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ATG Squat Flexibility Issue


Hello all

I have been lifting for the past 4 years. It was a endless learning process, specially thanks to this site.

Recently I check the form of my back squats and I realize that they sucks. My torso tend to lean forward while I am squatting down. I mean, the angle between my torso and thighs not is 90degrees but about 40 or 50 degrees. And I can't do "ass to grass" without rounding my low back. There is no pain, but I think I am doing it wrongly.

I tried sit back correctly, maintain chest up, hands grip close to the shoulders (almost touching), push from heels (trying lifting toes off the ground) and so on.
Doing a little of researching here and there I found that the problem maybe some lack of flexibility.

What do you recommend? overhead squats with light weight? box squats?
Some flexibility exercise too?

I consider myself flexible enough but may be wrong. I can reach my feet with my hands leaning forward (with a little hunchback in my mid back) and lying back on the floor and bending one leg by my hip while the other leg is on the floor the top of the thigh almost reach my torso. As regards ankle flexibility I can?t do what picture show. My knew reach up to toes level.



just squating to paralel

I have the same problem


I was trying to find out what test that picture was describing and came up with this thread.

They talk about what to do there.


Never squat with a rounded back! Only go as deep as your current flexibility allows and work on improving your flexibility and therefore improving your depth on the squat.

Buy the DVD Magnificent Mobility. I got it a few weeks ago and its really very good. My flexibility is improving every time i perform the routine and it is now my standard warm up prior to lifting. It only takes 5 or 10 minutes to do. Everyone should give it a watch!


I would work really hard on 2 areas and see if your form improves.

  1. Stretch out your hip flexors daily, and right before you squat.

  2. Improve your thoracic mobility.

Keep in mind that it is impossible to maintain a neutral lumbar spine when squatting ass to the grass. In fact some say if you were some how able to, it would result in injury. Your goal should be to minimize it.

Hope this helps


Can you explain how tight hip flexors prevent a deep squat? Any chance you meant to say hip extensors?


Lighten the load. Buy some Oly shoes. OHS are always a good idea. Work front squats, too. Make sure you have appropriate foot spacing. It is a little different for everyone, but generally speaking, if you are too wide, the hips prevent sinking all the way into the hole.


As you begin your decent in the squat, if your hip flexors are tight they will draw your torso forward.

Also, a tight psoas will diminish glute activation. This may cause you to call upon other muscle groups therefore effecting proper form.

Do not get me wrong all around hip mobility is needed; however I have seen the 2 issues mentioned help a lot of people pretty quickly.

Hope that clears it up.


Thanks a lot n3wb, HoratioSandoval,
elliotnewman1, bamit, Krollmonster and scottyz


  1. I have a doubt regarding stretching before working out. I have read that statics lowers your strength. Not the same with dynamic stretching that I do before wo (bodyweight squats, lunges, front, rear, side kicks, and so on).

2.What is thoracic mobility? How can I measure if I have much? How can I improve it?


I will include some Front squats. I did some in the past and I found difficult to feel comfortable. No pain at all but some discomfort during sinking.

I also find deep squats easier if you put some low plates under my heels. Do you recomend that?


Don't squat with plates under your heels. To fix your calf/ankle flexibility, obviously stretch your calves more, and check out the ankle mobility drills in Mike Robertson's article "18 tips to bulletproof knees"


With regards to static stretching before you squat - there is some evidence / debate that static stretching can reduce strength, but the hip flexors are not a prime mover in the squat, so shouldn’t have a negative effect on performance


Learning to front squat with the bar racked in the proper clean position helped me. It helped because in this position, there really is no possibility of leaning forward without the weight rolling away from you. It gives you a VERY clear indication of a lack of proper positioning. BUT, you have to take a few steps back doing it like this, and becuase the squat is generally a lifter’s HEAVY lift, that isn’t going to be much fun