Barbell squats are one of the three lifts in powerlifting. Questions are about effective technique, variations, and programs for squatting with or without resistance.

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29
votes
8answers
5k views

How deep should a squat be?

Recently, I've read some articles that suggest that you should go below 90 degrees. On the other hand, I've talked with a trainer in my gym, and he usually places a bench behind him so that he ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Shoes for Weightlifting

What shoes have you found to be most effective for exercises like squats and deadlifts etc.?
13
votes
3answers
3k views

I missed a Starting Strength workout and squats are getting intense - should I change my schedule?

As recommended by SS (Starting Strength) I am running workouts A and B, alternating every other day. However, with only a two day break in between squats I feel like I haven't fully recovered most of ...
13
votes
7answers
18k views

How do I squat if I can't keep my heels on the floor?

I was told that I was doing the squats incorrectly because I was lifting the heels. I was told to try and do them without lifting the heels but I can't lower myself more than a few centimeters. The ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Why am I falling back when I am squatting?

I started doing squats a couple of weeks ago, and I'm having trouble maintaining balance near the bottom of my squat (when I'm trying to go below parallel). Let me describe the situation. Squat ...
12
votes
3answers
672 views

Light-headedness after squats

My final set of squats has me going until I can do no more. I usually stop when I feel one more rep may or may not might be possible, but it's going to totally wipe me out trying. I usually sense that ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Leg exercises that complement squats?

I believe in balancing the amount of exercise that I give to each muscle group, but recently it occurred to me that my leg muscles might be imbalanced. More than anything, squats are the number one ...
11
votes
3answers
31k views

Are squats with dumbbells as effective as squats with barbells?

I was wondering, if I were to use the same amount of weight with dumbbells as I would with a barbell while doing a squat, will I get the same benefits as I would using a barbell? Now I understand ...
11
votes
4answers
13k views

Effect of squat and dead lift on long distance running

I've primarily been a long distance runner, but I have recently started incorporating swimming and upper body exercises into my weekly exercise program. My latest addition is compound exercises like ...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

Dangerous to use barbell squat without padding?

Are you supposed to use foam padding on the bar when doing barbell squats? The answer seems inconsistent even from the same professional bodybuilder. I've seen Arnold Schwarzenegger sometimes go bare ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Joint impact of ATG Squats

Various weightlifting and exercise resources either claim that ATG squats (a**-to-ground, i.e. as low as you can) are perfectly fine or claim they will destroy your knees in two sessions. I was ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

My knee is clicking when I do squats - should I worry?

I remember that I have always, even back in primary school, avoided anything similar to squats as my knees would do an audible 'click' every time I got low enough. It's not painful, or even ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Better for arm growth to train arms on the same day as squats?

I've read that squats and deadlifts promote overall muscle growth in the body. Does this mean that if I want to increase growth faster in, say, my arms, I should exercise my arms on the same day as I ...
9
votes
3answers
249 views

Compound, total body exercises minimising quad and ham development

I'm currently squatting twice a week, deadlifting once. Deadlifting doesn't concern me because I feel my back is getting a great workout and the hips are starting much higher than the knees, but ...
9
votes
3answers
955 views

Weight keeps shifting to balls of my feet during squat

During squats, on my way back up my weight keeps shifting to the balls of my feet. From my understanding my weight should be roughly distributed throught he foot, with maybe a little bit more on the ...
9
votes
3answers
671 views

Presses or squats first?

The general consensus of exercise order seems to be larger muscle groups first, smaller muscle groups after. So squats or deadlifts would precede presses and pull ups. I started out doing that, and it ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How to reduce shoulder soreness during and after squats

When I do squats, I find that my shoulders are often very sore (from the weight of the bar) afterward, and sometimes shoulder soreness becomes as much a limiting factor during exercise as the ...
9
votes
4answers
56k views

Persistent mild knee pain due to squats - push through or stop?

Over the last 2 months or so of doing heavy squats (200 lbs - 262 lbs) I've frequently had pain in my knees. During the last 2 weeks, it's been especially persistent and seems to be mostly in my left ...
9
votes
1answer
952 views

Squats and deadlifts after knee surgery

I'm 22 years old and had knee surgery almost 7 months ago to fix damaged cartilage (I was a distance runner). The damaged cartilage was right in the weight bearing portion of my knee (medial femoral ...
8
votes
1answer
788 views

My knees come together when I squat. Is this ok?

I have been following Starting Strength for about a year and a half. I squatted 3x4 @ 285 lbs today. I was doing 5x5 sets, but read a suggestion on here to reduce to 3x5, and I immediately noticed an ...
8
votes
6answers
693 views

What's the ideal way to maintain my deadlift with minimal recovery demands?

Briefly My deadlift is great and my squat sucks. I want to continue squatting 3x5 more and more weight while I keep my deadlift where it is. What's the best way to maintain my deadlift strength with ...
8
votes
3answers
215 views

What's a good intermediate/advanced squat routine?

Presently I high-bar olympic-style squat twice per week. My one rep max is about 335 lbs with "shaky" form, which I think is not bad, but not excellent for my height and weight (6'1", 200 lbs). I'm ...
8
votes
1answer
270 views

Bilateral vs single leg squats

When training for a sport that includes a lot of single leg jumps (basketball, for example), how specific should the strength training be? Does strength training need to be single leg? I see two ways ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Need help with lower back pain while on stronglifts 5x5

I just started doing strong lifts 5x5 program and am paranoid about hurting myself. I am almost 300 lbs, and haven't done much exercise other than walking for the past long as I can remember. I was ...
7
votes
2answers
689 views

What is the key to avoid injury when squatting with your body weight?

