© 2020 Bodybuilding.com. However, it may not be wise to read into the EMG findings too much; they don’t correlate perfectly with joint moments and can be influenced by changes in joint angles (muscles simply have higher EMG readings in some positions than others). Since the close stance squat really is a squat, the positive transfer of strength gain to your normal squat is high, … As you can see, all three squats are more knee-dominant in the hole than at the sticking point, but the wide stance squatters were the most knee-dominant at all three points in the lift. The stance width that allows for the longest range of motion will likely be your best bet for building your quads (which may be narrower for some people and wider for other) but the inherent influence of stance width itself seems to be pretty minimal. The Evidence for Myonuclear Muscle Memory May be Murkier Than Commonly Believed, Improbable Data Patterns in the Work of Barbalho et al: An Explainer, How To Help Your Squat Catch Up With Your Deadlift, Sitting Back vs. Down In The Squat:  Much Ado About Very Little. A wide stance squat is considered somewhere between 1.5-2X shoulder-width distance. So, wide stance squats were actually more knee-dominant in this study. A narrow stance squat or close stance squat is a back squat performed with feet at around shoulder-width apart or even narrower. So, it may not be that wide stance squats are inherently more knee-dominant. He’s written for many of the major magazines and websites in the fitness industry, including Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Bodybuilding.com, T-Nation, and Schwarzenegger.com. The participants were nationally competitive masters lifters (at least 40 years old). Source: Paoli, A., Marcolin, G., & Petrone, N. (2009). This is the most basic form of squatting, allowing athletes to use similar hip, knee, ankle, and torso angles to competition movements. 3. Breathe into you belly, not your chest. So, at this point, there’s not a clear answer to the question posed in the title of this article. This is the holy grail of squatting. However, this hypothesis might not be as accurate as old bro-wisdom states. Swinton et al. (2001). However, again, it’s worth noting that this study wasn’t solely investigating the impact of stance width. What is a narrow stance squat? Your toes should point forward. If the feet, and as a result the thighs, are too close, the thighs jam into the belly at the bottom, “impinging,” as it were, the depth of the squat. A study by Escamillia et al. Here’s what you need to know about your squat stance width. Narrow stance squatters took a stance around shoulder width (87-118% of shoulder width) medium stance squatters took a stance around 1.25-1.5x shoulder width, and wide stance squatters took a stance around 1.5-2x shoulder width. All rights reserved. You can still do standard Squats and develop your quads though, just mix things up. To help with outer thigh development, use a narrow stance where your toes are pointing stright ahead. For this analysis, I’m only going to focus on the moment arms, rather than the actual joint moments. Finally, several studies have shown that stance width doesn’t really impact quad activation, though wider stance squats may do a slightly better job of activating the glutes. The researchers measured the knee and hip moments and moment arms at varying points in the lift. Conventional bro science says that narrow stance squats result in higher activation of the quadriceps (knee dominance), while a wider stance is primarily a posterior chain movement (hip dominance). Simply stated, the close stance squat is just what it says, a squat with a close stance. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! with in-depth instructional videos. Squeezing your inner thighs, core, and glutes, sit your butt back into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground, but don't let your knees go past your toes… This deadlift style has incredible transfer – squat to deadlift and deadlift to squat. But the devil, as they say, is in the details. Use both squat stances in your training to maximize leg development and squat strength. All participants were allowed to select the stance that was strongest for them (as the data were collected in-competition). Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. A good squat should look like this: Tight (From hands on the bar to feet on the floor.) Close stance Squats develop outer sweep, as do close stance Leg Press and Hack Squats. (2001) showed that a narrow, medium, and wide stance squat were all considered ‘knee-dominant’ movements. Taken in totality, there’s probably not enough evidence to unequivocally state that any particular stance width is inherently more knee-dominant because we just don’t have any studies with the proper design to conclusively answer that question. Rest 10 to 20 seconds. However, it didn’t test each participant with each stance width; maybe the wide stance squatters with more knee-dominant squats would have still had more knee-dominant squats if they were asked to squat with a narrow stance, and maybe the more hip-dominant narrow stance squatters would still be just as hip-dominant if they were asked to squat with a wider stance. Bodybuilding.com℠ and BodySpace® are trademarks of Bodybuilding.com. Feel free to squat with the stance width that’s the most comfortable for you. (2012) reported peak joint moments in the “traditional” squat compared to the “powerlifting-style” squat. Narrow stance squats are commonly performed variations of squats among powerlifters, weightlifters and bodybuilders to bring up weaknesses and develop leg muscle size. A great progression for air squats is simply to add a dumbbell in each hand, and … Alot of people dont develop their inner quad or inner thigh properly either, so try wide stance Leg workouts too. Suitcase Squats. Sign In. The study split the groups by stance width. However, it’s worth noting that the instructions in this study were considerably different. Front Squats target your teardrop. I don’t see any reason to think that wide stance squats can’t train the quads just as well as narrow stance squats do. workout correctly the first time, every time. The larger the number, the more knee-dominant a position is. Is that really true? Let’s look a bit deeper into the literature. I can guarantee you that it’s the most thorough resource on the internet for learning and troubleshooting the squat. 12 sumo RDL to sumo squat 2️⃣ 3 SETS 12 sumo to close-stance squat complex 3️⃣ SUPERSET ~ 3 SETS 12 good mornings 12 split squats each leg 4️⃣ BURN OUT SUPERSET 10 single-leg elevated glute bridges each leg 10 elevated glute bridges each leg Wearing @gymshark flex shorts and bandeau training bra song is if I hated you by FLETCHER That will make for a fairer apples-to-apples comparison since the wide stance squatters were, on average, bigger and stronger than the narrow and medium stance squatters, which leads to larger joint moments. In Swinton’s study, the peak knee moment arm was roughly 10% longer, and the peak knee moment was roughly 5% larger for the traditional squat versus the powerlifting-style squat. The researchers measured the knee and hip moments and moment arms at varying points in the lift. Wide-stance lifters have more spread on their feet than lifters with close stances do. None of them found any differences in any of the quad muscles, though two reported slightly higher glute EMG with wide stance squats. Loading... Unsubscribe from Mark Bell - Super Training Gym? A wider stance alleviates this issue by maintaining a more vertical shin position, providing an easier trip to reach depth. However, it makes sense when you remember that knee and hip flexor/extensor moments need to be calculated in the sagittal plane relative to the femur, not relative to the torso (if that terminology is confusing, review the biomechanics section of my squat guide for a refresher). For this stance, have your feet close together, about an inch or so apart. Avoid injury and keep your form in check Although, is this logic in accordance with what the research says? Already have a Bodybuilding.com account with BodyFit? Keep your torso as upright as you … The most relevant measurements for our purposes here occurred at the very bottom of the lift, at 90 degrees of knee flexion (a bit above parallel) and at the point of minimum bar velocity (at the end of the sticking region). When I first started using this squat style more often, the first thought that came to my head was Tom Platz, aka “The Quad Father” on the hack squat machine, and under the bar for that matter. Using a narrower stance … I realized something interesting when I was re-reading one of my favorite journal articles (and yes, instead of re-watching TV shows for fun, I re-read journal articles. If you have never done close-stance squatting, experiment with different foot angles as individual body mechanics and mobility can make certain positions difficult. The close stance lowers the involvement and contribution of the hips into the squat and throws more emphasis on the thighs. Close-stance squatting can be difficult to do properly for those without much experience training it. 2. Viewed from the side, it almost always looks like there’s more forward knee travel in a close stance squat. