T Nation

Issue with Long Femurs


#1

Hi,apologise if i posted in the wrong section. My first post here :slightly_smiling:
I'm 185cm tall and i weight about 90kg. My issue is how do i go about having long limbs. My current squat is 170kg but I'm working on ways to improve it because i feel that it isnt my strongest position. I did it with a slightly outside shoulder width stance and focused on sitting back and opening up my hips. In the end i still did it with alot of forward lean cause i have a short torso.

My back is considerably strong cause of my leverages. I also have a high hip position in conventional deadlifts. Back to the squats, people constantly tell me to keep my torso upright,but i really dont understand how. Everytime i do i feel like I'm falling back. Does anyone have like the issue of long limbs and could give me some tips on squatting ideally? Squat shoes dont work for me as well. I tried opening my hips more so i dont have alot of lean. It seems to work very well but i struggle to hit depth. Any tips?


#2

Welcome to T-Nation. I personally don’t have any experience with not hitting depth but maybe this video might help.


#3

A video of you squatting at least 90% of your max would help, but it sounds like you have tight adductors, which keeps you from hitting depth with a wide stance. If you have a short torso, you need that wide stance to shorten the backward travel of the hips.

Don’t bother with the guys telling you to keep your torso upright. It isn’t possible to sit back into a squat, keep your shins vertical, and keep your torso vertical, too.


#4

Not possible you say? While ill admit I am not vertical as in a 90 degree angle vertical I am still not exactly folded over and can see that I am up right quite a bit in the next photo


#5

Because I do it every squat session.


#6

OP need to see a video to really advise you as well as possible.


#7

Look up Layne Norton’s WR squat on youtube. It’s hard to blame long femurs after seeing that. If you have long femurs then the only way to stay more upright is with a wider stance or higher bar position, but if you can handle the forward lean then you can avoid that. Other elite lifters squat with a forward lean - Blaine Sumner, Steve Goggins, etc. If you can keep a straight bar path and your back can handle it then you are OK.


#8

[quote]Reed wrote:
Not possible you say? While ill admit I am not vertical as in a 90 degree angle vertical I am still not exactly folded over and can see that I am up right quite a bit in the next photo [/quote]

your chins are vertical, but your torso is not. It’s at about a 45 degree angle, which is what I think the one poster was saying. You can’t get vertical shins and vertical trunk at the same time, you will fall over backwards, the weight on the bar will be well behind you center of gravity.

You can get an angled shin and a vertical trunk, but not a vertical shin and a vertical back, your body would be in the form of a tetris piece, or a vertical Z, aka, you would fall over.


#9

[quote]Benanything wrote:
Welcome to T-Nation. I personally don’t have any experience with not hitting depth but maybe this video might help.

This vide was very helpful, thanks for posting it. My massage lady always tells me that my calves are rock hard and for me to stretch them, I generally shrugged her off, then I started to make her happy, and depth starting coming easier. I still struggle with it, but it is easier.

OP, I found that bringing in my legs a little narrower helped me hit depth, I just couldn’t get depth with a wider stance consistently, if at all.

However, I fail terribly and viewing someone squat and see where their hip joint is, so many times I’ll watch Brandon Lilly or Malichinev squat and it looks like they are 3 inches above parallel, yet 3 white lights.


#10

[quote]Reed wrote:
Because I do it every squat session. [/quote]

Ditto (minus 100+ lbs in my case). Don’t worry about your torso angle really, as long as the bar path is vertical. My squat looks a bunch like Reed’s although with less weight.

But, video is essential to help you, like Reed said.


#11

I’ll try to post one on my next squat day on Monday. Thank you for the replies


#12

A video will help. Torso angle doesn’t really matter if you have strong hips, erectors and abs, and use your glutes throughout the movement.


#13

Heavy squatting requires that the bar stay over your feet. Stance width, torso angle, and shin angle work together to determine whether or not the bar stays over your feet. If you change one of those things while keeping the others the same, you will fall over because the weight will not be balanced. So if you just try to stay more upright, you will fall backwards. You have to compensate either by letting your knees travel further forward or widening your stance.


