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  1. #1
    Registered User H3lios's Avatar
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    Question Wide-Stance Squats?

    Today, someone at my gym told me I was squatting too wide. I wasn't doing it by accident--I intentionally squat wide, with a more powerlifter-style technique, for low reps. I then superset the "wide squats" with narrow-stance hack squats at higher rep range.

    I understand the merits of narrow-stance squats for that "sweep", but is it so wrong to do barbell squats with a wide-stance?

    I've seen west-side barbell guys do wide squats, and they have pretty impressive quad development, for powerlifters, who try to avoid adding muscular bulk...anyone have any help?
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  2. #2
    Off the wagon PeterGibbons316's Avatar
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    How wide? Have a video?

    IMO, you want your stance as wide as you can get it while maintaining the ability to keep your knees tracking over your toes.
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  3. #3
    Registered User MichaelCJ's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by H3lios View Post
    powerlifters, who try to avoid adding muscular bulk...
    Lolwut?!

    Anyway, yeah, wide stance squats are fine. As long as yer doin' 'em right. "Oly" squats are also fine. Et cetera.
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  4. #4
    superuser jammyo40's Avatar
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    IMO, squat stance width is all about personal preference.
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  5. #5
    Registered User kd7nfr's Avatar
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    I change my stance up throughout my entire workout. To each their own.
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  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by jammyo40 View Post
    IMO, squat stance width is all about personal preference.
    Agreed.
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  8. #8
    Registered User CanadianEric's Avatar
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    Just make sure your knees are tracking outward and you are getting good depth. Experiment. I find that for my body type, a slightly wider than shoulder width stance with my toes pointed out is optimal. You can go more narrow with front squats in my experience.
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  9. #9
    Training For Chest Hair rdferguson's Avatar
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    There's nothing wrong with choosing a wide stance, unless it causes problems or doesn't achieve what you want it to. If you prefer wide stance squats, and especially if you have a good reason for doing them wide, they're what they ought to be doing and they're not causing any undue problems, wide squat all you like.
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  10. #10
    Registered User MarauderBB's Avatar
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    Just squat whatever stance is most comfortable. Tend toward wider over more narrow. Don't worry about your knees going over your toes.
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  11. #11
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    Generally, wide stance uses glutes and hams more and narrow uses quads, but this changes with your height. Taller people naturally need their stance wider and shorter people are able to go with a narrow stance. So its really up to you and what you prefer and what feels comfortable, just remember to take what people say as advice, you don't need to follow it. Unless someone professional comes over and says you are going to snap your back up...
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  12. #12
    Encyclochuzzle chazzy1864's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PeterGibbons316 View Post
    IMO, you want your stance as wide as you can get it while maintaining the ability to keep your knees tracking over your toes.
    Originally Posted by MichaelCJ View Post
    Anyway, yeah, wide stance squats are fine. As long as yer doin' 'em right. "Oly" squats are also fine. Et cetera.
    Originally Posted by jammyo40 View Post
    IMO, squat stance width is all about personal preference.
    ^ These sum it up nicely.
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  13. #13
    Objective optimist Xuaxace's Avatar
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    Very personal. I squat very wide, where my toes are about where the squat rack structure (I have to do this due lower back problems). For the most part, I have had great gains from this stance, great posterior chain and quads good decent development from it. If you are squatting raw, quads will get good amount of work regardless, if you are then doing some narrower stance work, then it is just about perfect.
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  14. #14
    Registered User bleiker's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Xuaxace View Post
    Very personal. I squat very wide, where my toes are about where the squat rack structure (I have to do this due lower back problems). For the most part, I have had great gains from this stance, great posterior chain and quads good decent development from it. If you are squatting raw, quads will get good amount of work regardless, if you are then doing some narrower stance work, then it is just about perfect.
    Man I thought I was the only one. I've ruptured discs 3 times in the gym. Once on a leg press when I was 24, then again on a Smith machine for squats with only 25s one each side warming up, then again about 7 months ago doing cardio on a rowing machine. I feel like a wide stance toes in line with knee, along with a wide grip takes a lot of pressure off my back. I was surprised nobody else mentioned the relief on lower back pain with a wider stance.
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  15. #15
    Push, Pull, Destroy! Anthony21's Avatar
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    I fell comfortable with a stance greater then shoulder. I can get better depth with a wider stance for my structure. Finding what works for you and your body type is definitely the key with any excercise.
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  16. #16
    Objective optimist Xuaxace's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bleiker View Post
    Man I thought I was the only one. I've ruptured discs 3 times in the gym. Once on a leg press when I was 24, then again on a Smith machine for squats with only 25s one each side warming up, then again about 7 months ago doing cardio on a rowing machine. I feel like a wide stance toes in line with knee, along with a wide grip takes a lot of pressure off my back. I was surprised nobody else mentioned the relief on lower back pain with a wider stance.
    Good to know. My injuries are a bit different to that (Torn QL muscle/ scar tissue build up). I had to experiment a lot to see what stance would help me with my problems and that was the wide stance. I think the wider the stance more emphasis is moved to the hamstrings and glutes compared to the lower back.

    It is all about experimenting.
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  17. #17
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    I like doing them slightly wider as it just feels smoother and easier on my back/ body but I do alternate as well, I think likes been said, its a matter of personal preference.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by jammyo40 View Post
    IMO, squat stance width is all about personal preference.
    yeah, gotta feel comfortable and everyone's different, your legs shall be punished either way :-)
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  19. #19
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    It sounds like you will be hitting abductors, hams, glutes as primaries on the wide squats (as well as quads), and hitting the quads primarily with the hacks.

    Nothing wrong with that strategy at all.
    Also as said above, even if you squat wide your quads will get worked.
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  20. #20
    Registered User BombDonald's Avatar
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    Just be careful with wide stance squats. They can be hell on your hips, especially since you probably aren't wearing briefs or a squat suit like Westside guys do to keep the hips compressed. Most people will probably get the best leg development from narrow to shoulder width stance.

    Even a lot of powerlifters squat fairly narrow. Westside guys squat really wide because they get the most out of their multi-ply suits that way.
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  21. #21
    spectaccc! Djaye's Avatar
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    I hit my squats with all different stances. I think it's necessary to bring out all the qualities of your quads
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