T Nation

Please Help Correct My Squat


#1


Hello there, I have a problem with my squat and I very much need help in fixing it. I've been lifting for a year or so, but I've been very much struggling with squats since the very beginning. I've never been coached on my form and although I've done my best to correct any faults in my other lifts with feedback from friends/YouTube videos, the squat is something I cannot overcome.

Let me begin by describing my problem. I think I may have a muscular imbalance in my legs, with the left leg being slightly weaker than the right (it's also smaller in size by a tiny amount). Either that, or there is something wrong with my hips (genetic defect perhaps?). When performing the squat, I feel like the lift is unevenly distributed between my legs, with the right one doing substantially more work than the left. My friends even tell me that the bar sitting on my traps leans slightly to the left. I've also noticed that my knees are asymmetrical in the bottom position of the squat. The attached image and videos will better describe what my problem is. I'm also aware of the 'butt duck', ie. the lower back curve in the bottom position of my squat, but that's due to tight glutes which I'm also working on :smiley:

I've been trying to correct this for a while and some of the things I've done are:
a) trying to focus on keeping my groin open throughout the squat and pointing my toes more outward. I've noticed this helps spread the weight more evenly across both of my legs, but it doesn't fix the bar tilt or the hip shift.
b) stretching my glutes, hamstrings, lowerback, etc.
c) sticking to front squats only, as I've read they force good mechanical squatting, but the problem is still visible in them

This is something that's keeping me from progressing in all of my lifts, not only the squat. I know I would be able to squat more weight, but it's this obstacle I'm trying to fix that's keeping me from adding to the bar. I can even feel it affect my walking slightly, where my right leg is definitely more dominant (stronger). I've also noticed, if this is relevant at all, that this is a tendency throughout my whole body. My left arm is also a but weaker, which sometimes affects my bench press, rowns, deadlifts, pullups, OHP, etc. I would be very grateful for any help in fixing this. Perhaps someone has had a similar problem or has encountered it before and knows how to deal with it. Thank you very much in advance!


#2

There is the same back squat video from a rear view.


#3

Also the front squat where the problem also shows. Please don’t laugh at my facial expression.


#4

Post the YouTube link here I can’t view it when you upload it the way you did.


#5

I was watching Worlds Strongest Man finals the other day and one of the events was a 723lb squat for reps (half squat to be precise). Every single competitor, including champion big Z, who completed 15 reps, had the bar slightly lower on one side than the other, so I don’t think you’re alone in this “problem”. Does it cause you any real issues?


#6

Your right foot looks turned out more than your left, what happens if you try to squat with a wide stance?


#7

Here are the youtube links to the videos:




#8

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
I was watching Worlds Strongest Man finals the other day and one of the events was a 723lb squat for reps (half squat to be precise). Every single competitor, including champion big Z, who completed 15 reps, had the bar slightly lower on one side than the other, so I don’t think you’re alone in this “problem”. Does it cause you any real issues?[/quote]

Yes, it feels really unnatural and awkward. I know I’m not using my full squatting potential, as stupid as that sounds, since the squat is the only lift that’s been lagging behind since I started. I also quite often end up with joint pain in my hips after a squat session.


#9

[quote]cparker wrote:
Your right foot looks turned out more than your left, what happens if you try to squat with a wide stance?[/quote]

I’ve never tried squatting wider than shoulder width, I’ve only tried adjusting my foot angle and opening the groin up. I’ve heard that the knee angle can be adjusted with changing the stance with one foot more outward than the other. Honestly, I really don’t know what to do, but it’s messing with my lifting and I’m scared I’ll hurt myself lol.


#10

Great job getting the knees out and staying upright.

Like cparker said, the right foot looks turned out a little more. I had a similar problem, and I guess it came from weak hips. Specifically, the muscles right below my waist on the front of my thighs.

To fix this, I looped a resistance band over my lifting belt, then stepped through the ends of the band. Then I step around, forwards backwards, side to side, turning circles, etc. The band is trying to fold you over, so the glutes and hips have to work together and hard to keep you upright.

Also, clam shells, 1 leg lunges, 1 leg curls, 1 leg calf raises, sidebends, 1 arm farmer’s walk. Do all sets for the weak side first, then switch to strong side.


#11

you have a hip imbalance

left hip is overactive

  • deep tissue work on piriformis/psoas/glute medius

flaring out too much on right leg. Most likely tight IT band.

fix those and squat will improve

otherwise, solid for only a year of work. good job.


#12

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
Great job getting the knees out and staying upright.

Like cparker said, the right foot looks turned out a little more. I had a similar problem, and I guess it came from weak hips. Specifically, the muscles right below my waist on the front of my thighs.

To fix this, I looped a resistance band over my lifting belt, then stepped through the ends of the band. Then I step around, forwards backwards, side to side, turning circles, etc. The band is trying to fold you over, so the glutes and hips have to work together and hard to keep you upright.

Also, clam shells, 1 leg lunges, 1 leg curls, 1 leg calf raises, sidebends, 1 arm farmer’s walk. Do all sets for the weak side first, then switch to strong side.[/quote]

Thank you very much for your input, I’ll be sure to look into those corrective excercises :slight_smile:


#13

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
you have a hip imbalance

left hip is overactive

  • deep tissue work on piriformis/psoas/glute medius

flaring out too much on right leg. Most likely tight IT band.

fix those and squat will improve

otherwise, solid for only a year of work. good job.

[/quote]

Thank you for the help, I was thinking it was somewhat of a hip imbalance. Could you suggest any effective methods of going about fixing such a problem? Should I just implement the excercises mentioned in an upper post in my routine?


#14

Look for good massage therapists in your area or a doctor that does active release technique (ART) if you want to pursue the potential hip imbalance problem.


#15

[quote]twerp118 wrote:

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
you have a hip imbalance

left hip is overactive

  • deep tissue work on piriformis/psoas/glute medius

flaring out too much on right leg. Most likely tight IT band.

fix those and squat will improve

otherwise, solid for only a year of work. good job.

[/quote]

Thank you for the help, I was thinking it was somewhat of a hip imbalance. Could you suggest any effective methods of going about fixing such a problem? Should I just implement the excercises mentioned in an upper post in my routine?[/quote]

“deep tissue work on piriformis/psoas/glute medius”

And as mentioned above, it would be wise to find a professional to do this for you. You can try it yourself, but I doubt you would have a clue what you’re supposed to do.

The exercises mentioned would only be effective if you first release.
Otherwise, you will be wasting your time.