T Nation

Squatting Wide


Hey everyone,

Been awhile since I've been on b/c I've had plenty of Surge. I've been working my ass off the last couple months and one of my new partners is very stubborn about his lifting habits (which is not a bad thing b/c we get results but he's guilty of not keeping an open mind). Anyway when we are squatting I prefer to squat wide and my partners continually tell me I need to bring my feet into shoulder width apart. I understand what they're trying to say and I probably should when maxing, but when I'm doing 5X5's I prefer to bring my feet out. Which is the proper, most effective technique I should focus on?

I have problems listening to them because for example, I LOVE doing GHR's, and when they see me doing them they automatically dismiss them saying hamstring curls are the same thing and just as effective. I tell them hamstring curl you're bringing ankles to glutes, and with GHR's you're bringing your glutes to the ankles, then they look at me cross-eyed telling me they're the same thing. Do you guys understand the comparison I'm trying to draw?

So basically what's the proper squatting technique?


Changing the stance is going to alter the movement's effect slightly, IE different muscles will be stressed differently. There's nothing wrong with a wide squat stance, A Sumo Squat. I mean, I believe it's H4M's main form of squatting and he has one of the strongest squats on the website (dont quote me on that). The proper form is the one most effective for YOU.

As far as the hams, yea the Hams are hit differently depending on the movement. Two different actions arent going to have the same impact on 1 muscle.


Thanks guys, I appreciate it. Yes my legs are growing like mad. However we had a taxing workout Wed and found I don't get sore anymore, my legs become super exhausted, but not sore (if that makes any sense).

As far as the hamstrings go, I know how touted GHR's are around here and I LOVE doing them. It sucks b/c I really enjoy working out with my partners however they dismiss GHR's and stiff leg deads in favor of hamstring curls. There's a snowballs chance in hell are hamstring curls more effective than SLD's and GHR's.

When I squat they way I like to my toes are slightly pointed outward, if that helps at all. If I can borrow a video phone I'll post it up for you guys to see.


Well, growing IS the focus right? So if you actually are growing, then whats the problem? Maybe your body responds better to a "Stimulate, Dont Annihilate" methodology of training.

As far as hamstrings go, dismissing GHRs/stiff leg deadlifts in favor of Hamstring curls is like dismissing Overhead Tri Extensions in favor of 1hand Supine grip Cable Extensions; Yea, they both hit Tris, but they are different movements and will affect you differently.

There's a difference between Pulling And Pushing in a movement.


Well the problem is they're my partners and finding good/consistant partners are hard to find. On leg days I have to walk across the gym to do GHR's and SLD's by myself, basically saying f-off to their idea of hitting hams.

I wish they'd just listen to what I'm telling them because I know I'm right and they're too stubborn to admit they're wrong.

I appreciate your guys help on the sumo squats.


Will they really take it that personally? That blows. I've had partners who do the same. It's annoying as hell.


Exactly, now you got it. They even try to give me shit for drinking Surge Recovery PWO to give you an idea. It's not that big of a deal though as it's just mild laughs but still annoys me. Nowhere near enough to stop working out with them.


I work out with friends sometimes and it's awesome. One of my friends is doing a BB routine, another one is doing a Sheiko cycle and I'm doing a stupid PL program I put together myself. In other words we're all doing our own thing because we all have our own goals, our own weaknesses and our own quirks. Training together is NOT about doing the exact same thing, it's about helping eachother out, motivating eachother and giving eachother feedback when needed. Bickering about stupid shit like you guys seem to be doing will just create pointless stress and might even end up sabotaging eachother.

If it's easier for you to squat with good form with a wide stance and if your legs are growing then keep squatting wide. Some people are poorly constructed for squatting narrow. If you're worried about imbalances you can add in leg presses or hack-lift with a narrow stance.

There are differences between GHR and leg curl. On a GHR the hamstring is contraced from both ends so in theory it should mean a more powerful contraction. If you like GHR it's fine to do them, same with SLD and leg curl. They're all a little bit different but they're all OK for training the hamstring. More training and less bitching at eachother's preferences.


And thats all they do? Leg curls? Cuz if thats the extent of their direct Ham work, its very possible that they can blow their hams due to a major Quad/ham Imbalance (if they even get big enough that is). I actually know a guy this happened to.

Maybe you should try and compromise with them. There are plenty of variations of things to be done. If they choose not to listen, there isnt a whole lot you can do about it, Aside from continue breaking away from them to do your own ham work. Eventually, they will see your leg size/squat strength increase, and will hopefully follow suit. Lol i dunno tho man, i mean Stubbornness doesnt really have a place in the gym, everyone has plenty of room for improvement, and unless they are Pro status, they definitely dont have an argument.




Well our last leg day we went

6 set calf raises
4 sets Leg ext
4 sets Ham curl
8 sets Squat
5 sets Hack-Squats
I myself did about 5 sets GHR's
4 sets Leg Press

We always mix it up but this is about the ext of our legs. I always add in either weighted lunges, GHR's, or SLD's b/c I think they're all awesome lifts. We never bitch, it's either you want to do them or not, and they choose not to. We have the same goals, no weight group is identical to another. We all do happen to have about the same size and strength so our goals are pretty similar.

The sumo squat was my main concern. I know better about the ham's.