T Nation

Squat Help


I usually lurk within this forum, but I am in dire need of some advice. I've been out of the game for awhile after I quit training seriously in the fall of 2006. Lately I have been working out again and my back squat is sucking bad. The problem is even when I think i'm going ATG i'm only at or slightly above parallel. I have tinkered with various squat styles to no avail.

I firmly believe I have some mobility issues that need addressed. I guess my question is has anyone else experienced a simliar problem and how did they resolve it? Is magnificent mobility worth a hoot? Any help is greatly appreciated.


have you tried placing your heels on plates? do you stretch? do you foam roll?



works great


The two things that helped me the most were mastering wall squats to parallel and kepping my hands on the bar very narrow and pulling my elbows forward as I squat.Doing this will keep your back straight and your head up.

My advice is take a light weight and just practice till it feels good.Go down to parallel or lower and just stay there for a second then up and repeat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31z5DR9P1kw by the way the guy in this video isnt me.


there is nothing wrong with only being able to go to parallel. Can you go ATG with just bodyweight?


i had a similar problem and for me it was a mix of a lot of issues

  1. poor hip mobility
  2. poor ankle mobility
  3. poor squat form (box squats help)
  4. no glute function
    If i were u i’d try all the mobility/self release stuff while learning to box squat


Its my belief that mobility is the most important deficiency your probably having right now. Hip mobility and ankle mobility will prove huge gains in your ability to get low. Try working fire hydrants, bird dogs, pull throughs, etc. into your workouts a couple times a week either towards the begining or end of your workouts. I would recomend continuing to squat but at very light weights that you can sit in the hole with. Then when you get to what feels like the bottom of your ROM, try to extend just past that point almost performing a stretch type of movement. You shouldnt experience any PAIN but there might be some discomfort that goes along with stretching muscles that havent been worked in a while.

I would also recommend stretching your hamstrings and glute muscles pretty often and especially before you lift if your trying to work down to below parallel.


I actually read a interesting article about this saying Zerker squats are alot easier to perfect form on than backsquats because your center of gravity is easier to place over your feet.


Check out the 1st 15minutes of this video of Dan John.


[quote]Neospartan wrote:
Check out the 1st 15minutes of this video of Dan John.


^ one of the best I’ve seen.

Big points:

  1. Hip mobility. There’s a lot of resources on this, run a search. Hurdle drills using a smith machine helped me a lot.

  2. “Prying” the squat. Grab onto the edge of a power rack and while holding onto it sink down into the bottom of a squat. Hold that position for at least 10 seconds and repeat. This will help you get used to the feeling of a deep squat and can increase your confidence in the hole.