For those who can't squat.....(help?!)

13

Replies

  • chanell84
    chanell84 Posts: 41 Member
    I agree with the TRX straps! They really helped me!
  • ShodanPrime
    ShodanPrime Posts: 226 Member
    Have you tried spotting while you squat? Sounds insignificant but pick a spot to look at in front of you and try to focus on that spot when you squat. That might help with balance. Build up your strength by starting with only the bar

    That's not spotting. Spotting a squat with a single spotter involves them being behind you ready to help you finish the rep in case of imminent failure.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,842 Member
    sarah was referring to a different type of spotting, or whatever you wanna call it, It is helpful for keeping your body and spine aligned properly. i usually spot in front and look up, this is my cue to keep my chest up because i tend to drop my chest, so spotting high up for me helps my form. We tend to go where our eyes go, so where you spot can be pretty important.
  • shilshilshil
    shilshilshil Posts: 25 Member
    I have the same problem - my heels lift up and I have to lean forward a lot. This doesn't happen nearly as much if I use a wider stance. In my case, I'm almost certain it's because my ankles/achilles tendon are really inflexible. I'm working on stretching them out (along with my calves/hams) but it's a slllllowwwww process.
  • rainbowbow
    rainbowbow Posts: 7,491 Member
    honestly, performing and holding the "asian squat" or "third world squat" or even the "child's squat" is what helped me.
    Why-you-need-to-be-able-to-sqaut-photo--by-brian-fitzsimmons-5ae45242.jpeg?ver=1415448039&aspectratio=1.5


    I worked my way into the asian squat and let me tell you it's come in handy many times with camping trips (LOL) but also with being able to perform full depth squats.

    My previous coach had me squat all the way down with a much wider stance with my toes pointed out and hold for intervals ranging from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. He had me stretch and foam roll my calves, hip flexors, and adductors. Slowly over time i worked to toes point forward, legs closer together, etc.

    Sometimes we would also do pulsing half squats from this position. So i would get down into the deepest squat i could and pulse up halfway and back into this position. Or pulse up halfway and hold it.


    Anyways, this is what worked for me. I highly recommend it. :)
  • jmac4263
    jmac4263 Posts: 245 Member
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    honestly, performing and holding the "asian squat" or "third world squat" or even the "child's squat" is what helped me.
    Why-you-need-to-be-able-to-sqaut-photo--by-brian-fitzsimmons-5ae45242.jpeg?ver=1415448039&aspectratio=1.5


    I worked my way into the asian squat and let me tell you it's come in handy many times with camping trips (LOL) but also with being able to perform full depth squats.

    My previous coach had me squat all the way down with a much wider stance with my toes pointed out and hold for intervals ranging from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. He had me stretch and foam roll my calves, hip flexors, and adductors. Slowly over time i worked to toes point forward, legs closer together, etc.

    Sometimes we would also do pulsing half squats from this position. So i would get down into the deepest squat i could and pulse up halfway and back into this position. Or pulse up halfway and hold it.


    Anyways, this is what worked for me. I highly recommend it. :)

    The child squat is also what my gyms trainer suggested to me. I think now flexiblity is a big part! I did the Trx squats today and went below parallel and the only thing that was hurting was my hip flexors because of the tightness.

    I worked a desk job all my life sitting a lot until recently so I think getting everything stretched out is all its gonna take
  • lizwooshy
    lizwooshy Posts: 110 Member
    I also have issues doing barbell squats, so for now I do sumo squats/ goblets. When I am at home I practice holding a standard, below parallel squat while holding on to my kitchen counter (which is similar to when people are suggesting to use TRX bands).

    Slow progress is still progress, and for me, I think it is a confidence/ mustle memory issue.
  • I have worked with hundreds of females of all ages and ability, and have never met one that lacked the flexibility to perform a squat. Lack of flexibility would suggest that there is some sort of soft tissue length issue preventing the joint(s) from moving into a squatting position. The squat actually requires very little flexibility. I have clients that can barely touch their knees and they can squat just fine.

