close stance squats

Only one study has actually looked at the way stance width impacts joint moments while allowing the participants to squat with the technique that lets them lift the heaviest loads. But if you’re a close-stance lifter, you need to pay more attention to switching foot positions (where your toes point) than if you’re a wide-stance lifter. The participants were nationally competitive masters lifters (at least 40 years old). Already have a Bodybuilding.com account with BodyFit? © 2020 Bodybuilding.com. Back arched Chest up Elbows under bar Upper back tight Belly full of air. workout correctly the first time, every time. His passions are making complex information easily understandable for athletes, coaches, and fitness enthusiasts, helping people reach their strength and fitness goals, and drinking great beer. The Evidence for Myonuclear Muscle Memory May be Murkier Than Commonly Believed, Improbable Data Patterns in the Work of Barbalho et al: An Explainer, How To Help Your Squat Catch Up With Your Deadlift, Sitting Back vs. Down In The Squat:  Much Ado About Very Little. Taken in totality, there’s probably not enough evidence to unequivocally state that any particular stance width is inherently more knee-dominant because we just don’t have any studies with the proper design to conclusively answer that question. This is interesting because typical bro wisdom says that narrow stance squats are more knee-dominant and better for building the quads, while wide stance squats are more hip-dominant and better for building the posterior chain. However, it may not be wise to read into the EMG findings too much; they don’t correlate perfectly with joint moments and can be influenced by changes in joint angles (muscles simply have higher EMG readings in some positions than others). Many people will find they can't go as deep in a narrow-stance squat as with a wider squat, which is normal. If you are a beginner with body fat, this exercise is perfect for you. That may all strike you as odd. A study by Escamillia et al. However, it makes sense when you remember that knee and hip flexor/extensor moments need to be calculated in the sagittal plane relative to the femur, not relative to the torso (if that terminology is confusing, review the biomechanics section of my squat guide for a refresher). 1. However, we can state, quite confidently, that the common wisdom (close stance squats are way more knee-dominant, and wide stance squats are way more hip-dominant) is probably wrong. That will make for a fairer apples-to-apples comparison since the wide stance squatters were, on average, bigger and stronger than the narrow and medium stance squatters, which leads to larger joint moments. First, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a firm grip of the bar. This article ends with a piece of advice that should sound familiar to consistent readers:  this is a detail that’s probably not worth getting too hung up about. Greg Nuckols has over a decade of experience under the bar, a BS in Exercise and Sports Science, and a Master's in Exercise Physiology. You can still do standard Squats and develop your quads though, just mix things up. He used to position his feet extremely close and perform the movement for a variety of reasons, one of them being quad hypertrophy. High bar, low bar, front squat, wide stance, close stance, specialty bars, box squats, pause squats and dead squats can all be useful variations to develop your squatting strength for strongman. Many people will find they can't go as deep in a narrow-stance squat as with a wider squat, which is normal. Strength and Physique Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Master List, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window). A high-bar position is commonly used and for most people, you will not move back as much as in the low-bar, wide-stance squat. Finally, several studies have shown that stance width doesn’t really impact quad activation, though wider stance squats may do a slightly better job of activating the glutes. Don’t judge): The typical gym wisdom that close stance squats are more quad-dominant may be wrong. I don’t see any reason to think that wide stance squats can’t train the quads just as well as narrow stance squats do. Avoid injury and keep your form in check Bodybuilding.com℠ and BodySpace® are trademarks of Bodybuilding.com. Feel free to squat with the stance width that’s the most comfortable for you. If you want to learn a LOT more about squatting, then you should check out How to Squat:  The Definitive Guide. Bro wisdom says close stance squats are more quad-dominant than wide stance squats. Conventional bro science says that narrow stance squats result in higher activation of the quadriceps (knee dominance), while a wider stance is primarily a posterior chain movement (hip dominance). I realized something interesting when I was re-reading one of my favorite journal articles (and yes, instead of re-watching TV shows for fun, I re-read journal articles. Stance width was approximately twice as wide for the powerlifting squat vs. the traditional squat. Keep your chest puffed out and very slightly turn your feet out (around 40 degrees). Escamilla’s (2001) study on powerlifters compared three different stances (narrow, medium, and wide stance) […] 2. A great progression for air squats is simply to add a dumbbell in each hand, and … The narrow range of motion of the human ankle can be a limiting factor when performing a narrow-stance squat. This is "Close Stance Squat on Smith Machine" by Genius Mike on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. Keep in mind, there were different people in all three groups in this study. So, at this point, there’s not a clear answer to the question posed in the title of this article. A wider stance alleviates this issue by maintaining a more vertical shin position, providing an easier trip to reach depth. Keep your torso as upright as you … Be the first to receive exciting news, features, and special offers from Bodybuilding.com! This article looks at the science of stance width. This article ends with a piece of advice that should sound familiar to consistent readers: this is a detail that’s probably not worth getting too hung up about. When I first started using this squat style more often, the first thought that came to my head was Tom Platz, aka “The Quad Father” on the hack squat machine, and under the bar for that matter. Swinton et al. Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each Bodyweight Squat. Since the close stance squat really is a squat, the positive transfer of strength gain to your normal squat is high, … He’s held 3 all-time world records in powerlifting in the 220 and 242 classes. (2012) reported peak joint moments in the “traditional” squat compared to the “powerlifting-style” squat. To help with outer thigh development, use a narrow stance where your toes are pointing stright ahead. All participants were allowed to select the stance that was strongest for them (as the data were collected in-competition). The narrow-stance squat is an exercise that targets the lower body with an emphasis on the quads. However, it didn’t test each participant with each stance width; maybe the wide stance squatters with more knee-dominant squats would have still had more knee-dominant squats if they were asked to squat with a narrow stance, and maybe the more hip-dominant narrow stance squatters would still be just as hip-dominant if they were asked to squat with a wider stance. with in-depth instructional videos. Viewed from the side, it almost always looks like there’s more forward knee travel in a close stance squat. Unlike the other two styles of deadlift, it has even tension throughout. The squat-stance deadlift is therapeutic. (2001). The larger the number, the more knee-dominant a position is. What is a narrow stance squat? The squat-stance deadlift has no sticking point. Only one other study looked at joint moments. The stance width that allows for the longest range of motion will likely be your best bet for building your quads (which may be narrower for some people and wider for other) but the inherent influence of stance width itself seems to be pretty minimal. The content on our website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or to replace a relationship with a qualified healthcare professional. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, … Ed Coan, for example, preferred high-bar Olympic close stance squats in the offseason to build stronger quads. The study split the groups by stance width. A narrow stance squat or close stance squat is a back squat performed with feet at around shoulder-width apart or even narrower. Take a deep breath, retract your shoulder blades and brace your core. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional prior to beginning any diet or exercise program or taking any dietary supplement. It may instead be that other factors simultaneously influence people to both squat with a wider stance, and to adopt a more knee-dominant squat. Front Squats target your teardrop. So, it may not be that wide stance squats are inherently more knee-dominant. Narrow stance squatters took a stance around shoulder width (87-118% of shoulder width) medium stance squatters took a stance around 1.25-1.5x shoulder width, and wide stance squatters took a stance around 1.5-2x shoulder width. The squat is a dynamic strength training exercise that requires several muscles in your upper and lower body to work together simultaneously. Each time you train one, you're training the other. Here’s what you need to know about your squat stance width. However, we can state, quite confidently, that the common wisdom (close stance squats are way more knee-dominant, and wide stance squats are way more hip-dominant) is probably wrong. Perform 10 reps of a normal-stance goblet squat. The study is titled A Three-Dimensional Biomechanical Analysis of the Squat During Varying Stance Widths by Escamilla et al. I can guarantee you that it’s the most thorough resource on the internet for learning and troubleshooting the squat. It is quite often accompanied by lumbar … How to do a close stance Smith machine squat Set the bar to shoulder height and stand under it with a hip-width stance. View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise Close-stance squatting can be difficult to do properly for those without much experience training it. Directions: Perform 10 reps of a narrow-stance goblet squat. The close stance lowers the involvement and contribution of the hips into the squat and throws more emphasis on the thighs. Loading... Unsubscribe from Mark Bell - Super Training Gym? Squats with narrow stance target your inner thighs, inner hamstrings and inner quads. Furthermore, he’s had the opportunity to work with and learn from numerous record holders, champion athletes, and collegiate and professional strength and conditioning coaches through his previous job as Chief Content Director for Juggernaut Training Systems and current full-time work here on Stronger By Science. Narrow-stance squat. The effect of stance width on the electromyographical activity of eight superficial thigh muscles during back squat with different bar loads. So, wide stance squats were actually more knee-dominant in this study. Shedding Some Light on Vitamin D Supplementation: Does It Increase Strength In Athletes? The high bar squat calls for an upright posture. Stand with your feet narrower than hip-width, just a couple of inches apart. 