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Old 09-06-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
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Default A case for wide stance squats

A Case for Wide Squats
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Glute activation: Taking a wider stance when squatting (i.e. stance at 140Ė150 percent of shoulder width) allows for greater posterior displacement of the hips. While maintaining a vertical posture with the torso, a lifter can achieve greater glute activation when depth is reached in comparison to a narrow stance (i.e. stance at 100 percent of shoulder width; 1Ė3).

Quadricep activation: Most of the popularity of narrow stance squats is based on personal opinion and ďfeel.Ē There isnít any data to support the claim that a narrow stance activates the quadriceps to a greater level than any other stance width (4). Changing the stance changes the movement. Narrow stances require an anterior tracking of the knee. While this isnít inherently a bad movement, it does place a greater stress on the knee. If the movement isnít trained in this style in a regular fashion, the recessive forces exerted on the knee could lead to patellar tendon strains or tendonitis (3, 5). In order to reach squat depth with a wide stance, the lifter must maintain a more vertical shin position. This places far less stress on the knee and still activates the quads to the same degree.



Ankle mobility: The range of motion in the ankle can be a limiting factor when performing a narrow stance squat. Weightlifting shoes were developed for a reason. A wider stance alleviates any limited ankle mobility. Again, posterior tracking of the hips through a wider squatting pattern maintains a more vertical shin position, making it easier to reach depth (1, 3). Tight calves should be addressed with mobility drills and foam rolling, but why limit or restrict a squatting pattern if you canít reach depth in a narrow stance? Throw those feet out, work around your issue, and train in your own capacity.

Adductor longus: Reportedly, increased activity of the adductor longus was only seen when using a wider stance (4). How many times have you gone to the gym just hoping to increase your adductor longus strength? Countless, I know, but donít disregard this muscle. Any extra muscular activity during the squat is used to increase force production, and force production equals more pounds on the bar.

Power production: Muscle activation and the concurrent gains from stimulating more muscle fibers have an obvious advantage for hypertrophic gains. In short, the more muscles you turn on, the more likely they are to grow. The greater muscular activation seen with wider stance squats transfers to more athletic and competitive traits.

Power is one of the most coveted traits. It is the heart of athletics because powerful players perform well. Increasing the potential to produce power with a wide squat improves power production when the stance width was at 150 percent of shoulder width (6). The ultra wide stance, which is 200 percent of shoulder width and is used more frequently in geared squats, didnít show the same level of power production (6). Some findings demonstrate that ultra wide squats have their application but mainly for geared lifting, not power development.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:54 PM   #3
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Speaking strictly from a bodybuilding sense, because that is the forum this is posted in...Narrow has done wonders for my quad size. They are also easier for me to hit depth.

Simply sharing my opinion, so beat me down if you must, while quad activation might be equal for a wide stance squat, I see a lot of narrow stance bodybuilders with big quads. I don't believe wide stance is the way to go for big quads. While there may be no data to show that a narrow stance is better than wide stance for quads, we only need to look at all the big quads that have been developed by narrow stance to know it is an effective quad builder for many.

I simply see no reason for the powerlifter wide stance when it comes to muscle building. I would like to hear opposing views though...

I think Rippetoe agrees with me regarding quad development. So choose your guru. A paraphrase:

Quote:
wide stance squats are great if you're a powerlifter using gear (and a monolift) and trying to move more weight. But a wide stance leaves out a lot of quad involvement. A regular stance trains more muscle and has more carryover to other sporting activities which involve the quads...which is pretty much EVERY other sporting activity.
Beyond muscle building and quad size, narrow stance squats really boosted my vertical jump and sprint speed.

To counter Rippetoe though, there are plenty of slightly wide stance raw guys, so it is certainly viable for raw powerlifting - IF you can take the beating. I can't. But I do agree with him regarding quad involvement.

My opinion for muscle building will always be to use a natural feeling width, and don't force things narrow or wide. It drives me a bit loco to see lifters who have not built a strength and muscle base, and who are training strictly for muscle mass, to jump ship over to a very wide stance. I think it should be kept natural until a lifter has matured and built a base.

