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Squats to strengthen squats? yes or no

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  • Squats to strengthen squats? yes or no

    A training partner of mine has a big issue with his squats. Simply put, they're weak around mid 200s for reps. His leg presses are strong, hams are strong, and low back is strong. I'd deduced that he has tight adductors and weak abductors (ass) as his knees want to buckle in on squats and presses and he has the hardest time coming out of the hole of squats.

    Do you guys think he would be better suited locking in good form and slowly working his way up to stronger squats OR do you think more glute specific movements would be better at targeting this specific weak link in the chain?

    The other wrench in this issue is that he has what I think is sciatica. He has a sharp pain in his ass that is alleviated by foam rolling and work with a lacross ball. I'm thinking he may have problems getting his glutes to fire in the squat movement.

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  • #2
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    • #3
      DeFranxo's Agile 8 fixed the pain in my glute that was previously only temporarily relieved by foam rolling and a tennis ball.


      • #4
        Maybe he should try ATG/Oly style squats, I believe it's a movement that recruits the glutes pretty well, and I think that's how Ed Coan did it.

        Some mobility work and stretching can help.
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        • #5
          How long has he been squatting? I would say concentrate on technique,while trying to fix any injuries he might be currently dealing with.


          • #6
            I'll look into that defranco stuff.

            He's been squatting for a few years, but always just thought he sucked at them. He goes below parallel if not atg.
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            • #7
              1. you never said anything about his abs. are they strong? weak abs can destroy a squat

              2. why is there an "or" in your question? why not do both? extra glute work won't kill someone's recovery unless you're doing something wrong.


              • #8
                You know what, I have no idea what his ab strength is like. He and I used to work our abs hard and heavy and were both known to have really good abs, but that's kind of fallen to the wayside. I know he does plenty of big lifts though, so his abs certainly shouldn't be out of shape.

                I put an "OR" because he's currently on a 5x5 and I'm not too sure about throwing in another power movement that targets the posterior chain. Focusing on one aspect of his posterior chain for a few weeks/months may be able to give him the fastest and simplest fix.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by chris.tan View Post

                  He's been squatting for a few years, but always just thought he sucked at them. He goes below parallel if not atg.
                  How much does this guy weigh? If he has been squatting (Correctly) for a few years i would think he would be squatting more than in the mid 200's,unless he has had large breaks in training, weighs <150lbs, or has had some big injury preventing him from squatting. If his knees are caving in and he is having trouble out of the hole check technique first. Is his chest dipping in the hole as well as his knees caving in? Is he focusing on pushing his knees apart throughout the entire lift? Does he know how to breath when squatting? Is he taking is time to get a good set up or just getting after it ? It sounds like he either A. has has poor form or B. is weak.


                  • #10
                    This may sound stupid and basic at first, but does your friend do any single leg work?
                    Stuff like Reverse lunges ( personal favorite ), walking lunges, rear leg elevated split squats, do a really nice job in stregthening the " weak links " in the squat and deadlifts. I don't know what type of training your friend does, but these movements are best done NOT to failure and with more of a volume approach.


                    • #11
                      I followed Charles Poliquin's methods for a decent number of years. One thing he might advise in this situation would be one and a quarter squats. Ie, slow decent, turn around at the bottom and come up a quarter of the way, go back down and then come all the way back up... that is one rep (all ascent movements explosive).

                      Furthermore, knees buckling in might indicate vastus medialis weakness... youtube peterson step ups for that.

                      Seek an ART specialist for the glute issue. It could be one of multiple conditions that affect this area.


                      • #12
                        How do you get better at ANYTHING in life?

                        You practice. Just tell him to leave his ego at the door, and bury every rep he does. Work on opening his hips through a stretching regimen, and have him do dynamic warmups before his training sessions. Take a look at football player's dynamic work before games. ESPECIALLY DB's...their whole game is having their hips opened up...mimic the dynamic warmup to theirs and stretch out after every leg session.

                        But more importantly, squat more often

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                        • #13
                          video would be good at providing much more informed information


                          • #14
                            I can relate to having a poor squat due to being inflexible. If I even miss two days of stretching, my squat drops 20+ lbs. If I don't stretch for a week...I cannot even come close to hitting depth. Having tight hips, glutes, and hamstrings destroys a squat.

                            A simple 10 minute stretching regimen keeps me squatting pain free and allows me to move decent weight..

                            1) Foam Roll IT bands, each side 10 seconds.
                            2) Kneeling hip flexor stretch while simultaneously reaching back and pulling foot to my glutes.
                            3) Seated glute stretch, with ankle on opposite knee.
                            4) For hammies, I simply just bend down with my knees bent, grab my toes, arch my back as hard and tight as I can, then slowly try to work my legs straight.

                            I do this at least once a day, sometimes twice. I went from constantly injuring myself to never feeling any pain anywhere and I am squatting 3x as much now as well.