It is quite often accompanied by lumbar … High volume training for muscle growth that will also get you stronger. I find it helpful to use my narrower/strongest squat stance in the clean, but use a wider snatch stance. However, it makes sense when you remember that knee and hip flexor/extensor moments need to be calculated in the sagittal plane relative to the femur, not relative to the torso (if that terminology is confusing, review the biomechanics section of my squat guide for a refresher). That may all strike you as odd. Learn how to correctly do Squat to target Glutes, Quads with easy step-by-step expert video instruction. Last week I tried wide squats again, only this time I used a wide grip on the bar; previously I'd always had a close grip when attempting wide squats, and I think that may have something to do with why they never worked well for me. The loss of strength with the wider stance shouldn't matter because snatch weights are light. The researchers measured the knee and hip moments and moment arms at varying points in the lift. Is that really true? When I squat the only way to get full depth is by keeping my feet close together and knees flaring to the outside. This makes a lot of sense to me. Others (especially those with hip anteversion) will have to squat with a narrow stance. Stand and switch your stance. Note that a Low-Bar Squat requires a smaller hip angle and larger forward lean than the conventional High-Bar Squat that most people are familiar with. This article ends with a piece of advice that should sound familiar to consistent readers:  this is a detail that’s probably not worth getting too hung up about. Just like you strength train all your other bodyparts. wide stance, feet angled out, … He used to position his feet extremely close and perform the movement for a variety of reasons, one of them being quad hypertrophy. Furthermore, he’s had the opportunity to work with and learn from numerous record holders, champion athletes, and collegiate and professional strength and conditioning coaches through his previous job as Chief Content Director for Juggernaut Training Systems and current full-time work here on Stronger By Science. Get a brutal pump and increase athleticism without the back irritation. Here's how to do them right for a wider back. This position will provide the greatest pressing strength from the legs while eliminating hip irritation produced from using an excessively wide stance. For an athlete with more anteverted hips, a relatively more toed forward stance may work better for them (depending on other anatomical variables) in the squat. I feel the most power with my heels at hip bone width rather than shoulders. Strength gains stalled out? It's extremely strict and extremely tough. So theres on task bein unsaid, you should try to actually train your adductor magnus strengthwise, to not let them perish. Don't get me wrong, I like the close stance, Olympic-style squat. Sets of 6 here at 215kg (473lbs) in the close stance feet forward smith squat. He has logged more than 10,000 hours coaching professional, elite, and novice athletes, as well as professional strength coaches. Tight (From hands on the bar to feet on the floor.). Conventional wisdom would suggest a more narrow stance to better mimic the actual movement pattern, but Louie Simmons — who has trained gold medalist track athletes, not just geared powerlifters — seems to prefer his athletes training the squat with a very wide stance. If the bar is to stay over the mid-foot with the back held more vertical, the knees must slide forward more than they have to in a squat done with a more horizontal back angle. Your chest falls and the bar drifts forward. Tell me what you think and if I should make some changes or optimizations that might be better. The Secret to Maintaining Your Health […], […] FITNESS NETWORK, STRONGER BY CIENCE & […], […] […], […] I realized something that both horrified and disgusted me: Other than a republished MASS article on safety bar squats, I hadn’t written any fresh new content about squatting for Stronger By Science in over two years. Here’s what I’ll do: Monday – Squat 2x Day 1, Deadlift 2x Day 2, lower body accessories I don’t see any reason to think that wide stance squats can’t train the quads just as well as narrow stance squats do. By comparison, reaching squat depth with a wide stance requires a lifter to maintain a more vertical shin position than a narrow stance. I resumed training and dieting this past month after a long hiatus but I haven’t been sure which program to follow yet and don’t want to continue flip flopping between them this early. Squats strengthen your core as well, and help you enhance and maintain balance and mobility. I defined “knee dominance” by this simple calculation: knee moment arm ÷ hip moment arm = knee-dominance. The Toes Forward Squat Could Encourage Suboptimal Knee and Hip Position. Fit pros say you can't emphasize this area. Do you turn sideways and disappear? Bonus: It's packed with muscle-building protein. Always doing the same two back exercises? The wide