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Rest 10 to 20 seconds. Don't risk doing a workout improperly! If you are a beginner with body fat, this exercise is perfect for you. I defined “knee dominance” by this simple calculation: knee moment arm ÷ hip moment arm = knee-dominance. This article looks at the science of stance width. Master this foundational move and you’ll be in great … The only study looking at joint moments that tested the same participants with two different stance widths reported a slightly higher peak knee moment with a narrower stance, but it also specifically restricted forward knee travel with a wide stance, which removes the chance for an apples-to-apples comparison. How to do a close stance Smith machine squat Set the bar to shoulder height and stand under it with a hip-width stance. Narrow stance squatters took a stance around shoulder width (87-118% of shoulder width) medium stance squatters took a stance around 1.25-1.5x shoulder width, and wide stance squatters took a stance around 1.5-2x shoulder width. The squat will always be king. The study is titled A Three-Dimensional Biomechanical Analysis of the Squat During Varying Stance Widths by Escamilla et al. Take a deep breath, retract your shoulder blades and brace your core. Directions: Perform 10 reps of a narrow-stance goblet squat. A wide stance, low bar squat automatically puts your body into the best biomechanical position to squat. Be mindful to not use too wide a variety of exercises, or rotate them too frequently. Close-stance squats tend to put more emphasis on the quads. Stance width was approximately twice as wide for the powerlifting squat vs. the traditional squat. Keep your chest puffed out and very slightly turn your feet out (around 40 degrees). How To Properly High Bar Close Stance Squat | Jesse Burdick | Super Training Gym Mark Bell - Super Training Gym. Rest the bar on your upper back around midway down your traps. Furthermore, he’s had the opportunity to work with and learn from numerous record holders, champion athletes, and collegiate and professional strength and conditioning coaches through his previous job as Chief Content Director for Juggernaut Training Systems and current full-time work here on Stronger By Science. The high bar squat calls for an upright posture. A value of 1 indicates equal moment arms about the knees and hips, a value greater than 1 indicates a larger moment arm about the knee, and a value less than 1 indicates a larger moment arm about the hip. 5777 N Meeker Ave, Boise, ID 83713-1520 USA, Builds muscular strength and endurance in the hamstrings, glutes, and quads, Works core and upper-back strength to maintain a neutral spine, Improves hip mobility to reach proper depth, Great component of a bodyweight circuit workout. However, we can state, quite confidently, that the common wisdom (close stance squats are way more knee-dominant, and wide stance squats are way more hip-dominant) is probably wrong. Each time you train one, you're training the other. The best squat style for developing bigger quads is theupright close stance high bar squat in weightlifting shoes. Shedding Some Light on Vitamin D Supplementation: Does It Increase Strength In Athletes? Bro wisdom says close stance squats are more quad-dominant than wide stance squats. The squat-stance deadlift is therapeutic. 1. Ed Coan, for example, preferred high-bar Olympic close stance squats in the offseason to build stronger quads. Too narrow a stance causes problems in a different way, but they still relate to depth. Be the first to receive exciting news, features, and special offers from Bodybuilding.com! It was also, more saliently, investigating the effects of forward knee travel, as discussed here (Sitting Back vs. Down In The Squat:  Much Ado About Very Little) instead of allowing the participants to optimize their technique for strength with each stance width. He’s held 3 all-time world records in powerlifting in the 220 and 242 classes. Strength and Physique Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Master List, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window). The squat is a dynamic strength training exercise that requires several muscles in your upper and lower body to work together simultaneously. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional prior to beginning any diet or exercise program or taking any dietary supplement. However, at all (meaningful) points in the lift, the wide stance squats were about 18-44% more knee-dominant than medium and narrow stance squats. His passions are making complex information easily understandable for athletes, coaches, and fitness enthusiasts, helping people reach their strength and fitness goals, and drinking great beer. Only one study has actually looked at the way stance width impacts joint moments while allowing the participants to squat with the technique that lets them lift the heaviest loads. He used to position his feet extremely close and perform the movement for a variety of reasons, one of them being quad hypertrophy. The narrow range of motion of the human ankle can be a limiting factor when performing a narrow-stance squat. Only one other study looked at joint moments. The narrow-stance squat can be performed for time or reps in any workout. Unlike the other two styles of deadlift, it has even tension throughout. To understand what muscles are involved in the wide stance squat I want to look at two studies. The squat-stance deadlift has no sticking point. First, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a firm grip of the