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Squats, hand position and preventing sore wrists.

  • 03-12-2011 2:45pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭ Hanley


    This has come up a few times recently on the forum so when I was in BHAF on Thursday I grabbed a few photos and just threw this together. Hopefully some people will get a bit of use outta it.

    Sore wrists are one of the biggest problem most people have when squatting, but the good news is it’s really bloody easy to fix. Think of it this way…

    “Straight wrist = strong wrist” and ”Bent wrist = bad wrist”

    The pictures below do a better job of explaining the position than any text can. Essentially rather than the bar sitting in your hand, it sits across it. I think it’s a safer, less painful position, and I personally find it a lot more secure to for keeping the bar on my back, and the external shoulder rotation tends to force thoracic extension as well which will increase your squat and protect your lower back. It’s simple fix with lots of positive benefits. So….

    Good position on the left, bad on the right.
    20111203-115944.jpg?w=224&h=30020111203-115929.jpg?w=224&h=300

    Good position on the left, bad on the right.
    20111203-115957.jpg?w=224&h=30020111203-115949.jpg?w=224&h=300

    One thing to be conscious of is that as you try to drive the elbows forward out of the bottom of the squat (like you should be doing), you’re trying to create thoracic extension and keep your chest up. Having “soft” wrists so that you go from the “good” position to the “bad” position while you’re doing that does not create thoracic extension and just loads the absolute hell out of your wrists.

    It might take a while to work into that position because it does require a good level of flexibility and could be uncomfortable while you’re trying to adapt to it, but I believe it’s worth it in the long run. So give it a try and let me know what you think.

    ….and yes, I know. My forearms are jacked :P


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 630 danlen


    Absolutely brilliant post.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,818 ✭✭✭ Inspector Coptoor


    Needs moar veins


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,084 ✭✭✭ n1ck


    Starting squatting again the other day and used this method, much more comfortable, great post.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭ Hanley


    n1ck wrote: »
    Starting squatting again the other day and used this method, much more comfortable, great post.

    No problem at all!! Glad it helped :)

    Someone needs to remind me to do a similar one on close grip bench pressing and wrist/elbow position because that’s another really simple one that people f*ck up.

    Actually and a plank one with variations. This is great. Loads of ideas :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,084 ✭✭✭ n1ck


    Hanley wrote: »
    No problem at all!! Glad it helped :)

    Someone needs to remind me to do a similar one on close grip bench pressing and wrist/elbow position because that’s another really simple one that people f*ck up.

    Actually and a plank one with variations. This is great. Loads of ideas :D

    I was actually going to ask because I've been having pain in my wrist occasionally and then again when doing some bicep curls on an ez bar, at the top of the movement there is pain in my wrist and forearm and then also when I let go.

    Safe to say i'd definitely be interested.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,748 ✭✭✭ Dermighty


    I was trying this out the other day after seeing it in a starting strength video. Really works :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭ kevpants


    What he hasn't told ye yet is about the sore elbows from the new hand position.

    Ya see he tempts you in with the solution to the wrist problem and then hoovers up the prospective clients with elbow problems thereafter.

    What a salesman! :D


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭ Hanley


    kevpants wrote: »
    What he hasn't told ye yet is about the sore elbows from the new hand position.

    Ya see he tempts you in with the solution to the wrist problem and then hoovers up the prospective clients with elbow problems thereafter.

    What a salesman! :D

    Did it cause your achy vagina too? :D

    ...and maybe it's near max squatting 3-4x a week that's causing your sore elbows, eh?? ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 769 Da Za


    With the last two comments in mind.

    Has anyone ever done a smolov/intense squat cycle using a SSB and then retested their 'comp' squat?

    Just curious about the carry over. Won't be doing it anytime in the near future though.

    When I did the TSH Cycle I experimented with the open hand grip and by the end my elbows got very emo thus leading to myself becoming a vag! Then changed back to normal wide grip


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,748 ✭✭✭ Dermighty


    I was watching a buddy of mine squat today when we were doing legs in the gym. The back of his hand was white from gripping the bar (gripping it 'the wrong way' according to your pictures). It was funny, he was still squatting 280kg, made me wonder could he do more with better positioning :P


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭ kevpants


    Da Za wrote: »

    When I did the TSH Cycle I experimented with the open hand grip and by the end my elbows got very emo thus leading to myself becoming a vag! Then changed back to normal wide grip

    Curls to finish in every squat session has kept my elbows bearable. Only thing that works as far as I can see.


