking about back squats…have you tried front, zelcher, db, trap bar, or safety bar squats? Do you use high or low placement? There may be another form that works a bit better for you.

I would interpret the sore back as a sign something is amiss.

I agree with JF that it would be good to get your form checked.

this might help, it is dan john teaching the O-lifts and I think it has a good squatting lesson.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

[quote]Tex Ag wrote:
I hate to disagree with JF, BUT…

different builds have different mechanical advantages. I assume the OP is talking about back squats…have you tried front, zelcher, db, trap bar, or safety bar squats? Do you use high or low placement? There may be another form that works a bit better for you.

I would interpret the sore back as a sign something is amiss.

I agree with JF that it would be good to get your form checked.[/quote]

don’t hate to disagree :wink:

you are correct, different heights/limb lengths will require some changes or variations, but nonetheless, it still holds true.

humans were made for squatting, and it’s probably just a technique issue

[quote]Scrotus wrote:
this might help, it is dan john teaching the O-lifts and I think it has a good squatting lesson.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744 [/quote]

DJ is a natural coach. Out of all of the authors that ever wrote here, he is in my top two. Also, this is one of the best videos I have ever seen. I wish it were posted more often!

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
Scrotus wrote:
this might help, it is dan john teaching the O-lifts and I think it has a good squatting lesson.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

DJ is a natural coach. Out of all of the authors that ever wrote here, he is in my top two. Also, this is one of the best videos I have ever seen. I wish it were posted more often![/quote]

Agreed! I was searching the forums a while back and came across this video. It’s pretty much changed the way I train squats and deadlifts (for the better).

I don’t necessarily agree that some people aren’t built for squats. There are certain types of squats that are better for certain body types, just like some people are better suited for sumo deads vs conventional deads.

The trick is finding out which style is best for you, making sure your form is perfect and getting everything out of it.

I used to think I wasn’t made to squat until I started doing front squats.

[quote]AngryVader wrote:
beebuddy wrote:
Scrotus wrote:
this might help, it is dan john teaching the O-lifts and I think it has a good squatting lesson.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

DJ is a natural coach. Out of all of the authors that ever wrote here, he is in my top two. Also, this is one of the best videos I have ever seen. I wish it were posted more often!

Agreed! I was searching the forums a while back and came across this video. It’s pretty much changed the way I train squats and deadlifts (for the better).

I don’t necessarily agree that some people aren’t built for squats. There are certain types of squats that are better for certain body types, just like some people are better suited for sumo deads vs conventional deads.

The trick is finding out which style is best for you, making sure your form is perfect and getting everything out of it.

I used to think I wasn’t made to squat until I started doing front squats. [/quote]

Well there are some people that arent as mechanically efficient at squatting, but that doesnt mean they shouldnt do it.

[quote]Tex Ag wrote:
I hate to disagree with JF, BUT…

different builds have different mechanical advantages. I assume the OP is talking about back squats…have you tried front, zelcher, db, trap bar, or safety bar squats? Do you use high or low placement? There may be another form that works a bit better for you.

I would interpret the sore back as a sign something is amiss.

I agree with JF that it would be good to get your form checked.[/quote]

I’ve tried other form…I actually enjoy db bench squats. I hate front squats as they hurt the ligaments in my knees and I’m not very comfortable doing them.

I’ll have to check out that video you guys posted!

i have a problem with squatting too, my hips always feel out of place and i use the front of my foot too much/lean forward. i want to fix the problem but in the meantime you can still do leg press, leg ext, lunges or something else to compensate. a lot of people talk about squats as like some god of exercises, its good but if you can just work your legs another way youll be set.

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
Tex Ag wrote:
I hate to disagree with JF, BUT…

different builds have different mechanical advantages. I assume the OP is talking about back squats…have you tried front, zelcher, db, trap bar, or safety bar squats? Do you use high or low placement? There may be another form that works a bit better for you.

I would interpret the sore back as a sign something is amiss.

I agree with JF that it would be good to get your form checked.

I’ve tried other form…I actually enjoy db bench squats. I hate front squats as they hurt the ligaments in my knees and I’m not very comfortable doing them.

I’ll have to check out that video you guys posted![/quote]

If you can do some kind of DB squat, but front squats hurt your ligaments, then I’m guessing your form is terrible. Unless you have some preexisting knee issues. Otherwise, that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The video will help.

cool video

As a guy, with really long legs…I find it next to impossible to be able to go past parallel while keeping my torso upright…for me, no amount of work on my flexibility has helped the problem. I just realized that ass to ground squats arent for me. My solution is to focus on my deadlift and incomporate one legged bulgarian split squats into my program. I don’t think anything is being neglected by leaving out bb back squats.

Something I have been reading a lot about is hip immobility and how it effects performance. In many cases the authors recomend unliateral movement to diagnose the problems and then some corrective exercises to help imbalances. I am partial to Cressey’s articles on the subject.

Personally my squats hit a wall as I became super-quad dominant at the expense of my posterior chain. I have been working on stregthening that and my squat probelms disapated. It could be a question of strength imbalance throwing something (alignment etc) out of whack.

I do agree that humans were made to squat but depending on the lever-length there is only so much an “underdeveloped” joint can withstand.

Let’s just say some people have better leverages than others. But most people can get out a lot from them.

I’ll say that not everyone is built for close stange parallel feet squating. A lot of people need much wider stance and toe flare than what you usually see bodybuilders in magazines do. Usually the longer you limbs and the wider your hips, the wider your stance needs to be (without over doing it of course). Everyone can learn the correct technique, but maybe not everyone will be able to lift record breaking poundages.

If this has been mentioned - i flicked through the above posts and it didnt seem to be there…

Those with long legs AND a short torso usually have a hard time squatting, those with the opposite proportions can fire them out easily!

J

[quote]Joe Joseph wrote:
If this has been mentioned - i flicked through the above posts and it didnt seem to be there…

Those with long legs AND a short torso usually have a hard time squatting, those with the opposite proportions can fire them out easily!

J[/quote]

that’s the thing, I have short legs and a long torso.

I have always been a firm believer that you should be very comfortable in your squat form.

Strength will come, but if your squat form doesn’t feel like second nature and feel good then you will never reach your full potential.

Sort of like it was mentioned above, I don’t really believe that people are not built for squats, but that some people’s build have an advantage over people with different ones.

The most logical example to me is someone who is 5’5" might be quite fast and athletic, but they do not really have the advantage as a 6’2" guy would have in basketball. I think the same would apply to different lifts… that everyone can do them, but some people will just be more naturally inclined to excel due to their build.