T Nation

Long Femurs = No Squating??

I just read the article by Coach Mike Boyle - 25 Years, 25 Mistakes.

I’m confused on how I should keep my training going for legs. I’ve been doing squats, deadlifts, leg presses for years and always felt the most comfortable with leg presses for quads. Squats have always felt awkward for me because my femurs are so long. I’m about 6’3 and feel that it is next to impossible to go further down than my thighs being parallel with the floor.

Read this from his article -

Mistake #4: Putting square pegs in round holes

The bottom line is that not everyone is made to squat or to clean. I rarely squatted with my basketball players as many found squatting uncomfortable for their backs and knees.

It killed me to stop because the squat is a lift I fundamentally believed in, but athletes with long femurs will be poor squatters. It’s physics. It took me a while to realize that a good lift isn’t good for everybody.

This is where I am confused. Is he saying that I shouldn’t do squats at all or that squats shouldn’t be my primary focus in my leg training? If so, what should be my primary focus? Any advise would be appreciated guys. Thank you.

Make sure your form and mobility are up to par before dumping a movement as useful as the squat.

I am 6’5", I sqaut and it works just fine for me. If it realy hurts check out your technique before you decide to quit doing them.

I am guessing that when he is talking about athletes with long femurs he is talking about guys that are 6’7" or so, not 6’3".

Why are you even asking this question?

If something has been working fine for years, why would you question it just becuase you read that some guy doesnt make tall people squat?

[quote]bigscarymonster wrote:
I am 6’5", I sqaut and it works just fine for me. If it realy hurts check out your technique before you decide to quit doing them.

I am guessing that when he is talking about athletes with long femurs he is talking about guys that are 6’7" or so, not 6’3".[/quote]

everyone has different proportions though. i’m only 5’9" yet my legs are really long so i look even taller, and it doesnt help much to have long arms either :confused:

[quote]meat1wad wrote:
Why are you even asking this question?

If something has been working fine for years, why would you question it just becuase you read that some guy doesnt make tall people squat?[/quote]

Best.Post.

6’3 isn’t that tall brah. He’s talking bball player tall.

No wonder people have trouble sticking with programs long enough to see results. Are you seriously changing major components of your workouts every time you read a new opinion?

Yes guys, all the movements I have been doing for years have worked fine. That isn’t to say that if I only did squats, I’d still get good results.

Everbody has different proportions. He didn’t say - “if you’re over 6’5, don’t do squats”. You could be 6’8 and have a perfectly balanced upper and lower body. He said people with long femurs, meaning if your femurs are long, regardless of your height. I have long femurs and I can feel the awkwardness when trying to go below parallel. It feels like I just can’t balance the weight so I have to shift forward. It’s simple physics.

I personally would rather not do squats and just stick with the other movements. But I continue to do squats because I know that it’s labeled “king” of leg exercises and feel that I would be short changing myself to toss them out.

[quote]Noodle_Arms wrote:
6’3 isn’t that tall brah. He’s talking bball player tall.

No wonder people have trouble sticking with programs long enough to see results. Are you seriously changing major components of your workouts every time you read a new opinion?[/quote]

Also, “brah” - I don’t have any problem sticking with my training. Have I changed anything yet? When was the last time I read something and changed my whole routine around? You don’t know what the hell your saying.

I am educating myself before I make my decision. I humble myself and don’t claim to know everything. This is what everyone should do in order to succeed.

While I really enjoy Coach Boyle’s contributions to T-Nation, I sometimes dislike the “backwash” of people that see a line that he will drop and then start questioning your whole training methodology.

I’m a 6’4" college athlete. The past two years I have been focused on driving my squat and am finally starting to be able to move some respectable (385 box squat a while ago, 405+ back squat, 315+ front squat… been a while since maxes) weight and the results have been great, I am more explosive, jump higher and have way more total body strength.

Now if I just took Coach Boyle’s words, and didn’t examine my own training, I’d throw away a very valuable part of my training. I’m 6’4" and have very long legs, even for my height. I have a build where I “shouldn’t” be able to squat. Yet I’ve always loved the squat and have seen great results, so there’s no way it’s going to leave my training program in the near future.

I’m of the opinion that if you can’t back squat OR front squat at all (I mean, as a bodybuilder, it’s not like you need to squat ATG), you have some serious flexibility, mobility or possibly mental (not focused, afraid of the weight or a hard lift, not willing to put the time in to learn proper form, etc.) issues that you need to sort out.

