T Nation

Tail Under Squatting


Recently I switched over to doing full ATG front squats (I had been doing box squats to just above parallel for a while). I am loving them but I have noticed that when I go past parallel I do the tail under thing.

My question is: is this dangerous? Should I just squat to parallel and forget the ATG? I feel like I get a lot more out of them but don't want to fuck myself (my back) over by doing these.

I always make sure that I stretch everything (esp. hams, hip flexors, glutes etc.) before my squat workout, and I try to keep my lower back arched, but maybe I'm just not built to go ATG (I'm 6'2").

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.




Keep going as low as you can with good form. Have you tried olympic style squatting? For me, I am able to keep a much more upright upper-back with this style, and it seems to allow me to go deeper before my pelvis starts to tilt backward. Watch the Chinese pro oly-lifters on you tube.


Front squats feel safer for me than back squats because I'm upright. But for back squats, I think keeping my head forward at all times helps me stick my ass out and arch the back properly.




Definitely fixed my back. Dynamic stretches before the workout won't be enough. Separate flexibility for your hams glutes and hips etc might help.


x2, this is what fixed the butt wink for me. Do a search for "Active Hip 2.0 mark rippetoe" in Google, there is a good article on this topic.


Yes and dynamic activation sorry I left that off!

I do fifteen mi uted various activation work prior to each UB and LB workout


no. it isn't safe to squat with weight while not holding your lumbar arch. don't get me wrong, you might get away with it for a while... but doing it persistently is asking for a back injury. and more in particular, it is undermining your potential with respect to your squatting the weights you are ultimately capable of squatting and developing your glutes / hammies the way they are capable of developing.


I think saying this is dangerous may be a bit overkill because we don't know exactly what it looks like without a video. If the lumbar spine unlocks, yes it's an issue. But if the glutes come to full extension and you get a little movement in the hips, I don't think it's too much cause for worry. That will probably correct itself over time as he continues squatting deep and improves flexibility.