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Squat Stance: How Wide for Raw?


The Westside guys advocate an extremely wide stance for squatting. While I get 100% why they do it (leverage, distance) ive noticed they all use suits or briefs. My question is should a raw squatter learn to squat this way or will that destroy the hips in the long run?


I have read that without the suit to help support your hips in the bottom it's better to bring the stance in. At one point I was going wide on squats and doing sumo pulls and it did mess with my right hip. Even after I brought my stance in my hip hurt for a while. I guess some people that are really flexible in the hips could get away with it.


You likely don't want to squat super wide raw for two reasons. First, as you mentioned, the gear helps support the hips. Secondly, and likely more important IMO, if you lift raw you likely have to hit a deep squat (hip below the knee). Most commonly the feds that allow multiply gear are also the ones that shoot for a squat to parallel depth.

Those last few inches make a huge difference and a stance that will work to get you to parallel will not work to get you well below parallel. Most raw squatters will squat with a form that is pretty similar to what Rip recommends in Starting Strength, with their own small personal modifications.


No - Yes.


ok makes sense. Im gonna see how wide i can go while still hitting the proper depth and without obliterating my hips. thanks yall


I would suggest that you experiment with different stances until you find what works best for you; wider may not necessarily be better.


^^ This.

I actually squat better with a moderate stance than a super wide one. It just doesn't work for the leverages my body naturally gives me.


I think that's a good way to go. I squat pretty wide and it works for me, but I have to be careful when I dynamic squat, either go a little narrower or squat to a 1 inch above parallel box. Max effort stuff doesn't bother my hips when I am wide. For reference my squat stance just barely fits in a standard power rack.