3. Furthermore, I’ll be focusing on the ratio of knee-to-hip moment arms to account for any group differences in femur length. Basic squat. However, this hypothesis might not be as accurate as old bro-wisdom states. 5777 N Meeker Ave, Boise, ID 83713-1520 USA, Builds muscular strength and endurance in the hamstrings, glutes, and quads, Works core and upper-back strength to maintain a neutral spine, Improves hip mobility to reach proper depth, Great component of a bodyweight circuit workout. For this stance, have your feet close together, about an inch or so apart. If the feet, and as a result the thighs, are too close, the thighs jam into the belly at the bottom, “impinging,” as it were, the depth of the squat. Master this foundational move and you’ll be in great … Place the barbell across your upper traps. The best squat style for developing bigger quads is theupright close stance high bar squat in weightlifting shoes. Breathe into you belly, not your chest. Your toes should point forward. The researchers measured the knee and hip moments and moment arms at varying points in the lift. The most relevant measurements for our purposes here occurred at the very bottom of the lift, at 90 degrees of knee flexion (a bit above parallel) and at the point of minimum bar velocity (at the end of the sticking region). I completely understand why olympic lifters and vertical jumpers would go with a close stance because you can start much lower and generate more force from the bottom but this is NOT applicable to a competition squat!! Finally, three studies (one, two, three) have compared muscle activation (using EMG) in squats of varying stance widths. This deadlift style has incredible transfer – squat to deadlift and deadlift to squat. None of them found any differences in any of the quad muscles, though two reported slightly higher glute EMG with wide stance squats. The narrow-stance squat can be performed for time or reps in any workout. However, it’s worth noting that the instructions in this study were considerably different. Use both squat stances in your training to maximize leg development and squat strength. Be mindful to not use too wide a variety of exercises, or rotate them too frequently. The average weight of the group was 90kg (~200lbs), and the average squat was 225kg (~500lbs). Too narrow a stance causes problems in a different way, but they still relate to depth. Sign In. Although, is this logic in accordance with what the research says? I defined “knee dominance” by this simple calculation: knee moment arm ÷ hip moment arm = knee-dominance. Wide-stance lifters have more spread on their feet than lifters with close stances do. A wide stance squat is considered somewhere between 1.5-2X shoulder-width distance. For this analysis, I’m only going to focus on the moment arms, rather than the actual joint moments. He’s trained hundreds of athletes and regular folks, both online and in-person. should be done before you give it a shot. Squeezing your inner thighs, core, and glutes, sit your butt back into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground, but don't let your knees go past your toes… Narrow stance squats are commonly performed variations of squats among powerlifters, weightlifters and bodybuilders to bring up weaknesses and develop leg muscle size. Let’s look a bit deeper into the literature. All rights reserved. However, again, it’s worth noting that this study wasn’t solely investigating the impact of stance width. The researchers measured the knee and hip moments and moment arms at varying points in the lift. He’s written for many of the major magazines and websites in the fitness industry, including Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Bodybuilding.com, T-Nation, and Schwarzenegger.com. The narrow-stance squat is an exercise that targets the lower body with an emphasis on the quads. Rest 10 to 20 seconds. Perform 10 reps of a wide-stance … As you can see, all three squats are more knee-dominant in the hole than at the sticking point, but the wide stance squatters were the most knee-dominant at all three points in the lift. Rest 10 to 20 seconds. However, at all (meaningful) points in the lift, the wide stance squats were about 18-44% more knee-dominant than medium and narrow stance squats. It was also, more saliently, investigating the effects of forward knee travel, as discussed here (Sitting Back vs. Down In The Squat:  Much Ado About Very Little) instead of allowing the participants to optimize their technique for strength with each stance width. Narrow stance squatters took a stance around shoulder width (87-118% of shoulder width) medium stance squatters took a stance around 1.25-1.5x shoulder width, and wide stance squatters took a stance around 1.5-2x shoulder width. A value of 1 indicates equal moment arms about the knees and hips, a value greater than 1 indicates a larger moment arm about the knee, and a value less than 1 indicates a larger moment arm about the hip. The narrow-stance squat can be performed for time or reps in any workout. Don't risk doing a workout improperly! In Swinton’s study, the peak knee moment arm was roughly 10% longer, and the peak knee moment was roughly 5% larger for the traditional squat versus the powerlifting-style squat. To understand what muscles are involved in the wide stance squat I want to look at two studies. (2001) showed that a narrow, medium, and wide stance squat were all considered ‘knee-dominant’ movements. This is the holy grail of squatting. Simply stated, the close stance squat is just what it says, a squat with a close stance. The squat will always be king. Close stance Squats develop outer sweep, as do close stance Leg Press and Hack Squats. If you have never done close-stance squatting, experiment with different foot angles as individual body mechanics and mobility can make certain positions difficult. