Wide Stance Squats To Improve Hip Mobility and Control
Brandi has been struggling with a shift in her squat for a long time, and we’ve tried a lot of different things that seemed to help at times, but never fixed the issue. Ankle mobility, foot pressure, bracing, tempo, pelvic position, and more, and nothing really seemed to be the true fix. Recently I thought more into how it might relate into the internal rotation of her femurs, and had her do a couple drills that kind of helped, but the fact is that it did not create any lasting affect. So fast forward to this block and I decided to implement the idea of wide stance tempo squats. I don’t think this is revolutionary to implement wide stance squat to fix knee valgus and a hip shift, but I think the reasoning of why I did it is much different than most. Many would prescribe wide stance squats to improve glute and the external rotators strength, similar to putting a band around your knees or doing lateral walks. I’ve covered this before, but I doubt most people truly have weak glutes or hip external rotators in their squat. Whereas with Brandi, I had her implement wide stance squats to create a loaded internal rotation stretch to hopefully transfer to more range of motion in her normal competition stance and greater control at higher degrees of IR. The wider a squat is, the more internal rotation of the femur that is needed, so loading this position was going to allow a more long standing affect than some simple drills or stretches during her warm-up. As can be seen (CLICK HERE), we have a video of 250lb. single from last training block versus a 245lb. pause squat single from this block, with a pretty dramatic difference in the level of shift. And if you scroll over to the 2nd video, you can see the week 1 wide stance squat versus week 4. Not only has she completely eliminated the shift on the wide stance, notice how inadvertently she has widened her stance even more, probably unbeknownst to her.
For how this was programmed, I implemented this on her tertiary day as it wasn’t about how much weight we can lift wide stance, as it was more about a loaded stretch and learning to control her position better at greater degrees internal rotation. Taking that we see the application back to her normal stance and greatly improved control of her femurs in that bottom position with basically the same weight, yet with a self limited variation that typically in the past would exacerbate the issue from going even higher on the relative intensity scale. Since then, I have implemented this on a couple other athlete’s tertiary squat days and all have come back stating how much more comfortable and controlled their primary stance then feels, so when it comes to needing to improve femur control and internal rotation, this has been added to my go to list as a great option for a fix.