What makes a good squatter?
The length of your torso and femurs has a significant impact on your squatting style. The best squatters are lifters with short femurs and long torsos. The illustration below makes a comparison between squatters with short (left) and long (right) femurs.
Remember: The bar always forms a straight line through the middle of the foot. That’s the only way to stay balanced.
Below are real life examples of people with short femurs and long torsos.
1. Tom Platz
The reason why the squat was such a good quad builder for Platz is that his femurs are relatively short. In addition, he did high bar back squats with a close stance. Of course, Vitamin S helped a lot too, but that’s for another post.
2. Ed Coan
Ed Coan has the ultimate build for powerlifting. Here’s why.
1. He has short femurs.
In the video below he is doing low bar squats. However, he remains fairly upright because his legs are short.
It’s not a coincidence that his squat is so good. He was built to squat.
2. He has long arms
Ed Coan is short but his arms are long in relation to his torso. That’s why he deadlifts so much.
The only lift that he struggles with because of his build is the bench press, but out of the big three, the bench affects your total the least. Many powerlifters would trade a weak bench press for a strong deadlift or squat.
Besides, it’s not realistic to be a really good bencher and deadlifter at the same time. The bench benefits from short arms whereas the deadlift doesn’t.
3. Liu Hao
The Chinese weightlifter in the video below is Liu Hao. He has extra short femurs and remains super upright when he squats.
Note: People like that are not that rare, but very few care about squatting.
And now it’s time for the more interesting part – the suckers.
Below are examples of people who have an inferior structure for squats.
1. Layne Norton
Layne has long legs and an exceptionally short torso which makes him a squat morning kinda of guy. His squat is super hip dominant and resembles a deadlift with the bar on the back.
Apparently, even his Olympic shoes can’t help him. One could only wonder how his squat will look without the Oly shoes – maybe his butt will be higher than his shoulders?
In my opinion, men with this build would do better with high bar squats if their knees are healthy. The high bar does not require you to bend over like this.
2. Steve Goggins
Steve Goggons is a powerlifter with bad squatting levers. His squat is not exactly a squat. It’s a squat morning like the one of Layne. They squat the same way.
Are you talking about proportions or overall length?
I am talking about the length of your femurs in relation to your torso. You can be tall and still have a long torso and short legs, although it’s highly unlikely. Usually, tall people have long femurs whereas short people have short femurs.
What can I do to fix that?
You can try to use a wider stance and force yourself to remain as upright as possible. This will reduce the forward lean. Also, stay away from low bar squats. They are the devil.
Note: Norton and Goggins can squat with a more upright back position. They just choose not to because it would reduce the weight on the bar.
In addition, you may add extra leg exercises like front squats, hack squats and leg presses to build up your leg strength which may be lacking as a result of your hip dominant squat.