Hakeem Olajuwon squatted regularly when he was a pro basketball player. Hakeem is 7’.

Most of the strongest squatters ever have been well over 6’ tall.

Most of the time when I see people complain about their back and knees hurting while squatting there are two issues involved: 1) they’re using too much weight for them to handle in a safe manner; 2) they need to work on flexibility for safe squatting.

Almost everyone should be able to squat irregardless of height (of course you’ll be able to find exceptions, but not many).

I’m also 6’3 and have no problem squatting.

Maybe if the taller guys have trouble back squatting they could try front squatting.

Both are very helpful nontheless.

I think you skipped #15.

Mistake #15: Confusing reading with believing

This concept came to me by way of strength coach Martin Rooney. It’s great to read. We just need to remember that in spite of the best efforts of editors, what we read may not always be true.

If the book is more than two years old, there’s a good chance even the author no longer agrees with all the information in it. Read often, but read analytically.

What you people don’t get is he is referring to proportions, not actual height.

If you have disproportionately long femurs, you ll be a lousy squatter.

I actually thought about this today when I was squatting. I see other people in my gym that hate wha tthey are doing and so they don’t work hard at it.

It seems like you really don’t like to do squats. There really isn’t a problem with not liking the exercise. If you really don’t like doing them, don’t. You are not going to work as hard on them and so you probably will get better gains if you do something like a leg press and go all out.

[quote]acidhell wrote:
What you people don’t get is he is referring to proportions, not actual height.

If you have disproportionately long femurs, you ll be a lousy squatter. [/quote]

I got that from his first post. I don’t do well at squats because my legs are long. It is difficult for me to get lower than parallel regardless of how much I use on the bar. That is why I base my leg workout around leg presses instead of squats. What some are pointing out is how there do seem to be some people on this forum who revamp their workout as soon as they read an article that contradicts what they were doing before. That doesn’t mean that is exactly what is going on here, but it is worth pointing out because too many here seem incapable of independent thought.

If squats have worked for him in the past, he should continue doing them… If there is a problem, he needs to see if an alternative will work better. No one can come to that conclusion for him.

You’ve supposedly been lifting for YEARS yet you still don’t know whether you should squat? This makes no sense. Really, it doesn’t.

I don’t bench. Most guys do. Why don’t I bench? Because after years of lifting, I learned what builds and what tears up my body. Benching kills me, though I can do weighted dips all day long.

According to “convensional wisdom,” dips are harder on your shoulders than benching. So what? I know what works for me. I know what hurts my shoulder and what doesn’t.

Some “guru” could publish an article today saying everyone should bench and no one should do dips. Guess what? I still won’t bench, and I’ll still do dips.

I also won’t need to ask on the forum whether I should bench. AFter all, I’ve been lifting for years.

You people need to actually lift weights and listen to your bodies. If all you do is read articles and “think” about what you should do, you’ll never get bigger or stronger – which, I assume (perhaps foolishly?) is the reason you’re reading this site.

For me personally, my long legs have meant that I back squat with a wider stance to get parallel. I see that as a square peg in a square hole solution to my particular mix of stretch armstrong limbs and tight hip flexors.

I would keep doing them for variety’s sake. I’m 6’3" as well with very long legs and I too look at guys going ATG and shake my head. I WISH!

But I go down to at least parallel, squeeze to come up and think they’re a pretty game good movement. I mean what else do you have to work your quads? Sissy squats, front squats, lunges, leg press. Eliminate the squats and you’re going to get pretty sick of doing leg press and lunges.

So this is why I keep doing them. Yes they’re not much fun, yes they’re pretty tough for tall guys. But if you can do them safely and keep progressing, you’d be doing a disservice to yourself to cut them out.

[quote]xb100 wrote:
I’m also 6’3 and have no problem squatting.

Maybe if the taller guys have trouble back squatting they could try front squatting.

Both are very helpful nontheless.[/quote]

I am also 6’3" and my squat is quite low, this is because I ignored leg training for a long time. I’ll use something like 185lb and keep my form great, head up and back straight and get a few sets of 10. Front squatting in the O- style is so difficult for me, but its easier to go ATG with the weight (low weight 135) and use the glutes and hams to power out of the hole.

So my point is that when you know youre squat is weak and you try to get stronger and be more complete, you get there faster ATG. Body- builder style front squats are much easier but I want a big clean.