T Nation

I Hate Squatting. Help Me!


Hey guys, i've only been squattin for the last year or so, ( did the newb mistake of not training them early on).

Anyway i can squat around 225lbs for 4 or 5 reps n my 1rm is 275.

My bench is 315 and my Deadlift is 450.

am i the only guy whos squat is his lowest lift?

The problem i have is that when i squat i hate the way it feels. When i get to the bottom of the rep its like i can't activate my legs fully. The weight feels awkward on my back and my rear delts always near cramp up when i rack the bar. I just hate doing them and it makes me want to them less when i should be doing them more!

I desperately want to get good at squatting basically because of the benefits it can have on my physique.

My legs are'nt week, my legs press is strong and can push quite a bit of weight, i know strong leg press doesn't translate to a good squat.

But my squat is horiffic.

Any ideas?

I just can't seem to get out of the hole properly and i starting to get really frustrated.


Vids would be helpful.


Ye good point i'll throw one up when i next do them, but i think my form is pretty solid.


This. I could just be a minor form fix or not


Yeh i hope so coz it's really pissin me off... badly!


If your legs are truly strong w/ good leg press etc. and your squat is that bad, then my guess is that your form probably is not solid.

The video will show either way.

your squat can only get better though, good luck


I know why you want to squat better/more. I do ask this though - why? Just for the strength you will receive or body composition? I've squatted like a warrior for a long time and all I got to show for it was a good squat. My legs didn't grow much from them. People can call you a pussy or whatever they want, but leg presses and hack squats will do more for size than squatting every will.

There are more than few on this site that will say the same thing. Front squatting however is a different story.


Um, no.

Squats are great for size. For some people they work great for overall leg size and lots of people grow great quads with them. Some people because of limb lengths or just plain mechanical issues, don't get big quads from it. But it's one of the best leg exercises.

now I do agree that it's just an exercise and people get this stupid mystical "magic pill" sort of mentality about it. BUT it's a great exercise and for most people it's worth doing and worth learning how to do it.


Couldn't agree more.

Squats are probably the best leg exercise out there... if they work for you.

My femurs are retardedly long, and my lower back has a lot of injury issues. Squatting is NOT for me.

I use to be so bent on squats squats squats (I call this T-Nation zombieism, runs rampant here,) until I realized it was causing more harm than good.

If they don't work for you, and you don't enjoy them (presumably because they don't work for you,) I say stop trying to force something that just won't work.

Hack squats, leg press, even front squats (although my back limits these.)


Don't back squat, it's that simple. If you're trying to build up your legs and you aren't feeling back squats work, try fronts or hacks. A lot of times people get caught up in two extremes: the newbies in the brotastic I don't need to work my legs ideology or the HARDCORE GOTTA DO SQUATS ideology, you don't need back squats to develop big legs. Dorian only did hacks and he had some damn big wheels, do what works for you and stop being concerned with improving a lift if it has no benefit outside of just the number going up.


It's one thing to do squats for a few years, get pretty strong on them, and realize they dont work for you for building size as well as hack squats etc do.

Its another thing to hear that someone has only been sqauting for ONE year, can only squat 225x5, and tell them to give up on them (unless injury problems ofcourse.) Especially when OP has not even been training legs properly based on what he has said about his leg workout in other threads.

Seriously, Even someone that concentrates on hack squats and leg presses all the time should still be able to get under the bar and squat 225x10. Atleast.

Even people who are tall and dont have the perfect body for squats should be able to get to atleast a 315 squat max in a short amount of time, and be able to rep the shit out of 225.


keep squatting


I have to say I feel a little bit the same way as OP. My Quads are a disappointment after almost a year of squatting (I know, not much time). As for my Hams and glutes, thats a different story. I just don't get a great pump from squats. I can only get up 225 lbs 8-10 reps with my long ass limbs. But I'm under the impression...more weight...more size, so I'm not dumping squats anytime soon. I will be implementing front squats in the near future. I'm sure I'll suck at them, but that won't stop me.


Great post.


Thanks for the input guys, i'm suprised i didn't get shit hurled at me!

I feel a lot more comfortable doin front squats but again i find it hard to get the bar position right on my shoulders.

I should just man the fuck up really and get on with them. I'm not an ego kinda guy in the gym either. If i can rep 175 -200 comfortably then that's what i'll do i won't attempt heavy weights when i straight up know i can't do it. I guess its just guna be a slow process and im guna have to learn how to fully activate my glutes, hams and quads.

I squat to to try and change my body composition, i'm currently cuttin aswell so i wana be hitting reps to get rid of some excess weight.

I'll try and get vid of my form to see if any1 notices anything obvious.

Thnaks guys.


x2, of the week i think


Definitely sounds like a technical problem. I recommend trying a wider stance and placing the bar lower on your back. Your initial movement should be sitting back not bending at the knees. For me personally working multiple high rep sets really helped me breakthrough and make substantial progress.


Before you squat next time: try to make sure to activate the glute muscles beforehand, coming out of the hole should just feel incredibly natural but i remember when i first started squatting it felt weird to me too.

I have a feeling you may have especially weak glutes and they could be causing most of your problems here. What you can try next time before you squat, is do a couple of light bulgarian split squats sets for each leg, focuss on squeezing the glute throughout, then go do your normal sets of squats and see how it feels. If this helps and you find that your glutes are exceptionally weak then you might want to consider using them a few times a week for a while till they catch up with the rest of your body.


One thing that helped me from not squatting before is starting with the bar, then adding 10kg each week. It made me concentrate on mind muscle connection and technique, due to it being a real light weight. It helped me get the feel of the movement whilst adding weight slowly. Got me to a 140kg atg squat within a few months. My legs are defo growing from them.

I dunno if this will help, but I started out atg squatting, but switched to parallel because I just feel it more in my quads.


Thanks for the help guys,

MODOK, il try elivating my heels and see of that helps and i also try the glute activation.

N i'll definitely get a video next time a squat.