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cmaggs
05-13-2008, 08:53 AM
So I change my squat stance from a wider (feet a little further than shoulder width apart) to narrower (more narrow than shoulder width). I couldn't get low enough before without hurting my groin and I can get atg with my new stance. I felt a little sore in the knees after the gym which worried me because I've always been told that proper squatting doesn't damage your knees.

So is this a bad or good idea?

Lockout
05-13-2008, 11:24 AM
Somebody who knows more than I do may chime in, but i don't know of too many people who squat narrower than shoulder width. Even those referred to as "narrow-stance squatters" usually have feet at least shoulder width or a little bit wider.
But yes, the flexion at the knee joint is greater the narrower your stance is...not sure i'd go so far as to call it dangerous, but i would suggest at least a shoulder width stance. You may just need to work on your flexibility to get deep in a wider stance.

Xellarz
05-13-2008, 12:13 PM
Make sure your knees are tracking in line with your toes. Close stance squats aren't dangerous, look at olympic lifters. How wide or close you decide to keep your stance will depend on personal preference as well as limb length. As far as it hurting your groin...um...I would think something is wrong, maybe a flexibility or imbalance issue.

Sleepy Guy
05-13-2008, 12:39 PM
I find I like close stance because it works my strong points. In wider stance I have had issues with hips popping and cracking. Mind you I train Oly and do not train in gear or anything; my lifts are not really epic either.

David_HoffWSBB
05-13-2008, 04:03 PM
yes its an awesome way to blow knees out ... i guess it all depends on the wieght you are using

David_HoffWSBB
05-13-2008, 04:04 PM
I find I like close stance because it works my strong points. In wider stance I have had issues with hips popping and cracking. Mind you I train Oly and do not train in gear or anything; my lifts are not really epic either.

sounds like you need to do some hypers

Guido
05-13-2008, 05:04 PM
Plenty of olympic weightlifters do narrow stance squatting without any issues. There are plenty of superheavies like Hamman, Rezazadeh, etc. who were able to narrow stance squat from rock bottom with 550 lbs, raw, when they clean and jerk with no problems. A lot of oly lifters actually squat every day or at least every other day, too.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfcZUt0xG7c
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkSN3f-a3Ok

f-rider
05-14-2008, 01:25 AM
So is this a bad or good idea?

I think it is safer than wide-stance squatting for two reasons:

1. You won't be able to squat as much weight.
2. There is much less strain on the hips.

I don't like squatting wide-stance without squat suit bottoms for reason 2, and I don't like squatting narrow with a suit (although it's been a while since I was able to do that since I always buy wide-stance suits, LOL). If I'm not wearing a suit I like to have my stance narrower than shoulder-width. The key is to descend more by having your knees come out to the side than by sitting back. It's something that Ed Coan calls "opening up your groin." Ironically enough I first learned how to do it while box-squatting (I don't think any Westside guys approve narrow stance :)).

Work on your flexibility more to widen your stance out. I found that I started squatting wide much better after I did a training cycle that included ultra-wide box squats.

BFGUITAR
05-14-2008, 01:35 AM
Even oly lifters don't go more narrow than shoulder width...

f-rider... less strain on hips? So instead there is more strain on the knees... hips are strong, very strong. They can take a heavy load. And the goal is to squat more weight so the fact that less weight is safer is silly... no one lifts weights with the goal of being safe. There is always a risk. That statement is redundant.

Wide stance reduces range of motion is a very stable position. It works your groin a lot more as well. But hey, if it works for you do it!

Runty
05-14-2008, 02:17 AM
And the goal is to squat more weight so the fact that less weight is safer is silly... no one lifts weights with the goal of being safe. There is always a risk. That statement is redundant.

While there is a risk factor whenever you're lifting weights, I think all smart lifters try to lift safe everytime. Keeping form as best you can and keeping the weight under control the whole time are probably the two biggest issues.

Both styles of squats seem to be safe as long as you have the proper flexibility and strength balances. If you're just switching over too narrow ATG squats I would definitely recommend lower the weight. A LOT. Let the knee strengthen up and get used to the larger ROM. One of the biggest problems in doing the Oly stance squats is ankle flexibility. People tend to get low and then lack of ankle flexibility causes them to come up on their toes. That's why you see so many people wear olympic shoes while going so low. Make sure you're form is good and start light. You'll be fine.

f-rider
05-15-2008, 07:53 PM
Even oly lifters don't go more narrow than shoulder width...

Actually it's not that uncommon.


f-rider... less strain on hips? So instead there is more strain on the knees... hips are strong, very strong.

Hips are limited by their flexibility, which is where the potential for injury comes from. If you keep your knees out there is just not that much that can happen to them.


And the goal is to squat more weight so the fact that less weight is safer is silly... no one lifts weights with the goal of being safe. There is always a risk. That statement is redundant.

By that logic no one should ever do box, high-bar or SSB squats.

Invain
05-15-2008, 08:48 PM
When I do atf squats my feet aren't quite shoulder width. Never had any problems.

JHarris
05-16-2008, 08:38 AM
The goal, in general, is to lift more weight. But you have to ask yourself whether or not the lift is a means to an end, or the end itself. If you are squatting just to have a bigger squat for powerlifting, then doing anything you can to get more weight on the bar is the way to go. If you are using the squat as a training lift for another sport, then a larger range of motion and safety might become concerns. Yes, you still want more weight on the bar, but under more controlled circumstances.

It just depends on what your goals are.

shortguy
05-16-2008, 12:29 PM
look up some videos of kirk karwoski heavy weight with a relative close stance