Finding this site finally got me off of the leg press machine and into the squat rack today. I've been reading quite a few articles that got linked to on here, so I feel like I know some of the basics, but the problem was making my body do it!
I'm 6'4" (so somewhat tall), with pretty long legs. My flexibilty in my hamstrings is pretty bad...I'm not able to touch my toes. My problem was that when I started to get near parallel, I felt like I was going to fall over backwards! I was arching my back as much as possible, looking upward, shoulders back, elbows down and forward, abdomen full of air. I could get almost to parallel, but the thought of going down any further seems impossible to me right now. I was only using first the bar, and then 135. I can't get down low with just my bodyweight or the bar. The weight helped a little. The only things I can think of to help are to lean more forward or to allow my knees to come more forward...both of which I think are supposed to be wrong.
Is it a flexibilty issue? Strength? (My leg press was getting decent, but different muscles I know). Just doing it more?
If anybody remembers when they were just learning, I could use some help. Thanks!
People with disproportiantely (sp?) long legs tend to have problems with back squats. To practice, try starting in the correct position at the bottom (get there however necessary) and then stand up. Practice this a few times until you feel more comfortable with the position then try squatting down and back up. Add weight when you feel comfortable.
Alternatively, you can try putting something under your heels so that you can lean forward and still have the whole foot supported.
Also, front squats are supposed to be good for long-legged people.
Hope that helps!
Use a wider stance and set the bar down lower on your traps. You will need to lean forward at the hips more to maintain balance. This places much of the stress on your posterior and requires flexibility in the hips but that's how you should squat. -IMO
The key to real power in the low squat position are stong glutes, hams and hips. Concentrate on the posterior chain and your quads will keep pace. Becoming good at squats takes practice just like any other athletic endevor.
Thanks to both of you. I think my first concern is flexibility in the hip/hamstring area.
I tried doing this stretch and couldn't even get down all the way into that position:
My first goal is to stretch enough over the next few weeks to loosen that area up alot. I've definitely read enough about the benefits of squats to not give up on it.