not flexible enough for full squat

Hi all,

When I tried to do a full squat, I round my back just before I go under parallel. What muscles do I need to stretch out here? And what kind of stretches can I do? Thanks a lot! :slight_smile:

if your lower back is rounding it might be a lower back strength issue? try body weight squats or just squats with the 45lb bar what happens? if you can keep it arched with lightp oundage it might be lower back strength problem.

otherwise if its just flexibility and form, just start out box squatting, works wonders:))))))))))

You need to stretch your glutes and hams and possibly strengthen your lower back. You should also look into stretching your adductors.

A good way to work this in a squat specific manner is to try some passive loaded stretching, grab a box that’s low enough that it’s hard to hold your arch. Put some weight on the bar then just sit on the box, this will stretch you in a manner specific to the lift involved. Gradually lower the box until it’s at the height you want.


Sorry, that suggestion from Mud Dog was from me, I forgot to log him out.


Iamnobody is right. Begin full squats for few reps during the warm-up sets trying to keep the proper position.
I believe that full squats are beneficial because you target more the legs.

Sounds to me like more of a weight issue also than a flexibility issue. You need to drop the weight down and swallow your pride until you can do ATG squats with good form.

The box squat was a great suggestion. By doing the squats below parrallel you will natrually stretch the hips and such that need stretched. Your back, abs and such are probably lacking also. Add in some heavy ab work and GHR’s.

Good luck,


Also consider the flexability of your Hamstrings. Tightness in that muscle will cause your hips to tilt backward (posterior pelvic tilt) wich will round out your lower back in a deep squat. If thats the case do some consistent Hamstring stretches making sure to keep a natural arch in your low back.
Hope this helps. Mark

Rounding of the low back in a deep squat is usually a symptom of tightness in the Hamstrings. Try some consistent stretching of that muscle, making sure to keep a natural arch in your back while holding the stretch.

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the suggestion. But it’s definitely not a weight issue. When I say I round my back before I assume a full squat position, I test it using bodyweight… :slight_smile:

When I go down without any weights, just after I go under parallel, my lower back starts to round.

I had the same problem. Ended up with a pulled hip flexor and strained back. Never stretched these before but now i realise how important they are. It could be lack of flexibility in these or your hammies or your glutes or even your tibialis anterior (least likely IMO). Stretch the lot and box squats are great. Just start off high and every couple of workouts drop the height by an inch.

For stretches try these from Ian King:
Hip Flexor: Same kneeling position with back foot on the bench, but take the foot of the non-stretch leg out further away from the bench, put your hands on your head, and lower your pelvis down as low as it can go (your stretch side foot is still up on the bench behind).

Glutes: Lie on your back. Lift one leg, bent at the knee, and take the lower leg across the body. With the same-side hand, push the knee away, and with the opposite hand pull the foot towards the head. Take the foot across to the other hip, holding the ankle with the opposite side hand. With the same side hand, pull the knee across your body towards the opposite shoulder.

Hamstrings: Everybody knows how to stretch these! Don’t they?

Tibialis Anterior: Never really liked this one. Using a wall or chair as support, place your left foot behind your right foot, with the top of your left on the ground. Extend the bottom of your left shin as far forwards as possible. Slowly lower yourself by bending both legs.

Iamnobody could be right in saying its your back strength which can never be too strong so do GM’s anyway.

Five Ways to Go Deeper How to Get “Ass to Grass” when Squatting by Ian King

I am still voting for the Box squat, I am betting you are lacking in the glutes and hams and are not sitting back during the squat as much as you should due to lacking strenght in the above stated muscles.

Just my 2 cc.

I don’t agree as he is doing a full squat and you don’t sit back on them as you would with a PL squat style. You use the quads alot more as your knees break much more relative to you hips. If you were to use box squats to hit a full squat I would use them differently to doing a PL squat and not emphasise sitting back so much but use it to progressively increase the depth of your squat.

Thanks for the link. I’ll look at it.

Thanks for the stretches.

creed is right. I’m doing full squat, so I’m not trying to sit back.

I understand that he is full squatting. But, if his hams, glutes, posterioer chain are lacking the proper strength to hold the weight with good form toward the bottom his back will round more to get balance and not fall over.

This is where box squatting will help as well as GHR’s and heavy ab work.

Would you not agree?


I would disagree.

The problem is the lack of strength of the hip flexors/lower abs and gluteals in the bottom-most positions of the squat.

The answer to your problem is simple; just squat more frequently, but use lower weight each time, and make every rep perfect. If you can’t go ass to grass even with light weight, then do your best, and it will improve with time.

Practice bringing your knees out as far as possible in the bottom position, and keeping your back arched as much as possible.

Nope still disagree.
I do think that the posterior chain is important but what leads to me to the conclusion that flexibility is the limiting factor here is that his back rounds out with out any load. There is of course a very quick and easy test to try as Ian King suggests which would answer the question, just try stretching the hip flexors before a set of squats and see if it makes any difference.

Had a client with a similar problem. He was the worst I have ever seen, as far as lower back rounding – he looked like a camel when squatting (w/ any weight). Thing that helped him out the most was stretching. As mentioned earlier, hamstrings are the main area that need stretching, followed by glutes and hip flexors.

Now, after much stretching, he squats in perfect form, below parallel. Amazing to see the transformation. Try PNF stretching for the hamstrings, daily. You will be amazed at the results in just a few short weeks.

bulgarian splisquat iso hold for a min

archback good morning iso hold for a minute

sorted :slight_smile:

Same happends to me.

Try a wider stand and have your feet pointing slightly out, app 10 to 2. Solved to problem for me.