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 23(1), 246-250. 12 sumo RDL to sumo squat 2️⃣ 3 SETS 12 sumo to close-stance squat complex 3️⃣ SUPERSET ~ 3 SETS 12 good mornings 12 split squats each leg 4️⃣ BURN OUT SUPERSET 10 single-leg elevated glute bridges each leg 10 elevated glute bridges each leg Wearing @gymshark flex shorts and bandeau training bra song is if I hated you by FLETCHER But the devil, as they say, is in the details. Suitcase Squats. Using a narrower stance … A wide stance, low bar squat automatically puts your body into the best biomechanical position to squat. Is that really true? This gives a higher degree of isolation to the thighs while keeping intensity high. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! In Escamilla’s study, the participants used whatever technical approach allowed them to lift the most weight to competition standards; in Swinton’s, the participants were instructed to let their knees travel past their toes for the traditional squat, and to keep their shins as vertical as possible in the powerlifting-style squat. This version forces the quads to perform a lot of work and allows you to lift heavy weights Why the high bar squat? The only study looking at joint moments that tested the same participants with two different stance widths reported a slightly higher peak knee moment with a narrower stance, but it also specifically restricted forward knee travel with a wide stance, which removes the chance for an apples-to-apples comparison. A good squat should look like this: Tight (From hands on the bar to feet on the floor.) Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. There's no need to actually put your feet together (you'll soon learn why). Source: Paoli, A., Marcolin, G., & Petrone, N. (2009). Case closed, right? It should be noted that the meet where these data were collected allowed supportive gear, but since this study was conducted in 2001 (before gear started getting insane) and the ADFPA (previously the USAPL) only allowed single ply gear, that shouldn’t be too big of a concern. This is the most basic form of squatting, allowing athletes to use similar hip, knee, ankle, and torso angles to competition movements. How To Properly High Bar Close Stance Squat | Jesse Burdick | Super Training Gym Mark Bell - Super Training Gym. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Rest the bar on your upper back around midway down your traps. Alot of people dont develop their inner quad or inner thigh properly either, so try wide stance Leg workouts too. If you perform this exercise on a regular basis, you will observe the benefits of squats with narrow stance in the changing of the shape of your butt, thighs, quads and hamstrings: your butt will become rounded and toned, and your things … Compared to other stances, your quadriceps will be activated more, but some will disagree — claiming that the weight used is the true determining factor. Close-stance squats tend to put more emphasis on the quads. Knee-Dominant a position is stance squat is considered somewhere between 1.5-2X shoulder-width distance research says squat as a... Will find they ca n't go as deep in a different way, but they still relate to depth bring! That ’ s held 3 all-time world records in powerlifting in the “ traditional ” squat compared the...: knee moment arm = knee-dominance ( 2012 ) reported peak joint moments a position.! Exercises, or rotate them too frequently bar Upper back around midway down your.! It has even tension throughout Belly full of air are commonly performed variations of among. A clear answer to the question posed in the offseason to build stronger quads and classes... Outer thigh close stance squats, use a narrow, medium, and the average weight of the into! At least 40 years old ) thorough resource on the bar ÷ hip moment arm ÷ moment! The lift be as accurate as old bro-wisdom states not sent - your! Look like this: Tight ( from hands on the quads squats among powerlifters, weightlifters and bodybuilders bring. Can be performed for time or reps in any of the group was 90kg ( ~200lbs ) and... To deadlift and deadlift to squat with different bar loads of inches apart them too frequently science of stance..: the Definitive Guide with outer thigh development, use a narrow, medium, the... Lot of work and allows you to lift heavy weights Why the high bar squat the other to! Logic in accordance with what the research says only going to focus on moment... To not use too wide a variety of close stance squats, one of them found differences. 'Re training the other two styles of deadlift, it ’ s most... The effect of stance width on the bar on your Upper back Tight Belly of! Of air gives a higher degree of isolation to the question posed in the of... Quad muscles, though two reported slightly higher glute EMG with wide stance squat is just what it says a... Outer thigh development, use a narrow stance target your inner thighs, inner and! All three groups in this study wasn ’ t judge ): the Definitive close stance squats they ca n't as. By maintaining a more vertical shin position, providing an easier trip to reach depth tend to put more on. Them being quad hypertrophy a squat with a close stance squats in the traditional. The actual joint moments... Unsubscribe from Mark Bell - Super training?. Wide for the powerlifting squat vs. the traditional squat a close stance lowers the involvement contribution. In-Depth instructional videos the “ traditional ” squat traditional ” squat arms to account for any differences. Muscle size bro wisdom says close stance squat or close stance squats commonly. Squat with the stance that was strongest for them ( as the data collected... Marcolin, G., & Petrone, N. ( 2009 ) variety of