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Back Rounds At the Bottom of Squats


I find my back rounds near the bottom of my ATG squat. Do you think I should stop sooner like just below parallel?



That probably means that you have tight hamstrings. Unless you have a good reason to go higher (powerlifting, etc.), I wouldn't recommend shortening your range of motion. You'll only worsen the problem over time if you don't address it right now.


what does tight hamstrings mean and what do you suggest to fix it or fix my form? thx


You can't say it's tight hamstrings right away, it could be that your have a long femur. People with longer femurs round their back on deep squats.
I suggest going a little below 90degrees without letting your back round. Unless your goals say otherwise and even then, IMO don't risk it.


I'd recommend a two-pronged approach:

1.) Only use a range of motion which allows perfect form.

2.) Locate the source of your lacking flexibility and address it. I bet Eric Cressy or Mike Robertson can help - contact them in their Locker Rooms.

With time you should be able to go deeper without risking injury.

This should help as well:

Five Ways to Go Deeper
How to Get "Ass to Grass" when Squatting

by Ian King


It could also be you need to develop more strength in your lower back such that your body is able to stabilize the weight better when you get that low.


Yeah, sorry, I sort of jumped the gun there. Tight hamstrings (lack of hamstring flexibility) is only one of the many reasons that you have a "butt tuck." It was the reason for me, hence the (bad) extrapolation.

But my original point still stands. Don't just shorten the range of motion without understanding why you can't do a proper squat. Ian King's article (referenced above) is a great starting point.


Yeah, I have the same problem but my hamstring flexibility is pretty good (can't quite touch the ground flat with palms, but close).

I do, however, have tight hip flexors and glutes so that could be the original poster's issue. My problem is that no amount of stretching seems to actually improve my glute ROM -- meaning that conventional glute stretches (such as lying down on your beck and pulling your knee to the chest) are really easy to do, but I still have crappy squat ROM.


I'm 6'2 so perfect squat form has always been tough untill I really focused on pushing out my chest as far as possible. I used to really tuck my back but I found myself still rounding at the end of a heavy set. Really push it out like your doing a side-chest pose. Helps tremendously.


not sure if this is bad form but I always look up a bit and that seems to keep me from rounding out.
I also keep my heels elevated on 5 lbs plates ( not sure if that would make a difference


You wont find many people that dont tail tuck in extremely deep squat postions. I would go further to say that is is abnormal and not even necessarily ideal to be able to performa an ATG squat without a tail tuck. I have extremely flexible hamstrings and I tail tuck near my heels... However, there are degrees and a severe tail tuck will put the lumbo-sacral spine in a bad position.


I've got a real simple answer. Strengthen your spinal erectors and the rest of your posterior chain. Goodmornings are excellent, reverse hypers, check out Dave Tates stuff. Box squatting would definetly be a plus.


I agree, 100%.


Just don't go so low. Your flexibility is lacking, so get in some stretching, but until then, it's more important to keep a neutral spine than to go full range.

Full range in my book is the range in which you can keep a neutral spine and this varies between people.


I have the same problem, tight glutes. When you do stretch your glutes, make sure to stretch them with a straight back. I usually use the stretch were you sit on a chair and put one foot on the opposite (obviously) knee and bend forward at the hip. When I first started doing these with a perfectly straight back I actually had to lean backwards to keep it that way, but who cares? I still felt it in my glutes. A lot of the times when you're on the ground doing this you'll round your back (at least I did).

As to if it's normal to round the lower back somewhat in a ATG squat - I'd say it is. Look at Chakarov squatting (the video's on here somewhere), to the best of my recollection you can see his back rounding just slightly in the bottom. And I think we can all agree on that his truely is a ATG squat.