T Nation

Help With Sway to the Side on Squats

I do squats often and have been doing them for a while now. I used to drop down right to parallel and back up. I recently decided to go just below parallel (about 3 inches difference)because NOTHING works better for legs IMO.

The problem occurs during my last rep. When I rise out of the hole I sway to my left side. I sway far to my left. Does anyone know how to fix this problem? When I do this, the set is over. I always listen to my body. When I do front squats (oly style) or overhead squats I usually stay on track; this only happens on back squats. I stretch for a long time before I even get under the bar, and then proceed to do 5 or so warm-up sets. I have experimented with all kinds of foot positions, etc.

Often, but not as often, I find my back rounding on squats. This may be due to the fact that I have tight hips and a long torso. Is there a way to fix the rounding problem? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


This was a problem that I had myself. My understanding is that you have one leg, the one toward which you sway, that is stronger than the other and you sway to that side so that you can more easily handel the weight.

I was able to fix the habit by decreasing the weight I was using on my lifts or about a month and placing more focus on form during that month.

If you’re back is rounding on heavy squats you really need to start deadlifting. A strong lower back and posterior chain really helps with squats.

[quote]SlothGuy wrote:
If you’re back is rounding on heavy squats you really need to start deadlifting. A strong lower back and posterior chain really helps with squats.[/quote]

I think between doing what slothguy & bigpaul said it should fix you wobble & rounding.

Good luck,


  1. Push out with your knees and feet, I.E. “spread the floor”

  2. To keep your back stiffer, tighten your core and push your elbows forward and head back, and scapulae (shoulderblades) together throughout the rep.

  3. Warm-up sets good, stretching bad. If you need extra then do 5 minutes of jumprope or other “cardio.” Save the stretching for after the sets.

  4. If none of that works, check out Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson’s “Starting Smart” (or something like that) article: they recommend doing bodyweight squats with a band around your knees while pushing out to strengthen the abductor muscles.

  1. Unilateral posterior chain work! How could I forget. Do lunges (static, dynamic, and walking), split squats, and step-ups. Those should help more than anything! Deadlift and glute-ham raises should be good too, especially for the rounding problem.

Hope I helped.


For the shifting to one side during the squat problem, it may be related to an inactive glute.

Only having one glute that does not fire correctly is not uncommon at all.

In this case all the unilateral work in the world won’t help unless its activating that glute–however, you should still be doing unilateral work to even out other imbalances.

Buy Cressey and Robertson’s DVD here in the store. It should help you figure out if your glute is firing or not, and if it is, well you still have an awesome DVD to help with lots of other stuff.

And by the way, none of this is to contradict the previous posts. They were all great ideas too, and just actively concentrating on doing it right will help you cue the right pattern.

Thank you guys. This helps.