Fazc stated here:

http://muscleandbrawn.com/forums/pow...tml#post171774

Quote:
Personally I've found wide stance to be suited to you if you're considerably more hamstring hip dominant.
I agree. I do not believe myself to be either hip or hamstring dominant. I am quad dominant, and I believe a conventional stance has only assisted me in amplifying that, helping me to build impressive quads.

More good info on this subject here:

http://muscleandbrawn.com/forums/pow...squatting.html
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:03 PM   #4
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Default Squat wide, just not retarded.

I squat wide: pretty fast, stable and deep. That being said Squat wide, just not retarded.

All that article all that really has to be said is Squat with your knees and toes pointed out 45 degrees (angle) no matter what your stance and you will get full muscle activation.

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Old 09-06-2012, 09:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Speaking strictly from a bodybuilding sense, because that is the forum this is posted in...Narrow has done wonders for my quad size. They are also easier for me to hit depth.

Simply sharing my opinion, so beat me down if you must, while quad activation might be equal for a wide stance squat, I see a lot of narrow stance bodybuilders with big quads. I simply don't personally believe wide stance is the way to go for big quads. While there may be no data to show that a narrow stance is better than wide stance for quads, we only need to look at all the big quads that have been developed by narrow stance to know it is an effective quad builder.

I simply see no reason for the wide stance when it comes to muscle building.
Front Squats for Quads, Back Squats for Glutes and Hammies.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:15 AM   #6
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It is not as simple as moving your stance out and squatting wider. The following must be considered:

- Flexibility. Are you able to hit depth with your wider stance? My hips are so tight that I can't hit depth past a certain point.
- Limb length. If you push your stance out, do your knees still track over your feet?
- Upper body angle. Can you stay upright whilst sitting back?
- Linked to the above; do you have the posterior chain strength to use those muscles to come out of the hole or will your knees cave in as your quads take over?

To change to a wide stance squat you will need to do more work than just setting your feet wider. You must work on mobility, posterior chain strength and technique. Ultimately squatting wide will help your narrow stance anyways so you can do both BUT you must squat wide with correct technique as per Louie's video above, you can't just let your quads do all of the work.

All of this I know because I have been working on all of the above this year.

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Old 09-07-2012, 06:09 AM   #7
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I squat narrow because I hit depth every time, when I do sumo I find i hit it but my hips and everything are tight at the bottom
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:21 AM   #8
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Been doin a little work on improving my squat with my new found knowledge and really i found something truly more important in this article that i think should be pointed out. Putting your lumbar and your pelvis into proper alignment should be your main concern. Proper muscle recruitment can only be achieved through proper technigue and alignment. The glute muscles are undeniably the strongest in the human body but for the most part are very weak on most adults including those who train. These muscles are more often than not improperly recruited during an exercise in which they should be the agonist.

This would be speaking from either a pure power aspect or just overall strength and general fitness. Without proper postural alignment proper muscle recruitment cannot be achieved. The pelvis being the most important. Most often i have seen far too much lumbar curve creating a anterior tilt to the pelvis. This will take your glutes out of the lift. The concentric movement of a squat is up. When you bring your femur parallel to the floor the extension of it at the hip is the most important movement to explode the weight up. The main agonist of hip extension is the glute not the quad. The quad is the main agonist to knee extension also involved in this lift but is the synergist to the glute in this situation. Getting to proper postural alignment has many variables to it but should not be disgarded and place all emphasis on proper foot and knee placement.

Just a few of my thoughts for now......

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Old 09-07-2012, 09:01 AM   #9
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oh god. 77 read another article...
got you all going off. like he understands what hes doing at all anyway.
foot placement is as simple as this...
different placement, different focus.
next discussion.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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I agree with this thought:
1). Squat the way that is most comfortable and allows good form/depth.
2). Keep adding weight to the bar.
3). The rest will sort itself out...

Disclaimer: This is not a powerlifting or bodybuilding recommendation.
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