T Nation

Tall Lifter Problems w/ Squat (and DL Ratio)


#1

Hi all.

So the problem is that my squat and dl ratio sucks. 400lbs squat and 550lbs dl (and 575lbs until knee level).

Im almost 6ft 5,56in (lol sorry for possible incorrect height unit; not a american here!) and squat sucks. And hard.

I find it really easy to activate glutes in dl, no problem "pulling the weight into my lap". But in squat... Oh jeesus. I tried to lean forward little bit more and it maybe did something but still really hard to get the "used" feeling in my glutes. I had speed squat today (cube for strongman program) but they were anything else than fast glute-wise. Quads yeah, but glutes no.

Any suggestions?

Having a pre-xmas meet in two months and hoping to pull 575lbs with good form and squat 440lbs.

Thanks in advance!


#2

Give box squatting a try. Its great for learning to use your hips and glutes. You can start an inch or 2 above parallel, until you get more comfortable, then lower the box.

Also, box squats are a popular way to do speed squats. Breaking the movement up by sitting on the box helps train explosiveness, without sloppy, bouncey lifts.

Specialty bars like the cambered squat bar and safety squat bar are good for tall guys too.


#3

I second box squats given that your strong point on the DL is the bottom and that you have such a hard time with glute activation for squats.

Also, arched back goodmornings. Just keep your back arched the same way it should be in a squat and push your hips back, bend your knees but don’t let your knees/shins travel forward at all and as soon as you feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings and glutes pop back up. Basically a romanian deadlift with the bar on your shoulders. Any rep range. Unless you’re very comfortable keeping a solid torso in all movements, i wouldn’t max out on GMs.

Also, just have a day where you practice your squat. I like to choose something between 60-70 percent of my max and follow the lower to mid ranges of prilepin’s table. It will be work, but it shouldn’t tire you out so each rep will be crisp and clean and you don’t have to worry about fatigue impacting your form.

So in a nutshell:

  1. Do speed box squats and box squats for reps and heavy to learn how to feel and strengthen your weak links. GMs are also another good choice.
  2. Practice your squat between 60-70 percent with low to mid rep ranges of prilepin’s table being sure to make each rep as close to perfect as you can.

#4

Thanks for the replies.

Yea ive had something like that on my mind. Ill change leg press as an assistance to GM. Then my squat day would be: squat (speed, max or rep depends on the week), GM, calves.

Tried in the beginning of this program safety squat bar, but my god it was painful. I have really prominant th1 so it always hinged on that someway. I tried various bar positions etc. Cambered bar i could try but i dont like messing with programs alot; choose one wisely and stick to it atleast 6months, but this time it shall be done, since hip thrusts didnt help that squat problem.

But yes, ill stick to that GM and hope for the Best.

On dl day i have reverse hypers/45degree extensions, pulleys, rows and chins depending on the week. (nice program btw, check it out!)


#5

I have a friend who’s the same height and he has a similar problem. What’s your weight? At your height you’ll have to fill out with a lot of muscle before you can squat well. You need to be quite heavy, probably heavier than you think, in order to get better leverages for squatting.


#6

My weight is around 260lbs. I know need 20-30lbs more. The 5/3/1 BBB 3month challenge workes really well for me. Gonna do it again on Jan.

Got like 15-18lbs with rather low fat with it last time i did it.


#7

Have you played around with your stance at all?


#8

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
Have you played around with your stance at all? [/quote]
This. It’s very easy to use a style that doesn’t suit your body in the squat, and do poorly. Look up Dave tate’s free squat manual, it has good advice about squat stances.

You can go too close and be forced into a bad position in the bottom/to grind from, you can go too wide and not have the flexibility/joint health to do it, you can do a lot of bad stuff really for stance, bar position, all of that stuff. If your stance is too wide or too close it will also make it very hard to lower and lift the bar in a straight line, which is a very big issue. Box squats, and pause squats also do wonders for squat form. Box squats teaches you how to sit back and use your hips, and pause squats normally teach you a strong and stable position to be in in the hole.