    More than likely you have a neuromuscular control (ie stability) issue. Essentially, certain muscles are working overtime, while others are not working hard enough.

    You could also have a bony block in your hip or ankle. In that case, stretching would be the worst thing you could do.

    A video would be helpful in pinpointing the issue.
  • ShodanPrime
    ShodanPrime Posts: 226 Member
    SonyaCele wrote: »
    sarah was referring to a different type of spotting, or whatever you wanna call it, It is helpful for keeping your body and spine aligned properly. i usually spot in front and look up, this is my cue to keep my chest up because i tend to drop my chest, so spotting high up for me helps my form. We tend to go where our eyes go, so where you spot can be pretty important.

    That's just holding a neutral head.
  • lemmie177
    lemmie177 Posts: 479 Member
    I have worked with hundreds of females of all ages and ability, and have never met one that lacked the flexibility to perform a squat. Lack of flexibility would suggest that there is some sort of soft tissue length issue preventing the joint(s) from moving into a squatting position. The squat actually requires very little flexibility. I have clients that can barely touch their knees and they can squat just fine.

    More than likely you have a neuromuscular control (ie stability) issue. Essentially, certain muscles are working overtime, while others are not working hard enough.

    You could also have a bony block in your hip or ankle. In that case, stretching would be the worst thing you could do.

    A video would be helpful in pinpointing the issue.

    I'd thought it was pretty common to see tight calves in western populations. I'd be surprised if most could pull off the "Asian squat" without lifting the heels or falling back onto their butt. Especially true for women who wear heels a lot so the calf muscles are chronically shortened. Also, you also see a lot of ppl squat with plates under the heels, which I'd thought was to compensate for ankle mobility and not being able to move the shins forward. Is that actually a stability issue?
  • datsundriver87
    datsundriver87 Posts: 186 Member
    I too can't even do a parallel body squat and I'm a pretty athletic and strong male, I am currently working with a trainer on it and the biggest advice he has had is to practice getting as deep as I can with proper form and hold it as long as I can, and just continue to go deeper or longer every time you do this and eventually you will work your muscles and stretch them enough to do a proper squat. Allot comes into play with a squat so it's very hard to determine the exact problem, it may be just being unbalanced, bad stance, or ankle mobility, in my case it is that I have strong but tight very short and right calves, and also very poor hip mobility.
  • lemmie177 wrote: »
    I have worked with hundreds of females of all ages and ability, and have never met one that lacked the flexibility to perform a squat. Lack of flexibility would suggest that there is some sort of soft tissue length issue preventing the joint(s) from moving into a squatting position. The squat actually requires very little flexibility. I have clients that can barely touch their knees and they can squat just fine.

    More than likely you have a neuromuscular control (ie stability) issue. Essentially, certain muscles are working overtime, while others are not working hard enough.

    You could also have a bony block in your hip or ankle. In that case, stretching would be the worst thing you could do.

    A video would be helpful in pinpointing the issue.

    I'd thought it was pretty common to see tight calves in western populations. I'd be surprised if most could pull off the "Asian squat" without lifting the heels or falling back onto their butt. Especially true for women who wear heels a lot so the calf muscles are chronically shortened. Also, you also see a lot of ppl squat with plates under the heels, which I'd thought was to compensate for ankle mobility and not being able to move the shins forward. Is that actually a stability issue?

    If a lady was to wear high heels all day and go straight to the gym, I would image her calves would be tight. But, tight is not the same as inflexible - a little foam rolling and a good warm-up, she will be fine.

    There is a reason why it's called an Asian squat. Most in the Western world do not have the skeletal structure to squat that low.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    edited May 2016
    lemmie177 wrote: »
    I have worked with hundreds of females of all ages and ability, and have never met one that lacked the flexibility to perform a squat. Lack of flexibility would suggest that there is some sort of soft tissue length issue preventing the joint(s) from moving into a squatting position. The squat actually requires very little flexibility. I have clients that can barely touch their knees and they can squat just fine.

    More than likely you have a neuromuscular control (ie stability) issue. Essentially, certain muscles are working overtime, while others are not working hard enough.

