T Nation

Squat Form for Tall Guys

So, I sorta know this is a highly debated topic. I was teaching a couple friends of mine how to squat in the gym. They are tall (6’3ish). I was telling them to go past parallel, and after a minute of trying to get their form right, some trainer comes over (that actually works at another gym) and was saying how that’s dangerous for tall people to go past parallel. He said that because of their proportions, their longer femur bone prevents them from safely going past parallel and will always cause their knees to be in front of their toes which will give you knee problems.

He was also throwing out something about how squatting that deep stretches your lower back muscle to eventually cause degeneration in one of your disks. At the time I didn’t want to argue or debate any of it, because I simply don’t have the knowledge. That doesn’t mean he’s right and I"m wrong, because I think this is a highly debated topic.

I was taking the power lifters approach to squat, even though I’m more about bodybuilding then powerlifting. So he got my friend to do squats stopping way above parallel. What have you guys heard about tall people squatting, and what do you guys think of going a2g?

I’m tall. I squat wide and to parallel, and I wouldn’t say my squat is very weak.

:shrugs:

I’m tall and I squat wide and go parallel.

When I squatted I always went narrow and A2G, but it was uncomfortable and my chest always ended up dumping forward. My solution? I stopped squatting lol.

Might have to give this wide/parallel depth thingy a try.

I’m taller and squat narrow and past parallel. my training partner is the same height and does the same.
any thing that is “dangerous” about the squat is due to a form issue.

6’4

Full Squat up to 215, shoulder width natural stance

Parallel squat 405, wide stance forward stance

If I go any higher in any of the above I would use a belt+spotter

I warm up with lunges and curls and stretch hams with light dead lifts

I believe Mike Robertson has blogged about this before. He suggested it was about form as matsm21 suggested, or moreover a mobility/stability issue. If they do not have the hip and ankle mobility to squat past parallel keeping their low back locked in then they shouldn’t. The knees past toes argument is BS as Alwyn Cosgrove has explained, I believe.

I’m 6’6" and I do not have the best squat in the world, but I work at it and I’ve gotten a lot better the last couple years.

I’m tall (6’2). I have a tough time going below parallel. But i wouldn’t say it’s impossible. If i lighten the weight i can. Tall guys usually have an easier time with front squats so maybe you can try that.

As for below parallel being dangerous, the only danger i see would be aggravating any existing knee injuries.

Luckily I’m genetically gifted when it comes to quads and my legs grow despite doing partial reps at times.

im 6’5" long legs and fairly short torso and i squat past parralel, it takes time and practice but it is fine.

Trainer are stupid.

[quote]GusBus07 wrote:
I believe Mike Robertson has blogged about this before. He suggested it was about form as matsm21 suggested, or moreover a mobility/stability issue. If they do not have the hip and ankle mobility to squat past parallel keeping their low back locked in then they shouldn’t. The knees past toes argument is BS as Alwyn Cosgrove has explained, I believe.

I’m 6’6" and I do not have the best squat in the world, but I work at it and I’ve gotten a lot better the last couple years.[/quote]

Thanks for this response (as well as everyone else’s). So I did a quick search and came up with this article by Cosgrove that was very helpful. http://www.alwyncosgrove.com/leg-training-myths.html

I don’t see why height would make any difference. I can see how relative proportions would make a difference but not height by its self. In other words if one person is 6’6 and another is 5’6 but the ratio of length between each body part is the same then it would make no difference to their form.

I’m 6’7" and I go with a shoulder width natural stance and A2G. To date, I have never had any knee or lower back issues. Been doing this for the last couple of years.

[quote]stretch67 wrote:
I’m 6’7" and I go with a shoulder width natural stance and A2G. To date, I have never had any knee or lower back issues. Been doing this for the last couple of years.[/quote]

Hey dude, this is a thread for tall people so get the fuck out.

I’m 6’3" and my ass is about 3" off the ground when I’m at the lowest.

I have had knee pain in the past but I figured out it was from my desent and nothing else,I was desending down and not sitting back.

[quote]on edge wrote:
I don’t see why height would make any difference. I can see how relative proportions would make a difference but not height by its self. In other words if one person is 6’6 and another is 5’6 but the ratio of length between each body part is the same then it would make no difference to their form.[/quote]

In the Functional Movement Screen they measure tibia length, so you might be on the right track with that line of thinking.

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
stretch67 wrote:
I’m 6’7" and I go with a shoulder width natural stance and A2G. To date, I have never had any knee or lower back issues. Been doing this for the last couple of years.

Hey dude, this is a thread for tall people so get the fuck out.[/quote]

Hey dude, at 6 FOOT 7 INCHES that makes me more qualified than you!

[quote]stretch67 wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
stretch67 wrote:
I’m 6’7" and I go with a shoulder width natural stance and A2G. To date, I have never had any knee or lower back issues. Been doing this for the last couple of years.

Hey dude, this is a thread for tall people so get the fuck out.

Hey dude, at 6 FOOT 7 INCHES that makes me more qualified than you![/quote]

I don’t know who the fuck taught you math, but 6’7 IS NOT greater than 6’2.

Gee Wiz.

6’5’’

i front squat slightly past // with shitty shitty shitty knees. I try not to back squat too often unless i am going light and mainly focusing on form

my feet are a little past shoulder width with toes pointed out, it’s my natural squat stance i suppose

[quote]stretch67 wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
stretch67 wrote:
I’m 6’7" and I go with a shoulder width natural stance and A2G. To date, I have never had any knee or lower back issues. Been doing this for the last couple of years.

Hey dude, this is a thread for tall people so get the fuck out.

Hey dude, at 6 FOOT 7 INCHES that makes me more qualified than you![/quote]

yeah Way! you little dwarf!