I’ve often championed the notion that there’s “no such
thing as textbook technique.”
How we’re taught to execute certain exercises in a textbook
often won’t translate to the real world because, well, we don’t
live in textbooks.
This is a theme that’s hit on several times in The Complete Trainers’
Toolbox. Sam Spinelli, one of the contributors, was
kind enough to share a bit of an amuse bouche from his presentation
“All Things Squats, Knees, and Hips” with everyone today.
To check out the full presentation, as well as contributions
from eight other renowned industry leaders, go HERE for more
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Individualizing Your Squat Stance
Humans are these incredibly awesome, adaptable, and diverse
Within our awesomeness, over time we have adapted to have a
diverse set of unique features in our anatomy that provides for a
wide range of movement from person to person. This is something
that we did not readily acknowledge for a long time and tried to
fit people into square holes.
The squat is a perfect example of this topic.
For such a long time it has been advocated to squat with your
toes forward and perfectly hip width apart. The unfortunate thing
is that this limits a significant majority of people from being
able to squat comfortably – or to an appreciable depth.
While some people may be able to do so with practice and working
on range of motion, for a vast majority it is just not realistic
due to their bony anatomy.
As we examine the ankle, knee, and hip, we can see that there
is significant variation within the bones forming them and the
For example, at the hip we have an acetabulum that can vary in
depth of which will impact how much motion a set sized femoral head
can have. This will impact the capacity of motion for hip range
between individuals, leading to diverse squat stances already. When
we begin to layer on the other ways our anatomy differs, it
compounds and leads to a breadth of variations in how people may
How Should I Squat Then?
There isn’t a set stance that will accommodate everyone –
some people will do well with a hip width stance and slight toe
out, others may do better with a narrower stance and feet directly
forward. Finding what works best for you can be a challenge at
first and require some experimentation.
To help expedite the process, try out these four methods:
1) Find Your Squat Stance – Standing
2) Find Your Squat Stance – Supported
3) Find Your Squat Stance – Seated
4) Find Your Squat Stance – Kneeling
The goal with each is to start with feet together and progress
foot/knee width. You will find that one width generally feels
better than the others, that’s the one to stick with for now.
Then you can start playing around with foot/knee angle and continue
This will get you a great head start on your squat stance and
making it unique to you.
Two additional details – you may find your stance more
comfortable with your feet not symmetrical and you may find that
your stance changes with time. These things are normal for many
Did I Just Blow Your Mind?
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of stuff I cover in
my presentation “All Things Squats, Knees, and Hips” in the
Complete Trainers’ Toolbox, an online resource that became
available this week that also features presentations from eight
other industry professionals – including Tony Gentilcore, Dean
Somerset, Dr. Lisa Lewis, Alex Kraszewski, Kellie Davis, Meghan
Callaway, Dr. Sarah Duvall, and Luke Worthington..
It includes 17 total hours of content covering a wide range of
topics every health/fitness professional is bound to relate with.
It’s on sale this week at a significant discount, but only until
Sunday, February 17th at midnight.
Go HERE for
Source: FS – All-FitnessBlogs
Individualizing Your Squat Stance