Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Widening Your Squat Stance

The Incomparable Tommy Fannon

I was working with a friend the other day and the question of the best way to widen someone's squat stance came up. If you are planning on powerlifting, especially equipped, there are very legitimate reasons for considering widening the stance. Hitting competition-legal squat depth becomes a concern for many so it must be trained appropriately. There are, of course, many ways to accomplish a deep AND wide squat, but the simplest way would be to do sets of wide stance squats as accessory work after completing your regular squat work sets. Care needs to be taken not to overdo this, as you will be stressing adductors/musculature in a different manner, not to mention the new range of motion you are demanding of the hips and hamstrings.

Alternatively, you might try as accessory work:

*(Ultra)Wide Stance Good Mornings - for me, these are essentially wide-stance RDLs with the barbell placed in a low-bar squat position.

*(Ultra) Wide Stance Manta-Ray Squats or Safety-Squat-Bar Squats - the very high-bar position encourages an upright upper body position. This may or may not be what you ultimately want with your squats, so that should be taken into account.

Outside of the gym, I would suggest the stretches listed in Daily Stretches For Strength & Health. Remember that stretches, just like any new training stimulus should be added slowly and progressively.


Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

I put both of those at the end of my workout. It takes a lot of work to get good at squatting.

I made a video of my snatches today. This is the last 3 minutes of 15 seconds on 15 seconds off. I did 1 minute facing each way.

My hands did a lot better but they still feel like the weakest of many weak points for me. No blisters today but a little longer and I would have had one.

Boris said...

I'm sorry for not responding sooner (been out of town). Overall I think they look pretty solid, but elbow positioning on the drop, and the timing of the hip drive out of the back swing varies. Consistent technique will be easier to manage w. a slower pace - 24rpm is a little fast right now IMHO. See how your hands hold up (or not) w. a slower pace and I think it will be more telling.

If you have a chance, try to video tape some slower sets as well. If you don't mind, some second/third/fourth opinions would be good too.

gilbert said...

i could never squat very wide squatted for 10 years bodybuilding side . i found hard to widen the stance and its harder to reach depth

Boris said...

It'll take time and diligence. I don't think everyone needs to widen their stance though. If you're getting along fine with your stance, then go with it.