stance makes squatting parallel possible without having to pitch the torso forward like a good-morning exercise. Chest up. My thought is that you will get the best muscle development by lifting the most weight possible in whatever foot and heel position feels the most natural. Shedding Some Light on Vitamin D Supplementation: Does It Increase Strength In Athletes? Stance width was approximately twice as wide for the powerlifting squat vs. the traditional squat. Viewed from the side, it almost always looks like there’s more forward knee travel in a close stance squat. However, many individuals widen their squat stance but don't concomitantly flare their knees outward throughout the squat, which can be problematic. So your first order of business is to figure out the best stance for your anthropometry, injury history, and goals. Would you mind elaborating? If you have difficulty performing the movement to full range with this foot position, it may indicate you have certain issues in mobility that warrant attention. The participants were nationally competitive masters lifters (at least 40 years old). People with more lateral positioning of the acetabulum tend to require a wider stance, and struggle mightily with their feet closer together. Otherwise it would just be fancy to subdivide this reasoning. Take a step forward and lower yourself down until you reach parallel, pause at the bottom, and drive yourself up, keep your heels grounded. This is the best advice. My goal is to assess their MOVEMENT. Chris Beardsley wrote a good article on Strength and Conditioning Research about this. Honestly I think that says more about the people who choose those squat styles than the squat styles themselves. When we send it out on email, we want it to be as good as it can be. This plays a big role in how heel height affects your lift. The bodyweight squat sets the movement foundation for other athletic actions such as jumping and landing. The only study looking at joint moments that tested the same participants with two different stance widths reported a slightly higher peak knee moment with a narrower stance, but it also specifically restricted forward knee travel with a wide stance, which removes the chance for an apples-to-apples comparison. The narrow range of motion of the human ankle can be a limiting factor when performing a narrow-stance squat. This can occur with any stance and depends 100% on how the lifter is built. Find your doing this method and do lots of body/low weight squats to develop the muscle memory of a proper squat. Franz – I would agree with you. If you have long legs and a long back, choose a close to medium stance. The other squat article linked above (sitting down vs. back) addresses that issue. Allow your back leg to bend at the knee. However, again, it’s worth noting that this study wasn’t solely investigating the impact of stance width. Players who have to jump and cut will tear their ACL when the knee caves in and rotates. The pictures shown indicate that the torso is not maintained as upright as possible. 162w Reply. A narrow stance squat or close stance squat is a back squat performed with feet at around shoulder-width apart or even narrower. Bringing your feet closer together gives your quads an … Just make sure your knees track the feet. Preparation Stand upright with feet close to each other. I full squat with a wide stance. Foot braking stance. Let knees point in direction of feet. Here are five ways to do it. Dave has been involved in powerlifting for over three decades as a coach, consultant and business owner. In general, your best bet is to let your hips and knees determine your foot angle. The average weight of the group was 90kg (~200lbs), and the average squat was 225kg (~500lbs). Push through both feet and jump up so your feet come together in the air. Anecdotally, whenever I do wide stance squats to a box with a more upright torso – I feel the quads working harder to get the pop off the box – I assume this is because I am limiting the posterior chain to some degree. Too narrow a stance causes problems in a different way, but they still relate to depth. These types of squats give a good burn to the quadriceps, and some people use varying narrow stances to target specific areas on the quads. The reason is, if you pull air into your chest, what happens when you breathe out? Strength and Physique Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Master List, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window). If you have a long torso, choose a medium stance (the longer the torso, the closer the stance). After I did this, my squats become nice and fluid and I could squat deeper. So, at this point, there’s not a clear answer to the question posed in the title of this article. Although, is this logic in accordance with what the research says? Use a position that's anywhere between a normal squat stance (approximately shoulder width), to roughly 20% wider than normal squat stance. Would it be safe to assume that, due to the increased involvement of the glutes, a lifter could generally expect