I have noticed that I can't squat ATG until or unless I hold onto something in front of me.I tend to fall backwards as soon as I tend to go parallel to floor or more.I do increase the depth if I hold a dumbbell I'm front or widen my stance.Is it a mobility issue and I think it's hampering my leg growth.

  • 1
    We can't tell you why this is happening without seeing it. Could be that you're not leaning forward to compensate. Could be bad ankle mobility.
    – Alec
    Nov 23, 2017 at 11:20
  • Do you know of any online vid source that deals with this problem and demonstrate the correct way?
    – S.D
    Nov 23, 2017 at 11:43
  • It's normal, and probably your ankles. Try sticking your arms out in front of you (no bar/weight, obviously), and sometimes that's enough counterweight. It just takes work. Deep squats and pistol squats help, check "frog" position as well. Knees tucked, elbows sort of on quauds, feet off the ground.
    – Eric
    Nov 23, 2017 at 18:27
  • @EricKaufman yes sticking out my arms does give me depth,also I do struggle going hips parallel to floor in attempt to do a full pistol squats,I also feel tightness in hamstrings when trying to stretch my leg straight out front.
    – S.D
    Nov 23, 2017 at 19:33
  • @sagnikdas keep doing full depth squats with good form (weighted), it will stretch you out quite well. It's really just a time thing.
    – Eric
    Nov 24, 2017 at 6:08

2 Answers 2


Probably a lack of ankle mobility. You can use weightlifting shoes to compensate it, but that won't fix the problem, just allow you to squat in a safe position with your current mobility

You should foam roll and stretch your calves. You can do deep squats for 2-3 minutes at a time focusing on your ankles (and add a plate or something under the front part of your feet to increase the stretch if you want to), and/or do that: http://myfiveminuteyoga.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/feet-to-bricks.jpg

Also make sure your ankles are warmed up before squatting, foam rolling, or stretching

  • +1. That's exactly what held me back at the beginning. I thought my ankle flexibility was good, but it needed to go further. Other than just doing squats (and trying to avoid relying on pulling too much on the object in front of me), I did deep lunges with the heel down and sat on a low stool with the ball of my foot on a towel, and alternated a deep flex and short pulses. Nov 26, 2017 at 3:15

I’m working on building up my squatting ability right now — among other things — using body-weight exercises. BJ Gaddour has an excellent book that is super cheap via Kindle. It is called “Your Body is Your Dumbbell.” That’s what I’m using. For squats, he has you start out by squatting with your back against a wall. He teaches correct positioning, such as ensuring your feet are making three-point connection with the ground: heel, big toe, little toe. He also teaches how to make his exercises progressively more difficult. Really can’t recommend his approach enough.

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