T Nation

Squatting With a Staggered Stance

I’ve been lifting for around two years now and for as long as I can remember I squat with a staggered stance. Shoot, I stand with a slightly staggered stance. It just feels natural. My left foot is about 2-3 inches in front of my right when squatting. I’m just curious if this could possibly be bad in the future, and if so, how do I go about fixing it?

If I try to bring my feet in line with one another, then things feel off balance and my movement is completely unnatural. Thanks for any help.

Fix it by not standing squatting or lifting at all with a stagger stance.

I’ve got the same problem and I have ignored it, but keep getting injured…I can’t help but think they’re related

I would focus on tightness in the back–that is what I have attributed mine to…

Also keep an eye on the usual culprits
-Week/inhibited glutes
-Hammies
-Hip Flexors

VT, are you saying to keep my back tighter, or try to loosen it up prior to lifting and work on my mobility a lot? Also, get my hamstrings and glutes even stronger? That’s always a good idea.

My squat technique needs a bit of work too.(and maybe fixing the stance is the problem) I’ve been stuck around 375-85(though, these past few weeks my squat has been weak because I’ve not been sleeping much before squat days or eating much on squat days) for a few months now while all of my other lifts have gone up. I could easily pull 450 and 470 with a bit of hype and struggle I’m sure.

Maybe not what’s causing it, but just being disproportionally developed from overdeveloped muscles on one side and underdeveloped muscles on the other could cause this to feel unnatural. Maybe you favored one side when you were really young and just developed from there. Are your abs unevenly developed, as in, does one side look more defined than the other and/or bigger?

Is one of your legs seemingly a little bit longer or are your hips really tight on one side and looser on the other? If it doesn’t hurt to do it with a standard stance work your way through the unnatural feeling and get it to feel comfortable in a proper stance.

All my advice was meant to address tightness, as in mobility restricions, tissue, etc. Not “staying tight” or making them stronger (although stronger is a good idea for glutes/hammies)

You could also have asymmetrical joint surfaces. Might be worth checking with a good therapist to work out why you’re restricted (short muscles, joint capsule or bone shape)

This is a recurring issue, due to a botched knee surgery I had twenty years ago. Fix it now. It continually fucks up my lifts, and halts progress esp in the squat for months on end. Bad leg hip flexor gets torqued, popped ribs (from shifting the bar to the ‘good’ side), etc. I have video somewhere of me box squatting 700+ for reps practically all on my right leg. If nothing else fix it because it can cause one side not to reach depth as easily.

I am trying to fix mine by rolling, stretching, including unilateral movements, plus doing some more athletic things like sprints, in my training.

I have this problem too, most of the time. What is weird is on a good day I will get into my stance almost perfectly most of the time. But on most days my right foot is farther back even after trying to reposition.

you probably have a anatomical or functionally short leg. after squatting with it for a couple years you most likely have developed muscle imbalances. a good therapist should be able to help the short leg and muscle imbalances.

Thanks for all of the advice guys. I have one more thing that will possibly help: My left leg has been bigger than my right since I started. Not by much, and it still isn’t by much. I used to bowl a lot, and my right arm and left leg got bigger than the other before I ever started lifting. Maybe that has something to do with it. I’ll talk to one of the physical therapist’s at my gym today to see if he can do anything to help.

Oh, two weeks ago I was squatting and my left leg was doing most of the work, but that was the only occurrence where it was blatantly obvious to me that such a thing was going on.

Instead of trying to get super scientific and anatomical, I would say just work on improving your mobility with soft tissue work (static and dynamic stretching and foam/PVC rolling of your hips, lower back, WHOLE BODY, etc.). Also, a few hip/glute activation exercises in your warm up wouldn’t hurt. You can find these on YouTube. I like Smitty’s work from Diesel Strength.

And finally, just unstagger your feet, lower the weight, and work your way back up. I know I didn’t use a lot of big words or diagnose you with Cerebral Paulsy, but you already know your bowling interfered with a balanced development. Now make a simple plan and follow it for a couple months. It would be safe to say, some general “UNFUCKING” of your self would probably do well.

[quote]Deadliftsandmilk wrote:
Also, get my hamstrings and glutes even stronger? That’s always a good idea.

My squat technique needs a bit of work too.(and maybe fixing the stance is the problem) [/quote]

It looks like you’re already thinking in the right manner, just not listening to what your brain is saying. Fix your stance. Squat evenly and just make your body adapt. It will feel unnatural and you will probably lose a little bit of weight on the lift for a session or two.

[quote]TheTexican wrote:

[quote]Deadliftsandmilk wrote:
Also, get my hamstrings and glutes even stronger? That’s always a good idea.

My squat technique needs a bit of work too.(and maybe fixing the stance is the problem) [/quote]

It looks like you’re already thinking in the right manner, just not listening to what your brain is saying. Fix your stance. Squat evenly and just make your body adapt. It will feel unnatural and you will probably lose a little bit of weight on the lift for a session or two. [/quote]

I just kept squatting however my body wanted me to (i.e. unevenly) but focused on keeping it even for my assistance work (SSB Squats) since these were lighter weights…not sure if that was the best plan or not, but it seems to work

Had deadlifts today. Afterwards on my goodmornings, I went ahead and evened up my stance on those. Went up to 175 for 3x3(maybe not the best idea if I’m trying to fix something…) and I could definitely feel my right side being worked a lot more than usual, however it felt right. I also did a few squats with that weight and went to just using the bar. Although it feels weird as hell, I believe I might have a bit more power, or at least can tell that I will and I sit back much better than before. I’ll keep this thread updated here and there on what’s going on.

I have a staggered stance. It has never caused problems as far as I know. But I’ve never given it much thought. I don’t think this is terribly uncommon.