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Squating for Athletes

What type of stance should I use when I squat? A wide stance or something around shoulder width? When I use a narrower stance (around shoulder width) I feel it works my legs harder and feel it in my quads more. Now when I play football I feel it in this exact area as well. However, when I read about squating and athletics I always read about taking an extremley wide stance such as the photo in the “photos” forum. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.

This article may help you out:

www.deepsquatter.com/ strength/archives/ls32.htm

squat in different stances: narrow, shoulder, wide, to get the most affect. You are not powerlifting. When you run or jump are your feet more then shoulder width apart? Or is the angle that your leg makes in reference to your upper body close to 0-10 degrees (shoulder width stance) or is it more like 30 degrees (wide stance)? Also look at the deadlift and olympic lifts to help you with athletic perfomance. laters pk

I would squat with a wide stance. Then in my Olympic Lifts I would make sure to do full squats (narrower, ass to floor. This way you get the best of both worlds

A simple answer that you may not be looking at is - variation. My ball-players perform many styles of Squats, such as Overhead, Front, Box and Olympic Style plus the lateral movements in our hurdle mobility drills. I hope that assists but I will be pleased to discuss if you wish. In faith, Coach Davies

With my athletes I use roughly these proportions:

  1. Full back squat, close stance, high bar = 60%

  2. Front squat, medium stance = 20%

  3. Overhead squat, medium stance = 10%

  4. Powerlifting squat/box squat, wide stance, low bar = 10%

Variety is key. With that said, I used the high bar back squat with a medium stance (75%)and a a dumbell front squat (25%) with my basketball players over the summer and through the preseason. This is partially because of facilities and partially because these two squatting styles have the most carryover to jumping ability.

Next year as I work with both the football and basketball teams, the core will still be a medium stance high bar back squat with some front squatting, wide stance squatting and maybe overhead squatting.

While a wide stance box squat may work the posterior chain more effectively than a medium stance squat, I've never jumped from the wide stance position in my whole life.

Is there a website or link somewhere that has photographs of all the different squat variations (front,back, hack, etc…) and the proper form form each?

Jason, email me at thibaudeau@ironmag.com and I’ll send you pictures sequences of a back squat, front squat and overhead squat.

You can find pics of all the squats at T-mag, though probably not all in one article. Just use the search engine. Start with Ian’s leg training articles and Davies’ “Forgotten Squats”.

What position do play? also plays a role in what type of squats is best for you.

Can’t emphasize the variety enough. Reps/Range/Tempo/Sets. They all play a role in optimal strength and development.

This is JB and I play linebacker.


I’m looking for some specific information regarding bar placement. Currently when I squat, the bar rests on my neck/spine and applies a lot of pressure directly to the bone. I don’t want to use a towel and anyway, I think it’s because I’m not placing the bar correctly. I’ve read a lot of the descriptions regarding squatting but I don’t have the technique down yet.

I plan to hit the traps to add padding. However, the pressure occurs when I’m at the bottom of the squat just coming out of the hole, so it’s possible I might be leaning forward too much. I squat as deep as can and I’m almost at the ‘ass to grass’ stage.

Most pictures show the squat from the side; I’m looking for a picture of somone doing the squat, photographed from behind, preferably shirtless where I can see where exactly the bar ‘slots’ in. I’ve read about the ‘groove’ formed by the rear delts but I’m damned if I can find it.

Also, is there a way I can test my form to see if there’s a problem? If I have to lighten the load and practice, I’d appreciate finding it out. I’d rather go light and get it right. Any help anyone can give would be much appreciated. Thanks.

I don’t know if it’s relevant but I broke C6 about five years ago, right where the bar is causing the grief. I feel my head is a little too forward; maybe that’s the problem and I just have to live with it.

Steve in Spain.

I agree with Christian that you should use an athletic stance squat about 60% of the time. To find this stance do a vertical jump and have someone watch how far apart your feet are. Doing wider stance squats on boxes and such is also really good for hip strength and flexibility as well as glute and hamstring strength so mix in all the varieties from time to time.

My opinion is that a wide stance squat (on a box) is best suited for your sport of football. If done properly it will emphasize the whole posterior chain more effectively than a narrow stance. Plus, if you are doing olympic hydbrid movements then you are already getting plenty of narrow stance work.

JB what was that suppose to mean? I would agree w/ christian on this one?

Whoever is posting under my name… Please stop it… I don’t do that to any other t-man. I just think its wrong… and immature. HB That was not the real fitone who wanted to know what position you play…

Fit, doesn’t seem you’re getting it.

That last post, which you think was someone posting as you, was JB. He was telling you that he plays linebacker.

He made a new forum handle called “To fitone” so you would see it.

No cause for alarm.

Yah Ike I got it all this was kind of childish don’t you think…