T Nation

Lazy squat ?

I’m pretty sure that if I do a little leg work (pun intended) I could find the answer to my question. Anyway here it goes, lately when I do heavy squats 1-3x10 my weight seems to shift forward to the balls of my feet/toes. Are my calves too tight, are my hams to weak. I’m guessing it’s my hams as I did GHR’s for the first time a few days ago and shamefully I could barely perform 3 with anywhere near decent form. Thanks for the responses in advance.


im not sure of the reason why your having this problem but i think i have a good remedy. i do this with all of my young female clients. well their not really clients just girls im trying to eh-hem, befriend. its quite simple, i just have them do box squats! it teaches you rather quickly how to sit back and shift your weight back.

if you are only doing 3 reps on the GHR your hams are way weak. i would practice real light box squats for sets of 5 or so to extablish good form, while doing a lot of posterior chain supplementary work. also, why are you doig sets of 10 squats? if you are training for strength that is too many reps. you would be better off doig 6-10 sets of 2. Anyway, read Tate’s article on box squatting and review the videos. if you don’t have them, go to elite fitness and buy them. you will learn a lot from them.


It could be just a matter of form. Try looking up as you squat. Choose a spot on the wall ahead of you, or even the ceiling. This will keep your head from coming down, which in turn will stop your body from leaning forward and forcing the weight on your toes.

Good Luck!

To add to what Zeb said – it’s sometimes difficult to keep looking up if there is a huge ass mirror in front of you, because there is a tendency to watch yourself as you go down. I don’t know if that’s your problem, but it was mine for a while.

I’m with Zeb. Have a partner watch and make sure you have decent lordosis. Focusing on keeping the bar in a line over my knees helped.
If it is a strenght issue, stick a couple of 10# plates under your heels and that will stabilize you so you do not feel like you are going to crash. Once you strengthen the muscle, you will be able to remove the plates.

I think you have a weak posterior chain and you are shifting the weight forward onto your toes and hence favouring your comparitively stronger quads.

What do you front squat? How does this compare to your back squat. Box squat starting off on a fairly high box and keep working your GHR’s.

im guessing its hammy strength. Start doing heavy goodmornings (~3RM) focus on sitting back. this will help you to learn to drive through you heels and strengthen you hammies.
Also check your shoes. Since swithing to chuck taylor’s (flat sole) i haven’t had a problem with a forward lean.

You could also try pointing your toes up while you squat, this would leave only the ball and heal area to squat off of.

Creed posted “What do you front squat? How does this compare to your back squat.”

I never front squat, so it sounds like I may be missing the boat by foregoing that exercise. How should your front squat compare to your back squat in relation to load? And what does it tell you about muscle strength?

have you tried widening your stance? A friend of mine who I’m training had the weight move just as you described so I had him get wide and its help remove that problem. Give that little form switch a try and see if that works.

Don Alessi stated in his Iron Dog Q&A that back squat should be approxiamately 120% of front squat. But I have also heard of it being around 133%.

It obviously depends alot on the individual but if your front squat is much closer to your back squat than this you would assume that you quads are relatively stronger than your posterior chain.

Box squats and dumbell swings would help.

Thanks Creed.

All decent answers. I was using a powersquat stance (wide) at the time. My front squat is definitely less than my back squat but not terribly out of balance. I lift alone, have no mirrors in my gym and do notice a tendency to look straight and sometimes down a bit when coming up. I do try to pick a point on the wall but shit sometimes I can hardly see the wall when I’m really zoning. BTW I might have posted it wrong but, I was doing 10 sets of 3 reps using around my 80% max damn near ass to the floor style (hams touching my calves). The plate idea is a good one though, I’ll incorportate it next time. Thanks to all again.

Elevating your heels with plates may solve the problem short term, but it can stress the knees more. If your flexibility is limiting you take care of that issue and it could fix the problem for good.

Elevating your heels should not be a long term fix, but doing so will strengthen the muscles necessary. Then you can stop elevating your heels. Sticking plates under your heels is also a nice way to hit the soleus.