T Nation

Squats

I have always have trouble squating. I am a beginer to body building, present max bench is 235, but in my defence I weigh 140lbs, 11% bf. 35 Years old. I began my program with a very slow deliberate fat loss program. In the last 4 months I dropped 25 lbs and 12% BF, so obviously I am embarking on my bulking phase. Problem is I find it very difficult to squat. Even with no weight, I can barely get my quads parallel. Now with just 200 on my shoulders I still can’t get any lower. No pain or anything, just almost feel stuck. Any advice?

Try including some hamstring work, such as glute ham raises in your workout. This should help to give you enough stability to go lower on your squat.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do;?id=459517

Plus you can use the search feature and type in squatting and read the articles from Dave Tate, but I think this one is the best. I used info in it to get to my lowest squats. I always had trouble because of an ankle injury that limited flexibility…so I started on a program of retraining that included lots of single legged squats and then going deep with 135 by adjusting my stance and stuff.

[quote]irontechkev wrote:
Try including some hamstring work, such as glute ham raises in your workout. This should help to give you enough stability to go lower on your squat.[/quote]

That’s actually really good advice too. The more the weights went up in Good Mornings and stuff the easier the low squats became.

Lower the weight.

Your only competition is with yourself and not with anyone else. Yes, my numbers are also embarrassingly low but I try to improve on them with each workout.

So you have to dump standing up? Damn that must be a mess. Sounds like you have a really bad idea about what is supposed to happen. Also why the heck are you throwing 200lbs. on the bar if you know you can’t squat. Play with lighter weights until you understand what your doing. Read things like this.
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do;?id=522881
It’s got some good info. There are a zillion more articals on the net about the subject. Read and practice.

I meant to say reduce the weight.

Do you have a power rack? You can squat off pins and keep setting them gradually lower.
If you a have a trap bar use that and work up to standing on a low platform when you do it and using small (25 lb.) plates instead of 45s. That way you’ll be in a low squat position, which should carry over to your squatting.

Allow me to clarify…if I can. It’s not even the weight… I can barely get parallel with no weigt. Even sitting down in a chair I go so far and kinda, plop the rest of the way. Maybe it’s a flexability issue? I have a home gym in my basement, so alternative moves are not really an option for me.

[quote]FistFullaJonson wrote:
So you have to dump standing up? Damn that must be a mess. Sounds like you have a really bad idea about what is supposed to happen. Also why the heck are you throwing 200lbs. on the bar if you know you can’t squat. Play with lighter weights until you understand what your doing. Read things like this.
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do;?id=522881
It’s got some good info. There are a zillion more articals on the net about the subject. Read and practice.

No, never had to dump, I get through it. Just read an article on box squats, I think that maybe my answer. Maybe since I lift alone, it could be mental, “afraid of going to low” so I won’t have to throw the weight.

Thanks.
[/quote]

Assuming it’s not a glute/hamstring strength issue, try strecthing your hip flexors prior to squatting. Joe Defranco advocated that and it worked wonders for my squat depth.

Sounds like you need to improve your hip flexor and groin flexibility.

I had a similar problem when I started squatting. I found that elevating my heels an inch or so assisted me in going deeper. This lead to working flexibility in the glutes and hamstrings; however, I didn’t really improve until I worked on stretching the hip flexors. That helped immensely.

Are “ass to grass” squats losing favor with leading strength coaches?

Box squats appear to be the rage in all the new programs posted here and box squats are not very deep.

I get so confused…

First your lower half is probably to tight you need to stretch. Squats aren’t the easiest to master, work on your form with a lower weight. once you have good form start adding weight . I couldn’t even do a plate when I started 4 years ago now my best is 365 for 5 sets of 5 and 225 for 28. It will come to you but good form is everything in squats without it you won’t see any real gains . Work with the lighter weight do reps way down in the bucket ,thats what I worked on for along time and your max will start to rocket. Stick with it you will get there.

rwjnyc-
there are no impediments to squatting down until the calf and hamstring meet.
What you describe without weight as ‘squatting only so far, then plopping down’ sounds like a combination of balance and flexibility.
Can you put your feet flat on the ground/floor and simply ‘sit’ the back of your legs on your calves?
If not, what happens? do you fall over? or do your knees literally not bend all the way, leaving a space?

How much can you deadlift? Sounds like you don’t have much flexibility, but more importantly a lack of posterior chain strength. Taking into account “plopping” while sitting.

Joe Weider, I just wanted to express how much I like your avatar! It expresses a subtle style mixed with an ample dose of testosterone! Oh yeah, squat deep with good form till you puke and then eat, rest, and grow!

I remember being a beginner. Main probem was bending my back and getting on my toes. In other words form. You did not mention form problems but if you are experiencing that, work on your form. Sit firmly on your heals and keeping you back as strait as possible. I would do this with no weight. If that is not your problem, then I would say you have one of two problems, either you vastus medialus and glute muscles are to weak for the wieght you are doing or you have really short tendons. Tendonsyou will have to stretch a lot. Weakness you will have to over come by reducing your wieghts.

BTW…140 lbs and benching 235 lbs. Is not week, it is realy strong, almost double you body wieght. WE ought to strat another thred benchmarking peoples basic lifts, bench, dead-lift and squat.
Let me put this way, if your bench is week, then I am Mr. mega pussy. Considering the people I see in the gym, I am not a pussy.

Get a broomstick and do OVERHEAD SQUATS. Ass to the ankles. Start with 100 a day. The set and rep scheme really doesn’t matter. Add 10 reps a day. At the end of the month, you should have the squat mastered. You can start with a small block of wood under your heels, but try to decrease the thickness each week until you’re on your heels. Good shoes will help also.

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