Varying Squat Stance for Quad Development (Athlete Journal 121)

What are the Benefits of Varying Squat Stance?

The main benefit of varying your squat stance is that it allows you to train with less risk. You do not have to worry about getting injured if you don’t use proper technique. This is because there will always be some degree of risk when training heavy weights, but at least you won’t get hurt if you vary your stance.

Varying your stance allows you to train with lighter weight without having to worry about overtraining or injury. You can still work on your strength and muscle endurance while doing so.

If you want to improve your deadlift, then you may need to increase the amount of weight that you lift. If however, you want to build bigger muscles, then increasing the load would be counterproductive since it would only make them grow slower than they could naturally grow.

In addition, if you are going to use different types of exercises such as squats, lunges, step ups etc., then you need to know which type works best for each exercise. For example, if you want to develop bigger legs and arms then you might want to focus on leg extensions instead of just using squats.

For those who are new to the world of bodybuilding or fitness in general, they may think that squatting down is better than squatting up. This is just not true. Both are great exercises that can greatly improve your strength and muscle mass. It all just comes down to your personal exercise preferences and goals.

Will Varying Your Stance Make You Look Unbalanced?

Varying your stance will not make you appear unbalanced especially if you’re just a beginner who is still learning proper form. However, if you are already an advanced trainee who knows how to use proper form then it really shouldn’t matter.

This is because your body will automatically know how to react when using different stance widths. It’s just a matter of training your muscles to do what they’re supposed to do.

A very common misconception is that squatting with a wide stance is going make your hips and legs wider. This is not true at all. If you’re getting wider then it’s a good sign that you’re gaining more muscle mass and having your body absorb the nutrients that you consume.

Stance Width and Muscle Imbalances

Varying Squat Stance for Quad Development (Athlete Journal 121) - Image

Muscle imbalances happen when you have stronger muscles on one side compared to the other. For example, if your quads are significantly bigger or stronger than your hamstrings, then you have a muscle imbalance on your legs.

Sources & references used in this article:

Knee biomechanics of the dynamic squat exercise by RF Escamilla – Medicine & science in sports & exercise, 2001 –

Effects of technique variations on knee biomechanics during the squat and leg press by RF Escamilla, GS FLEISIG, N Zheng… – … & Science in …, 2001 –

The management of chondromalacia patellae: a long term solution by J McConnell – Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 1986 –

Intrinsic Risk Factors for the Development of Anterior Knee Pain in an Athletic Population: A Two-Year Prospective Study by E Witvrouw, R Lysens, J Bellemans… – … American journal of …, 2000 –

Differences in Kinematics and Electromyographic Activity between Men and Women during the Single-Legged Squat by BL Zeller, JL McCrory… – The American journal …, 2003 –

Structural Achilles tendon properties in athletes subjected to different exercise modes and in Achilles tendon rupture patients by M Kongsgaard, P Aagaard, M Kjaer… – Journal of applied …, 2005 –

Isolated Activation Ratio of the Quadriceps Femoris Muscle on Different Support Surfaces During Squat Exercise by YH Kim, BJ Kim, DJ Park – PNF and Movement, 2018 –

Effects of different footwear on kinetics, kinematics and muscle forces during the barbell back squat; an exploration using Bayesian modelling by J Sinclair, B Butters, PJ Taylor, M Stone… – Footwear …, 2020 – Taylor & Francis

Strength and power predictors of sports speed by JB Cronin, KT Hansen – The Journal of Strength & Conditioning …, 2005 –