Squatting Tips for Tall Athletes
Written by Bryce Smith

I’ve never really been a great squatter. You could blame femur length, ankle or hip mobility, and go down the rabbit hole of why it’s not great. However, it’s been a lifelong pursuit to become a great squatter. I work on my squat just about every day (probably more than I should) in some way shape or form. I don’t get defeated when I can’t squat as fast as others or when I can’t stay as upright or if I can’t squat as much load. I view each squat as an opportunity to get better because the magic lies in the perspective. Two major takeaways that I’d like to share with you all are (because these can really benefit anyone):

Upper Back Strength Plays an Important Role in Squatting
For many of us, our legs are plenty strong to squat heavy loads, but one of the things I see often is the changing of shapes as the load is being moved. By incorporating horizontal pulling (ring rows, bent over rows, bat wing holds) and lots of strict pull-ups, I find that my upper back is stronger and more stable to efficiently transfer force from the legs, through the bridge (being the core and upper back) to the load located on either the front, back, or overhead position. This would be a great example of the core to extremity principle.

Tempo is of the Utmost Importance
By owning shapes and controlling the load through each point of the lift, I have found that I become more familiar with the appropriate muscle groups being used and the appropriate shapes for force transfer. When we squat fast, we travel through places but never stay the night to visit. This is very similar to always relying on Google maps while traveling. We travel through places but never really get the lay of the land. Tempo and pauses help to familiarize the body, the mind, and the nervous system with where to go, what to do, and how it will feel.

I am proud to say that I am a constant work in progress and these are two tidbits that have helped me a lot in my journey towards becoming the best version of me. I hope they are just as helpful if not more helpful for you. Namaste squatters.


Notify me of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top