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Thread: Something about my lack of flexibility restricting my squat?

  1. #1
    Madkong is offline New Member
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    Something about my lack of flexibility restricting my squat?

    I finally decided to start squatting, but I CANNOT rotate my shoulders back far enough to comfortably hold the bar to my back?! I completed 4 sets, but after each set my shoulder was almost in pain from being forcefully pulled back and my wrists were hurting due to having to bend them back in order to get the bar low enough.

    Is this a shoulder mobility issue or a peck stretching issue, or something else? I worked on this issue when I got home using a broom stick, and in order to be even remotely comfortable I had to have a VERY wide grip approx. 18" outside of shoulder width, and even this wasn't easy.

  2. #2
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    It’s your mobility..as we get bigger and don’t stretch we we get tighter..it will eventually lead to issues like this..as I got older I started stretching a lot more, now after each workout I stretch at least the muscles worked for 15 min or so and the day after as well..I do regular yoga anyways so I just add that to the routine..you could google specific muscle group stretches..iam not gonna try to explain them here..but stretch your pecs,back and shoulders and the broomstick stretch is a great shoulder mobility tool..keep working your hands closer day by day make small progress..you’ll get there eventually..good luck bro

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    Madkong is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by KINGKONG View Post
    It’s your mobility..as we get bigger and don’t stretch we we get tighter..it will eventually lead to issues like this..as I got older I started stretching a lot more, now after each workout I stretch at least the muscles worked for 15 min or so and the day after as well..I do regular yoga anyways so I just add that to the routine..you could google specific muscle group stretches..iam not gonna try to explain them here..but stretch your pecs,back and shoulders and the broomstick stretch is a great shoulder mobility tool..keep working your hands closer day by day make small progress..you’ll get there eventually..good luck bro
    Thanks for the reply, it's good to know that it's just a normal issue, albeit caused by being too lazy to ever stretch, which is in fact the case here. You're right though, I definitely have to start making time to stretch before and after, this was the first sign. Getting older sucks! Thanks again!
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    Lol no problem..made the same mistake myself..I used to make fun of my brother when he would stretch..now iam doing yoga for at least 7 hours a week..I feel it really compliments weight training and some of my old injuries feel much better being stretched out..

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    Yoga stretches are definitely good for flexibility. I do a handful (maybe 15 minutes) after both squat and deadlift days.

    And of course there are always front squats...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cylon357 View Post
    Yoga stretches are definitely good for flexibility. I do a handful (maybe 15 minutes) after both squat and deadlift days.

    And of course there are always front squats...
    Yeah, how the fuck does anyone actually do those? I could never figure out that weird cross arm hold the bar against your neck thing
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_SLAM_cougars View Post
    Yeah, how the fuck does anyone actually do those? I could never figure out that weird cross arm hold the bar against your neck thing
    It is kind of awkward at first lol

    Set the rack at your normal squat height. Then walk into the barbell without ducking under it to put the bar on your back. The barbell should hit you right in the front delts. Then bring your right arm up, cross it over to put your right hand on your left shoulder. Raise your left arm up, cross it over and put your left hand on your right shoulder. The action with your arms will raise your delts slightly and sort of plop the barbell right in the natural place. My hands are usually very lightly on the bar itself. For me, getting the bar in the right place makes your delts act kind of like a shelf.

    You might have to fiddle with position some (that's what she said ) but it doesn't take long to figure out.
    Last edited by cylon357; 09-27-2019 at 12:29 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cylon357 View Post
    It is kind of awkward at first lol

    Set the rack at your normal squat height. Then walk into the barbell without ducking under it to put the bar on your back. The barbell should hit you right in the front delts. Then bring your right arm up, cross it over to put your right hand on your left shoulder. Raise your left arm up, cross it over and put your left hand on your right shoulder. The action with your arms will raise your delts slightly and sort of plop the barbell right in the natural place. My hands are usually very lightly on the bar itself. For me, getting the bar in the right place makes your delts act kind of like a shelf.