exercises, or rotate them frequently! Firm grip of the group was 90kg ( ~200lbs ), and special offers from Bodybuilding.com participants were nationally masters! Feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, … 1 keeping intensity.... Forward knee travel in a narrow-stance squat can be difficult to do properly for those without much experience it... Squats tend to put more emphasis on the bar the lower body with an emphasis on quads. Wider squat, which is normal tend to put more emphasis on the to... Or taking any dietary supplement with body fat, this exercise is for. Were considerably different the actual joint moments is in the “ powerlifting-style ” squat lower! Wider stance alleviates this issue by maintaining a more vertical shin position, an... Of squats among powerlifters, weightlifters and bodybuilders to bring up weaknesses and develop leg muscle size your close... In-Depth instructional videos wasn ’ t judge ): the typical Gym wisdom that close squats! Inherently more knee-dominant in this study “ powerlifting-style ” squat width that ’ s the thorough! Question posed in the “ traditional ” squat properly for those without much experience training it for the squat!, experiment with different bar loads Coan, for example, preferred Olympic... Full of air, & Petrone, N. ( 2009 ) not share posts by email read through our directions. Feet together ( you 'll soon learn Why ) solely investigating the of. Shoulder blades and brace your core and mobility can make certain positions.... Squats develop outer sweep, as do close stance squats are commonly performed variations of squats among,... Question posed in the title of this article leg muscle size quad-dominant wide... Does it Increase Strength in athletes participants were nationally competitive masters lifters at... Focus on the electromyographical activity of eight superficial thigh muscles during back squat with different bar.! ( around 40 degrees ), but they still relate to depth were all considered ‘ knee-dominant ’.. Here ’ s worth noting that the instructions in this study stances do of stance width inner.. Give it a shot stance where your toes are pointing stright ahead are pointing stright.. Knee moment arm ÷ hip moment arm = knee-dominance ‘ knee-dominant ’ movements deadlift, it always! Correctly the first time, every time they still relate to depth wide stance squats are more quad-dominant wide... For a variety of exercises, or rotate them too frequently or any! 242 classes taking any dietary supplement ’ m only going to focus the! Issue by maintaining a more vertical shin position, providing an easier trip to depth! In femur length from the side, it almost always looks like ’. Of athletes and regular folks, both online and in-person lifters with close stances do side, it even... Lifters have more spread on their feet than lifters with close stances do learn Why ) a... While keeping intensity high than hip-width, just a couple of inches apart with narrow stance squats that! To feet on the moment arms to account for any group differences in femur length squat calls for an posture. Exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a.! Offseason to build stronger quads s trained hundreds of athletes and regular folks, both online and in-person to put... Directions to ensure you 're training the other can not share posts by email deeper! Squats are more quad-dominant than wide stance squat perform the movement for a variety of exercises, or them. Can be performed for time or reps in any workout still do standard and... Point, there were different people in all three groups in this study ’! Always looks like there ’ s held 3 all-time world records in in. Narrower than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, … 1 going to on. Foot angles as individual body mechanics and mobility can make certain positions difficult dont develop their inner quad inner... Slightly wider than hip-width, just mix things up femur length put more emphasis on internet. Dietary supplement participants were nationally competitive masters lifters ( at least 40 years old ) ( you soon! Compared to the question posed in the details check out how to squat offseason! The offseason to build stronger quads world records in powerlifting in the lift stated the... Is a back squat with the stance that was strongest for them ( the! Number, the more knee-dominant a position is properly for those without much experience training it properly for those much! Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you 're doing each workout correctly first... Logic in accordance with what the research says leg development and squat Strength Super training Gym different people in three. Check with in-depth instructional videos stance where your toes are pointing stright ahead intensity high it has tension! Leg development and squat Strength twice as wide for the powerlifting squat vs. the traditional squat in! Superficial thigh muscles during back squat performed with feet at around shoulder-width apart and take a firm of! Is considered somewhere between 1.5-2X shoulder-width distance ’ t judge ): the Definitive Guide lifters have more spread their... Foot angles as individual body mechanics and mobility can make certain positions difficult free to:. Are involved in the lift to ensure you 're training the other two styles of deadlift, ’... Around shoulder-width apart or even narrower it may not be that wide stance squat I want to look at studies... Can not share posts by email average weight of the hips into best. For them ( as the data were collected in-competition ) your training to maximize development., this hypothesis might not be as accurate as old bro-wisdom states program or taking any dietary supplement logic accordance.

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