T Nation

Long Femurs Dilemma


#1

Hey T-nationers!
I am a 16 year old beginner powerlifter. I have known for a long time that my femurs are very long but I had never measured them until recently. I found out that my femur to body ratio is 0.30 while the normal ratio is 0.26(54cm femur, 182cm body). I have always felt uncomfortable squatting no matter what stance/bar-position/shoes I was using. By what I have read a wide stance squat with flat shoes is the best option but I find it hard to track my knees over my feet when I use a wide stance. What do you guys recommend I do? And if you recommend a wide stance squat what should I do for mobility to make it easier to track my knees above my feet?

Thank you in Advance


#2

I think a box squat would be a good learning and mobility tool to help track the knees in a wide stance. For the mobility and P-chain strength for wide squatting, I think box squats are a great choice. Also, breaking up the movement allows you to focus more on that aspect of squatting.

You start with a box just high enough to be before the point where your knees cave in.
Make sure you land softly on the box and release your hip flexors for an instant when all the way on the box and then re-engage as soon as the hip flexors let go all the way.
As you gain strength and mobility in the hips, lower the box before increasing weight. Work to at least 2 inches below parallel before actually adding weight or volume. This gradual decrease in box height in and of itself will build the flexibility, strength, and mobility to be able to free squat wide.

Box squats could be the main lift or assistance. I’d start out light so you can focus on the intended qualities without just worrying about having to force this weight up any way you can without it crushing you because when that happens your form is going to break down a lot unless that movement is already ingrained without even having to think about it.

Even if box squats become your main lift, I would still maintain free squatting of some kind in your program.


#3

As a beginner I really doubt you should be worrying so much about how the intricacies of your build affect your lifts. At 16 your body is still prone to change and you may even grow another inch or two over the next few years. I think the best advice is just to squat often and see what feels comfortable. If you are really serious about powerlifting, find a lifter or group of lifters in your area to start training with. They should be able to teach you proper technique from the jump.


#4

I have been looking everywhere! There are no good gyms near me and I have been trying to find powerlifters but I cant seem to find any(I live in Sweden)


#5

Thank you for the in depth answer Fletch! I will definitely try those things out. I will also b stretching and doing mobility work for mu hip adductors as they seem very tight


#6

Even if all you do is make it there once a week if they’ll allow that could make a big difference.

As far as stretches, groiners are one of my favorites.
Stand with about a shoulder width apart plus or minus some possibly.
Grab your toes with locked out knees.
squat down using your elbows to push out your knees.
Straighten your legs again into the toe hold you started with and repeat.

The good girl, bad girl machine abduction can be used to help wake up the muscles that help track your knees and the adduction can also be used as a stretch under resistance and even help prevent adductor or groin pulls. I don’t use the machine to build slabs of muscle or add 50lbs to my squat, but occasionally used for those reasons works out pretty well for injury prevention. Just be sure you don’t go any farther than the range of motion you can actively control.

10-20 reps is good for mobility and warmup for either of these.

Edit: Once you can squat wide and you’ve given it a few to many weeks to try it out and it’s not working too well for you, try other methods of squatting. There’s also more than just narrow or wide. There’s also how much knee tracking and how upright you want to remain.

When you don’t push your knees out with the wide stance, you’re elminating some of the advantage of the wide stance which is to keep the lifter more upright and keep the moment arm of the knees and hips closer to the bar.