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Can't go low on Squats.


manwithav8

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I am not a rubber man in any opinion. I can only squat to about halfway before the heels start leaving the ground....

If I stand on something ( ie 2 inch block ) under my heels I can carry out a nice deep squat.

Is this going to comprimise the exercise causing me to not get the full benefit of a squat?

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How tall are you, man? I think tall people often have particular trouble getting deep enough on squats. Like Marcus says, using a block won't hurt - in fact it will increase your range of motion.

I asked a similar question myself a while back, so I trawled through the archives for it. You might find this helps:

http://www.nzbb.co.nz/forum/viewtopic.php?t=63

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I'm just on 6 foot but over the last few years my calves have shortened resulting in only being able to do a half squat... Maybe down to 75 degrees if I'm lucky.

I have been paraded around infront of 20 surgens and others from the medical profession and all agree my "walking gate" is extremely short.

The fix was to perform a calf slide which I opted against because I may never regain the full strength in my legs again.

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psuedonym, thanks for the read... How is the flexibilty now? What have you done to overcome the cause of the problem? Are you still squating with blocks?

Also someone mentioned opening the stance a little more and pointing the feed outward. Is this going to target the same area in the quad.

Now the front squat. I have never tried it but seems it would be hard to load the weights up as you don't have the nice placce for the bar like the traps.

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A wider stance will tend to work the adductors on the insides of the thigh more. That's not a bad thing, but you probably should mix it up a bit more than just the one form of squats.

As for my own flexibility, it's improving slowly. I'm at the stage now where I don't use a block anymore, but it's still borderline. I probably pushed it a bit too far recently, and pulled a tendon, so I'm taking it easy for a few weeks.

Try standing in front of a squat rack, hold onto the rack to brace yourself, and while keeping your heel flat on the ground, slowly bring yourself into the limits of your squat position, so you can feel the stretch. Probably not the best description, but I'm sure you know what I mean!

The other way of achieving a similar stretch is to put your heel on the floor, and your toe on the vertical of the squat rack, then pull yourself into the rack.

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No I haven't tried the smith machine but I don't think it will help

the smith machine definetly makes it easier to go lower on squats.

some people who have back problems (even though u dont have a back prob) use the leg press instead and other machines.

although most people say there is no substitute for free squats

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Do you have flexibility issues? Some ppl who have trouble going low usually have tight calves & ankles.. both dynamic & static stretching can help in the long run.

IMO I would keep away from the smith machine if you're wanting to correct technique. You can go lower, but it puts you in a fixed plane of motion that can do damage in the long run. I would stick with the blocks under your heels, and as you get more flexible, decrease the size of the blocks until you can do it without them.

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yes I do have flexibility issues...

I am always stretching so I can keep my full range of motion. If I don't stretch for a long period I find it difficult to run or do other things.. The other area that is often very tight is my hamstrings..

I used to play alot of badminton and without a doubt would pull a hami damn near all of the time.

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Unfortunately, as Mike Robertson and I pointed out in our Neanderthal No More series, a large percentage of the population has tight calves and tends to over-pronate at the subtalar joints (leading to flat feet). As a result, dorsiflexion ROM is compromised, and if the lifter tries to squat deep with the toes pointing straight ahead, he must compensate by a) rising up on the toes, b) increasing the amount of hip flexion, or c) combining the two in what makes for an extremely ugly squat.

Fortunately, you can alleviate these problems by simply externally rotating the feet (pointing the toes outward); doing so "unlocks" the ankles and gives you the requisite amount of dorsiflexion you'll need to squat. You should still, however, work toward a point where you can squat with the feet pointing nearly straight ahead; this "work" should consist of loosening up the hip flexors and plantarflexors. "

Long term: stretching

Short term: blocks under heels, wider stance + toes out smile.gif

I don't know if this has helped anyone else out, but (other than stretching) I sometimes use a tennis ball to roll under a muscle thats tightening up. If its really tight, I'm in agony.. so thats how I can gauge how bad it is, and it helps loosen it up a little. I think foam rollers can help as well.

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I read in my strength training text book that some people may have more rigid ankles and others are shaped with longer legs/shorter torso's (as opposed to those people who have shorter legs/long torso's) - and this makes squats more challenging in terms of getting squatting depth. They suggested using a block under the heels may help to balance out the body better. I know views on the use of blocks/wedges etc vary - but if you haven't tried it then its worth a shot.

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Yeah as every one said its about balance..... once your reach a certain point if your not flexible you will either have to bend your back to maitain balance or fall back.

I bet you can do a full squat if you hold your arms out straight in front of you....

here is the logic for some of the suggested remedies by the other members.

1.wider stance/feet out = the hips dont rock back as far = your centre of gravity is further forward, allowing you to squat lower.

2.plate under heels/ decline squat= you are angled forward = your centre of gravity is further foward, allowing you to squat lower.

3. front squats= the weight your lifting is further forward = your center of gravity is further foward, allowing you to squat lower.

If you simply do your regluar squats as low as you can every time. In the long term you may become more flexible.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't know how this will be received posting a comment like this on a BB site. but I had issues with lack of squat range. which is no longer an issue as the arse touches everytime now. the answer for me was Yoga. this increased flexibility in my quads and calves in no time at all, also providing more strength in the mid section which gave me confidence to go a bit heavier and lower. don't kno maybe give it a go. :thankyou:

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