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Old 02-21-2008, 09:49 AM
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Default foot position during squat

I have been taught to keep your feet pointed directly ahead of you when performing a squat. Most people will externally rotate their feet, mainly because they don't have any ankle mobility..and the ext rotation prevents any type of ankle mobility. But I still see some trainers having their clients externally rotate their feet in order to do the movement. What is the best placement for the feet to ensure a good squat w/ proper mechanics and correct length/tension relationships?
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:05 AM
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anyone want to take a shot?
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:53 AM
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I don't see a problem with rotating the feet out slightly, as long as the knees track over the feet. Doing this has enbabled me to sit back into my squat much more. My ankles are still flexing, as far as I can tell.
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:42 PM
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okay, but here's the confusion. Nobody will teach you to externally rotate your feet while performing a split squat or lunge, so why would you externally rotate your feet on a two-leg squat?
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:38 PM
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BA03,

I dont know about lunges or split squats, but I will explain why the feet are pointed out about 45 degress on squats. I am going paraphrasing John Lear, an English Olympic weight lifting coach and author, I have read several of his books on Olympic Weight Lifting. According to John, the feet should be rotated out, so as to involve your adductors, and as a result of adductor involvement reduce the likelihood of your back rounding.

Also in the Olympic Weight Lifting videos that I have from the USWA, the toes of the lifters are always rotated out.

Now, I notice when the front squats are done on the coreperformance site, the toes tend to be pointed straight forward. Perhaps, Nick can offer some insight into why their form is different.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:14 AM
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There are multiple foot positions for squatting and the correct position depends on your training goal. From an athlete standpoint we will always want a parallel foot stance with the toes pointed forward. This position reflects the movement demands in most sporting events. An athlete would never cut by pointing their toe out and for the same reason we will not squat athletes’ with a toe out position. If you are a power lifter a toe out position is optimal for maximum strength. This position will open the hips, decrease the demand for closed chain ankle dorsiflexion, and increase the recruitment of the adductor region. This externally rotated position will allow an individual to lift the greatest load. If you are not an athlete or a power lifter the correct foot position will be as close to parallel as possible. Note that if a person has a structural alignment issue then slightly externally rotated may actually be neutral for them. If it is a functional problem (i.e. tightness, shortness, or mobility) then we may need to start them externally rotated, and with corrective exercises move them back to a neutral position. The common dominator is that the knee should always track over the second toe.
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