T Nation

Spreading arms out during squats

Since I started going ass to grass on squats I have gotten into the habit of spreading my arms out further on the bar and wrapping my arms around it. It feels more stable to me. I caught some guy looking dumbfounded at me then when I finished he asked me why I was grabbing the bar in that maner. I told him it helped me add 150 lbs to my squat (okay, I am just kidding about the adding weight part). I really told him it feels better as he looked at me as if I just committed the cardinal sin of squatting. Is there anything wrong with this?

I think that forces your elbows too high and far back. Keeping your elbows under the bar helps to keep proper form. It’s easier to sit back in the squat and keep from doing more of a good morning type squat.

i would rather hold it but its much easier on your elbows than taking a narrow grip.

For myself, I take as narrow a grip as possible and make sure my elbows are pulled forward and therefore always pointing straight down. If your hands are wide, your elbows automatically end up facing back. This will inevitably cause much more forward lean when you get good depth.

If your goal is to stay as upright as possible, and therefore have more emphasis on your quads, you want your elbows foward and down. If your goal is maximal weight, and want more involvement of the posterior chain, you’d probably be fine with a wider grip

Depends on your goal. For me, it’s big quads, so I keep the grip narrow.

Thunder took the words right out of my mouth. I find the narrower the grip, the more stable I am and the more upright I am able to maintain myself, since my elbows stay down more. It took me a long time to find the groove.

With Cravell’s suggestion, I think I would find myself falling over forwards, but if it works for you, by all means do it.

I dont think there is any problem with that grip- infact, it feels good on your elbows and shoulders. However with any real weight on the bar I would be really careful! Without a good grip, if the bar slips off that little “shelf” between your rear delts and traps you could end up in a serious chicken wing.

Just like CGB said, keeping a closer grip and forcing your elbows down, not back, will keep your middle back tight. On heavy squats I always felt real good in my hips and lower back, but I still felt the bar squashing my middle back, and a closer grip really increases my stability.

I personally like a wider grip…in fact, my hands are not even really wrapped around the bar…they sort of just sit there on top of it. I have no problem getting tight and keeping my arch.

With my hands too close together it puts way too much stress on my elbows and wrists.

I should mention that I do focus on bringing my elbows forward and under the bar, despite the wider grip.

If your back gets all sweaty and the bar gets away from you… well, hope you got a new set of shoulders and arms stashed somewhere.

I use a wider grip, where my index finger is on the o-ring. I tend to cup the bar instead of grip it. If I grip it, I tend to push hard, and it hurts my shoulders.

Thanks guys. Just what I needed. Tried to thank you guys over the weekend from my home computer but it did that damn log in thing.

i find having traps like a small mountain range helps avoid that problem.
doing westside style squat i take a wider grip and the bar is low on my back
convetional squats are as per thunder (i wonder why my quads domnt look like his then? hmmmmm)