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You might be wondering as to why your squat depth varies even though you are doing it with the right form and technique. And quite often it happens, you see someone right next to you doing a squat with upright back squat while you have to put your torso almost parallel to the floor.
I know you are very annoyed by those comments from other individuals at the gym telling you that your form is bad or you don’t know how to do a squat.
No! It isn’t always about the form and you don’t need to worry about that.
Femur Length and Squat Mechanics
The truth here is that you don’t have to force or be forced into a ‘perfect’ squat position. In simple, your body anatomy might be the reason as to why your squat form differs from others.
To give you a better idea of how femur length affects squat mechanics, below I’ve compared two female members who are of the same height but their torso and femur makes them significantly different from each other.
Their names are Maren and Brett. Maren is standing on the left side in the image below while Brett on the right side. You can clearly notice that Maren has a longer torso but a shorter femur while Brett has a short torso but long femurs. Also, see the height different on their hip joints. Isn’t it different?
Next, both the members were asked to do a 95 lbs. squat in order to demonstrate the difference femur length makes. They were asked to do a normal squat using natural squat mechanics.
Below is Maren doing a 95 lbs. squat and is pretty much upright. A position that most of us want to achieve. Also, she goes quite deep while lowering her body.
Next, Brett was asked to do the same 95 lbs. squat but you can see she leans forward with her back almost parallel to the floor. This is the case with most of the individuals.
When a pole was made on which member did a better squat, the majority of the votes were for Maren and was quite obvious. None of them praised Brett while she did a perfect squat. Because of her greater relative femur length, she had to lean forward and couldn’t stay upright even if she tries her hardest. Whereas for Maren, squatting was natural and pretty smooth.
Here is a video of Tom Purvis’s who is explaining the phenomenon of this varying squats because of femur length difference.
The conclusion was made that squat mechanics are highly influenced by your anatomy and anthropometry.
What Results in an Upright Squat Posture?
Having a great heel variation, greater ankle dorsiflexion mobility, longer relative torso length, shorter femur length, wider stance, more abduction, greater relative quads strength, higher bar position on the back and increased intent to target the knee extensors.
What Causes To Lean Forward?
Without any heel elevation, restriction ankle dorsiflexion mobility, shorter relative torso length, longer relative femur length, narrower stance width, less abduction, lower bar position on the back, increased intent to target hip extensors and great relative gluteal strength.
You might be a naturally excellent squatter but you can be the individual who is struggling hard to keep a smooth form throughout the squat. Well, unless you have a normal femur length, it isn’t your fault. You just have to work out the way your anatomy allows you. Don’t try to force the upright position, else you may cause yourself an injury.