T Nation

Squat Hand Position Confusion


Ive read that you should keep your hands on the bar at close a distance as possible. SO, i have done this for a long time. I feel stable but almost all the competition squats I see on video of guys moving big weight have their arms spreadout to the end of each side of the barbell....Are they just so big that they cannot comfortable get a closer hand position or am I missing something.


Someone else can probably provide a more technical explanation, but basically all the benching done while powerlifting can often lead to very tight shoulders. Some "bench only" guys have such big and tight shoulders that they have to use the safety squat bar and giant cambered bar for their squats and even a trap bar to deadlift. Some guys end up squatting high-bar even though they would prefer to be squatting low-bar, because of a lack of shoulder flexibility. In general, a lot of powerlifters use a low-bar position to squat and that's a position that requires more flexibility in the shoulders.

I've noticed that a lot of the guys in the IPF keep their hands close together on the bar, even when using a low-bar position. Malanichev is a great example of a squatter who keeps his hands close together when squatting low-bar, despite his size.



Hand width is very individual (obviously). I agree that many ipf lifters keep their hands in as tight as possible. Also take the size of the lifter into account when looking at different lifters. There was a good tutorial on the USAPL forum by Suzie Hartwig on squat set up which covered grip. Maybe worth watching?


For some of the really big guy, hands on the collars IS as close a grip as they can get.

But if you are having success with what you are doing, why change?