How to Find Your Optimal Squat Width: Hip Anatomy and MobilityJun 21, 2022
You've seen some people squat narrow and some squat wide; why? Simply put, people who squat with a more narrow stance generally have a more anteverted hip compared to the more common retroverted hip. Based on their hip anatomy, it's either easier or harder for them to get into a wider squat stance. If you're trying to figure out the ideal width for your squat, try these 2 tests: hip external rotation and hip internal rotation.
1) Hip Flexion:
Lay on your back and test how far “in or out” (the degree of abduction) allows you the most hip flexion.
First, test hip external rotation
With a flexed knee and hip, externally rotate the hip.
Hip External Rotation: See picture. (Bring the foot in across)
Next, test hip internal rotation
You can test hip internal rotation by moving in the opposite direction of external rotation.
Hip Internal Rotation: See picture. (Bring the foot out to the side)
Let’s use this client's results as an example:
- Decent external rotation (ER)
- Very limited internal rotation (IR)
= Typical Retroverted Hip
(Tend to have less room in the front of the hip)
Generally, people with a retroverted hip tend to squat with a wider stance and ride the outside of the foot more.
In general, people with an anteverted hip tend to squat with a more narrow stance.
You don’t need to do “glute dominant” squats on Monday and heel elevated “quad dominant” squats on Wednesday. (Even if that’s “what worked” for your favorite IG fitness model….)
Find a squat position that is comfortable to load...
And load it.
Disclaimer: This assessment is a good start, but you have to account for other variables like ankle dorsiflexion, thoracic extension, etc.
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