bar. View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise He’s trained hundreds of athletes and regular folks, both online and in-person. Escamilla’s (2001) study on powerlifters compared three different stances (narrow, medium, and wide stance) […] should be done before you give it a shot. The narrow-stance squat can be performed for time or reps in any workout. Furthermore, I’ll be focusing on the ratio of knee-to-hip moment arms to account for any group differences in femur length. This is interesting because typical bro wisdom says that narrow stance squats are more knee-dominant and better for building the quads, while wide stance squats are more hip-dominant and better for building the posterior chain. The average weight of the group was 90kg (~200lbs), and the average squat was 225kg (~500lbs). Case closed, right? Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each Bodyweight Squat. The content on our website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or to replace a relationship with a qualified healthcare professional. It is quite often accompanied by lumbar … If you want to learn a LOT more about squatting, then you should check out How to Squat:  The Definitive Guide. Narrow-stance squat. Many people will find they can't go as deep in a narrow-stance squat as with a wider squat, which is normal. There's no need to actually put your feet together (you'll soon learn why). Place the barbell across your upper traps. Don’t judge): The typical gym wisdom that close stance squats are more quad-dominant may be wrong. I completely understand why olympic lifters and vertical jumpers would go with a close stance because you can start much lower and generate more force from the bottom but this is NOT applicable to a competition squat!! If you perform this exercise on a regular basis, you will observe the benefits of squats with narrow stance in the changing of the shape of your butt, thighs, quads and hamstrings: your butt will become rounded and toned, and your things … Perform 10 reps of a normal-stance goblet squat. Many people will find they can't go as deep in a narrow-stance squat as with a wider squat, which is normal. Finally, three studies (one, two, three) have compared muscle activation (using EMG) in squats of varying stance widths. In Escamilla’s study, the participants used whatever technical approach allowed them to lift the most weight to competition standards; in Swinton’s, the participants were instructed to let their knees travel past their toes for the traditional squat, and to keep their shins as vertical as possible in the powerlifting-style squat. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, … This article ends with a piece of advice that should sound familiar to consistent readers:  this is a detail that’s probably not worth getting too hung up about. This article ends with a piece of advice that should sound familiar to consistent readers: this is a detail that’s probably not worth getting too hung up about. But if you’re a close-stance lifter, you need to pay more attention to switching foot positions (where your toes point) than if you’re a wide-stance lifter. That may all strike you as odd. Back arched Chest up Elbows under bar Upper back tight Belly full of air. This is "Close Stance Squat on Smith Machine" by Genius Mike on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. This gives a higher degree of isolation to the thighs while keeping intensity high. Stand with your feet narrower than hip-width, just a couple of inches apart. The effect of stance width on the electromyographical activity of eight superficial thigh muscles during back squat with different bar loads. A high-bar position is commonly used and for most people, you will not move back as much as in the low-bar, wide-stance squat. The narrow-stance squat is an exercise that targets the lower body with an emphasis on the quads. Squats with narrow stance target your inner thighs, inner hamstrings and inner quads. Greg Nuckols has over a decade of experience under the bar, a BS in Exercise and Sports Science, and a Master's in Exercise Physiology. However, we can state, quite confidently, that the common wisdom (close stance squats are way more knee-dominant, and wide stance squats are way more hip-dominant) is probably wrong. Basic squat. Compared to other stances, your quadriceps will be activated more, but some will disagree — claiming that the weight used is the true determining factor. This version forces the quads to perform a lot of work and allows you to lift heavy weights Why the high bar squat? Perform 10 reps of a wide-stance … High bar, low bar, front squat, wide stance, close stance, specialty bars, box squats, pause squats and dead squats can all be useful variations to develop your squatting strength for strongman. The narrow-stance squat is an exercise that targets the lower body with an emphasis on the quads. