Thanks for the tips MarkKO!
I actually moved to a wider stance because it felt easier to break back with the hips and reach depth but all have stated that a narrower stance will allow me to achieve this to a greater capacity. Can anyone elaborate on why this is so? I figured a wider stance decreased distance but perhaps it inhibits a mobility function? Alas I will move my stance in and utilize the suggested adjustments. Thanks all[/quote]
My pleasure. Hope it helps.
I think with the break at the hips/pulling back idea, it is more a case of with a wide stance it is best to break this way, not a matter of ALWAYS needing to sit back and adjusting your stance to do this.
Going narrower will probably make it easier to break by going down (not back) with the hips and pushing the knees out, and you will most probably find it easier to hit depth this way. A wide stance does reduce the distance the bar travels but if you can’t hit depth that way, it pretty much defeats the purpose. In my own experience, wider stance squatting puts a lot more strain on the knees and hips while the narrower you go the easier it is on the hips (and the knees to a point, until they start to drift very far forward, which happens more with a narrow stance).
Your best bet is probably going to be 1) get tight; 2) pull your elbows forward and push your chest up; and 3) push your knees out and spread the floor apart with the outsides of your feet (heel to toe). Don’t worry too much about sitting back and instead focus on keeping your torso angle steady (how much you lean forward is up to you, choose what feels most comortable and lets the bar move up and down vertically) and not losing tightness as you go down while aggressively spreading the floor and opening your knees out.
As a general note, my understanding is that most raw squatters tend to do better with a medium or narrow stance. Personally, I do better with a wide stance, but then the back of my body is where I’m strongest. Even my front squat is relatively wide stance. You’ll need to experiment with what works best for you, but before you experiment just work on reliably hitting depth and improving technique in terms of tightness and bar path. When you’ve done that, then it will be time to figure out exactly how to squat best for you, although the chances are you’ll already have a fair idea by this time simply by virtue of having spent time working on your technique.