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-   -   front squat foot position (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=502)

Yael Grauer 02-09-2007 06:08 PM

front squat foot position
I always thought you were supposed to do front squats with your feet at a 45 degree angle, but this morning I did a session with this kickass Olylifting coach, and he told me to keep my feet straight. Then when I went to the gym this evening I was working up to my max front squat, I got 85 lbs...previous PR was 60. I know the mass gain program is getting all my PR's up (they're all up by about 10 pounds), but 25 lbs seems like a pretty huge jump considering I'd already worked out this morning. So I thought it might be the foot positioning might have something to do with it? What is the reasoning behind the 45 degree angle anyway?

Steve Shafley 02-09-2007 06:38 PM

feet straight ahead increases knee torque.

in some, problematic, in others, it's not.

Elliot Royce 02-09-2007 06:56 PM

Rippetoe: "heels about shoulder width apart, toes pointed out about 30 degrees....", "if the toes point forward, as is usual with a narrow stance, the knees will go forward too [making] a good depth hard to reach." "Stance will vary" with a variety of factors. Basically you want to make sure that you have "the corret neutral relationship between the femur and the tibia, so that no twisting occurs...." "Bodybuilders frequenlty use a narrow stance squat to develop contest quality quads." "It is very common to see lifters at all levels of proficiency squatting with their toes pointing almost forward. The really strong ones do it to increase the joint tightness....and the novices haven't been corrected yet."

Basically not a good thing unless your body is built very oddly. Your feet should be angled so that when you force your knees out as you squat, the knees track right over your feet.

As for why you were able to increase by 25lbs, first 25lbs is a perfectly normal increase for novices like you and I. The mechanical advantage given by a technique or even improvement from workout to workout is amazing. I was front squatting barely 45lbs a month ago and am now at 135lbs. Simply because as my technique improves the weight goes zooming up. When you think about it, if you can bench press 150lbs or something, why wouldn't you be able to front squat much more than that? Technique is the only reason.

Maybe your kickass coach, though, is trying to strengthen your quads. I would say a good coach, who actually sees you in motion, is far superior to any advice you're going to get here.

Greg Everett 02-09-2007 07:46 PM

first of all, there's no reason your foot position should be different for a front squat than it is for a back squat or overhead squat. your legs and hips should be doing the same things in each case. second, your feet, unless your joints are naturally misaligned with each other, should be in line with your thighs at the bottom--that will ensure the knee is not being twisted. if the feet are facing straight ahead, unless they're touching each other and the knees are therefore driving straight out in front of you, this is not happening. there are lifters who intentionally place that torque on the knees to get some rebound--not worth it at all in my opinion. what might add some kgs to your squat now will sit your ass in a wheelchair later.

Yael Grauer 02-09-2007 08:36 PM

Yikes! I'll ask him.

Mike ODonnell 02-10-2007 06:58 AM

Other than what was said above...it might reflect stronger quads and weaker leg adductors....the more the feet point forward...the less the adductors are involved....dunno......try doing some seperate adductor work...like the old walking sideways with a weight/sled tied to the outside foot....I know hockey players do a ton of those.

Either way....I am sure it reflects some imbalance in muscle strength and flexibility....most things usually do.

Yael Grauer 02-15-2007 05:50 PM

Well it turns out that I misunderstood and wasn't supposed to keep my feet straight. Apparently my toes were flaring out too much and the angle was too wide, with my heels too close to my body, and I need to make sure I can put my butt between my heels to maximize glue ham and quads. My mistake. :o

I'm amazed at how many nuances there are with Olympic lifting, and how helpful it is to have someone with a trained eye point things out.

Allison Barns 02-15-2007 08:52 PM


Originally Posted by Yael Grauer (Post 4827)
I'm amazed at how many nuances there are with Olympic lifting, and how helpful it is to have someone with a trained eye point things out.

Is it bizarre that the nuances are one of the things I love about Olympic lifting?

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