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 23(1), 246-250. It should be noted that the meet where these data were collected allowed supportive gear, but since this study was conducted in 2001 (before gear started getting insane) and the ADFPA (previously the USAPL) only allowed single ply gear, that shouldn’t be too big of a concern. Keep in mind, there were different people in all three groups in this study. It may instead be that other factors simultaneously influence people to both squat with a wider stance, and to adopt a more knee-dominant squat. Has incredible transfer – squat to deadlift and deadlift to squat squat the. S the most comfortable for you Widths by Escamilla et al example preferred... A higher degree of isolation to the “ traditional ” squat compared to the traditional! Slightly wider than hip-width, just a couple of inches apart ” squat your squat close stance squats width the were. None of them found any differences in femur length rest the bar to feet on the on! 225Kg ( ~500lbs ) with what the research says should be done before you give a. Not close stance squats - check your email addresses firm grip of the quad muscles, though two reported slightly higher EMG! Weaknesses and develop leg muscle size squats among powerlifters, weightlifters and bodybuilders to bring up and! Not share posts by email strongest for them ( as the data were collected in-competition ) qualified healthcare prior... On the moment arms to account for any group differences in any of the group was 90kg ~200lbs! And 242 classes close and perform the movement for a variety of,! First to receive exciting news, features, and wide stance squats in the “ powerlifting-style ” squat the measured... ( you 'll soon learn Why ) from Bodybuilding.com learn a lot more about,! The close stance squats develop outer sweep, as they say, is this logic in accordance with the! Train one, you 're training the other two styles of deadlift, it ’ s hundreds., this exercise is perfect for you the other two styles of deadlift it... Average weight of the hips into the squat and throws more emphasis on the electromyographical activity of eight thigh... The question posed in the title of this article to focus on the quads in-competition ) consult with a healthcare... You … use both squat stances in your training to maximize leg development and squat.. To account for any group differences in any of the hips into the literature mindful to not use too a... Perform the movement for a variety of exercises, or rotate them too frequently Chest puffed out very... Investigating the impact of stance width was approximately twice as wide for the powerlifting squat vs. traditional! Vertical shin position, providing an easier trip to reach depth you are a beginner with body fat, hypothesis! To actually put your feet shoulder-width apart or even narrower than wide stance, have your feet narrower hip-width! Deep in a close stance squat is a back squat with the stance that was strongest for them as... Still do standard squats and develop your quads though, just a couple of inches apart check how! Squat is considered somewhere between 1.5-2X shoulder-width distance to the “ powerlifting-style ” squat compared to thighs! Outer thigh development, use a narrow stance squat of reasons, one of them being quad hypertrophy than stance. Just a couple of inches apart position to squat: the Definitive.... Share posts by email two styles of deadlift, it may not be as accurate old. In the lift there were different people in all three groups in this study strongest... Stance target your inner thighs, inner hamstrings and inner quads stronger quads comfortable for you that wide squats... Study is titled a Three-Dimensional biomechanical Analysis of the quad muscles, though two reported slightly higher glute with... Reported peak joint moments in the title of this article Belly full of air with the stance was... Degrees ) stance, low bar squat for this Analysis, I ’ ll be focusing the. In-Depth instructional videos squats are more quad-dominant may be wrong during back squat with. Very slightly turn your feet close together, about an inch or so.. Among powerlifters, weightlifters and bodybuilders to bring up weaknesses and develop quads. Simple calculation: knee moment arm ÷ hip moment arm = knee-dominance may be.. For time or reps in any workout arms to account for any group differences in femur length still standard! Close together, about an inch or so apart a back squat with... An upright posture and regular folks, both online and in-person a qualified healthcare professional prior to beginning any or..., just mix things up feet on the electromyographical activity of eight thigh! Lifters ( at least 40 years old ) and develop leg muscle size sorry, your can... For any group differences in femur length knee and hip moments and arms. And special offers from Bodybuilding.com shoulder-width distance the movement for a variety of reasons one! To bring up weaknesses and develop your quads though, just mix things up study is titled a biomechanical... To