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Squat Style for Athletes?


In terms of squatting with a wider powerlifting squat where your feet are significantly wider than shoulder width, compared to lifting with your feet closer to your shoulders in width, which is better for athletes and developing athletic power. Thanks


It depends on what you are lifting for. A powerlfting stance allows you to put up more weight, so there is a potential to make larger strength gains. Oly stance is better for developing more explosiveness through a greater ROM. I use more Oly stance for Judo because the narrow stance is more similar to the stance used when executing a throw. But, there is something to be gained from both.


Moderate stance (shoulder width or slightly wider) and high bar placement.

As a general rule, of course; others can have a place to develop specific attributes.



Both work well, personally, I do both. I do powerlifting style squats first, which will work your glutes and your lower back a little bit more, than I hit the olympic styles after, which hits my quads a little bit more. I use a lot lighter weight with the olympic style. Ill drop down about a 100lbs from p style to o style.


I guess the "athletic stance" (about shoulder width or maybe a tad wider) would be the most "specific", but they all have their uses. Obviously the plifting style squat engages the posterior chain more and allows you to use heavier weights. Thus, I think that should be used more often than oly style.

However, one great use of oly style squats is for athletes who do a lot of jumping. Since jumping only requires a dip of about a 1/4 squat, jumping athletes could develop an imbalance and full squats can help prevent injury.


Interesting! When I do PL style Squats, I can't throw up as much weight, for some reason, and I feel a lot more pressure on my low back and core. I can Full Squat Oly Style pretty much the same weight I can PL squat! Weird huh?

I suppose this means that my core strength is weak or my posterior chain, but I can deadlift a fair amount more than I can squat so I'm a bit confused. I would really like to build up a big squat so if anyone has any advice or any thoughts as to why I can't seem to engage the PL squat properly I would be much obliged!
Thanks in advance!




That is really weird. I'd say my fully oly squat is only like 80-90% of my powerlifting style squat. I would bet it's probably just a technique issue or something.


OTOH, sounds like an erector weakness. When you deadlift, do you keep a super-strict arch in your lower back and your shoulder blades retracted throughout the entire movement? I DL more than I squat as well and suspect that to be a major factor (I let my shoulders protract during the deadlift).

Have a good one,



I can't remember who wrote it in an article but it was said that you have the most strength with your feet closer, like when your getting ready to jump off of two feet. so to make that stronger, squat with a wider stance a couple inches past shoulder width.


Found it...


It may be an erector weakness as you say, I do keep pretty strict form in my DL, maybe not super strict and I'd say that my shoulder blades are never fully retracted, but definitely not fully protracted either... If it is an erector weakness, what do you recommend I do to strengthen my erectors, other than deadlift, which I already do? Heavy Reverse Crunches or hyperextensions, etc. ?

Thanks for your input,


You can check out one of the newest articles over at elitefts.com for Unlocking the Power of the Posterior Chain


I had the same problem, and you're probably strong enough it's just a technique issue.

Do some good mornings with your powerlifting stance. Around

Focus on keeping a REALLY tight arch. You'll know when your arch is right... It's somewhat intuitive... you feel like you're almost breaking in half (this is where a coach/partner comes in handy to make sure you get it right)

I like to do heavy back squat PL style, front squat for auxillary (heavy deadstop front squats for ME sometimes), and for jump squats I use my natural athletic stance varying height.

Box Squats you can vary footing as well for athletic purposes... if you're specifically trying to increase your squat, i dont know if you should change, but I do find it very performance enhancing for athletes outside of Powerlifters.

best of luck.



Do Heavy Squat walkouts.
Load up 125% of your max squat and walk out with it... stand for no more than 10 seconds, and rack it.

auxillary work utilize the 6-8 rep range:

Good mornings
Rack pulls
Back extensions (use plates behind your head or start using a barbell behind your neck)

Work your abs as well, they're super important to your arch.

-Weighted roman chair situps will toast you (hold the plate behind your head, when you can hold a 45 for 10 reps your ab strength is hiiighhh).

-Dragon Flags. If you know how to do them you see the benefit I dont have to go into it.

-Hanging Pikes. Popular gymnast/crossfit exercise, I'm not sure how to make them harder other than increaseing reps, loading them is kind of weird. I'm sure there's a method (if anyone has one, let me know!) I like to do these for reps.

-Ab Wheel. After a warmup I like to do the hard variations (standing to full stretch) then do a bunch of reps with an easier variation (on knees).


Don't forget single leg squats if your an athlete. Obvious stance width. ; )


Haha good point gym

Single leg Bulgarian squats.

They up your vertical a shitload too

When You can do 315# for 5-8... you're the man


I always thought shoulder width was a close stance. Any closer and you stand a good chance of destroying your knees.


It doesn't have to be an "either or" situation. Use them to develope different and distinct qualities.



Athletes should use a wider stance, because building ups the hips and hamstrings are key for improving the speed of an athlete.


To be a rounded athelete you need a strong posterior chain and developed quads.