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Raw Wide Squatting. Hamstrings feel really tight in the bottom position. Also hard to reach depth.


I have been squatting wide for a bit of years now. Very happy with what I just achieved a couple days ago. 500lbs x 9 reps, bodyweight of 188lbs, belt only. I know its not alot to some of you beasts. But I was happy.

Problem is when I get close to the bottom position of this wide squat, my hamstrings are getting very tight and seems as if they are about to pull. My first rep I was very close to parallel but after that I kept my reps consistantly a couple inches higher because I felt like I may pull my hamstrings.

I have been reading lately that a really wide squat is more for geared lifters because they have more protection in the hips and the gear helps them sit back with there wide squatting without falling backwards. So I was thinking maybe since I am not geared up and when I try to sit back I am having to lean even more forward to keep from falling backwards and I am stretching the crap out of my hamstrings. Am I way off here?

Would just simply stretching my hamstrings often help? Yes I hardly ever stretch them.

I just bought some knee wraps. So if I kept doing these wide squats would these knee wraps help me reach depth since the knee wraps will take a bit of load off of the bottom position maybe putting less stress on my hamstrings?

Would a wide medium stance instead help me reach depth easier without my hamstrings feeling like they are about to pull? Also I heard that people who do raw lifting(maybe including belt and wraps only) are stronger with a wide medium stance compared to a really wide squat? Any truth?

By the way I'm only 5'7" if you need to know this. Thanks for any help.


500x9 is impressive. You're a few lbs heaver than me and I just recently hit 500x1 for a PR.
Any ways...

A wide stance squat from my knowledge IS more for geared lifters. If you're doing wide stance squats, it's natural to lean a bit geared or not but you really should have no problem sitting back in the hole and shooting you're hips at only 5'7. Also, simple adjustments like bar placement could also make a huge difference.
Occasionally I'll do some wide stance pause squats, but I don't feel like I'm about to fall backward. This sounds more like a flexibility issue that you're dealing with and maybe like your hamstrings aren't up to par.

On the 1rst leg session of the week
super set Wide Stance Good Mornings & Stiff Leg Deads

On the 2nd leg session of the week
super set Glute Ham Raises & Leg Curls

I don't understand why you're squatting wide in the first place. at 5'7 you could develop some massive legs and pack on a few more solid pounds if you make the transition to ATG with a close stance. By close I mean shoulder width apart. Wide squats are actually easier in my opinion to move more weight. But the quads and your overall leg development would probably take off if you went a bit closer and deeper.


If moving big weight is your goal stick with the wide stance though.
Also, the knee wraps help the knees keep sturdy and in tract while descending - I don't think they will help the flexibility issue. But try them and see, isn't that what you bought them for? lol


Wow! There's a real proliferation of heavy squatting 180 lbers on here of late. 500 x 9 puts you at a theoretical 1rm of around 640. That's nearly 3.5 x bodyweight.

Impressive stuff!

As far as your depth question goes I think stretching and working on your mobility will help, as might narrowing your stance slightly. I think knee wraps would make hitting depth harder not easier.


Well the 181 record is 601 (no wraps). Theoretical maxes don't mean shit.


Did you go to school?

That's why I said "theoretical", that's what it means, "Based on or calculated through theory rather than experience or practice".

I'm not saying that he could do it now, but those tables are based on what the vast majority of people can do at relative percentages. He'd be unlikely to manage it jumping straight from 9 reps to singles, but if he tapered down his reps over several weeks, he "theoretically" should be capable of it.


That should have read "could" be capable, not "should".


Where'd you get this?

Powerlifting watch has these as the world records:

181 650 Bob Mckee USA 1973 AAU* (without wraps)
181 710 Jack Barnes USA 1972 AAU* (with reps)



Should have clarified.

181 601 Matt Clickett USA 2000 ADAU


Where do you find tested vs non tested numbers? I get all my info from PL Watch, which to my knowledge does not distinguish...


IMO there are to many Feds to have records .


It was on PL watch that I got this. They had broken it out by tested and non-tested, at least in the Raw 181's they did.

  1. Powerlifting records have zero validity. Arguing about what a record is or isn't is like arguing about whose shit smells the least like shit... There is no way to tell who is right and it doesn't matter anyway. A peice of shit is a peice of shit.

  2. OP: Yes, do mobility work for your hammys and pull your stance in a little bit. There is such a thing as being too wide. 500x9 at your bodyweight is very impressive. Get in a better postition and you will be doing way more than that.