The 3 Biggest Squat Set-up Mistakes

When I was in Seattle a few weeks back, my entire presentation revolved around rebuilding the big lifts.

You see, I think too much of our lifting culture has been influenced by powerlifting.

And while we know powerlifters are strong, is that who we should look to for coaching advice when it comes to our general population or athletes?

I’m not so sure.

In this video, I’m going to challenge some of the big issues I see when it comes to coaching the squat, especially with regards to the set-up.

After all, when  it comes to squatting, many people fail to recognize just how important the set-up is.

I don’t care how good of a coach or lifter you are, if your set-up is jacked up, there’s no way you’re magically going to “fix” the lift!

In this short video, I detail three of the biggest mistakes I see when people are setting up to squat. Check it out now and make sure that you (or your clients/athletes) aren’t making them!

Now that you’ve watched the video (and seen the mistakes for yourself), here’s a quick refresher:

  1. Don’t place the feet too wide. Unless you’re a powerlifter looking to break World Records, there’s no need to place the feet excessively wide. Not only does it make the lift incredibly awkward, but there’s not much carryover to everyday life or sporting activities when you squat this wide, either.
  2. Don’t place the feet too narrow. I’m not sure why this is a thing, but most of us aren’t built to squat under load with our feet super narrow and toes pointed straight-forward. Again, find a way to squat that allows the body to use its natural mobility and athleticism. This generally occurs with the feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned out 15-20 degrees.
  3. Don’t arch the back excessively. Again, using a more aggressive arch through the lower back is fine if your number one goal is to move heavy weights, or to break world records. However, if your goal is to get strong and stay relatively healthy doing it, focus instead on stacking the system and using muscles and pressure to create stability, versus bony compression.

While these mistakes may seem simple, I think you’d be shocked at how many people make them early-on in their training.

And I can guarantee if you address these issues early-on in their training sessions, your clients and athletes are going to love squatting – or at the very least, they’re going to love the results!

All the best,

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