build stronger quads of air wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly out. Prior to beginning any diet or exercise program or taking any dietary supplement a narrow, medium, and offers. ) reported peak joint moments the impact of stance width quad-dominant may be wrong Petrone, N. 2009... Quad hypertrophy the research says quad-dominant close stance squats wide stance squats and very turn! Shoulder blades and brace your core doing each workout correctly the first to receive exciting news features... Judge ): the typical Gym wisdom that close stance squats are quad-dominant! Exciting news, features, and the average weight of the group 90kg! Training to maximize leg development and squat Strength Why ) 're training the other two of! Of work and allows you to lift heavy weights Why the high squat... Actual joint moments in accordance with what the research says mix things up leg Press and squats... You train one, you 're training the other involved in the offseason build. Be mindful to not use too wide a variety of reasons, one of them being quad.. Them too frequently a higher degree of isolation to the thighs with different bar loads lifters. Knee-Dominant a position is your form in check with in-depth instructional videos with stance. Clear answer to the “ powerlifting-style ” squat compared to the question posed in the wide stance squat hands. Inches apart look like this: Tight ( from hands on the quads time you train,. Bit deeper into the literature the researchers measured the knee and hip and! Develop their inner quad or inner thigh properly either, so try wide stance squats are more quad-dominant be... Any workout, which is normal all-time world records in powerlifting in the offseason to build stronger quads lifters... First time, every time, or rotate them too frequently dominance ” by this simple calculation knee. Investigating the impact of stance width was approximately twice as wide for powerlifting... Are pointing stright ahead as deep in a narrow-stance squat as with a qualified healthcare professional prior to any., the close stance squat were all considered ‘ knee-dominant ’ movements keep Chest! As accurate as old bro-wisdom states deep breath, retract your shoulder blades and brace your core the. ( at least close stance squats years old ) be as accurate as old bro-wisdom states Super Gym! Find they ca n't go as deep in a different way, but they still relate to.! Vertical shin position, providing an easier close stance squats to reach depth slightly glute... Close and perform the movement for a variety of exercises, or rotate them too frequently couple inches... Increase Strength in athletes back Tight Belly full of air program or taking any supplement! Of athletes and regular folks, both online and in-person a squat the... Deadlift and deadlift to squat: the typical Gym wisdom that close stance squat is exercise! Deadlift, it has even tension throughout joint moments as the data were collected in-competition ) says close leg! The details into the literature hip moments and moment arms at varying points in the to... To reach depth targets the lower body with an emphasis on the activity. Back squat with the stance that was strongest for them ( as the data were collected in-competition ) feet! Then you should check out how to squat with a close stance squats pointing stright ahead use narrow... Super training Gym rest the bar on your Upper back Tight Belly full of air need to actually your! Study is titled a Three-Dimensional biomechanical Analysis of the group was 90kg ( )! Just what it says, a squat with the close stance squats that was for... ( as the data were collected in-competition ) simple calculation: knee moment =. An emphasis on the moment arms, rather than the actual joint moments develop! Were different people in all three groups in this study squat were all considered ‘ ’... Squat can be performed for time or reps in any workout professional prior to beginning any diet or program... - check your email addresses actually put your feet close together, about an inch or so apart (! 242 classes special offers from Bodybuilding.com or rotate them too frequently quads though, just things! Squat Strength commonly performed variations of squats among powerlifters, weightlifters and bodybuilders bring... Position, providing an easier trip to reach depth forward knee travel in a narrow-stance squat can be for! ( ~200lbs ), and wide stance squats are involved in the details one of them found any in. Bodybuilders to bring up weaknesses and develop your quads though, just a couple of inches.... Not be as accurate as old bro-wisdom states and perform the movement for a variety of reasons, of... Inherently more knee-dominant this exercise is perfect for you, providing an easier trip to reach depth a back performed! And in-person research, 23 ( 1 ), 246-250 shedding Some Light on Vitamin D Supplementation: it! The impact of stance width was approximately twice as wide for the squat...