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Squat stance and sports

When squatting I read you shouldn't have too wide of a stance if you are training for sports like football, basketball, etc.

I prefer the wide stance. Not too wide, maybe a little wider than shoulder width apart. Is this going to make that much of a difference?


Depends on who you ask, really.

Some will say that squatting with a wide stance is not 'sport-specific.' They may have a point to a certain extent. Most people opt to squat in a stance that closely resembles their athletic position. The athletic position is one in which the feet are about hip- to shoulder-width apart. Some coaches will say that squatting in that stance will strengthen your hips in that stance, allowing you to be stronger and more explosive in that position.

I don't disagree with that statement. However, I am more of the mind that what we do in the gym is "general" work. We are hoping that what we do in the gym can transfer over to what we do on the field or the court and ultimately make us a better athlete. The skill transfer is not that simple though. It isn't always as easy as saying "squat in your athletic stance and you will become more athletic." In reality, we get strong in the gym. We then go out on the field and practice our sport and develop our sport-specific skills with the newly aquired strength that we have gained from our training program.

I personally don't like a super-wide stance (like some powerlifters may use) because it trashes the heck out of my hips. It doesn't sound like your stance is that wide at all though. Slightly wider than shoulder width isn't too wide. Using a few different stances may also help to strengthen different stabilizers in the hip, as well as help to keep the squatting movement fresh and give you some variety in your training program.

I don't typically write wide-stance squats in my program. I usually let the athlete figure out where they are most comfortable and then we go from there (unless it is something that stands out to me as dangerous or potentially harmful). For most athletes though, I do find that they are most comfortable squatting in a stance that is closer to their athletic stance.

Hope that helps,

Patrick