T Nation

Pain not where it should be?

Every time i squat, i can always feel it in my hams and glutes, rarely in my quads. My form is very good,i have had some guys at the gym watch me and they said it was excellent. However, i was thinkin it might be becasue im 6"4? I dont know, any ideas?


It is likely because your form is good that you are feeling stress in your hamstrings and glutes. The majority of people I see squatting use poor form and do not achieve anywhere near parallel range of motion. It is in the deeper portion of the movement when the glutes and hams become more involved. If you have just started doing squats or it has been a while it is fairly normal to feel “pain”, but should it subside in later workouts.

You didn’t say what your stance was like or where you had the bar on your back. The wider your stance the more the glutes and hamstrings come into play, even more so than the quads. That is on of the reasons that powerlifters are so bing on training hamstrings and squating with boxes. If you use a narrower stance the quads will become the primemovers. However, the down side is that the narrower your stance gets the less weight you’ll have to use and reduced range of motion. Also have the bar higher up on your bar, which will lower weight and reduce range aswell. The range you use will depend on your flexiblity and the distance your feet are apart. Having your feet only about 8 inches apart will make it so that you can only go about half way down and still keep proper back allignment. Try using this form and see if you can walk up stairs the next day.

Wolf, this is normal if your form is good. The usual form of the squat does not hit the quads primarily (especially in taller people). Say this to yourself 1254 times a day to overcome the Weider-induced trance you have been in! Okay, so if you want to develop your quads and you like squats, here are some suggestions: 1. Try King squats. Get the video and learn a new technique. 2. Go all the way down. 3. Try 1-and-1/3 squats. 4. Do leg extensions before you squat as a pre-exhaustion technique to focus on the quads. 5. Experiment with different foot/bar placements. If the people who were critiquing you were powerlifters, they probably told you that your form was excellent if you had a wide stance and the bar was halfway down your back. Try having the bar higher up on your back, elevating your heels, staying more upright during ascent and using a narrower stance. These techniques will all move the more of the effort to your quads and less to your posterior chain.

the squat is a “whole leg” exerscice so your pain is good

Front squats will blow up your quads. But they totally neglect the glutes…