Mobility Issues/ Squat Mechanics

Although this is not directly an Olympic lifting issue, I thought I would come here as The O lifters are generally more informed on mobility.

When I squat, I can’t get below parallel with correct form. My Hips become tight and I begin to lean forward. This actually happens just before I even reach parallel. When I try and do a body weight squat with correct form, again I have to lean forward to prevent falling back.

I seem to have over developed quads, and a lack of posterior chain. Despite good deadlift numbers, I don’t particularly feel it in the hamstrings or glutes after deadlifting, despite good technique.

What can I do to alleviate this? I think that I perhaps might have lower cross syndrome but am uncertain.

Many thanks

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How long have you been squatting? It can take a lot of time to get good enough at the mechanic to go below parallel comfortably and with good form.

I would say squat to where it is comfortable. Play with wide and narrow foot position and try moving the squat bar to different locations on your back, ie higher and lower. Eventually you should find the stance where you are strongest and most stable. And more importantly the stance you are least likely to hurt yourself in.

Id started squatting with okay form back when as I was 22. I couldn’t do much weight for a 190 lbs guy. I rarely got over 225 for 5 reps and I often hurt myself as going too low curved my back and strained my muscles.

As I would I heal from back strains I periodically would return to doing back squats. About 2 or 3 years ago at age 27-28 I guess I had finally been squatting long enough that I found the perfect position for bar on my back and my strongest foot placement. Now I can squat closer to 405 for singles and I don’t feel like I am going to hurt myself when I go low. It takes time to find your grove, but the more you squat the faster it will happen, baring injury of course.

I didn’t do any special stretches or anything I just always tried to keep heavy back squats in my workouts 1-3 times per week. 3 times a week was rough on my knees but great for getting better at squatting. My advice, don’t go too heavy and find your favorite form. Go for high a low reps and once you are comfortable with your form considering using a moderately heavy weight and holding your squat at the bottom for 10-20 seconds before moving back up to build stability and strength in the squatted position. Also every opportunity you get practice your squat form. If you are washing the tires on your car, dip down into low squat instead of bending over to reach them. Intentionally lift objects of the floor like a goblet squat when you are doing chores.

I don’t think most people have good balance or can squat deep when they first start, I certainly didn’t. As with all lifts there is no substitute for repetition and persistence.