Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've decided to start weightlifting using the Starting Strength program.

Image of a how to hold a barbell in a back squat

The above image shows the barbell position for doing a back squat (the wrists are not in the correct position).

I am unable to to get my arms in that position. With a narrow grip my hands are in front of my shoulders. To get my hands behind my shoulders I need to widen my grip to the point where I'm touching the weights on a 7' bar.

What stretches can I do to increase my flexibility so I can hold the bar correctly?

share|improve this question
If you can't grab the bar in a back squat, be super careful with bench and overhead press. You might need to do some remedial work before working with a barbell. – Dave Liepmann Dec 11 '13 at 23:55
Point of contention: that image shows an incorrect grip on the bar according to the SS book. Specifically, the wrists should be straight, as in this image. (Only the rightmost figure is doing a low-bar back squat; the other two are a front squat and a high-bar back squat.) – Dave Liepmann Dec 12 '13 at 0:20
I agree with dave. Those wrists are not in the correct position. This video explains it the best. – Kate Dec 12 '13 at 4:10

I had the same problem.

Make sure you stretch, and keep at it. It will gradually improve.

Also checkout Rips video on the grip.

share|improve this answer
barbell bench press right to the chest (eventually) will probably give you enough flexibility to hold the bar for a back-squat. – Chris Dec 16 '13 at 18:28

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.