#14

You’re going to want to actually measure your femurs and compare them as a percentage of your overall height. Just because you’re tall and have long limbs doesn’t mean that you’ve got relatively long femurs. Remember that this is about leverages and pivot points.

Squats are really dependent upon your dimensions and just because one person can sit back into the squat, keep their shins vertical, and have a nice 45 degree angle on their back doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to. Again, it’s all about levers and pivot points. If you Google “squatting with long femurs” you’re going to find some really good material to help you out. Here’s a good video as an introduction:

james


#15

Squat: https://youtu.be/fGRHU8TsKQQ
Sorry for late update, had issues logging in. This is my current form which i feel strongest in and I know its pretty bad. This was only 140x5. Foot stance was slightly outside shoulder width. Pls critique


#16

It’s not bad for a starting point. As the set goes on, I can see that your hips begin to shoot up and your back begins to work harder than your legs and hips. This supports your statement that your back is a lot stronger because it takes over as weaker muscles fail and you focus on just being able to complete the lift.

The only problem is that the drive up out of the hole doesn’t look as fluid near the end of the set compared to the initial reps so the lack of consistency in technique will be a problem later on.

One thing you can do is switch to high bar to place more emphasis on hip and leg development. Once you become better at driving out of the hole with your hips and legs, you’ll see more consistency overall. High bar will still have great carryover to your low bar squat.


#17

[quote]lift206 wrote:
One thing you can do is switch to high bar to place more emphasis on hip and leg development. Once you become better at driving out of the hole with your hips and legs, you’ll see more consistency overall. High bar will still have great carryover to your low bar squat.[/quote]

Yes it has actually helped me abit but it wasnt so much. Although the forward lean was lesser, i still used quite abit of my back, to the point i would honestly call it a low bar with a high bar placement. How about front squats? Would that be better?


#18

Looking up instead of down will help prevent back the folding over a little. Not up at the ceiling, but like a 30 degree angle up. It may also help your chins get a little more vertical.

It’s a good starting point, work your back muscles and core muscles to help also with the folding over and hips shooting up.

Also, work on some speed squats, that will help stay erect.


#19

Good depth. Chest stays up. Solid form. I don’t see any problem whatsoever with your torso angle.

The only things I see wrong are; you’re a bit wobbly, and you were leading with your hips on the last two or three reps. Keep your entire body tight and in the groove at all times. Like a machine. And make sure you’re leading with your shoulders on the way up, not your butt.


#20

[quote]Wheynelau wrote:

[quote]lift206 wrote:
One thing you can do is switch to high bar to place more emphasis on hip and leg development. Once you become better at driving out of the hole with your hips and legs, you’ll see more consistency overall. High bar will still have great carryover to your low bar squat.[/quote]

Yes it has actually helped me abit but it wasnt so much. Although the forward lean was lesser, i still used quite abit of my back, to the point i would honestly call it a low bar with a high bar placement. How about front squats? Would that be better?[/quote]

If doing high bar results in your hips still shooting up, it likely means you aren’t using your hip flexors and glutes to keep your hips from going up faster than your chest. Front squats can help, but again only if you’re performing them in a manner to help you meet your goal of increasing hip strength. It’s possible to turn a front squat almost into a good morning if your hips still shoot up which wouldn’t help you at all.

I recommend warming up with a few sets of side lying clamshells to engage those muscles. Then do a few sets of light goblet squats in front of a wall (or something that prevents you from leaning forward), placing emphasis on opening your knees to push your hips forward. You should feel tension in your groin and gluteus medius. It should feel like your feet are screwing into the floor and pushing the floor apart. Then replicate that feeling in your hips when going to your main sets. You may have to drop the weight slightly so that your hips are actually strong enough to do the work.

I would still recommend doing this with high bar to remove your back strength as a distraction. Maintain (or build) that back and hamstring strength with assistance work like RDLs, SLDL, good mornings, etc. For now you don’t need to build it with the main work if you want to prioritize technique and have your hip strength catch up.

Remember to be intentional with each repetition and fire those underdeveloped muscles. Dropping weight to work on technique will do nothing if you keep performing it exactly the same as before.