T Nation

Powerlifting Squat


1) In the recent article Dave Tate on Hypertrophy he mentions the guy who can deep squat a fair amount, but the only way for him to build a bigger squat is to squat the powerlifting way. In light of this I have started to squat with a pretty damn wide stance to parallel... And it is pretty fucking hard! I can only squat about 15 kilos more than I can when doing FULL squat, as to the floor style, but shoulder-width stance. However, the challenge isn't felt in my legs as much as it is in my core... so A) Should I even bother switching over to wide stance? B) would the strength developed from wide stance benefit my performance in rugby any more so than regular squat and/or full squat? (apart from developing my core, which I'm aware is vital for contact sport.)

2)In that same article he talks about how powerlifters try to put the beef on around the elbows and wrists... How does one go about thickening up the elbow and wrist? (This would also help rugby...)

I had some more but I forgot, so I'll just post them later when they come back to me!

Thanks in advance for any help!


I believe the wide stance strenghtens the hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes to a greater degree than regular stance squats, which rely heavily on the quads. this should be help you alot as a rugby player.


I noticed the same thing. I can actually squat heavier in a 12 inch stance than I can when I go for a really wide box. I squat super deep with both...I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

Anyway I was wondering if this fact indicates a fairly severe front/rear strength imbalance. For me that would not make a lot of sense, though, because I am pretty strong on deads compared to squats, and have done them regularly for years. I'm focusing on box squats at present, anyway, to try and bring up the posterior strength .


You may be going too wide. Here's a quote from Jim Wendler in his "Casual Friday" article on raw squatting:

[i]I think a lot of people have been misguided, and part of it is my fault, on the width of a squat stance. If you are looking to be a wide stance squatter, this doesn?t automatically mean that you squat with your feet almost touching the sides of the Monolift.

I think people have automatically assumed that everyone squats as wide as Chuck Vogelpohl. This is definitely not the case. To maximize your hips AND your legs, your stance needs to be adjusted accordingly. A wide stance is usually defined as being slightly wider than shoulder width or wider.

The key is that your stance needs to be wide enough so that you can sit back into a squat but not so wide that you can?t bring your quads into a squat. Everyone is going to be different but generally people will take the stance that makes them feel more powerful once there is a significant weight on the bar.

From there, you can tweak your stance. Because you are not wearing gear, your hips must be taken into account.

Now if you are training athletes and I hope they are not wearing squat briefs, you need to bring your stance in to an ?athletic? stance.

What is an athletic stance? Get into any position that mimics an athlete: a linebacker, a volleyball player, a shortstop, etc. They all have the same basic stance. It is slightly wider than shoulder width. If it?s not, then you need to talk to the sport coaches and see what the hell they are teaching their athletes.[/i]