I'm new here, and new to bodybuliding. I started at 6'4" and 155lbs. REALLY skinny. I started eating right and lifting 3 months ago, and have put on close to 22lbs, so things are going pretty well.
I'm concentrating on pretty basic compound exercises - initially on machines because I felt safer, but now I'm using free-weights.
My problem and question is regarding squats. I understand how crucial they are to full body strength, but I can't do them properly because of my flexibility. Ever since I was a kid, I had problems with my feet - high arches and abnormally thick and short achilles/hamstring tendon. I had to wear shoe inserts for most of my childhood to avoid walking on my tiptoes everywhere I went. If I keep my feet flat on the ground, I am unable to squat down more than about 6-8 inches. If I want to go any further down, I need to transition to the balls of my feet - I can't keep my heel down.
This, of course, prevents me from keeping my heels on the ground if I do squats. I'm concerned about doing them because of the lack of stability because I'm balancing on the balls of my feet.
This went kind of long in the explanation, but basically I'm looking for options, including "extreme" ways of increasing my flexibility. I'm already stretching my hammies (by placing my heel on a bench and leaning forward) 3 times daily, but haven't seen any real flexibility improvement. I'm thinking maybe I should use the Jean Claude Van Damme "Kickboxer" method?
It's really frustrating.
07-26-2006, 08:36 AM #1
Unable to do squats due to lack of flexibility
07-26-2006, 08:42 AM #2
07-26-2006, 08:45 AM #3
07-26-2006, 08:51 AM #4Originally Posted by Uriel_da_man
Being taller does make it more difficult, and what worked for me was starting off with a wider stance and in between workouts spending time sitting in an ATG position for a few minutes at a time since my calves were really tight and that helped. Look into stretches for the hips, hams, glutes, and calves. It'll all help increase your flexibility. If you start putting plates under your heels you'll begin to use them as a crutch and it won't fix the problem. Address it now and you'll be comfortably full squatting in no time.
07-26-2006, 08:53 AM #5Originally Posted by cryptyk
So my first tip would be widen your squat stance, and second tip would be an overall stretching program of the lower back/hips/quads/hamstrings/calves/shins and see if that helps (it should).
A good stretch posted before that helped me was getting into a bodyweight squat position (hands in front of you), with a medicine ball on the ground. Keep your hands on the ball for stability with your elbows on your knees - gently push out on your knees with your elbows, while focusing on sitting back onto your heels. This stretches out your groin and your hip flexors among others and is a great assistance stretch for people who cant quite squat yet.
07-26-2006, 09:59 AM #6
07-26-2006, 10:20 AM #7
I'm 6'4 and would consider myself pretty unflexible... I still work on stretching and my bottom squat position so I can get lower. Honestly one of the best things that works for me is just sitting in that squat position at random times during the day. My roomate caught me once, I was walking into the kitchen and just "power hopped" into the squat position and he came up behind me and was like what are you doing haha.
Someone also suggested Romanian Deadlifts... These stretch my hammies out in a way that no static stretch or position can do. They really helped in stabilizing my squat as well, because I definitely had an imbalance in which my hams were weak, making squatting difficult.
07-26-2006, 11:10 AM #8
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I have very tight calves that don't allow much movement either, at least without a lot of weight on my shoulders (seems to fix the problem)
I had a physical therapist watch my gait once for suggestions. He said to loosen the ankle joint up, to take a 2x4 and stand with your toes on it while you watch TV or read etc. That extra stretch really helped my calves. His recommendation was 30+ min/day until fixed.oh and gecko that link did not contain answers only the search page - swiftness_02
The foods that trigger ketosis are high in carbs, not sugars - michaeldude
07-26-2006, 11:20 AM #9
Thanks, everyone, for the advice. I workout tonight, and I'm going to try to open up my stance some more, and angle my toes out. I sit down all day (desk job) so I'm going to get a block of wood to place under my toes while I sit. That should work really well for me since I'll be on it >5 hours each day.
I'm also going to go look at the exercise database for Romanian Deadlifts, and try to figure out what rdls and sldls and ATG are =).
And I dont care what anyone says. You guys aren't the newbie-bashing, religious-argumentative bastards people make you out to be =)
07-26-2006, 11:27 AM #10Originally Posted by cryptyk
RDL = Romanian deadlift
SLDL = Stiff Legged deadlift (slightly different, i think romanians would suit you best)
ATG = Ass to Grass (but really just squat as deep as you can, it will get deeper over time)
We're not all jerkoffs here
Perfect romanian deadlifts (video) - these will stretch out your hamstrings nicely - only go as low as your flexibility allows (probably the bar around knee height)
07-26-2006, 09:45 PM #11Originally Posted by mike_d"Stimulate, don't Annihilate."
- Lee Haney
"God has smiled on me and he's been good to me;
God has smiled on me and he has set me free."
07-26-2006, 09:56 PM #12
07-26-2006, 10:29 PM #13
I have abnormally tight calves. You cant see a difference- nothin seems wrong- they are just always tight, no matter what. I saw a pediatrist for unrelated things and he examined them, said it was natural but that my calves are way tighter then most poeple. I play football, have bene lifting HARD, and lift my calves like everything else.
I am on an extreme stretching regimen. The difference between squatting after 2 minutes of stretching or after 15 is insane. stretch calves 3 different ways, stretch your quads and and everything. i can perfectly maintain both heels down now.
also, try and take a wider stance, as in, wider then your shoulders. this will help you maintain heels to ground and also get into a full squat
07-27-2006, 12:39 AM #14
Originally Posted by cryptyk
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You could try box squatting. That will develop flexibilty quickly, because it forces you to sit back instead of down. Here's an awesome article if you want to give it a shot.
http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle....=body_120squat"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
07-27-2006, 02:13 AM #15
07-27-2006, 02:24 AM #16
07-27-2006, 10:54 AM #17
07-27-2006, 12:04 PM #18
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I went a few months without being able to do squats, too. I'm tall too, about 6'2". My body just wouldn't let me bend in the right ways-- always felt like I was gonna fall over or something. I was trying to do 135 lb's, which seems about the average to start at.
So eventually I decided to just lower the weight a lot (40 lb's lower) and practice my form a lot. Eventually I got it right and I now do extremely deep squats.
So what I'm saying is maybe you're in a situation like me where your subconscious didn't allow you to do squats because it didn't feel right. So if that's right, lower the weight and practice getting comfortable at that for a while.
Good luck!Picture me rollin'
07-27-2006, 06:42 PM #19
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01-12-2013, 01:36 PM #20
01-12-2013, 02:20 PM #21
Ya just stretch and practice... I am 5'11 and have the same problem. For me I naturally walk more on the ball of my feet. I peddle my bike with the ball/font of my feet. My power seems to lie there (front of my feet). Worst part is my calves are so fricken strong that they really don't want to change and stretch. Such a strong muscle to try and change.
01-14-2013, 03:04 PM #22