5 Reasons Why You Can’t Squat Deeper!

Getting into a deep squat can be very challenging for some individuals. I’m writing this today to help you understand the 5 main reasons why you can’t squat deeper. If something is holding you back from a full depth squat, I can GUARANTEE one of these reasons will help you out!

  1. Your Genetic Structure

Every human being is created differently, and some, just aren’t meant to squat deep. The way that our body is designed could severely limit our ability to do certain things. For example, people that are very tall, usually have long femurs (thigh bone). Because of this, taller individuals usually have a much tougher time getting into a deep squat.

2. Lack of Ankle Mobility

The ankles must be taken into consideration when we look at squat depth. With the ankles, we want to look at something called dorsiflexion. It simply means, “how far can your knees go without the heels coming off the ground?” Without great ankle dorsiflexion, you’ll likely find yourself with your heels coming off the ground, as you descend into a squat.

To test your ankle dorsiflexion, you can use the “Wall Test.” Here’s a video on it:

3. Lack of Hip Mobility

What are you doing right now?!?

Probably sitting down, right?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In today’s world, many people sit at a desk for 8-10 hours a day. When we sit for prolonged periods of time, the hip flexors get chronically shortened, which gives you that “tight” feeling. Tightness in the joints will restrict your movement potential and limit your range of motion. Tight muscles = weak muscles.

Practicing hip mobility is something that should be done EVERYDAY. Something as simple as holding a deep squat for 20 seconds is a fantastic hip mobilizer. Do that 3-4 times throughout the day, and you’ll have hips like Shakira before you know it.

Here’s another great Hip Mobility drill, called the Hip C.A.R:

4. You Need to Increase Squat Frequency

The squat is a skill. You know just as well as I do, that anything that requires skill, also requires practice. To improve your squat depth, you should be practicing it often. This DOES NOT mean you need to squat heavy weights everyday. You just need to practice getting into and out of the position you’re looking to achieve. Think about it this way:

If you have to ask, “Was my squat deep enough?”

Chances are, the answer is no.

Practice deep squats very often!

5. You’re Going too Heavy

Going heavy isn’t a bad thing. That’s how we build strength. We all know that.

But, you should NEVER let the weight determine your range of motion.

Coach Jonathan, what do you mean by that? Let me explain.

Every rep should look the same. Whether it’s 20lbs or 250lbs. I see this all the time.

Let me paint a picture for you:

Someone will be at the squat rack warming up. They’ll do some easy sets with lighter weights, with PERFECT form. Then, they’ll put on some more weight. The squats will still be pretty good, but not “perfect” anymore. Then, even more weight will be put on. Now, the squats will just be “okay.” You get the idea.

If you can’t do a full depth squat with the weight, then you have no business having that much weight on the bar.

From my experience, these are the top 5 reasons why you can’t squat deeper!

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Published by Jonathan Valentini,

B.A. Exercise Science, Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach, Former NCAA athlete, CSCS, CSAC, CPR/AED

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