Keep It Simple: Squat Stance

There are infinite things to think about when performing any of the Olympic lifts. Coaches try not to overwhelm athletes with all the information, but it is important to practice correct movement patterns and work on areas that need to be flexible. “Every repetition of every exercise you perform is practice—if you want to improve your performance, you better take those repetitions seriously and execute them in a manner that supports your objectives,” –Greg Everett.  Squatting in the Olympic lifts is the same for all athletes: achieve maximal depth with the most upright position possible. This is done by pointing the toes and knees slightly out to make room.

Your squat stance should be the same for all of your squats. You should have the same stance and depth for the back squat, front squat and overhead squat. Some people tend to alter their squat stances depending on the lift and flexibility limitations. If this is you, stop that. Keep your stance. Make it happen for all of your squats.

Get to proper depth in all of your squats. Snatch and clean to full depth.  If an athlete gets in the habit of catching below parallel, but not all the way in the hole, he/she may feel uncomfortable and unable to stabilize in the very bottom position with heavier loads. Practice staying strong in the bottom. Keep your lumbar curve stable. If you have the dreaded “butt wink” in which your butt tucks under at the bottom of your squat and you lose that lumbar curve, supplement with low back strengthening exercises and stretch the crap out of your hamstrings.

Fix your poor habits. Make every squat correct. “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training,” –Archilochus

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