#9

[quote]Destrength wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
Have you played around with your stance at all? [/quote]
This. It’s very easy to use a style that doesn’t suit your body in the squat, and do poorly. Look up Dave tate’s free squat manual, it has good advice about squat stances.

You can go too close and be forced into a bad position in the bottom/to grind from, you can go too wide and not have the flexibility/joint health to do it, you can do a lot of bad stuff really for stance, bar position, all of that stuff. If your stance is too wide or too close it will also make it very hard to lower and lift the bar in a straight line, which is a very big issue. Box squats, and pause squats also do wonders for squat form. Box squats teaches you how to sit back and use your hips, and pause squats normally teach you a strong and stable position to be in in the hole.

[/quote]

Not only the feet width, but also the feet angle plays a large part. The angel of your feet drive your hips to where they need to be. For me, when it’s painful, it’s wrong and harder.

Also, do you do high bar or low bar? Low bar / wider stance for a tall guy like you would do wonders I think.


#10

I use wide and low bar.

And toes slightly rotated out.

Hmm, front squats i do with narrow stance (no problems at knees or hips etc) and my squats are wider but not super-wide.

I could try to widen the stance. Then depth might be issue, but heavy weight will push me down :wink:

Ill try to get video from next squat session.


#11

I have similar lift ratios. My max deadlift is 125 lbs more than my squat. My back and hamstrings are plenty strong, so to bring up the squat I do high bar close stance and front squats when I’m feeling limber. Generally speaking, whichever squat variation you suck at the most, do it more.


#12

[quote]WilhodFIN wrote:
I use wide and low bar.

And toes slightly rotated out.

Hmm, front squats i do with narrow stance (no problems at knees or hips etc) and my squats are wider but not super-wide.

I could try to widen the stance. Then depth might be issue, but heavy weight will push me down :wink:

Ill try to get video from next squat session.

[/quote]

A lot of tall guys have quite long limbs, especially the femurs. If that’s the case with you, and perhaps you lean over quite a lot when you squat, you probably need stronger quads. I’d try front squats and leg presses for quad-focused work. Also you’re right about needing some more weight. That’ll help too.


#13

Can someone explain to me why the OP’s ratios are problematic?

OP, your squat sucks, but I don’t think there’s a ratio problem per se as you’ve stated. You have a squatting problem. The difference between your squat and your DL wouldn’t be a problem if you squatted 100 more lbs, and deadlifted 150 more, right? You would have nothing to complain about if that was the case.

It would be useful to see a video of you squatting, but if you can’t provide that, I would just suggest working on your squat in various rep ranges, all the way up to as many as 20-rep sets. You could consider squatting twice a week. Some people respond very well to that. I know you said your quads were already good, but I think it’s likely that they need more work than you think. Just some thoughts. Also consider the fact that many people who wrap their knees get 100 lbs out of their wraps, so if you’re comparing your ratios to guys who wrap, then that would be problematic.


#14

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
Can someone explain to me why the OP’s ratios are problematic?

OP, your squat sucks, but I don’t think there’s a ratio problem per se as you’ve stated. You have a squatting problem. The difference between your squat and your DL wouldn’t be a problem if you squatted 100 more lbs, and deadlifted 150 more, right? You would have nothing to complain about if that was the case.

It would be useful to see a video of you squatting, but if you can’t provide that, I would just suggest working on your squat in various rep ranges, all the way up to as many as 20-rep sets. You could consider squatting twice a week. Some people respond very well to that. I know you said your quads were already good, but I think it’s likely that they need more work than you think. Just some thoughts. Also consider the fact that many people who wrap their knees get 100 lbs out of their wraps, so if you’re comparing your ratios to guys who wrap, then that would be problematic. [/quote]

Yea i got now a rather clear picture of the situation, thanks to all of you. Ill try the good morning thing first. Then after the cube method for strongman ends, i’ll be able to squat twice a week more easy with 5/3/1 BBB. Is there btw good ideas how to include another squat day in the 5/3/1 BBB?

