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  1. #1
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Big Legs, Concerningly Weak Squat: Can Anyone Relate?

    Before I say anything else, it is true that I do often put squat on the back burner. Yes, I can't expect to be strong with a lift I don't often do.

    That said, it is somewhat concerning how weak I am at it. My legs are often sore simply from daily life (walking up and down my stairs and simply moving around throughout the day). I'm not really sure that should be happening when it's only my own body weight being contended with, and very light activity in the first place. When I actually work them properly, I am usually sore for the better part of a week (and I work in an office so my workouts comprise most of my physical activity).

    Weighing 245, I bench 2-3 times a week and have done that for years, at a decent level of strength (245 for multiple sets of eight, 300 for one, etc.), and my deadlift is also not too bad for multiple sets of eight at 315 and 425 for one. With my squat, however, I struggle to get 275 for 3, and 225 for clean, deep sets of 5. Nevertheless, I have fairly big quads with some definition and my thighs are about 23."

    That just doesn't seem to line up, and I think I might have a problem with basic hip mobility. Even assuming a squat posture is somewhat difficult for very long.

    Yes, I need to stop skipping legs so frequently, but this sounds even a little beyond the pale of that. Yes, if I want to get stronger, I need to give it a concerted effort and a primary emphasis, but this does seem a little odd, given my leg development and progress with other lifts. Can anyone relate to this?
    I am actually 23

    Stats:
    6'2" 240lbs (18" arms)

    Bench: 300
    Squat: 275 (make fun of me, I deserve it!)
    Deadlift: 445
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Obviously can't tell without a picture, but your big quads might actually have a lot of fat and less muscle than you think, esp since you tend to skip legs and sound like you're not in great cardio shape.

    Regardless, just start taking your lower body seriously and the strength will come. No other way around it.
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  3. #3
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    23" thighs is about what I'd expect for that Squat

    Squat at least twice a week, preferably thrice.
    Make two of those session where Squat is the first exercise

    make one (if twice) or two of those session direct close assistance work (Pause squats, Alternate bar position, SSB, Pin Squats at parallel)
    rotate the assistance variation after 3 weeks
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    Registered User BromanianDL's Avatar
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    Yup, deep socket celtic hips here, and they are terrible at generating power out of the hole. Here is an article for the curious:

    https://www.otpbooks.com/stuart-mcgill-hip-anatomy/
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  5. #5
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Interesting article... I'd like to be able to write it off as having a unique skeletal structure, but the bigger variable is still likelier a relative lack of effort, and even if that's true of me I'll still have to work hard for results. Thanks for finding that though. My brother could squat 4 plates and never seemed to have this issue, and our genetics are obviously similar.

    Something about dropping my hips low seems to put me in an extremely weak position to generate power. I have had to pay careful attention not to straight-leg my deadlifts as I am inclined to grab the bar with hardly a knee-bend, even when going heavy. I find that interesting as a straight-leg deadlift apparently is objectively harder, and most guys tend to have difficulty with the back extension and not the hip drive while deadlifting.

    Not sure if that's because they are diligent squattors or more that their skeletal structure makes hip movements naturally strong?

    EDIT: I am also six foot two. That's not especially tall but apparently it is easier for shorter guys.
    I am actually 23

    Stats:
    6'2" 240lbs (18" arms)

    Bench: 300
    Squat: 275 (make fun of me, I deserve it!)
    Deadlift: 445
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    Registered User jademonkey's Avatar
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    My thighs were 23" when I started lifting. I wasn't able to do 225 for one below parallel.

    Took a long time to work up to doing 225 for sets below parallel. For me I think it was a really unnatural way to use my muscles.

    Lots of breathing pause squats and pulse pause squats for a few months helped. Lately I just did 2 months of 10x10 and that added 20 lbs to my max without ever lifting more than 2 plates during that time. I think a lot of it was getting more squat specific core strength as well as just lots of squatting to teach my muscles to fire properly for that motion.
    Current.....................335 / 285 / 499............183 lbs
    July 1, 2019................9 week cut.................164 lbs
    Late April 2019.........285 / 275 / 440.............178 lbs
    Oct, 2018..............175x6 / 145x6 / 275x5......163 lbs
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