    You might have to fiddle with position some (that's what she said ) but it doesn't take long to figure out.
    I’ll give that a try, thanks!
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_SLAM_cougars View Post
    I’ll give that a try, thanks!
    That is the only way I can do them. I see these cats holding the barbell with their wrists and elbows all bent back and I'm like 'nope, not for me. I dont bend like that'.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cylon357 View Post
    That is the only way I can do them. I see these cats holding the barbell with their wrists and elbows all bent back and I'm like 'nope, not for me. I dont bend like that'.
    Yeah, I’ve seen that too, but the guys doing that are usually doing their heavy sets with 135 pounds, so I can see how that works for them.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_SLAM_cougars View Post
    Yeah, I’ve seen that too, but the guys doing that are usually doing their heavy sets with 135 pounds, so I can see how that works for them.
    I lack the wrist, elbow and shoulder flexibility to even hold the barbell like that. It just won't work for me.

    You might also need to experiment with how high you keep your elbows during the exercise. Too low - you lose the 'delt shelf' and the bar rolls off forward. Too high - you end up pressing the bar against your neck too much. That makes it sound a little more difficult than it really is but still something to be aware of.

    OP - my apologies for at least semi-hijacking your thread!
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  12. #12
    Madkong is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cylon357 View Post
    I lack the wrist, elbow and shoulder flexibility to even hold the barbell like that. It just won't work for me.

    You might also need to experiment with how high you keep your elbows during the exercise. Too low - you lose the 'delt shelf' and the bar rolls off forward. Too high - you end up pressing the bar against your neck too much. That makes it sound a little more difficult than it really is but still something to be aware of.

    OP - my apologies for at least semi-hijacking your thread!
    No man not at all! I'm intrigued by this front squat thing. I have been doing stretches I found on YouTube and am actually JUST BARELY able to hold the bar behind me now, still a bit of shoulder and wrist stress but only stress, not pain as before, and it's getting ever so slightly easier over time, you were right though, regular stretching is the key.
    Last edited by Madkong; 10-04-2019 at 10:19 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Sounds like front delt and pec stiffness holding you back. I had the same issue. Deep tissue massages work but I also bought myself a DR ho's TENS device as well as a massage gun to use on stiff areas.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cylon357 View Post
    I lack the wrist, elbow and shoulder flexibility to even hold the barbell like that. It just won't work for me.

    You might also need to experiment with how high you keep your elbows during the exercise. Too low - you lose the 'delt shelf' and the bar rolls off forward. Too high - you end up pressing the bar against your neck too much. That makes it sound a little more difficult than it really is but still something to be aware of.

    OP - my apologies for at least semi-hijacking your thread!
    I've been told that if you have big forearms, this type of front squat is almost impossible to do. I tried for quite some time and got better by massaging my forearms and lats but still wasn't quite able to do it. Then I realized its usually the small guys or the guys who have been doing this type of lift since before they put on mass that are able to hold the bar that way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Livinlean View Post
    I've been told that if you have big forearms, this type of front squat is almost impossible to do. I tried for quite some time and got better by massaging my forearms and lats but still wasn't quite able to do it. Then I realized its usually the small guys or the guys who have been doing this type of lift since before they put on mass that are able to hold the bar that way.
    There is likely something to that. I used to hear 'you are doing them wrong' from a handful of gym bros before I pointed out that a) anybody that quarter reps every rep of every squat shouldn't be talking and b) they could politely (or impolitely for that matter) go f*ck a goat.

    Anyhow, I just don't think I'm built the right way. Like, I feel like my upper arms are just the tiniest bit short compared to my forearms to make it work. I think I would have to move my head and neck back about 2 inches - like shift them off of my body. So yeah, that isn't going to happen lol.

    Bottom line, I like front squats, though they ARE a different beast than back squats so they aren't exactly a substitute. For me they are a good accessory lift for the squat and I will sometimes make it my primary lift if I'm burned out on squats.

  16. #16
    HoldMyBeer is online now Productive Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cylon357 View Post
    There is likely something to that. I used to hear 'you are doing them wrong' from a handful of gym bros before I pointed out that a) anybody that quarter reps every rep of every squat shouldn't be talking and b) they could politely (or impolitely for that matter) go f*ck a goat.