to be able to generate more power with a wider-stanced squat? This effective program is for them. Finally, three studies (one, two, three) have compared muscle activation (using EMG) in squats of varying stance widths. The larger the number, the more knee-dominant a position is. Narrow stance squats target primarily the quadriceps, glutes, and adductors. This has been taught as the way to limit imbalances, but in complete honesty may be causing more imbalances than it’s solving. Or “screw your feet into the floor” as you “spread the knees”. A nice mathematical treatment of the subject. The study is titled A Three-Dimensional Biomechanical Analysis of the Squat During Varying Stance Widths by Escamilla et al. Sure, arching the back at the start of the squat will keep the chest up, but continuing to arch the back as you squat down will lead to a handful of technique errors. Thanks Greg, as usual informative, thought provoking and very interesting! Close Stance– feet together or up to two inches apart engages the vastus lateralis on the rising phase. In most squat “cues” it is said, “spread the knees” on the ascent. There are many different versions of the “squat” that take demand certain mechanics or take advantage of specific foot positions. However, it's very hard to go from a close stance to a wide stance. I can guarantee you that it’s the most thorough resource on the internet for learning and troubleshooting the squat. Right now I’m doing the 2x beginner routines of your 28 programs and I’ll prolly continue with them. Too bad. This, of course, has its influences on knee and hip positions throughout the movement, and may erroneously contribute to the perception that a narrow stance increases quad dominance. Keeping an upright torso, begin by pushing your hips back, like in a back squat. The foot is an integral part of the squat, ... On the opposite end though, the closer your squat stance is the greater demand on ankle dorisflexion. Shoulder pressing versus benching, avoiding injuries, the right grip to use, and why you should never miss a rep. You do these staple exercises, but are you getting the most out of them? This increases glute and hamstring involvement. close stance, feet straight, depth to parallel or above: quads. Here's how. Either way, interesting article, thanks for sharing. You're low as hell but not even close to parallel. Dr. Jordan Feigenbaum from Barbell Medicine explains what it could mean and how to work around it. With that being said, I usually only do narrow stance on a front squat. Foot positioning is the basis of the squat-stance deadlift. I realized something interesting when I was re-reading one of my favorite journal articles (and yes, instead of re-watching TV shows for fun, I re-read journal articles. CrossFit with guns, a supplement ingredient quiz (with prizes), and the delicious food that keeps you full for hours. Would data suggest that Louie is right, and that wide stances are fine for developing strength and power, so long as you also train the movement you ultimately want to develop? However, as you might expect based on the above analysis, the vastus medialis is no more important than any of the other quadriceps muscles. I personally find narrow squats target my quads more and I don’t come all the way back up to standing position. as we (exclusively me) might expected, “the vastus medialis is no more important than any of the other quadriceps muscles” It shortens the distance the bar has to travel to reach depth, important for powerlifting. However, at all (meaningful) points in the lift, the wide stance squats were about 18-44% more knee-dominant than medium and narrow stance squats. Friday – Bench 2x Day 2, upper body accessories. However, it’s worth noting that the instructions in this study were considerably different. Targeting greater relative activation of vastus medialis during the squat probably cannot be done by using a narrow stance instead of a wide stance, nor by elevating your heels instead of squatting on a flat surface. You need to tailor it to your skeleton. Squat Stance Variation. I ask this because I simply can’t hit depth in a wider stance. Keep a close eye on your knees. That said, the majority of powerlifters would be far stronger if they went wider. In Escamilla’s study, the participants used whatever technical approach allowed them to lift the most weight to competition standards; in Swinton’s, the participants were instructed to let their knees travel past their toes for the traditional squat, and to keep their shins as vertical as possible in the powerlifting-style squat. When viewed from the side, the barbell should drop straight down and come straight back up, like you'd dropped a plumb line. There are two main considerations when talking about how far out you should point your feet: knee health and balance. Wouldn’t you focus on breaking at the knees in order to stay more upright and let the knees travel forward? I did it again today (week 2 this time ofc) and it was better but I don’t know if 2 heavy lower body lifts on the same day is a good idea. That means your feet should point straight ahead. The more the tibia moves, the more the quads are working. Wide Stance – feet are about shoulder-width distance apart, thus recruiting the vastus medialis. Thanks for linking that article. None of them found any differences in any of the quad muscles, though two reported slightly higher glute EMG with wide stance squats. