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Transition to Wide Stance Squat


For about 4 months or so I've been trying to transition to squatting wide stance but I keep getting pain in my hip flexors/adductors when I get to the bottom of my squat. I foam roll and PNF stretch my hip flexors/adductors/glutes/hamstrings after every workout and I do the good girl/bad girl machines but I still havent been making any progress in squatting wider. Whats also weird is that I have no issue front squatting or overhead squatting really wide. Any suggestions?


Unfortunately, raw squatting with a wide stance tears up most peoples hips after a while, so you have to be careful. What's worked for me is doing a whole shitload of stretching before I squat. Lots of stretching of the adductor, piriformis, and basically anything around the hip. I like static stretching, some people don't. If I don't static stretch before wide squatting I can't get into the right position. Also, it seems counter-intuitive to a wide squat, but I like using Oly lifting shoes.



And This:


Thanks for the advice sloth! Storm, those links arent showing up for some reason


I've been in the same transition and have seen a good amount of progress in the weights I lift. Its been a definite work in progress, but sretching stretching stretching has been the key. I didn't realize how little hip mobility I had until I tried to move my legs just even an inch wider for squats.

I mean I wake up doing a quick little jog and stretch, after I workout any muscle group I'll do some stretch or hip mobility exercises or some "yoga" type poses, even laying on the couch or in bed I'll keep my legs spread and outward sort of providing a little stretch in the groin. Sounds crazy I guess, but I've become so much looser that its almost just more natural now to squat down in wide stance than any other way.


I get a pain from squatting wide, stretching as much as possible delays the issue, what i have settled on is training wide as much as i can, when the pain gets bad i bring my stance in and keep doing my mobility drills after a week or two i can work my stance back out with no pain


get fatter...you may just be too lean to comfortably squat wide...I know I used to have no problems with it, but after losing 4-5 inches or so off my waist in a relatively quick amount of time, wide squatting is no longer my go to stance and I've had to bring it in considerably....


I switched to a wider stance a while ago and made it more comfortable for myself pointing my toes more forward than 45 degree-ish.
I thought my toes pointing out recruited my adductors more than I liked.

Toes forward isn't a bad thing, right?


Nikki- from what I understand, toes forward in the wide stance causes a little too much torque in the knee and stresses the ligaments some.

I too used to have issues squatting wide. I just brought everything in. I can squat as much in a more oly stance (slightly wider) as I can the wide due to mobility. I've realized that in college the amount of studying (sitting) is related to how wide I can do squatting. Kills my deadlift form too.

I would suggest a small test. Test with bodyweight and maybe 1/4 max on the bar. Do a low 10-12" box squat in your stance. If you can't hit the 10" box/plates with weight on the bar and good form you might not be safe to squat that wide. Also, don't even try the weight if you can't hit the depth with BW. This of course means your using more olympic lifting technique, meaning you aren't relying quite as much on the stretch reflex. Hope this helps...


I figured the toes forward in that stance won't be that great.
I've been working on my hip mobility (Agile 8) and my hips feel a lot better. I'm interested to see if I'll be able to do the more narrow stance now that my hip mobility increased some.

Thanks for the reply =)


I actually like toes forward more than most in a wide stance. The hips feel more powerful. There was something recently about this on PL Watch I think. If I recall the Westside folks have advocated a more toes forward wide stance too. I depends on a lot of different things though and finding the optimum is what you should be looking for.


This is counterbalanced by grinding on bitches in the TKE house...learn to love it!

In some seriousness, as long as its not torquing your knees too much, I don't see an issue with it...you probably shouldn't move on up to your max with your toes forward for your first effort in this new stance, but as long as you work up to it I would think your body will be telling you its too stressful long before it becomes an issue


Mark Bell recently advocated this and said he has noticed a huge difference and improvement with his toes more forward.


I always felt keeping my toes pointed more to the sides as opposed to forward allowed me to recruit my adductors more and allow me to recruit everything together as a single unit.