T Nation

Power Squats


#1

I am playing college ball and we just got done with our spring practices, something interesting has taken place. Training in the gym today, we were squatting,I throw a couple of wheels on each side, unrack and get my feet a little wider than shoulder width and bust out 12 just to get warmed up. The strength coach comes over and starts bitching, "get your feet wider", "wider, that is not a squat, that's a pussy squat"
I am not used to squatting so wide, I tried to but my hips felt like they were going to rip off the bone, i couldn't get deep.
I hardly feel I am weak on the squats, I have repped 455 at a weight of 225 and I run a 4.5 40-yard, but is that a standard squat for football? I just transferred from JC. Any thoughts?


#2

Hmmmm, so he won't let you squat the way you've always squatted? Sounds like another "I only know one way so it must be the best way assholes".

Sorry bout your luck man.


#3

I think your coach might be right. I'm assuming that you are playing football. The wider stance will give you more hip, glute and hamstring activation. Key muscle groups for football. Give the squats a try. No, in the beginning, you won't be as flexible in the hips as you were with the closer stance but the benefits will be worth it. Soon you will be back up to your medium stance squat max and then you will surpass it as your posterior chain grows stronger.


#4

this may be the first time i have ever said this..but it seems your strength coach is right.....wide stance squating will help you for football..but if your coach really knew his shit he would understand the need for both squat styles for a good all around strength program..bm


#5

Feeling like your hips are going to self-destruct is never good. I say squat how you feel is comfortable instead of having some dude force you into HIS way of squatting. Your numbers are fine as is - remember that simple squatting strength isn't a predictor of football performance. Good luck with the strength coach.


#6

Because of the way God put our bones together, some of us can't use the ideal form for some or all of the powerlifts. I'm not talking about people who don't know what a good power SQ, 81cm-grip BP or sumo-style DL looks like. I'm talking about people who, for anatomical reasons, CAN NOT make the form in the mirror match most of the pictures in Powerlifting-USA Magazine. I'm also talking about the person who COULD imitate Mike Bridges' squat form, semi-sorta, but who squats 50kg heavier if he does it his own way, even after years of practise.
If you referee PL contests, you see it all the time. Everyone on "Team X" powerlifting team is a very-wide-stance squatter, but half of 'em aren't made for it. They get to a point slightly above parallel. At that point, the back may go down to the point where they do a half-assed good morning, but the line from the bend at the hip to the top of the knee STILL hasn't broken parallel! Their training partners "know" that they saw a legit lift, because that's how they've always seen it done where "Team X" trains. The side ref's both give lotsa red lights, and the crowd is indignant about the substandard-shitty officiating. (When surrounded by 200 powerlifters who wanna piss on your grave, it's considered bad form to tell 'em all to eat shit and die.) After the contest, "Team X" decides to compete in an association with "better" referees.
Part of the problem is coaching by guys who are naturally wonderful lifters. They BP'd double bodyweight, SQ'd & DL'd triple bodyweight, within their first few weeks of training, with great form. In some cases, this results in meathead logic: "I did it, so you can do it. What's your major malfunction?!?" Listen to the best lifters, and try to follow their advice, within reason. However, if following their advice ain't working, there comes a time to quit trying to do it their way.
Strength & courage,
Coach Joe


#7

I've had hip pain ever since I tried squatting wide.I think some people just aren't meant to do it.Your coach is a moron and there are many other ways to strengthen the posterior chain.


#8

I have always squated OL style, and always will. Although power squats may stress the posterior chain to a greater degree, I doubt that one will see speed improvement with a fd-up hip.

Most sports movements have ideal grooves, but most people do not have ideal structures for all those movements.


#9

Does anyone have any strategies for increasing flexibility for those of us who cannot get into a wide stance squat? When I try, I don't feel a muscle holding be back, seems more like my actual hip joint.


#10

Coach Joe is looking for controversy.


#11

Thanks for the thoughts bros. I think my problem is flexibility, just like some of you mentioned. I have been working with a therapist for the last week doing some PNF stretching which is working wonders on my hips and posterior chain. Twice a week until I am not feeling any more hip pain on the power squats. The power squat is a wierd movement for me, I feel I have more power during the top 2/3rd's of the movement than I do during a normal squat, but once I reach the pain point for my hips, it seems to make it impossible to continue controlled ascension and I lose control over my form. The power squat is a humbling exercise. Hopefully with continued usage, I can increase hip strength, therefore facilitating a quicker 40-time, I wouldn't mind running a 4.4.


