T Nation

Weak Squat Strong Quads


There are a couple different things that could be happening. Sometimes the muscles on the outside of your hips and glutes get really tight and they steadily pull your legs “out” all day. This pulling stretches and pulls on hip flexors and groin, so They are stretched and uncomfortable. For this, you stretch/roll out the Opposite muscles ( tfl, piriformis, maybe rectus femoris and Glute mediums, everything on the “outside” of your hips and butt) so they relax and stop pulling on your hip flexors.


“Keep your knee forward” and “chest at the wall” help with my hips shooting up.


Same thing happens with one of my friends,when he squats with heavier weight the bar twists and he ends up doing it sideways.


Hmmmm that could be very likely. My legs also tend to stay open a lot(like manspreading) and it feels uncomfortable when they arent like that. Maybe that has something to do with it.


It depends on how your program is set up, either way can work. I just wouldn’t do a ton of heavy high RPE sets, something like 1-3 hard sets at most per squat session. There isn’t just one single way to do things, you just need to be within certain parameters. You might benefit from a bit more squat frequency, like maybe 3-4 times a week and only go heavy once, but that would also involve changing a lot of other things in your program.

Other than the twisting issue, the main problem is your hips rise too fast on the way up. You can blame it on one muscle or another, Sheiko says this is due to weak hamstrings and glutes while other people like Greg Nuckols blame the quads, but in any case you aren’t generating enough tension and your technique isn’t solid. I used to have the same issue, one thing that made a big difference is focusing on pushing the bar up with my back rather than just pushing with my legs. Some people describe this as “drive your traps into the bar” and that kind of thing. If you put all your effort into pushing with your legs then you aren’t really forcing your hips to extend and you will end up in a bad position when the weights get heavy.

That is highly unusual, and it’s a sign that you really need to work on your back squat. However, you would probably benefit from still doing front squats since you can handle some relatively heavy weights.

The bar is too far ahead of mid-foot because he’s letting it drift forward, not due to bar position. That doesn’t mean that changing bar position can’t help him, but the issue is due to poor technique and not having the weight evenly distributed between the balls of his feet and ankles.

I used to have this problem and I still have some issues with my left hip sometimes. Stretch your hip flexors more often, like 3x30 sec. each, every day, and do myofascial release work on them (psoas mostly). If you don’t have some kind of massage stick then just use whatever blunt object you can find, you can use a screwdriver and dig the end of the handle into your psoas. It’s a pain in the ass but fixing this can make a big difference. I do some hip mobility work every day that I not squatting, lately it’s my rectus femoris and TFL that are fucking around but I think I have that under control right now. Also, roll your glutes on a hard ball of some sort (lacrosse ball, baseball, whatever), just don’t do this before training and don’t overdo it because it can make you more sore.

Whatever you do, don’t become a male feminist.


Lol thanks a lot. Ill need to make a checklist and order everything accordingly.


Open your taint. Considering you have long legs, you may or may not wish to widen your stance. Work your butt quite a bit. That thing has some serious firepower if it’s being trained enough. Sit into the squat (the taint thing should help with that).

Just work on developing bigger and stronger quads as well.

As for the hip flexor thing, as I’ve mentioned before, open the groin area more. It’ll get the tension off of the front and towards the sides so your glutes can help with the lift.


This is what I was going to say.

Basically eccentric your knees are forward more meaning quads are assisting in carrying weight and lowering it. Concentric you tibia are perpendicular to the floor butt goes back meaning ham low back take over. So essentially you’re letting quads help
Lower but not help lift.(as much)

Also look into Boris Sheiko style programming l. If you need practice and volume you’d get it in his style.


Your legs are weak. That’s why your torso has to bend forward to allow your body to get into the position where your ass/hips can take on the load before the weight actually starts moving up.


Post a video of your front squat. If you can front squat 90% of your back squat without dumping the bar or doing something weird then weak quads are not the problem.



The hip is the problem. Its causing the torso angle. The legs are irrelevant. Dude can’t use the leg muscles in that weird torso position. All the cues won’t mean much until this guy can stand up straight (like brace) without hip pain!



Good effort man but from that angle it didnt seem like u even hit parallel u still shifted back and recovered the lift with your hams and back notice your heels coming off the floor as you are locking out aswell. If u would have gone to depth I think u would have dumped it .


Could it be that just my lower back is stronger than both my hams and quads and not that my hams are stronger. Cuz the overwhelming part of my thighs is quads and my hams arent big. Or maybe im relating muscle size and strength too much.


On the other hand u are lifting very maximal so form is gonna break down u dont build strenght that way train at a weight where these faults dont happen like everyone is is saying . Sub maximal training eventually u will be strong enough that u wont see this happening at such weights .


I dont train like that all the time. That vid is like 3 months old. Anyways i still think my hips are the main problem here. I think flatsfarmer is on to something.


The left hip limited the depth on the front squat. You went down as far as your hip ROM would allow. Which was above parallel. It looks like the right one is better. If you watch the barbell you can see the right side get lower and more forward at the bottom. The lift stays more up and back. Twisting just like your back squat. Crooked barbell, crooked spine. That’s probably why your lower back gets sore.

One of my internet lifting bros has/had a similar hip issue and problem with his squat. He put on knee wraps (basically bionic leg strength) but couldn’t get down to parallel because of the restricted hip.


Gotcha well if u still see this happening @ 60-70% of your max I would say its definitely a technique or hip issue if not it means you are just not strong enough to lift that weight atm.


Damn man that makes a lotta sense. I need to do a ton of research and find out how to fix this. You think stretching alone will fix this? Chris_Otawa recomandded stretching and myofascial release on the hips whicj i started doing and it sounds good.


Complex problem, complex solution.

-Release/stretch. Figure out what’s restricted and get it loose and moving freely. Be careful with stretching at first. Some of your tissue will be short and tight. That’s good to stretch out. Other stuff will be “weak/under active” and stretched out and pulled tight by other muscles. You won’t want to stretch stuff thats already pulled tight.

-Relearn your brace. If your pelvis is tipped or twisted or crooked (like one hip higher than the other) you really can’t get set up to lift properly.

-Put the hip position and brace into action. I like deadlift isometrics for this. Load a barbell up so it won’t move. Then grab on to it and get tight and start pulling. If it hurts, back off, adjust your position and pull again. If your back rounds, ease off a little, figure out the position, get right and pull again. Its a big pain in the ass, but do this from a couple different heights. Learn to get everything lined up correctly, then strain in that alignment. You will teach your body to move right and be comfortable in positions that are now incorrect and uncomfortable.

-Relearn your motions. There will be some ROM you can move through properly. You could use box squats or block pulls or something to limit your ROM to what your hip can handle. As you get better, you can slowly lower the box/blocks.

-Don’t mess it up. If you spend all this time trying to learn the right moves don’t jump into full ROM, heavy lifts that you can only finish with improper hip position/motion. It’s like un-practicing and un-stretching if you keep doing stuff wrong.