Squat stance?

I’ve seen mixed claims about the effect of squat stance on muscle groups and was wondering if anyone could tell me the benefits of narrow vs wide stance squats? Some claim that narrow works the glutes more, some that wide is the more effective form. Is there a large difference in the muscles used most in those two variations?


  • Grace_spaceship
    Grace_spaceship Posts: 80 Member
    Different stances will work the muscles differently. Both are beneficial and you should do both. The main muscles used will be similar (gluets quads ect) but the different angles will challenge them in different ways so it will seem a lot harder for one muscle in some positions. I have weak and tight adductors (inner thighs) so sumo (very wide) squats and deadlifts are a lot harder for me because my lack of range of motion in my adductors. I still do them to work on strengthening and mobility
  • ecjim
    ecjim Posts: 962 Member
    As a general rule the wide stance will hit the posterior chain harder , powerlifter generally use wide stance/ low bar to move more weight, A body builder may use a narrower stance/ high bar to hit the quads harder, this will give you a more vertical stance. The best advice I can give is to squat. Jump so you land on both feet, that stance, foot width will be a natural width for you , start there. Place the bar on your back where it feels the best, I squat high bar, because it feels right to me, I have a shelf there were the bar rests nicely, my feet are about sholder width. As Grace said , you can vary your stance for a different effect.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,090 Member
    edited May 2020
    Unless you have a goal of bodybuilding or competitive lifting, there really isn't much to worry about. Even then it's individualized on how you respond to training. Generally speaking, the slight variation of two lifts aren't enough to split hairs because they are extremely similar on the chart of specificity.

    Low bar, what ever is that is to you specifically will use more of the posterior chain than what a high bar is to you as a individual. Of course we can change the toe angle of either and perform the lift more/less efficient as far as force production because we do recruit different muscles depending on the exertion level.

    I will state the difference isn't a lot and there is plenty of people that are very successful at doing high or low bar and some perform both skillfully.

    Both low and high bar recruit relatively the same amount of muscle motors so it's not like comparing a leg press to a front squat if that makes sense as far as benefits to harvest.

    I generally program both a high and low bar for nearly every person no matter what there goal is. Volume, frequency, and whuch block has to do with their goals and how they respond to training.
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,653 Member
    edited May 2020
    The differences will be pretty negligible. Unless you are looking to compete, I'd focus on how you are most comfortable and stable under the bar. The biggest factor is likely your own physiology and mechanics.