Thanks for the advice regarding front squats, guys. I'll give it a shot this week on my recovery day.
Yay glad to be reading your log again!
Anything specific you did to improve hip flexibility? That's my major weakness, that and hamstring inflexibility.
Only two major things. Firstly, the squats themselves. By squatting as deep as I could with heavy weight, I found myself slowly being able to go deeper and deeper. I would add weight and add weight week after week, going as deep as I could....and once I got to a point that I felt the weight was too heavy to go deep enough with, I would deload significantly and re-start the process, only I would find that I could go deeper than the previous time I had been at that weight.
The second thing I did was religiously "squat stretch" before each session. With a wide stance, sit back into as deep a bodyweight squat as you can (it's ok to hold onto the rack for support). Hold that position. Then try sitting back as deep as you can (you'll need to hold on for support, this isn't a balanced position I'm talking about), then sit back up and try bouncing slightly, or rocking side to side - anything to add a bit of gentle movement while you're in that deep squat. I'm probably sucking at the description, but a local powerlifter showed it to me and said it would fix all my problems. It did! I would do that for minimum 1 minute before each session, and find it really loosens me up. The key is to just move around in a way that feel natural, while holding a really deep squat. Kind of a combination of static and dynamic stretching. It really helps though.
As for hamstrings...that's something that I'm still struggling with! I blame all the running I did, but I'm just a stiff person in general.