    You could also have a bony block in your hip or ankle. In that case, stretching would be the worst thing you could do.

    A video would be helpful in pinpointing the issue.

    I'd thought it was pretty common to see tight calves in western populations. I'd be surprised if most could pull off the "Asian squat" without lifting the heels or falling back onto their butt. Especially true for women who wear heels a lot so the calf muscles are chronically shortened. Also, you also see a lot of ppl squat with plates under the heels, which I'd thought was to compensate for ankle mobility and not being able to move the shins forward. Is that actually a stability issue?

    If a lady was to wear high heels all day and go straight to the gym, I would image her calves would be tight. But, tight is not the same as inflexible - a little foam rolling and a good warm-up, she will be fine.

    There is a reason why it's called an Asian squat. Most in the Western world do not have the skeletal structure to squat that low.

    I disagree. I just turned 60 Caucasian male 6'2" 205 pounds (so not built like an Asian) and can do the asian squat just fine. I've has an office job for 35 years and know several others same background that can also do it.

    I also helped coach a junior high track team. There were a number of the girls that struggled with an asian squatting.

    If you don't work at it you lose the ability.
  • Packerjohn wrote: »
    lemmie177 wrote: »
    I have worked with hundreds of females of all ages and ability, and have never met one that lacked the flexibility to perform a squat. Lack of flexibility would suggest that there is some sort of soft tissue length issue preventing the joint(s) from moving into a squatting position. The squat actually requires very little flexibility. I have clients that can barely touch their knees and they can squat just fine.

    More than likely you have a neuromuscular control (ie stability) issue. Essentially, certain muscles are working overtime, while others are not working hard enough.

    You could also have a bony block in your hip or ankle. In that case, stretching would be the worst thing you could do.

    A video would be helpful in pinpointing the issue.

    I'd thought it was pretty common to see tight calves in western populations. I'd be surprised if most could pull off the "Asian squat" without lifting the heels or falling back onto their butt. Especially true for women who wear heels a lot so the calf muscles are chronically shortened. Also, you also see a lot of ppl squat with plates under the heels, which I'd thought was to compensate for ankle mobility and not being able to move the shins forward. Is that actually a stability issue?

    If a lady was to wear high heels all day and go straight to the gym, I would image her calves would be tight. But, tight is not the same as inflexible - a little foam rolling and a good warm-up, she will be fine.

    There is a reason why it's called an Asian squat. Most in the Western world do not have the skeletal structure to squat that low.

    I disagree. I just turned 60 Caucasian male 6'2" 205 pounds (so not built like an Asian) and can do the asian squat just fine. I've has an office job for 35 years and know several others same background that can also do it.

    I also helped coach a junior high track team. There were a number of the girls that struggled with an asian squatting.

    If you don't work at it you lose the ability.

    There isn't really anything to agree or disagree with - they can measure these things. And, like I said, MOST Westerns can't/shouldn't deep squat. If junior high girls can't squat, they need a strength program, not a stretching routine.

  • MelissaPhippsFeagins
    MelissaPhippsFeagins Posts: 8,064 Member
    Have you tried spotting while you squat? Sounds insignificant but pick a spot to look at in front of you and try to focus on that spot when you squat. That might help with balance. Build up your strength by starting with only the bar

    That's not spotting. Spotting a squat with a single spotter involves them being behind you ready to help you finish the rep in case of imminent failure.

    Correct spotting for squats requires two people - one on each side prepared to lift the bar from the outside. There's no way for a single spotter to safely take the weight from behind. There's not room for two sets of hands inside the weights. It's better to drop the weight on the safety pins in the rack, that's what they are for.

    This happened to my husband yesterday. I grabbed the bar when it hit the pins to keep it from rolling back onto him, but I would have hurt my back permanently if I had tried to take the weight when he couldn't lift it.
  • robininfl
    robininfl Posts: 1,137 Member
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    honestly, performing and holding the "asian squat" or "third world squat" or even the "child's squat" is what helped me.
    Why-you-need-to-be-able-to-sqaut-photo--by-brian-fitzsimmons-5ae45242.jpeg?ver=1415448039&aspectratio=1.5


    I worked my way into the asian squat and let me tell you it's come in handy many times with camping trips (LOL) but also with being able to perform full depth squats.