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. The picture in the following has … So, it may not be that wide stance squats are inherently more knee-dominant. One thing would be nice is having the new comments at the top of the comment board dominant, “I think a wider stance puts more “stress” on the knees because of the angle of the Femur and Tibia is at a sharper angle and then of course the whole knee spreading action.”. I’ve signed up for the email list, but I don’t think I’ve been getting them. Suitcase Squats. It´s a practicable exercise. For this analysis, I’m only going to focus on the moment arms, rather than the actual joint moments. Many lifters will crap out and just return to their original stance, and I don't blame them. One of the toughest muscle-building workouts of all time just got tougher. This method allows me to see any weak links with the athlete. Then you'll never miss a workout. Both a wide stance and close stance squat with an emphasis on an upright torso will activate more quad activation by causing the knees to come further forward towards the toes. Some athletes can naturally squat with a wide stance. Too narrow a stance causes problems in a different way, but they still relate to depth. There is another variable we need to add to this though, and that is foot angle. Get the full program here. Hey Greg, was an email sent out when this article was released? Hold arms in front, about parallel to floor. For the hypertrophy accessory work I’m following what you describe in The Journey Intermediate program, but with 1/2 to 2/3 of the volume since I’m a newbie, and back work only on bench days. Tight (From hands on the bar to feet on the floor.) Unlike the sumo deadlift where the feet tend to rotate outwards in excess of 45 degrees, the squat-stance deadlift requires you to keep the feet relatively straight. 12. This position aligns the legs for solid split-squat reps. Greg- thanks again for the great articles. Squat is a basic exercise for women. Perform a squat, dropping down until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Pull-ups alone won't do it either. A narrow stance squat or close stance squat is a back squat performed with feet at around shoulder-width apart or even narrower. It can take upwards of two years to relearn the movement and develop the flexibility, especially if the lifter is very tight. Swinton et al. You ask how? […]. Belly full of air. Everyone should include this exercise in their workout routines. Finding Your Stance The first step is to determine you squatting stance—the width of your feet and the degree to which your toes are turned out (if you believe the ultimate goal for all athletes is to be able to squat with the toes forward, please take a break from this article and read this one first). Give it a shot, and if you’re not getting the results you want, try making tweaks and monitor how you respond. I agree with some of the comments here. If you have shoulder issues, choose a medium to wide grip. There’s only 45lb barbells here. However, it makes sense when you remember that knee and hip flexor/extensor moments need to be calculated in the sagittal plane relative to the femur, not relative to the torso (if that terminology is confusing, review the biomechanics section of my squat guide for a refresher). Are tight hip muscles limiting your squat 2. It should be noted that the meet where these data were collected allowed supportive gear, but since this study was conducted in 2001 (before gear started getting insane) and the ADFPA (previously the USAPL) only allowed single ply gear, that shouldn’t be too big of a concern. Keep in mind, there were different people in all three groups in this study. Argument for Toes Forward. but with both, the bar should be centered over the center of the feet. Your upper body is fully facing forward. Dat correlation:causation problem. x Rate Squat, Close Stance . However, it didn’t test each participant with each stance width; maybe the wide stance squatters with more knee-dominant squats would have still had more knee-dominant squats if they were asked to squat with a narrow stance, and maybe the more hip-dominant narrow stance squatters would still be just as hip-dominant if they were asked to squat with a wider stance. They not only strengthen our legs and tighten the glutes but also make the quality of life better. If you want to learn a LOT more about squatting, then you should check out How to Squat:  The Definitive Guide. Greg what about the extremely close stance squats that the coaches love to push off on the girls for their glutes? Could squat deeper that it ’ s the most quad dominant back.! 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