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Deadlift and Squat Flexibillity

Chaps,

I have a problem with my flexibillity when deadlifting and squatting, basically I’m not very flexible!!

I’m quite tall (6’2) and have real trouble squatting down, as soon as I start to get anywhere near paralell either my heels come up or I fall over backwards, If I try straightening my back (as opposed to being slightly bent over) its even worse.

Any advice on how to improve this would be greatly appreciated as it’s hindering my form on squats and deadlifts somewhat.

Thanks

CG

Dude 6’2" is not quite tall- or at least nothing to prevent you from squatting. A buddy of mine is 6’8" and could not squat for shit when he first started out, he’d basically fall over if he tried to get anywhere near parallel. When he finally put the concerted effort into trying to master the squat, he was able to do so in a couple of months and now squats below parallel with great form.

You most likely have:
-very tight hip flexors
-very tight calves
-very weak hamstrings

Stretch your hip flexors and hip rotators several times a week or even every day if you are so inclined and really work on getting your hamstrings stronger. Good mornings and RDLs will really help here. Also, Bulgarian split squats can help strengthen your legs while at the same time providing an active stretch to the hip flexors while getting you used to getting deep as possible.

And beyond all of that, one of the best things you can do is just grab a broomstrick or empty bar and practice going as deep as possible until you can consistantly get to the depth you need.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

This will have you squatting perfectly in no time.

You should do a search on goblet squats. Dan John has a video up (about 30 min long) where demonstrates goblet squats amongst other things. Also when your heels start to come off the ground, point your toes up and drive through your heels.

Also, what kind of shoes are you wearing?

Read “Get Your Butt in Gear.”

Goblet squats and front squats will help teach you correct form.

It may not be a flexibility issue just that you don’t know how to squat correctly.

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[quote]jtrinsey wrote:

Stretch your hip flexors and hip rotators several times a week or even every day if you are so inclined
[/quote]

Thanks for the tips, please excuse my ignorance, but how do I stretch my hip flexors and hip rotators?

Lie on your back with your legs flat. Next pull one knee into your chest. If the opposite leg lifts up while performing this movement, your hip flexors are tight. To stretch them, get on the floor in a lunge position and glide forward. To intensify the stretch, lean away from the side you?re stretching.

I use the above which came from tips of the day. I still get sore/tight flexors during squats.

Howver it may be that poor technique that is causing your problem.

Check out this DVD. It has helped me and many others.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=878989

sounds like you need to stretch.

I’m a powerlifter and personal trainer (CSCS) and I have clients come to me all the time with this same issue. In many cases I’ve found it’s not some much a flexibility issue as it is a form issue.

To correct this, take a wider than shoulder width stance with toes pointed slightly out. When you squat down spread the legs apart as if exposing the crotch. You don’t want the knees to go forward but out to the sides more.

Also, keep an arch in the back and sit back. You should notice a dramatic difference. I hope this helps…

How can you guys be so quick on the flexibility diagnosis? (except it is in the title of the thread)

Heels coming up is very common for beginners and takes a little instruction to fix.

Almost anyone is flexible enough to squat past parallel and this guy says he cannot get near parallel!

Oops, that last entry was for the squat. Sorry, I didn’t specify.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
How can you guys be so quick on the flexibility diagnosis? (except it is in the title of the thread)

Heels coming up is very common for beginners and takes a little instruction to fix.

Almost anyone is flexible enough to squat past parallel and this guy says he cannot get near parallel!

[/quote]

Yeah… I suppose “flexibilty-strength” would’ve been a better term. What I mean is the guy is probably plenty strong up top, but he has no strength in the lower range of motion. It could still be a flexibility issue, but a lot of times just practicing the movement with really light weight and working on technique can be the best way to fix it.

My 2 cents: get some flat soled shoes (I use chuck taylors) and work on some overhead squatting. OH squats really helped me tighten up form and get more flexible through the hips and ankles. so it could help fix both form and flexibility issues.

A quick fix could also be to stick a 5 lbs plate under your heels when you squat. I use this when I front squat.

[quote]Chewie wrote:
You should do a search on goblet squats. Dan John has a video up (about 30 min long) where demonstrates goblet squats amongst other things. [/quote]Link provided in my earlier post.[quote]Also when your heels start to come off the ground, point your toes up and drive through your heels.

Also, what kind of shoes are you wearing?

Read “Get Your Butt in Gear.”

[/quote]

One of the great insights that Dan John comes up with is that you should squat BETWEEN your legs. If you watch an Olympic lifter at the bottom of the catch for a clean and jerk, this is exactly what they are doing.

Add another vote for stretching, and another vote with great emphasis on magnificent mobility. I’ve been doing drills from that DVD for almost a month now and I feel that my mechanics for both the squat and especially the deadlift have improved.

What kind of shoes do you walk around in on a daily basis? I beleive it was Cressey who mentioned the fact that many people with flexibility issues could start by wearing nike frees for better calf and ankle flexibilty.

Without looking at you squat its kind of hard to see what messing you up. I’d get on the foram roller. Hit the glutes, hips and quads.

Then stretch then out.

Like the others said, front, bulgarian and goblet squats will help.

[quote]sharetrader wrote:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

This will have you squatting perfectly in no time.[/quote]

Agreed.

Thanks for tips guys, as of today I’ve started doing 5 minutes stretching (hams, calves and hip flexors) in the mornings after I got out the shower.

Just hope no one walks in on me stretching naked on the bathroom floor!!