T Nation

Squat Mobility or Weaknesses

I recently have tried to change from a PL type squat to an oly squat for more of a quad workout. I started off with trying to do bodyweight squats and working on stretching and mobility in the bottom position which helped me get lower. The problem is when I try to pause at the bottom I tend to fall backwards unless I’m holding onto something.

The same goes for when I’m doing squats. I’ve been trying to hold the bar higher on the back and have a narrower stance. But I tend to rock forward b/c I can feel the weight on my toes and my lower back gets extremely tight from these type of squats. Would a heeled shoe help this or is it more of a band-aid for the problem? Does this sound like a mobility issue with the ankles or hips or a weakness in the core? My back doesn’t get worn out just tightens up to the point I can’t do any other exercise but maybe preacher curls or some other seated movement. Thanks for any help.

There’s a lot of things that can be said but you might be better off just looking up squat rx on youtube. It’s 5 or so videos for squat flexibility.

Your center of gravity is too far back, which is why you fall backwards. This can be from ankle/achilles tendon flexibility, or it can be from technique. You might be taught to sit too far back since you started off with PL squats. Pl squats tend to have a wider base, and more hip flexion so your center of gravity remains over your toes. With the Oly squat your not bending at the hip AS much until you get about parallel or lower.

If it’s a flexibility issue your best bet besides stretching is a combination of many things. 1) Overhead squat, do it until you can touch your butt to your calfs. Your better off doing this with weights than bw squatting for the time being. As you go lower the weight will force your body to correct itself 2) Widen your stance a little and go all the way to the bottom, bring in your stance a little each workout. 3) Focus on technique. Think of how a baby sits right before learning to stand and walk, practice getting into that position outside of your worksets.

Don’t put anything under your heals, it will reinforce your lack of flexibility.

Falling backwards that is fixed by holding something in front of you, leads me to believe (at least in my experiencing from clients I’ve worked with, hard to tell over the internet), that you’re not activating your core.

By holding the weight out in front, this engages the core usually thus better balancing people from falling backwards.

Try by starting with a bench on plyo box. Start from the seated position and squat up and down having a full seat (slow though). Over time put less pressure when you have a seat and go to barely touching it with your glutes. this should help.

focus on putting a 70/30 split of weight in your heels to the front of the foot and sticking the butt back

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
Falling backwards that is fixed by holding something in front of you, leads me to believe (at least in my experiencing from clients I’ve worked with, hard to tell over the internet), that you’re not activating your core.

By holding the weight out in front, this engages the core usually thus better balancing people from falling backwards.

Try by starting with a bench on plyo box. Start from the seated position and squat up and down having a full seat (slow though). Over time put less pressure when you have a seat and go to barely touching it with your glutes. this should help.

focus on putting a 70/30 split of weight in your heels to the front of the foot and sticking the butt back[/quote]

Core activation BS, by holding a weight in front of you it balances you and stops you falling backwards nothing more.

The OP needs to get some flexibility, can be achieved by squatting down and remaining in the bottom position, stretching and getting comfortable using a support initially and then as you become more flexible you will have a full ROM.

Does the lack of flexibilty have anything to do with my lower back getting so tight oly squatting?

[quote]JamFly wrote:
jehovasfitness wrote:
Falling backwards that is fixed by holding something in front of you, leads me to believe (at least in my experiencing from clients I’ve worked with, hard to tell over the internet), that you’re not activating your core.

By holding the weight out in front, this engages the core usually thus better balancing people from falling backwards.

Try by starting with a bench on plyo box. Start from the seated position and squat up and down having a full seat (slow though). Over time put less pressure when you have a seat and go to barely touching it with your glutes. this should help.

focus on putting a 70/30 split of weight in your heels to the front of the foot and sticking the butt back

Core activation BS, by holding a weight in front of you it balances you and stops you falling backwards nothing more.

The OP needs to get some flexibility, can be achieved by squatting down and remaining in the bottom position, stretching and getting comfortable using a support initially and then as you become more flexible you will have a full ROM.
[/quote]

Probably right, but in my experience after a few sets of holding the weight in front, it teaches them to engage their core, and after removing the weight they’re able to perform the squat just fine.

give me a person who can’t squat worth a crap and in 10 mins I’ll get them squatting just fine. Not everyone, as if it is a flexibility problem, but I haven’t come across too many people who are not flexibile enough to squat, rather lack the neural know how.

I was at a seminar with Gray Cook who was able to get someone to squat ATG within 2 mins where as before she couldn’t do a 1/4 squat without heels raising and that was her limit.

Dan John has a video that was posted on here with squatting technique that was very insightful as well.