Proper Squat Form

Hi all,

I have always done squats using a wide stance (what I think is wide is around 6 inches on either side of my shoulders) with my feet at about a 45 degree angle. Am I hitting my legs properly doing squats this way? If I try to squat using a closer stance and drop down deep I tend to lose my balance and fall backwards. I am thinking I might have some butt and hamstring tightness/weakness that might have to be worked on. Any suggestions for stretching and strengthening for squats other than just doing squats? I just picked up a new power cage last week and as sick as it sounds I have been having a ball knocking out reps in it :slight_smile: I know I should’nt do squats everyday but its great having your own gear - hehe




Being a former national level collegiate thrower, I used to squat just like you do and that’s how I still teach it! I agree, a bit wider than shoulder width, knees over the toes, outward pointed between 30 and 45 degrees somewhere. This stance is much better for keeping un-due stress off the lower back, because you can stay more erect and drive through the heels like you should be. Typically, the narrower the stance the tougher to “sit back” into the squat, harder to drive thru the heels, and harder to engage the hams and disengage the quads.

Now, onto your more advanced question concerning flexibility and ROM. You likely need to hit different angles and do some unilateral (single leg work). As well as some specific ham/glute movements.

I would first off hit some front squats, just to change it up a bit. Then, go to one legged squats and/or lunges. Then to a step up. A step up is just a one-legged squat/lunge combo. You start with both feet shoulder width in front of a 12-24" box. Simply step up with one leg, stepping back down with the opposite leg. Switch and repeat. This is one of the best power builders you can perform!

As far as hammy and glute training, hit your regular dead lifts and a few Romanian deads as well. Romanian’s are bascially stiff legged, but sliding the hips back and forth. You could also hit some ham-presses. These are awesome for ham/glute work. Lie on your back, place one foot with a bent knee on a 3-4 inch riser. Press your lower back off the ground, hold for a count or two, then lower. The leg not being used should be just hanging out - maybe point it up in the air so you don’t over work the hip-flexor while it’s waiting it’s turn. Then of course, hit some ham work, but make them unilateral (work each one independently).

You could also use some hip work probably (if not already efficient, then to make sure your’s are up to par). Check out a recent article on that above from the T-Nation people.

Good luck bro!

Try stretching ur hip-flexors, it might be that what is causing u trouble.

Thanks for the replies guys - I realized there were two articles posted recently that described exactly what to do for this. Tonight was my leg day and following their stretching and warmups really helped alot…I really felt my gluts tonight.