So where is the proper placement of the hands while squatting? I put mine about where I put them when I bench press (pinkie on the outer ring of the bar). Bar on the middle of the traps.
I put mine perpendicular with the bar and force the elbow forward. The bar is put high on the traps.
I just saw something (I think it was in Cool Tips) that said that if you have to put your hands way out you need to work on your shoulder flexibility.
Having that said, I now put my hands all the way out, palms flat against the plates and the bar in the crook of my thumb & finger. I have moved my hands farther and farther out over the months and felt more and more comfortable the farther out I moved. I never had trouble or pain with my shoulders putting them at bench press width, but holding the bar up with very heavy weight (over 2X bodyweight for high reps, let’s say) has gotten easier, felt more natural, the farther out I put my hands.
Let me add that I have short arms, too, and have no trouble ‘reaching’ all the way out to the plates.
Its not so much about where the right place is (you will find very many opinions on this) but if you are forced to take a wider grip you should take some time to evaluate your shoulder health
i put mine in as close as possible cause im afraid if i missed a rep and fell to the bottom on the squat rack the bar would squash and brake my hand lol