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Old 04-27-2013, 02:08 PM   #1
Andrew Kerwin
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Default Dorsiflexion issue or something I'm missing? Squat Critique (heel issue).

Heels are coming up when I squat. This problem was brought to my attention sometime ago however I am running out of ideas on what it could be. I've widened my stance a bit (feet essentially under the armpits) and that proved to be a bit more stable however the problem is still pretty persistent on all squats, with the front squat being the most obvious. I'm not sure if this is a dorsiflexion or hip mobility issue or something I am completely over looking, also note I have relatively flat feet and do not wear inserts.

PR ohs (I know the jerk is horrendous, I am just focusing on pulls and squats for this cycle, I will be addressing the jerk next go around, any suggestions would be great)


Front Squats, 75%




Thank you so much!
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
Tamara Reynolds
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I honestly would not worry about this for one second based on the squats that you posted. I was expecting some horrible forward squat where you barely broke parallel and your heels literally came off the floor. I think these are good squats. You have great mobility. I'd just keep squatting and adding weight to the bar.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:13 PM   #3
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Thanks, but missing a PR clean or something similar due to this issue would not be a good thing. A friend of mine suggested that this may be due to a hamstring/quad strength ratio imbalance, in that my quads are far stronger than my hamstrings, so my body defaults and compensates by shifting the weight to my quads. Not sure what to do from here but I am looking into just waking up my hamstrings a bit.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:44 PM   #4
Tamara Reynolds
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Originally Posted by Andrew Kerwin View Post
Thanks, but missing a PR clean or something similar due to this issue would not be a good thing. A friend of mine suggested that this may be due to a hamstring/quad strength ratio imbalance, in that my quads are far stronger than my hamstrings, so my body defaults and compensates by shifting the weight to my quads. Not sure what to do from here but I am looking into just waking up my hamstrings a bit.
Where do you see such a huge issue with your feet on your squat? Because I watch a lot of people squat, and I truly don't see it. I would never ever worry about what you are seeing with any of my lifters. If anything, I would cue you to keep your chest up more because you are driving out of the hole with your ass on your front squat instead of keeping your chest as vertical as possible. THAT will cause you to miss a PR clean. That in and of itself will shift your weight forward and cause you to go onto your toes. You have no crazy muscular imbalance. Truly.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:08 PM   #5
Andrew Kerwin
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Pause the first front squat video at :31 seconds, you will see a space between my heels and the floor.

I am going to explore all possibilities of answers and see what actually produces a decent fix.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:08 PM   #6
Tamara Reynolds
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Pause the first front squat video at :31 seconds, you will see a space between my heels and the floor.

I am going to explore all possibilities of answers and see what actually produces a decent fix.
Yes, I can see that, and I am saying that it's not a huge issue. I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be, though. I would never have a lifter stop adding weight to the bar with what I see as a minor issue. You have a good squat. Add weight to the bar. Cue yourself to keep your chest tall and drive out of the hole with your elbows. This will help keep the bar over the middle of your foot.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:13 AM   #7
Andrew Kerwin
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Thanks. Chasing perfection is a blessing and a curse although I never intended to not add weight to the bar because of this issue. More of a by the seat of my pants fix as I go.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:11 PM   #8
Blake Barnes
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Your squats look really good. There's no significant separation between your heels and the floor; it just looks like your weight is drifting toward the front of the foot as you reach the bottom position.

I don't see much of an issue with ankle or hip mobility although it doesn't hurt to do some of those mobility exercises before your training.

But if you're seeking perfection, keep playing around with your stance. For example, try rotating your toes out some. Also, drive your elbows up out of the hole. This will help keep the bar from pulling you forward and keep your weight distributed correctly. If you're having problems raising your elbows any further, stretch out your lats and triceps before and in between sets.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:23 AM   #9
Josh Hernandez
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Originally Posted by Tamara Cohen View Post
Cue yourself to keep your chest tall and drive out of the hole with your elbows. This will help keep the bar over the middle of your foot.
I think Tamara hit the nail on the head here. I think it's hard to say that you have a muscle imbalance when you really need to keep your chest up. Think of the body as an entire unit: if you have slack in your chest/upper back and you sink in the hole at the bottom of the squat, other parts start moving incorrectly (i.e knees come in, ankle rolls slightly off the floor, elbows come forward knocking you off balance). When you do keep your chest up, you might find that you can't squat as deep and then it would be prudent to look at the lower half of the body.
Check out the Catalyst athletic warm up and mobilitywod.com and keep trying to get better ankle and hip mobility but I think you should really work on t-spine mobility drills and the tricep smash to get your elbows up better and have a better front rack.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone, this has been very helpful and playing with a wider stance has definitely proved a positive change, however, I haven't played with flaring my toes out much yet. I'm going to create a new thread for a back squat critique. If anyone has a moment to check it out and rip it apart I would appreciate it
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