    Anyhow, I just don't think I'm built the right way. Like, I feel like my upper arms are just the tiniest bit short compared to my forearms to make it work. I think I would have to move my head and neck back about 2 inches - like shift them off of my body. So yeah, that isn't going to happen lol.

    Bottom line, I like front squats, though they ARE a different beast than back squats so they aren't exactly a substitute. For me they are a good accessory lift for the squat and I will sometimes make it my primary lift if I'm burned out on squats.
    I agree, people who half and quarter rep annoy me, unless it's a planned partial or something. But here is the thing, for some people, what looks like a half rep IS full range or motion for that person. I can't get to depth on my squat, my hammys are too short and pull my heels off the ground and back can't stay neutral. I can't touch my chest with the bar on inclined bench or lat pull down because my shoulders just don't bench that far back. Keep in mind, if you're not doing powerlifting competitions, there is 0 reason you have to do these things anyways as long as you are doing the range of motion that your body can safely handle

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoldMyBeer View Post
    I agree, people who half and quarter rep annoy me, unless it's a planned partial or something. But here is the thing, for some people, what looks like a half rep IS full range or motion for that person. I can't get to depth on my squat, my hammys are too short and pull my heels off the ground and back can't stay neutral. I can't touch my chest with the bar on inclined bench or lat pull down because my shoulders just don't bench that far back. Keep in mind, if you're not doing powerlifting competitions, there is 0 reason you have to do these things anyways as long as you are doing the range of motion that your body can safely handle
    Agreed. Planned partials are a legit thing and ROM limitations are totally an issue. I assume most people have thought about their training in a purposeful manner. I'm not judging - you do you and I'm going to do me.

    That said, I think those two groups are likely a much smaller percentage of the overall group of people half-repping it. When some asshat says to me 'you are going too low on your squats' or 'you are doing it wrong' and they have clearly indicated they think their way is the Only Way, that's when they get the harsh from me. Approach me with something like 'hey i noticed that you hit parallel on all your squats. what is that about?' or 'your feet are way out to the side for these deadlifts? what is that called?' and I'm not in the middle of a set, then we can strike up a much more polite dialogue. 'Yeah, I hit parallel on each squat to activate the entire hip / thigh musculature (and because someday maybe I will do a PL competition)'. 'That is called the "sumo deadlift". I use it as an assistance exercise to my main conventional style to provide variation and a little more power off the floor.'

    I do not suffer Gym Bros well (especially ones that travel in packs, use the squat rack for an hour at a time for their bicep workout, while spending 45 minutes of said hour instagramming their guns and that then proceed to coach everyone in earshot).
    Last edited by cylon357; 10-06-2019 at 10:02 AM.

  18. #18
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    One word, YOGA! I couldn't believe how stiff I was until I started doing Yoga on a regular basis. Extremely beneficial for a bodybuilder.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashop View Post
    One word, YOGA! I couldn't believe how stiff I was until I started doing Yoga on a regular basis. Extremely beneficial for a bodybuilder.
    This sounds counter intuitive, but a good yoga class can kick your butt and make you feel like a child LOL! I did them a few times with my wife and I was like ' huh I did NOT know that could go there' and generally felt like a kid trying to play at being grown up.

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    Yoga has taken all the pain from lifting injuries..no bs, guys can talk shit but it’s been keeping me In the game..that’s my priority..lifting for life
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  21. #21
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    Currently struggling to wipe my ass and I just threw my back out of alignment coughing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obs View Post
    Currently struggling to wipe my ass and I just threw my back out of alignment coughing.
    Time to retire. Us young folk will fill in now. Lol

    Really, are you retaining a lot of water? It can make your joints les flexible.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obs View Post
    Currently struggling to wipe my ass and I just threw my back out of alignment coughing.
    Time for a bidet. Helpful hint: do not just rig up a pressure washer. That would not end well for anyone.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cylon357 View Post
    Time for a bidet. Helpful hint: do not just rig up a pressure washer. That would not end well for anyone.
    Lmao

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by charger69 View Post
    Time to retire. Us young folk will fill in now. Lol

    Really, are you retaining a lot of water? It can make your joints les flexible.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I have pissed brown for two months.
    I am retaining no water

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