After seeing the suggestions about sport/exercise which are less stressful, or even good for my knees, I chose squatting. From the suggestions, it can be done with minimal space and equipment at my ...
7
votes
4answers
700 views

Safe progressions to a full bodyweight squat

A friend of mine asked me, what's the best way to strengthen her legs and butt. I answered: "Just do regular squats". However she is not in good shape and is afraid of doing squats because she thinks ...
7
votes
4answers
263 views

Barefoot Running Effective for Improving Squat?

I've noticed when reaching my upper limits on squat, I start to get some impingement around the ankle and upper foot area. I've learned that this can be caused from weakness of the ankle and foot ...
7
votes
4answers
668 views

strengthing and improving flexibility in heels

I've got one of those lazy "Ididntexerciseinalongtime" heels which is causing improper form on my squats. I've spoken to some knowledgeable fellas at my gym and they pinpointed my weakness in my ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

How can I keep my balance while doing squats?

When I do squats, I place my feet slightly wider than shoulder width, pointed outwards at about 30 degrees. I still have trouble keeping my balance going all the way down without bending forward ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Does the Bulgarian split squat target the glutes better than normal squats?

Based on my observations, when I do Bulgarian split squats, they hit the glutes really nicely. In fact, even if I do the Bulgarian squat without doing regular squats, my glutes are very sore the next ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Need help with squatting on stronglift 5x5

I am a total beginner to weightlifting, and I am trying to do the stronglifts 5x5 program. I am extremely overweight, and the biggest challenge for me is that I don't seem to be capable of doing a ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Feeling squats in my right leg more

A recent development has occurred in my squats. I seem to be feeling the squats work out my right leg significantly more than my left leg. As far as I can tell my stance is square and I should be ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

Exercises that can replace squats?

I've got a friend that's somewhat interested in doing Stronglifts, but for personal reasons she's utterly terrified of tearing up her knees from doing squats. I've tried to convince her otherwise but ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Doing squats with a medicine ball - Is it a good thing?

I've been told that squats would be a good way of building up muscles in my knees as they aren't great at the moment. I have been doing squats and either use no weights at all or I do them while ...
6
votes
4answers
320 views

Are free stand squat holders safe for home use?

A lot of stores are selling free stand squat holders. It seems they could go off balance since they are not connected. They also do not supply a real safety system. Are they safe to use? And so to ...
6
votes
3answers
532 views

barbell squat wrist problems

One of the aspects that the Starting Strength book emphasizes a good deal is that the wrists should be straight when doing the squat (see point 3, as well as the wrists of the guy in all the cartoons ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Are there any exercises to strengthen and stop cracking in the knees?

I have cracking knees especially in my left knee and sometimes in the right one too, but not much. I have checked it they said it's nothing but it's uncomfortable. I dont like the feeling when ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Deadlifts and squats with hyperlordosis?

Im 22 years old, 170cm, ~90kh weight, starting some efforts to get in shape. Im going to the gym 3 times a week, trying to stay in a 6-10 rep per set range, changed my diet to low-carb, trying to put ...
6
votes
1answer
859 views

Squats vs Stairs - Whats the difference?

Why is it that when I squat (400lbs) I can do all of my sets with no ill after effects. Even one legged squats (up to 200lbs) cause me no problems other than maybe DOMS. When I climb stairs I find ...
6
votes
2answers
187 views

Are Box Squats more like dead lifts or standard squats?

I've read on a few websites (BodyBuilding and t-nation) that Box Squats are good exercises to help with dead lifts. You don't get the full range of motion and through doing them I seem to feel more ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Do short Achilles tendons disturb my squatting?

I have trouble maintaining proper form while performing below-parallel squats: I can't bring my knees forward enough without lifting my heels from the ground. My trainer claims that this is caused by ...
6
votes
2answers
83 views

Is it good to box 6 rounds before heavy squats?

My physical therapist wants me to box six 3-minute rounds before I do weight training. After boxing I feel pretty tired and of course not 100% energized, and I can't perform 100% in weight training ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Is it normal when starting squats to not have flexible enough ankles?

I've read a lot lately that if I want to build a lot of strength and start thinking seriously about putting on some size that I should use squats as a core workout. I'm only 65kg (143 pounds) and have ...
6
votes
1answer
188 views

When is isolating certain muscles beneficial?

I have heard that isolation exercises are pointless by some, and that total body workouts are to be abided by. I must digress as, for example, what if supporting muscles are strikingly weak? I have ...
6
votes
1answer
571 views

Squat form: hips and ankles

I've read squat tips in this site and others, but I can't really figure out how to reach the posture in figure A. Mine is more similar to figure B. It seems physically impossible to get my hips and ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it OK to substitute Front Squats for Back Squats in StrongLifts 5x5?

I explained my workout, which is quite close to StrongLifts, to my physiotherapist. She told me I'd better avoid Back Squats and do Front Squats instead, because back squats and things like ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What are some good stretches to help with squatting?

It seems a lot of form problems with the squats are caused by inadequate flexibility - I think mainly in the hamstrings and also the shoulders. What are some good stretches that can be used to ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I fix an uneven butt?

I'm 4'11 and 84 lbs and have been doing the 30 day squat challenge. I'm on day 25 and I noticed that the right side of my butt looks better than the left. It's rounder and more lifted. I was just ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I increase shoulder flexibiity for squats & snatches?

I have noticed flexbility is a big issue for me in squatting as well as snatching (I cannot snatch at all currently). For example, if I squat with no weight, I cannot complete a squat with my arms ...
5
votes
2answers
550 views

What can improve external shoulder rotation while squatting?

External shoulder rotation (or lack thereof) is becoming a problem for me as I squat a little heavier. It's preventing me from having a nice low bar and also forcing me to take quite a wide grip. ...