Finding Your Squat Stance

The squat was a fundamental human movement pattern before it became an exercise.

We are designed to squat.

As infants we had to squat before we could stand. It was part of our developmental movement sequence. If we got it wrong, we would fall down and have to try again until we got it right. Unfortunately, many of us lose our ability to squat, this is particularly common in western civilisations.

Health, Strength, and Performance

Building strength by practicing the fundamental human movement patterns improves our performance in life and sports.

Many elite athletes aim to get stronger in the squat pattern, as this has a tremendous cross-over to performance in many sports. But most of us do not need to squat heavy with a barbell on our back.

weightlifter doing a barbell back squat
Barbell Back Squat

Even so it is still important to improve or maintain the squat pattern and to develop strength by squatting - that is if you value your movement, health, performance, or just being more resilient.

A great way to do this is with the Goblet Squat.

Trainer demonstrating a Goblet Squat
Goblet Squat

Your stance and the width of your feet will make or break your squat.

Squatting too wide

Squatting too wide, trying to increase depth this way, stresses the hip joint and creates impingement issues and over time this can result in labral tears and hip replacement surgeries.

incorrect squat pattern
Squatting too wide

Squatting too Narrow

A narrow stance squat is incredibly challenging to most people and the lower back tends to round as depth is increased.

incorrect squat pattern - too narrow
Squatting too narrow

Find your squat stance

Experiment with Assisted Squats and then lightweight Goblet Squats, with various foot positions.

You can also regress this movement to Box Squats at an appropriate depth – having a box may help you build confidence with a little bit of security and support below you.