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Thread: Squats and lack of balance

  1. #1
    Thugly bullethead's Avatar
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    Squats and lack of balance

    My first question, possibly stupid but....

    I'm 6'4" tall, 28, 200lbs (don't even ask the BF I look, I have a pot belly, 6 months pregnant looking!) and I have VERY long legs, when it comes to squatting a find it impossible to maintain balance, I've tried using a Smith Machine, Barbell, low weight, and quite frankly I have trouble squatting even no bar, I just seem to become unsteady as I descend, I have also tried various foot stances, wider, narrower you name it.

    I have for the past few months been using a trap bar (hexagonal shaped bar which goes around you with handles at the sides,
    see hear ...http://gymratz.co.uk/item300.htm), I have found this hits the legs very well.

    Basically I'm interrested to know if others have experienced similar problems with balance, and if the trap bar deadlift that I'm doing is an acceptable alternative (McRobert???)

    P.S. I use Cable Rows, Pull Downs (close grip) and trap bar shrugs for my back as an alternative to deadlifting.

  2. #2
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    TB deads are a good alternative, sure.

    I'd still work on squatting, though. Try widening your stance, and make sure you sit back, not down.

    Just squat as deep as you can for now - work on your form and flexibility, and depth will come.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
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  3. #3
    Bad Monkey! Nights's Avatar
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    Do you lift your heel off the ground near the bottom? If so, you might wanna consider one of those squat block things. If not, I continue just practicing it until you get it right. It's a nice exercise once you get it down. Deadlift in the mean time, that way your progress isn't lagging.
    LaLa

  4. #4
    Thugly bullethead's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys, will try wider stance etc later, cheers.

    I've been lifting for the best part of a year, and I've made gains in size and definetly in strength, but it feels like really all I have done is to learn the best exercises. grips and form, so I'm gonna spend the next year really puting it into practice
    Crazy looking intimidatiing meathead with no neck - MadFistBT

  5. #5
    Senior Member eclips1's Avatar
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    Try box squats.

  6. #6
    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    Wider stance. You may want to start practicing very light on box squats. Start with a high box and the work your way down as your form get better.

    Also, stay very tight and drive your head back into the bar as you fire out the hole. Use flat soled shoes and push your knees outward and drive through the sides of your feet.
    Best Meet Lifts(Raw w/wraps):
    @165- 435 SQ 270 BE 560 DL.....1255 total
    @181- 535 SQ 300 BE 570 DL.....1400 total
    Best Meet Lifts(Multi-ply):
    @148- 575 SQ 315 BE 515 DL.....1400 total
    @165- 680 SQ 380 BE 540 DL.....1555 total
    @181- 700 SQ 375 BE 535 DL.....1605 total
    Best Gym Lifts(Raw w/wraps)
    545 SQ 305 BE 585 DL

  7. #7
    Wannabebig Member
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    Agree with the comment on shoes. Normally I wear a running or cross training shoe when lifting, so I can throw in a little cardio at the end. However, noticed that in running or xtraining shoes I tended to really struggle with balance. Now I use a wide tennis shoe when squatting, and it's made a huge difference.

  8. #8
    Thugly bullethead's Avatar
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    Thankyou to everyone for your help, I have tried various things and found the following.

    1. I need to raise my heel, its the natural position for me when squatted down, I found a 2 inch block works best.

    2 Flat shoes are essential, good contact with the surface your on (even if it is at an angle, as above)

    3. Feet about shoulder width apart, toes pointed outwards.

    4. My legs are weak as hell, and I've a lot of work to do.

    5. I LOVE SQUATS.
    Crazy looking intimidatiing meathead with no neck - MadFistBT

  9. #9
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    I'd work my way off the blocks, and widen the stance.

    Spend some time working on flexibility.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  10. #10
    Senior Member eclips1's Avatar
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    I was using 10lb plates under my heels for a couple months when I started squating. After going up in weight, I decided to drop the weight back down about 30lbs and loose the plates under my heels. Did box squats for a couple weeks and just worked on form. Now I'm on my way back up in weight. I pick a focus point near the ceiling to keep my head up. Helps me.

  11. #11
    Bad Monkey! Nights's Avatar
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    Yeah, when I suggested the block underneath the heel, I meant it for a short term time. It'll help him get form/balance down on everything else of the squat, and then he can go back, drop weight and try to push with the heels.

    Worked with my brother.

    Oh, and good to hear ya love squats.
    LaLa

  12. #12
    What ChrisH's Avatar
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    As Paul Stagg said, work on your flexibility. Its usually the reason people put blocks under their feet.
    "I'm gonna die with a dumbell in my hand." - stpatrick44


    Age: 18 | Height: 5'10" | Weight: 80kgs (176lbs) | BF%: dunno
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  13. #13
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    I'd suggest seated calf raises as well. I work as heavy as I can with these and I make sure I get a really good stretch at the bottom before I lift up. I feel these have helped with my squats and I never had to use plates under my heels.
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  14. #14
    Strongman PowerBuilder bob2624's Avatar
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    Try box squats too, they would probobly help the balance issue alot.
    hmmmmmmm... will i ever be big enough?

    Age- 17
    Height- 5'10"
    Weight- 160

    RAW lifts
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    Deadlift-350(1)
    Squat-285(1)

  15. #15
    Wannabebig Member
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    hacks squats i do them every OTHER week, i love them
    arms are 21 and STILL growing

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