T Nation

Squat Technique Advice


i started squatting about a month ago. highly unacceptable given almost 4 years of training experience. anyway, i got yelled at. now i squat.

my issue: when i start reaching the end of a set my knees start to buckle, and i bring them in tighter to stabilize myself. i usually still get the rep but im in a tighter stance. Id like to get wider (and hopefully more weight for it) but my knees wont have it.

my thoughts: given a double bodyweight dl, and a power clean higher than my back squat numbers, ive got a muscle imbalance (weak quads) that will work itself out in time.

or, im just a lanky guy and ive got to deal with this and thats it.

thanks for any imput


Sounds like you are squating too much. Lower the weight and get your form correct, then add on the weight. Get someone who knows how to squat , to check your form.


Since so many people do it, it's probably a natural tendency to bring the knees in, even though it isn't good in the long run. Just concentrate on keeping your knees in line with your feet, even on those last reps. It will become a habit. And you can omit that last rep that forces you to bring your knees inwards. Keep good form.


my knees buckle even on my warmup set. i dropped the wieght down to 50 kg 6rep when i started squatting, and moved up from there.

i train with the university's best oly lifter and his coach. except for the foot placement, my form is good.

i could drop the wieght and train wide but if the whole point of squatting wide is to lift more and gain more strenght, and im hitting heavier and heavier (relatively) weights narrower, why not keep squatting narrow? (just to play devils advocate)


Force the knees to stay out.
Even some Olympic Gold Medalist Olympic Lifters have this same weakness when doing back squats (Did have a video, but have lost it, of the Chinese Oly Gold Medalist Back Squatting this way). Needs to be corrected. Could be Weak VMO as well. You don't necessarily have to have a Wide Stance...but the knees must not buckle.


According to my knowledge it is not wrong to squat with a narrow stance. Read Ian King's articles.


the problem isn't the stance, it's his knees coming in, I think.

You should definitely review Dave Tate's articles.


how far can you sit back with a narrow stance?


i dont get as far back as when im wide, but i get as low, and i dont have much of a problem with my shoulders going forward and turning it into a hybrid good-morning/squat.


Have you been doing leg exercises on machines and such? Can you squat properly without any weights? It sounds like your support muscles and structures are lagging your major muscle groups, and aren't strong enough for the weight you're squatting.

Squat frequently with weights that you find easy and can do the form correctly on. Do quite alot of them, and build up the weight steadily but slowly (maybe 5kg/week) even if you feel you could increase faster. Everything should be ready to go by the time you hit the big numbers then.

Starting out is the only time I will recommend high reps and low weight, so enjoy the feeling!


the knees buckling inward could be caused by a muscular imbalance with weak quads as you are thinking, however it could also be caused due to weak hip musculature, specifically the muscles that produce extension, external rotation and adduction (these would be gluteus medius posterior, and also gluteus maximus to some extent)

additionally noted, its also possible, but not as likely, that it could be due to weak ankle musculature as well, specifically the muscles that create supination at the ankle

remember that the squat is a multijoint action, and you need stabilization across all of the lower extremity joints throughout the entire movement

u should try decreasing the weight and perfecting your squat form, but also include some exercises that addresses the hips and ankles as well to supplement your workout


you need to force your knees out by spreading the floor with your feet


Most people toe their knees in to some extent or another in the course of their squatting career. It's a good habit to break. Toeing in your knees will increase your chances for injury and decrease your chances of squatting big weight. Keep squatting and add the "knees out command" to your mental checklist for every rep and every set.