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Improving My Squat

I have been having difficulty getting to 90 degrees or lower. I do not feel stable once I reach that area and I have been practicing my technique with lower weights and it has helped, but I still think I should be able to go lower. I have been watching a lot of videos on squatting techniques and have used some of the tips I have seen, which has also helped. Any suggestions on how to get lower?

What exactly is problematic once you reach 90 or so degrees ?

Do you lean forward or backward, or just generally unstable ?

Try Squatting inside a power cage (if available) for added safety, or use boxes of various heights (or a bunch of 45’s) behind you and gradually go lower.

Also, I find it easier to go ATG using front/zercher squats compared to backsquats. A wider stance should also add some control.

The Squat Rx series covers almost any problem associated with the movement.

[quote]entro wrote:
I have been having difficulty getting to 90 degrees or lower. I do not feel stable once I reach that area and I have been practicing my technique with lower weights and it has helped, but I still think I should be able to go lower. I have been watching a lot of videos on squatting techniques and have used some of the tips I have seen, which has also helped. Any suggestions on how to get lower?[/quote]

only thing i can suggest is go lighter
I was having the same issues I started at 55 pounds though untill my form was down then i went up and up and up
i am now keeping at 170 pounds becuase thats all the weights I have atm

lower the weight untill you learn then just go from there

When I do a parallel squat, right before I get down to 90 degrees I feel as if I’m about to fall. I’ve been trying to bring my chest out and also adjust my hips in order to get lower. I’m not sure if this is a flexibility thing or not, but I just don’t feel stable. I’ve also tried adjusting the width of my feet, which actually helped a great deal, but I’m no where close to being able to do a full squat.

I’ll also be lifting later today. I’m going to try going light and focus on my form.

Goblet squats. Hold a DB in front of your chest. this will help you work on squat form while maintaining balance.

do tons (30) of OVERHEAD squats with a broomstick for your warm up and then some back squats with the stick. Do it every session and you will have stability in the movement in no time (< 2 weeks i bet).

-chris

I’ve been working on this too, and I finally got it down with front squats. Its actually easier to get lower, hamstrings to calves, with your feet closer together, at least from my experience. I messed around using a golf club to substitute for the bar, finding the widest I could get and still get all the way down. With Back Squats, I usually put my feet a little wider and can’t get down as far, but its still pretty deep.

For flexibility, try wide squat sits and the samson stretch. I have been trying not to stretch out too much before I lift, but if I’m tight I make sure I get loose enough to do full rom.

For warmups, I usually do OH squats with the just the bar, front, side, and back lunges, and a press where you put the bar on your back, squat down while extending your arms OH, so you get to the bottom and you are in the OH squat position, and you come back up and bring the bar down to your back. Ideally, the bar doesn’t move from its original position. Somebody just told me the name for it and I already forgot it. This really gets me loose and ready to squat. It might help your flexibility if thats the problem.

I think it might be a flexibility issue or I’m leaning forward too far. I was able to squat to parallel today, but even without weight I have a difficult time going past 90 degrees.

The SquatRX series is great. As a supplement to that here’s a video seminar by Dan John. PRICELESS stuff here. Don’t know who filmed this, found the link floating around T-Nation, but note the T-Nation shirt on one of the guys.

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

I’m right there with you man, I’ve got some horrible mobility issues, but both this video and SquatRX are helping make big progress.

If you’re holding onto something, can you get deep? Even if your hips aren’t as mobile as they could be, it might not be the problem. You could have some ankle and/or core stability issues, so your body basically shuts down range of motion to avoid injury (I’m totally paraphrasing a recent article here). Personally, I had to retrain myself to squat deep after I sprained my ankle, because I didn’t feel stable.

I feel like I finally nailed the form when one of the trainers (a competitive powerlifter) told me to sit back and open up your groin. He said not to force your knees out, but try to feel the groin spreading out. Now he says he loves the way I squat because I get so deep.

this thread should be a sticky, has any one got anything like this for deadlifts?

[quote]Avocado wrote:
Goblet squats. Hold a DB in front of your chest. this will help you work on squat form while maintaining balance.

do tons (30) of OVERHEAD squats with a broomstick for your warm up and then some back squats with the stick. Do it every session and you will have stability in the movement in no time (< 2 weeks i bet).

-chris[/quote]

seconded. Goblet squats are how I figured out how to sit back.

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

EDIT: oops, someone posted the vid already.

[quote]wfifer wrote:
If you’re holding onto something, can you get deep? Even if your hips aren’t as mobile as they could be, it might not be the problem. You could have some ankle and/or core stability issues, so your body basically shuts down range of motion to avoid injury (I’m totally paraphrasing a recent article here). Personally, I had to retrain myself to squat deep after I sprained my ankle, because I didn’t feel stable.

I feel like I finally nailed the form when one of the trainers (a competitive powerlifter) told me to sit back and open up your groin. He said not to force your knees out, but try to feel the groin spreading out. Now he says he loves the way I squat because I get so deep.

[/quote]

I’ll give that a try tomorrow. I’m doing the 5x5 Beginning Strength program, so I squat every workout. I’ll post back with my results.

But not having the range of motion sounds right. I have been trying to adjust to get my self more depth, but for some reason I just can’t get where I want to be. I’m hoping to be able to do a full squat pretty soon.

I tried opening my groin like you said I was able to easily do full squats. Felt a little awkward at first, but then it became natural. Thanks a lot for the help.