T Nation

Wide Squats

On my new program, I have to do wide squats.

Is it easy to switch from regular squats to wide squats?

Wide squats seem difficult to master (technique, balance) with free weights which is why I have done them on the Smith Machine for my first week.

Any advice from people who have done wide squats before would be much appreciated.

A wider stance should be easier to keep your balanced. Are you letting your feet point out about 45 degrees?

[quote]texass wrote:
A wider stance should be easier to keep your balanced. Are you letting your feet point out about 45 degrees?[/quote]

Good point, I had my feet open but maybe not 45deg. So should I expect to lift more or less weight with wide squats? or the same?


First: Get off the damn smith machine! Your not going to learn something if you don’t do it. I see this all the time “I’m sticking to the the smith machine until i get the techique down”. Well guess what your mastering the technique of smith machines squats which will have little carryover to free squats.

Second: A the amount of weight you will be able to use will depend on your strengths/weaknesses and body structure. Obviously your going to have to start lighter until you master the form.

Third: As far as how your feet should be pointed you want them inline with your knees.

Much more, if your posterior chain is good. Like the previous poster said, it is easier to keep your balance (wider centre of gravity).

I am much weaker going wide. Some people are stronger. The good news is that I don’t have much use going wide, at least not at the moment.

Wide-stance squats force you to use more of your hips. It’ll take some time, both from the standpoint of comfort with a new technique and with regard to building your hip strength to handle it.

I strongly recommend utilizing some dynamic warm-up/stretching of your hips before such a workout, particularly if you’re not confident and already strong in the hips.

Load a working weight that you can handle for 10+ reps. Start out with your normal stance. After every rep open your stance an inch or so. Don’t go too heavy until the mechanics are second nature.

As far as your toes goes (sic): You’ll get more power pointing them straight forward but it’ll be harder on your knees. Lining them up with your knees is good advice.

If you can’t lift more weight in the wide stance than you can in the close stance it’s because your posterior chain and hip flexors aren’t up to par. This will turn around once you get used to the technique.

Also, it’s more important to sit back onto your heels and push your butt backward while keeping the spine neutral when doing the wide stance. Mostly because there is a greater tendency to fall forward, especially as the loads increase… And they will!