T Nation

Wobbly Squats


note:i tore my ACL over a year ago and got surgery in december of '09. i didn't start doing heavy squats until after my surgery so i'm not sure if the two are related but figured it was worth mentioning

i've made a good amount of progress squatting over the last year (went from 135 to my current 1RM of 315) but with heavy weights i feel like i'm "wobbling." it almost looks like i'm shaking my ass left to right or something as i go down. have any of you had this problem before? i'm worried that i'm really deficient in some area and i'm going to end up hurting myself down the line.



Are you forcefully pushing your knees out?


i'm not trying to, should i be? i keep my feet a little more than shoulder width apart with my toes pointed around 10-20 degrees outwards, i'm not consciously doing anything with my knees though


Definitely should be pushing your knees out.


I'd also turn my feet out about 30-45 degrees out. When I squat, that's where my knees go and if I don't turn my feet, there is stress on my knees and it doesn't track properly.


This isnt an uncommon problem. You know when you watch lifting video's and people are screaming "Stay Tight" a million times in the backround? You need to be doing that. Not actually screaming "Stay Tight" while you squat but, acutally staying tight while you squat. Lock in your upper back before you even unrack the bar. Imagine you just fell off a cliff and the only way you are going to survive is by holding onto the end of a rope with your scapulas while you dangle helplessly above a bunch of jagged rocks... i.e. pull your shoulder blades together as hard as you physically can... then pull harder than that.

Before you descend do two things:

  1. Wait for the bar to stabilize on your back
  2. Take a huge breath into your abdomin and hold it down as hard as you can

Dont breathe out again until you are 3/4s of the way back up or until you are completely back to starting position.

You'll know you did everything right because you will have not wobbled so much but you should feel like the internal pressure is going to melt your brain.

Stability is the reason why most people miss their squats. So, master that now and youll be well ahead of the game.


thanks for the help, everyone. i'll be sure to start pulling my scapulas tight and turning my feet out more! hopefully this fixes my wobbling