#12

Coach Joe: Awesome post, thanks. You know, it's very hard for a lot of lifters when they go to a club with a lot of accomplished lifters and they're all saying "do it this way, it's the right way." Most guys/gals, of course, are going to go along with that. Perhaps some with a lot of intestinal fortitide wil go their own way down the road if they're not pleased with their results. But, cmon, we know they're are successful squatters who use a close stance, those who use a wide stance, and everything in between. So, certainly, there is not just one way to do it (squats or any other lift).


#13

After reading through this entire thread: Clark, I would not change the way you are squatting. If you want to experiment with the power squat, fine. But don't waste too much time with it if it does not feel right. It sounds like you're already a pretty good squatter and have found a "good" groove that works for you. As was said earlier, we're not all built like Mike Bridges!

Ultimately, do what you think is best and it sounds like you've had some good results to back it up.


#14

first off if you cant squat wide it has nothing to do with your frame...it has to do with your lack of quality training and coaching....your post-chain and hips are weak there is no way around it....it of course is not the only way to squat but its benefits for athletics are great...dont let some one set limits on you..bm


#15

BM: what would you recommend to bring up the weak areas, just work with lighter weights for power squats where there is no pain untill you have the power in that region of your body? After reading this thread i tried squatting today with a fairly light weight and seem to have the same problem


#16

first off i dont beleive in athletes doing only 1 type of squats...i use 10 diffirent variations in squats when i work with athletes...what i am more worried about here is a weaknees in the hips and post chain..for example when one of my powerlifting training partners came to me he was 18 had his hs squat record wth a 545 pure quad squat...his quads were enormous...here is the thing his squat was going backwards it was getting worse and it wouldnt budge...i tried to have him box squat off a high box with 135 i got him in a wide stance had him sit back as far as he can and try to flex off the box and he coudlnt budge....he couldnt get off the damn box with 135 becuase his hips and hammies were that weak...i also see this happen all the time with football players who can quad squat a ton but cant do a SINGLE GLUTE HAM RAISE....i am the first one to tell you that everyone has there own squat style but whether a athlete or a powerlifter you have to have a rock solid post-chain...now what would i do ....fisrt i would teach him to wide stance box squat off a high box 17 inches or so..i would keep him there for 3 weeks then i would try to drop the box down to parellell and see if his post-chain strengh is up to par if not he goes back to the high box....then i would spend tons of time doing post chain movements for rep schemes that build both mass and strength - snatch grip deads, sumo deads, and tons of close stance squats with the ssbar and cmaberd squat bar to build the lower back....bm


#17

OH YEA I FORGOT TO ADD IN THE HOURS UPON HOURS OF SLED DRAGGING, TIRE FLIPS, MED BLL THROWS, PULL THOUGHS, BAND GOODMORNINGS, BAND LEG CURLS, REVERSE HYPERS, GLUTE HAM RAISES, AB WORK, RUSSIAN COMPLEXES FOR THE POST CHAIN, ROTATIONAL WORK WITH SLEDGE HAMMER AND TIRES, AND SO MUCH FUCKING AB WORK HE WOULD PUKE.....THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT WILL BUILD A ATHLETES POST-CHAIN..NOT MAKING EXCUSES FOR HIM ON WHY HE IS NOT BUILT TO SQUAT WIDE LIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE ON THIS THREAD HAVE DONE..THEY HAVE GIVE HIM A REASON NOT TO TRAIN THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF HIS BODY FOR HIS GAME...."YOU CANT FLEX BONE"...BM

[Please, no yelling on the forum. Remember "All caps = YELLING!" - Moderator]


#18

Big_Martin:

Well said. You made many good points.


#19

Why would he consider a close stance squat a pussy squat? Were you using full ROM? If so, then most people would argue that the CS is more difficult than a wide stance. The reason powerlifters use a wide stance is so they can lift more weight. In other words, it is easier. The weight has to travel a further distance when doing CS squats, in this case weight x distance= total work performed.


#20

loop-

More importantly, the wide stance is used to put more of the work on the glutes and hamstrings. When the stress is more evenly distributed across the hams, glutes and quads, the ability to squat more weight goes up.