    My previous coach had me squat all the way down with a much wider stance with my toes pointed out and hold for intervals ranging from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. He had me stretch and foam roll my calves, hip flexors, and adductors. Slowly over time i worked to toes point forward, legs closer together, etc.

    Sometimes we would also do pulsing half squats from this position. So i would get down into the deepest squat i could and pulse up halfway and back into this position. Or pulse up halfway and hold it.


    Anyways, this is what worked for me. I highly recommend it. :)

    How do you do this without falling over backwards?
  • rzales
    rzales Posts: 7 Member
    Why don't you consider getting a trainer for even a few weeks. I could barely do lunges without falling over when I started, and my trainer helped a tonne!
  • rainbowbow
    rainbowbow Posts: 7,491 Member
    robininfl wrote: »
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    honestly, performing and holding the "asian squat" or "third world squat" or even the "child's squat" is what helped me.
    Why-you-need-to-be-able-to-sqaut-photo--by-brian-fitzsimmons-5ae45242.jpeg?ver=1415448039&aspectratio=1.5


    I worked my way into the asian squat and let me tell you it's come in handy many times with camping trips (LOL) but also with being able to perform full depth squats.

    My previous coach had me squat all the way down with a much wider stance with my toes pointed out and hold for intervals ranging from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. He had me stretch and foam roll my calves, hip flexors, and adductors. Slowly over time i worked to toes point forward, legs closer together, etc.

    Sometimes we would also do pulsing half squats from this position. So i would get down into the deepest squat i could and pulse up halfway and back into this position. Or pulse up halfway and hold it.


    Anyways, this is what worked for me. I highly recommend it. :)

    How do you do this without falling over backwards?

    "My previous coach had me squat all the way down with a much wider stance with my toes pointed out and hold for intervals ranging from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. He had me stretch and foam roll my calves, hip flexors, and adductors. Slowly over time i worked to toes point forward, legs closer together, etc.

    Sometimes we would also do pulsing half squats from this position. So i would get down into the deepest squat i could and pulse up halfway and back into this position. Or pulse up halfway and hold it. "

    LOL

    Pretty much it takes time. You start wider and with feet turned out, and work your way in. Believe, i couldn't do it the first time i tried.
  • MichelleLea122
    MichelleLea122 Posts: 332 Member
    lemmie177 wrote: »
    I have worked with hundreds of females of all ages and ability, and have never met one that lacked the flexibility to perform a squat. Lack of flexibility would suggest that there is some sort of soft tissue length issue preventing the joint(s) from moving into a squatting position. The squat actually requires very little flexibility. I have clients that can barely touch their knees and they can squat just fine.

    More than likely you have a neuromuscular control (ie stability) issue. Essentially, certain muscles are working overtime, while others are not working hard enough.

    You could also have a bony block in your hip or ankle. In that case, stretching would be the worst thing you could do.

    A video would be helpful in pinpointing the issue.

    I'd thought it was pretty common to see tight calves in western populations. I'd be surprised if most could pull off the "Asian squat" without lifting the heels or falling back onto their butt. Especially true for women who wear heels a lot so the calf muscles are chronically shortened. Also, you also see a lot of ppl squat with plates under the heels, which I'd thought was to compensate for ankle mobility and not being able to move the shins forward. Is that actually a stability issue?

    If a lady was to wear high heels all day and go straight to the gym, I would image her calves would be tight. But, tight is not the same as inflexible - a little foam rolling and a good warm-up, she will be fine.

    There is a reason why it's called an Asian squat. Most in the Western world do not have the skeletal structure to squat that low.

    I always just assumed it was because most Asian countries have squat toilets so people were used to that position... if the skeletal structure thing is true, westerners are going to have lots of issues going to the bathroom in Asia lol.