  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭ Dr.Tom


    Hanley wrote: »
    Someone needs to remind me to do a similar one on close grip bench pressing and wrist/elbow position because that’s another really simple one that people f*ck up

    This is a reminder from a guy that f***s it up weekly :D Nice thread,gonna give the new hand positioning ago on my next legs day


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭ Hanley


    Dermighty wrote: »
    I was watching a buddy of mine squat today when we were doing legs in the gym. The back of his hand was white from gripping the bar (gripping it 'the wrong way' according to your pictures). It was funny, he was still squatting 280kg, made me wonder could be do more with better positioning :P

    I'm trying to decide whether your humour just doesn't come across in posts, or whether you just like being an ass.

    I never said it was "wrong" to do it the other way. The point of the post was how to lessen pain in your wrists. And that grip set up does that.

    And anyway, I squatted 310kg with the straight position. Therefore I win and your mate is wrong.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,748 ✭✭✭ Dermighty


    Firstly, I forget that what I'm thinking/saying in my head doesn't necessarily translate well to a forum post, so my apologies for that. In general, I don't intend to be smart with people, nor do I want to be a contrarian who disagrees with what every has to say.

    Hanley wrote: »
    I'm trying to decide whether your humour just doesn't come across in posts, or whether you just like being an ass.

    I never said it was "wrong" to do it the other way. The point of the post was how to lessen pain in your wrists. And that grip set up does that.

    And anyway, I squatted 310kg with the straight position. Therefore I win and your mate is wrong.

    When I was looking at his wrists yesterday they were white, showing that they were under pressure (hands bent backwards), I made an effort to do it the way you had described and I found that keeping the hand and forearm in line and driving the elbows forward really helped. We were also doing sled pushes as part of a tri-set and while I was pushing I noticed that when my hands and wrists were in line it became easier to push. My point being: thanks for the tip, it really helped, on two exercises.

    I wasn't being humourous and I wasn't indicating that if he can squat that much he's better than your method. Having re-read my post, I didn't mean to be smarmy by saying "the wrong way according to your post", it was just a reference to which part of the pictures you posted I was referring to.

    His squats aren't mine, so what he does or doesn't lift doesn't benefit my credibility. What I mean to infer is that he is very strong, and that he does it the way you recommend to not do it (just in terms of putting a load on the wrists). I think the way you recommend is better, and all I meant was I was curious as to whether he'd gain weight on his lifts if he changed his positioning to your way of doing it, or is it simple safer for the wrists and doesn't affect the lift.

    Hanley wrote: »
    And anyway, I squatted 310kg with the straight position. Therefore I win and your mate is wrong.

    The max I've seen him do is 300kg so yes you are right :P (<--- genuine laughing smiley!)

    I stopped being his friend after reading that.

    I wish there was a 'shake fist' emoticon :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭ kevpants


    The hand position has very little to do with how much you can squat. Just bear in mind this is a pain prevention thing. Some of the biggest squats I've seen have been done by guys who don't have the flexibility to grab the bar in either of the ways above.

    Anyone who does this crap long term is going to end up with a multitude of sore joints etc and you'll need to tweak your setup as you progress.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,915 ✭✭✭ MungBean


    Started doing weights at home and did/attempted my first squats today. As I dont have a rack and shag all weights anyway I was doing front squats.

    Did it the way this guy was doing it .



    But found it very difficult and sore on the arms and shoulders. Is this the best way for front squats ?

    Also found it impossible to push up with the heels unless I held a wide stance is this ok to do I do I have to go back to square one ? I know most vids I watched said to keep feet shoulder distance apart but I just end up going forward onto the front of my feet or falling back if I try to lean back on my heels.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭ Hanley


    MungBean wrote: »
    Started doing weights at home and did/attempted my first squats today. As I dont have a rack and shag all weights anyway I was doing front squats.

    Did it the way this guy was doing it .



    But found it very difficult and sore on the arms and shoulders. Is this the best way for front squats ?

    Also found it impossible to push up with the heels unless I held a wide stance is this ok to do I do I have to go back to square one ? I know most vids I watched said to keep feet shoulder distance apart but I just end up going forward onto the front of my feet or falling back if I try to lean back on my heels.

    Yes that's the correct and best grip. Lat flexibility and upper back mobility will have a big impact on your ability to achieve that position.

