Squat Grip and Stance Width

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Watch the second video, it’s the squat, and he takes a much much larger grip width than I do. When I started lifting I read you should keep the width of your grip close and tighten your back so like a newb I literally have my hands about as wide as my shoulder and grip it which keeps my back tight. I could probably grip the bar as wide as that dude but I had no idea that’s how you were suppose to grip the bar. Am I gripping the bar wrong or is the dude in the video correct?

Now for stance, I heard somewhere that large stance hits the hams more than quads and narrow stance hits the quads a lot more. Is this true?

for bb squats i use a stance slightly wider than shoulder width with my feet pointed away from center about 30-40 degrees, using this stance i feel it in my hips and quads/knees instead of just my legs and it does allow me to squat mor

You should be getting plenty of glute/ham activation just outside of shoulder width. Going out extra wide destroys my hips. Not worth it IMO unless you’re competing.

Your grip sounds fine. Each individual will have a different grip width depending on flexibility, but suffice it to say that as long as you’re tight you’re doing it right.

Sounds like you guys are saying extra wide stance is for competition and not work sets. Is that correct?

Here is the link to the shoulder width:


  1. Grip the bar as close to your shoulders as possible. This will test your shoulder, elbow and wrist joint flexibility. The closer your hands are (within reason, your hands shouldn’t touch your ears), the tighter your upper back will be, and the better the bar will sit on your back.

Use a thumbless grip. You aren’t supporting the bar with your hands. You’re holding the bar DOWN against your back. Your wrist should NOT bend in either direction. It should be a straight line from your forearm across the wrist onto your hand.

You should certainly train wide is you are going to compete wide. This will activate your hops more. If you are going to be squatting very wide I would recommend briefs of some sort, even if they are cheap (inzer $30) they will help save your hips.

Also, you should put your hands out as wide as comfortable while squatting be because a narrow grip can lead to elbow tendonitis. Also, make sure you get your elbows underneath you that will involve your lats in the lift more and help your numbers.

That’s odd, mark rippetoe encourages narrow grip to maximize back tightness and also recommends pulling the elbows out and up as much as possible and not below you.

Note, I am not trying to compete, I am 8 months into training and just want to get the basic squat form correct =)