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1. ## Squat Technique

How wide is your squat stance?

I am having trouble with my technique

I know, and understand you don't need strong quads for squatting - But Hams and Glutes must be strong
You must try to "spread" the floor to build tension in the hips
You must sit back not down, and your knees should never be infront of your feet

But there is something i keep coming back to
I know it's not right (as far as squatting goes) but i keep thinking about it

When squatting you must drive with your feet - whilst remembering to "spread" the floor

In doing this you are pushing/driving out at an angle

Each leg is pushing the weight up and across (diagonally towards each other)
Since your legs are pushing the weight across in opposite directions this cancels itself out and the bar rises

In mathematics (projectiles) calculations show you'd exert more force on the bar by driving straight down - not down and out at an angle

So why do we use a wide(ish) stance and attempt to spread the floor?
Is it purely about hip tension?

2. As I understand it, spreading the floor is more about keeping your knees from buckling inward that it is about anything else.

I think you're overthinking it and making things more confusing. Try to simplify a bit - if you don't have trouble with your knees collapsing inward, don't worry so much about the spread.

The widish stance is used to add stability and take the focus off of the quads, which, as you mentioned earlier, tend to be weaker and less reliable for squatting.

As far as the whole "don't let your knees go in front of your feet" thing, it's more a matter of your build and the biomechanics that it forces on your unique squatting motion. If you can sit back and then lift the weight straight up without leaning forward, it won't matter what your knees do.

Seems to me you have more of a theory problem than a form problem.

Are you having difficulty in a specific area of your squat?

Numbers just not going up as quickly as you would like??

3. Thanks RM

There's nothing majorly wrong with my technique
My numbers are progressing nicely
(although i wouldn't mind if they progressed a little quicker)

I'm the kind of person that needs to understand the concept of what i'm trying to achieve in order to get the most out of my lifts

I know i should have a wider stance and should force my feet out
I know this - I just don't understand it yet

Like i said in my last post - If you want to move the bar up surely you should drive your feet straight down

Now if that was the case everyone would be squatting with their feet together

I know that wouldn't work for squatting - I'm just having trouble understanding why

4. I'm one of the guys who has to wrap his mind around things too, so I understand where you're coming from.

Think of it this way - The wider you spread your legs, the less you have to count on your quads for the lift.

And, when you "spread the floor", you're not trying to lift the weight with that motion, you're keeping your knees stable. So, you're actually pushing straight down and then expending a little bit of force to the spreading motion.

Some people don't really have to consider spreading the floor and for some it's vital. Neither one has a really advantage over the other, it's just that some folk's form needs a tweak, so the work on the spread.

Personally, I'm not flexible enough to get down past parallel with my legs much wider than my shoulders and I don't have any trouble with my knees buckling in, so I forget to spread the floor pretty often.

In my mind, "spread the floor" is a lot like "keep your eye on the ball" it's just a way of reminding yourself to perform a mechanical action, not a way of performing the entire motion.

5. That's it i've seen the light!
I'm pretty sure i understand it now - Thanks RM

1)You use a wide stance because it uses the Hamstrings more than the Quads

2) When you stand with a wide stance your legs are diagonal - Therefore when you squat down your shins are still diagonal - Spreading the floor pushes your knees outwards making them vertical - So when you drive with your hips and lift the bar your are actually pushing straight down

Do you know i think i've got it!!

6. More than welcome.

I'm guessing my lack 'o hip flexibility has prevented me from splaying so far out that I really need to spread them.

7. wide stance also uses less travel distance making the movement a shorter range of motion, and using better leverage and balance. DO NOT attempt to squat as wide as the westside guys, they qaut with eqipment on all the time you can not squat that wide raw, only alittle outside shoulder length, open you hips up by pushing you legs out ward when decending (this is done to break paralell , otherwise you never will using this stance) once you break paralel drive your legs even furthur lateral and push with you legs up,.. push your elbows forward and you chest out withthe upper body

8. I've read something by Dave Tate where he says a wider stance shorterns the distance between the knee and hip joints

That's not right is it?
I mean your leg is a fixed length isn't it?

I think it's probably me interpreting it incorrectly
He's talking about shorterning the range of motion, yes?

9. yes he is, just the range of motion, not actual leg length!

10. Originally Posted by ant_8u
I've read something by Dave Tate where he says a wider stance shorterns the distance between the knee and hip joints

That's not right is it?
I mean your leg is a fixed length isn't it?

I think it's probably me interpreting it incorrectly
He's talking about shorterning the range of motion, yes?
For sure - although, what he says is actually right, if you think about it.

The vertical distance between knees and hips is less because the knees are out to the sides.

Let's say you squat with your legs together - that makes the ROM the length of your femur.

Now, you squat with a wide stance. Your knees are further out and your femur is now the hypotenuse (the longest side - the one opposite the right angle) of the right triangle created by the vertical distance you must travel to get your thighs to parallel and the distance that your knees are from together (shortest side of the triangle). That means that you can figure the ROM based on the length of your femurs (I guess that it would be better to use the distance from your hip joint to the center of your knee) and how far you spread your legs.

Using the good ole Pythagorean theorum, (a*a)+(b*b) = c*c (I didn't know how to do squared symbols, so sue me), the ROM distance squared + the spread distance squared = the femur length squared or, ROM squared = Femur squared - Spread squared

or

ROM = square root of (Femur squared - Spread squared)

So, using some really easy numbers:
Femur length = 16 (very short, I think)
Spread = 9 (each knee is 9 inches away from legs touching)

ROM squared = ((16*16)-(9*9)) = (256-81) = (175)

ROM = 13.22 inches

So you cut off about 3 inches of ROM by moving 9 inches out on each side.

I can't remember my sin/cosine functions, but I think it's easier to figure out that way and you could get a graph of the return you get the further out you spread.