    You want to be able to do a full squat with your feet just outside shoulder width. Hip mobility and flexibility, ankle/calf range of movement and the ability to extend your upper back (ie keep your chest up) are all possible and probable reasons why you're struggling to do that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,748 ✭✭✭ Dermighty


    Which i more advisable? I haven't started doing cleans yet so my flexibility for the first position is bad.

    front-squat--olympic-hold_1.jpg

    or

    front-squat--crossarm_1.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,257 Molly


    Cleans won't really help your flexibility, you'll have to sort your flexibility to help with cleans.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,748 ✭✭✭ Dermighty


    Molly wrote: »
    Cleans won't really help your flexibility, you'll have to sort your flexibility to help with cleans.

    I meant I haven't started doing cleans so I haven't worked on the flexibility either, I also do front squats the way it's done in the 2nd photo I've posted.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,368 ✭✭✭ cc87


    Dermighty wrote: »
    I meant I haven't started doing cleans so I haven't worked on the flexibility either, I also do front squats the way it's done in the 2nd photo I've posted.

    Well do you want to do cleans? If you do then you will need to sort your wrist flexibility and be able to hold the bar like the first pic.

    Although in the first one id say he is after moving his elbows down to get ready to press overhead


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,188 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor


    Hanley wrote: »
    Yes that's the correct and best grip. Lat flexibility and upper back mobility will have a big impact on your ability to achieve that position.
    There's prob a decent thread in stretch/flex/mobility for the rack position.

    I can can manage ok for front squats, but can't get into position quick enough onm cleans. End up catching the bar with elbows too low.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭ Hanley


    Mellor wrote: »
    There's prob a decent thread in stretch/flex/mobility for the rack position.

    I can can manage ok for front squats, but can't get into position quick enough onm cleans. End up catching the bar with elbows too low.

    That just sounds like a tekkers thing!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,257 Molly


    Sounds like the bar is too far out in front in the catch


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,603 Scuba Ste


    Mellor wrote: »
    There's prob a decent thread in stretch/flex/mobility for the rack position.

    I can can manage ok for front squats, but can't get into position quick enough onm cleans. End up catching the bar with elbows too low.

    If you can rack it for front squats, you can rack for cleans. Very likely its technique, could be what Molly said or it you could be pulling with your arms. You'll be slower getting under if your pulling up with your arms too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,188 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor


    Hanley wrote: »
    That just sounds like a tekkers thing!
    Tekkers is definitely one issue. I sometimes feel that flexibility is adding to this.
    I'm not really sure how to fix tekkers, so hoping eliminating flexibility, mobility issue might help while I work on gettign my **** together.
    Molly wrote: »
    Sounds like the bar is too far out in front in the catch
    Could be. I've no idea really.
    Maybe I should get a video and review.
    Scuba Ste wrote: »
    If you can rack it for front squats, you can rack for cleans. Very likely its technique, could be what Molly said or it you could be pulling with your arms. You'll be slower getting under if your pulling up with your arms too.

    It's not that i can't get into the rack position at all. I can physically manage the position, just not always fast enough.
    Front squats are fine, warm up cleans are fine. It's only when I try to up the weight on cleans that I struggle.
    On my heaviest set, I don't get under quick enough and end up catching with my elbows below my wrists (kinda like the second picture above). IF I manage to catch it there, I can then get into a proper rack position as I stand up. But I'm missing some reps before i get to this point.

    Pulling with my arms - I probably am. and lots od other basic mistakes due to having never been shown how to do it right.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 3,233 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Edwardius


    Mellor wrote: »
    On my heaviest set, I don't get under quick enough and end up catching with my elbows below my wrists (kinda like the second picture above). IF I manage to catch it there, I can then get into a proper rack position as I stand up. But I'm missing some reps before i get to this point.

    Pulling with my arms - I probably am. and lots od other basic mistakes due to having never been shown how to do it right.
    Focusing too much on extending or looping the bar can **** with your catch. I'd say a video is your best bet


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,603 Scuba Ste


    It really could be anything without a video.

    Talking about weightlifting is like dancing about architecture or some such.


  • Registered Users Posts: 339 ✭✭ roro1neil0


    what's the kind of time frame people take to get the flexibility required to do the clean and jerk ignoring skill level. i didn't realise how bad my shoulder or arm flexibility was until i tried to do a front squat that way and i thought they were going to explode after a few sets (my shoulders and forearms).


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭ Hanley


    roro1neil0 wrote: »
    what's the kind of time frame people take to get the flexibility required to do the clean and jerk ignoring skill level. i didn't realise how bad my shoulder or arm flexibility was until i tried to do a front squat that way and i thought they were going to explode after a few sets (my shoulders and forearms).

    forearms? Something's wrong there.

    Depends what you do and how you do it tbh, if you're rolling aggressively, stretching and mobilising correctly it shouldn't take too long.


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