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Squats: Narrow Stance vs. Leverages


#1

Hello everybody,

I back squat for about 6 months now. For about 1.5 years before that, I only did front squats. This far, I have only used a (very) narrow stance.

My 'natural' inclination is to keep my stance narrow. That is what I always did, that is where i feel strong. But: As far as I can tell, leverage-wise, my body is made to squat wide (E.g. loooong femurs). I can squat wide, it just feels weaker.

My question: Should I stay with what I'm strong at or rather do what should be better for me? Any experiences? (For those who might ask, I am only interested in strength)


#2

Don’t concern yourself with what is “supposed” to be right. What you are doing right now is working, therefore there is zero need to change it. Once it stops working, then you can consider changing it.


#3

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Don’t concern yourself with what is “supposed” to be right. What you are doing right now is working, therefore there is zero need to change it. Once it stops working, then you can consider changing it.[/quote]

This

Assuming you’re flexible enough to hit depth with a narrow stance, I can’t see any reason at all why you’d switch to a wide stance.


#4

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Don’t concern yourself with what is “supposed” to be right. What you are doing right now is working, therefore there is zero need to change it. Once it stops working, then you can consider changing it.[/quote]

This

Assuming you’re flexible enough to hit depth with a narrow stance, I can’t see any reason at all why you’d switch to a wide stance.[/quote]

I’m on the fence about this. My following comments are from the perspective of a powerlifter, not a bodybuilder, or any other kind of athlete.

I think it’s normal for you to initially be weaker when switching style. However, you may find you quickly surpass your strength level with the other stance.

I believe that a powerlifting style squat – wide stance, low bar – would allow him to squat more in the long run. And practice should be done with that stance if he plans on competing. This assumes his goal is to have the highest squat possible.

However, I do agree that one shouldn’t fuck with something that’s working. I myself have recently transitioned to a more traditional PL style squat, even deciding to forgo wearing my squat shoes, but this was done after a 7 month lay off, so my squat sucked already. I do occasionally still squat high bar with a close stance though, as accessory work. I switched because I think it will have a higher carry over to my deadlift, and a higher potential strength limit in the long run. I suppose one could say that I’m switching after already deciding that what I was doing was, infact, not working optimally.

My advice is: squat both ways. Do one as a strength movement, then one as accessory. Or rotate style week to week. How exactly you’d program this really depends on what you’re doing already. If you were peaking for a competition, or plan to, then focus on what you’re stronger with.

OP, how much are you squatting now? Can you post a video of you squatting a challenging weight, from perhaps a back & side perspective?


#5

[quote]goochadamg wrote:
My advice is: squat both ways.
[/quote]

I absolutely agree with this, and even moreso. I think every movement should be considered/implemented in training, but I just wait until a movement stops working before another one is used. I’d say there is even worth in using an even narrower stance, a high bar placement or low bar, different implements, etc.


#6

The wider stance is going to be more difficult because of the difference in emphasis.
Vice versa.
A wider stance constitutes more hip drive, compared to the emphasis on knee extension in a narrow stance.
A proper wide stance low bar back squat (PL squat) is initially going to put tremendous stress on your adductors, among many other things, and you’re going to have to learn how to engage your hip/lumbo complex in a different manner. Hence, making the wider stance more difficult for someone who’s been only using a narrow stance.
What’s working and what’s not working is not really the issue here. What we need to know is why you’re squatting.
And echoing what others have already mentioned, it wouldn’t be bad to do both.