Bilateral squatting has been touted the king of all exercises with the conventional deadlift a close second (depends who you ask). But what if you can’t squat ass to grass with a perfectly neutral spine and actually turn the squat into a half squat, half good morning? What if your pelvis tucks under at the bottom of your squat? What if your feet collapse and your knees cave inward? If you’re like most, you either have limitations in mobility, flexibility or strength, which is preventing you from squatting with optimal form and optimal depth.
Introducing the staggered stance.
First introduced to me at the Dynamic Variable Resistance Training Level 1 and Level 2 Certification course hosted by Josh Henkin, the staggered stance is a hybrid bilateral and unilateral stance where one foot is moved back so that the toes of the back foot (with heel in the air) are aligned with the heel of the front foot. The “working” leg is the lead leg while the opposite foot helps with balance.
The staggered stance introduces single leg training while maintaining stability. The benefit of the slight split in the stance is that the hips are allowed more freedom to move. Plus, this stance can help trainees squat deeper when ankle mobility is limited. This unique stance can help you squat deeper, thus making you use your muscles through a greater range of motion. Plus, this stance works well for hip hinge exercises like the Romanian deadlift and good morning in that balance can still be maintained while the emphasis is more unilateral.