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View Full Version : Feet angle and squating form


Moran Bentzur
09-17-2009, 06:07 AM
I've noticed that when I squat (air, front, back) I have a tendency to externally rotate my feet (esp. right foot) farther then what is generally prescribed.
Even when I begin with proper foot placing (~30deg.) I often revert mid set to a more open position.
So my first observation is that I have to shift more weight to the heel so this won't happen unintentionally.

My question is - Even when standing my right foot has always pointed out slightly more than my left and both stick out more than most people. When I stand both feet point at about 25-30 deg. Should I be fighting to maintain a "proper" angle on squats or should I go with a wide-open (~55 deg.) stance, which allows me to go down further but would be a form mistake for most people?

Steven Low
09-17-2009, 07:45 AM
Is this at the ankle, the knee, or the hip?

And yes, if you can tell where it's from it means different things.

Moran Bentzur
09-17-2009, 07:57 AM
I'm not sure. I think this is at the hip since my knee is inline with the foot. And when I intentionally correct the angle it is by shifting my whole leg from the hip.
Is there a better way to make the distinction?

Patrick Donnelly
09-18-2009, 06:45 AM
I've found glute stretches to be particularly useful here. When the glutes are tight, the IT band tugs on the lateral side of the thigh and rotates the whole leg from the hip.

Martin Bonn
09-18-2009, 07:03 AM
i generally agree with what the other guys have said, however depending on your proportions you might need to get your feet to point out more and this might be a good totally natural....however a chiro or physio ( a good one who understands biomechanics) can probably give you a better assessment!

Duke McCall
09-18-2009, 07:11 AM
This is an issue for me as well, and I have found that I am susceptible to groin pulls if I allow my foot stance to open too far. So, be careful.

Mark Gleason
09-20-2009, 10:48 AM
Could it be injury related? My right foot twist (externally rotates) on my heal when I squat due to a 20+ old broken knee and tib/fib. My leg kinda corkscrews under me. I've had numerous coaches and trainer tell me to do this stretch or that, but nothing can fix the fact that my surgeon set something incorrectly many years ago... just had to get that off my chest I guess.

Steven Low
09-20-2009, 04:46 PM
Could it be injury related? My right foot twist (externally rotates) on my heal when I squat due to a 20+ old broken knee and tib/fib. My leg kinda corkscrews under me. I've had numerous coaches and trainer tell me to do this stretch or that, but nothing can fix the fact that my surgeon set something incorrectly many years ago... just had to get that off my chest I guess.
Certainly.

Although most dysfunctions are from movement pattern or posture.

Yours may be one of the cases where you had an injury and it did not get fixed right.

Brian DeGennaro
09-20-2009, 06:51 PM
How tall are you? Do you have long legs and/or femurs? That can say a lot about your squat.

Moran Bentzur
09-21-2009, 06:18 AM
How tall are you? Do you have long legs and/or femurs? That can say a lot about your squat.

185cm (6'1), longish legs but nothing really out of proportion. As I wrote my feet "default" to a ~25deg.
I guess the best thing would be to find an angle that allows me to go low but is not excessive and stick with it, not allowing myself to drift further out unintentionally. probably a little more open than what most people use but not overdoing it.

Brian DeGennaro
09-21-2009, 06:59 AM
You may have to pronate more than most in order to not topple over while squatting. People with long legs will have their femurs shoot their hips way back past their area of base, which creates a large forward lean in order to keep the bar in the area of base. to compensate you are gonna have to turn your feet out more than most.

Brian Stone
09-22-2009, 07:48 AM
I was going to start a separate thread on a similar issue, but since this is here I'll just jump in, with apologies to OP.

You may have to pronate more than most in order to not topple over while squatting. People with long legs will have their femurs shoot their hips way back past their area of base, which creates a large forward lean in order to keep the bar in the area of base. to compensate you are gonna have to turn your feet out more than most.

This probably describes very close to what I suspect my problem is. I'm fairly tall (6'3") and have monkey limbs. As a note, I used to squat horribly before fairly recently being exposed to the proper technique. Nonetheless, when I squat my toes seem to point further outward (both feet), especially when I put more force on heels since I have less friction created in feet due to smaller contact area w/ the floor. In my case, the sheer spot seems to happen at my knees, which is not good (I feel pressure toward the inside of my knees, as they don't bow out in proportion to my toes).

I have to do as Brian D described - put my butt way back and my chest pretty far down in order to remain balanced and with the bar above mid foot w/o stressing knees. Any advise or ideas here? I saw glute stretches mentioned earlier, but I'm not sure if this is the case if the area of stress is at my knees.

Brian DeGennaro
09-22-2009, 04:52 PM
Work the crap out of ankle flexibility and turn your toes out.

Alex Bond
09-22-2009, 05:25 PM
Work the crap out of ankle flexibility and turn your toes out.

Do you have raised-heel squat shoes? That will help with the ankle flexibility Brian mentions here.

Brian Stone
09-23-2009, 07:56 AM
My toes are turning too far out, so flexibility in that direction doesn't seem to be the issue. Are you guys thinking flexibility like the problem might be my ankles are having trouble allowing my shin to approach the top of my foot? I hadn't considered that, and I do have terribly inflexible ankles.

I don't have raised heel shoes either. I typically lift in running shoes, which are probably actually the exact opposite. Maybe I should look into some good weightlifting shoes for squatting.