About leg press; ive done 935lbs x2 to squat depth so i dont feel the quads being weak, more the posterior chain could be the thing. But the GM should do the trick here (its good to keep in mind that more isnt better, better is better).

And you are right with that, that the ratio itself isnt bad, just the squat. The forward lean and watching little more to the ground helped with glute activation.

But more strenght with more accurate assistance exercises should help.


#15

1.If you’re set on running 5/3/1, you’ll only be able to squat once a week. You’d have to run a different program.

2.Leg press doesn’t really mean anything. It just has such a minimal carry over to squat, so I can’t really make sense of a leg press number. Particularly since leg press numbers mean different things depending on the particular leg press machine. Different machines use different angles.

  1. Your squat will be limited by whatever link is weakest in the chain. It’s very hard for us to figure out what that is without actually seeing your squat.

All of that being said, it sounds like you’re getting on the right track.


#16

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
1.If you’re set on running 5/3/1, you’ll only be able to squat once a week. You’d have to run a different program.

2.Leg press doesn’t really mean anything. It just has such a minimal carry over to squat, so I can’t really make sense of a leg press number. Particularly since leg press numbers mean different things depending on the particular leg press machine. Different machines use different angles.

  1. Your squat will be limited by whatever link is weakest in the chain. It’s very hard for us to figure out what that is without actually seeing your squat.

All of that being said, it sounds like you’re getting on the right track.[/quote]

Yes. Well the press is “old school 45degree machine”, we have a horizontal one also but that is just udder bs.

Next monday is rep squat, 80%x8-10 reps, ill ask someone to film it.

Thought also that with the 5/3/1, but one thing at a time,or any good 3month mass programs which atleast maintain strenght levels? The BBB was effective and gave also durability on high reps (good in strongman comps which i did on summer).

Main shit here then: mass, posterior chain and simply more power on legs.


#17

Here is a video from 145kgx1

Didnt have anybody to film the 145x8 one.

Ps. Damn i look thin :frowning:


#18

I doubt anyone will be able to tell what your weak point is by looking at a single of a weight you can do for 8 reps! It needs to be a weight you start to struggle with so you can see what’s breaking down in your form.

For what its worth my ratio is pretty similar, 210kg squat and a 280kg deadlift. By all means follow the advice others have posted about how to improve your squat, but don’t sweat the ratio thing, just keep trying to improve both. Some people are made to squat, some people are made to deadlift, there’s only so much you can do about it.


#19

It’s a god damn shame people still recommend box squats to fix forward lean. SMH T-Nation is the only forum where this bullshit westside understanding of biomechanics still gets perpetuated.

OP 6ft is not that tall, but as someone who is 6’3" with ridiculously long femurs I bet I can tell you your problem. Your quads are at a mechanical disadvantage during squats because of femur length, so they don’t get worked. Your body tries to do a movement as efficiently as possible and is since your deadlift is much stronger than your squat thats back and posterior chain.

start hammering highbar squats, front squats,(highly recommend a heeled shoe to further emphasize the quads) hell even leg press or hacksquats for more quad hypertrophy as well. this increased my squat faster than anything except smolov.


#20

[quote]Mtag666 wrote:
It’s a god damn shame people still recommend box squats to fix forward lean. SMH T-Nation is the only forum where this bullshit westside understanding of biomechanics still gets perpetuated.

OP 6ft is not that tall, but as someone who is 6’3" with ridiculously long femurs I bet I can tell you your problem. Your quads are at a mechanical disadvantage during squats because of femur length, so they don’t get worked. Your body tries to do a movement as efficiently as possible and is since your deadlift is much stronger than your squat thats back and posterior chain.

start hammering highbar squats, front squats,(highly recommend a heeled shoe to further emphasize the quads) hell even leg press or hacksquats for more quad hypertrophy as well. this increased my squat faster than anything except smolov.
[/quote]

Agreed on box squats. I believe box squats have no place in raw training, unless you are using them to train yourself to hit a particular depth, and you just can’t feel it any other way. I don’t know of any good raw lifters who suggest these. I’ve seen a lot of dudes with 350 lbs squats who swear by them though…