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Old 02-22-2009, 08:35 AM   #11
Alex Europa
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Re: question on squatting on toes and heels

OK, let me try again. Whenever you do ANY kind of squat, your ENTIRE foot should ALWAYS be on the ground.

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Old 02-22-2009, 09:00 AM   #12
Joey Powell
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Re: question on squatting on toes and heels

My bet is the first thing you need to do is NOT send the hip down, but back.

The hip oves in the horizantal to cause the body to move in the vertical when coupled with knee flexion.

Push back, ALLOWING the knees to bend...however you do not need to focus on the knees bending.

When you are using the hips properly, you will feel very primal... like a monkey having relations with a football.
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:32 AM   #13
Paul Victor French
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Re: question on squatting on toes and heels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Europa View Post
OK, let me try again. Whenever you do ANY kind of squat, your ENTIRE foot should ALWAYS be on the ground.

- Alex
I generally agree, just not with the ALWAYS part. Heels elevated can help people go lower on traditional back squats, if they don't have the flexibility yet. Can also help to prevent tail under squats. Olympic lifters I believe usually lift in shoes that have the heals elevated. I don't do that because I have to, and in a leg workout from my bodybuilding days it wouldn't be the only version that I'd use either, but I don't agree with the "always" part you said.

But that's my opinion, I know some people who think heels elevated squatting is no big deal, some people who that's all they do and have been for years, and then some people who think it's a terrible idea.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:10 AM   #14
Alex Europa
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Re: question on squatting on toes and heels

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Originally Posted by Paul Victor French View Post
I generally agree, just not with the ALWAYS part. Heels elevated can help people go lower on traditional back squats, if they don't have the flexibility yet.
If they compensate for a lack of flexibility by squatting off their toes, then their path to proper squatting will take much longer. If they don't have the flexibility yet, then they simply shouldn't squat as deeply. Have them squat as deeply as they can while maintaining proper form, and the flexibility will come...quickly. CrossFit gyms around the world prove this on a daily basis. No reason to introduce a technique that will cause major problems with their squat later. Going heals up because of a lack of flexibility is poor coaching.

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Can also help to prevent tail under squats.
Again, so does proper flexibility which is developed over time with correct squatting. You're potentially sacrificing the knee (because 1} MUCH more pressure is on the knee and 2} more likely than not, when someone squats off of their toes, their knees will continue to travel forward on the accent) to spare the lumbar curve in an attempt to force deep squats too soon.

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Originally Posted by Paul Victor French View Post
Olympic lifters I believe usually lift in shoes that have the heals elevated. I don't do that because I have to, and in a leg workout from my bodybuilding days it wouldn't be the only version that I'd use either, but I don't agree with the "always" part you said.
There is a big difference between wearing shoes that have a ~1" block built in and squatting off your toes. For starters, the shoes allow you to drive off of your HEELS (again, this goes back to proper squatting) while minimizing the angle of the ankle. If you REALLY feel that you need to slightly elevate your heels, then use a 5-lbs plate.

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But that's my opinion, I know some people who think heels elevated squatting is no big deal, some people who that's all they do and have been for years, and then some people who think it's a terrible idea.
I'd be willing to bet that you are probably the only person on the board that has an opinion other than #3. But as you said, it's your opinion, and everyone is entitled to their own.

- Alex
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Last edited by Alex Europa : 02-22-2009 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:41 AM   #15
Paul Victor French
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Re: question on squatting on toes and heels

I'm not saying that you should squat with your heels elevated always if you have flexibility problems, but while you work on getting your ankle flexibility better (assuming that's the problem) you can still squat and get the full benefits of squatting ATG. To clarify, I do not recommend heels elevated back squatting, I only would for front squats.

You can full squat (front) and still work on your flexibility, seen it done and have had my clients do it as well, without injury they were safely back squatting in little time. Because they were still full squatting while working on there flexibility, they were able to start with a decent weight for full range back squats and they progressed very fast.

Who says your knee travels over your toes when doing heels elevated squats, myself, clients, that doesn't really happen.

Zane leg press, sissy squats which I believe were popularized from Vince Gironda, have similar ideas that you press with the balls of your feet, since I have tried that my quad development has improved greatly. It's how I was taught, maybe I was taught wrong, but when I see people advocating certain exercises that they themselves have used and on several clients with great results, why wouldn't I give it a shot, and getting results myself (and with my clients) WITHOUT injury has me believe that front squatting with heels elevated is safe, not the only version you should do, but just an option.

TC I know himself elevates his heels during front squats, and if I recall people from crossfit typically don't agree with him, or maybe just Glassman I dunno. It's where I learned most my stuff (t-nation). And I bet I am a small minority of people who think heels elevated squatting isn't a bad thing.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:37 AM   #16
Joey Powell
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Re: question on squatting on toes and heels

There is a BIG difference between squatting heels elevated and squatting on the toes...

Also, CrossFit, looks at this as a matter of FUNCTION not MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:51 AM   #17
Chris H Laing
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Re: question on squatting on toes and heels

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Who says your knee travels over your toes when doing heels elevated squats, myself, clients, that doesn't really happen.
Can we see a picture of this. I'm pretty sure its physically impossible...
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:54 AM   #18
Steven Low
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Re: question on squatting on toes and heels

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Originally Posted by Alex Europa View Post
OK, let me try again. Whenever you do ANY kind of squat, your ENTIRE foot should ALWAYS be on the ground.

- Alex
Sissy squats wfs .....

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...issySquat.html

Not that I would EVER suggest doing them if you value your knees. Great for pure quad stimulation though... but the knees OMG!
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:08 PM   #19
Paul Victor French
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Re: question on squatting on toes and heels

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Originally Posted by Chris H Laing View Post
Can we see a picture of this. I'm pretty sure its physically impossible...
http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1504100.)

pretty close
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:43 PM   #20
Joey Powell
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Re: question on squatting on toes and heels

That picture is atrocious. That is a train wreck. There is nothing "real" world about it at all. If there was, he would not:

A: Crawl under the object to squat it... he would deadlift it and/or clean it.
B: not need to elevate his heels.

The reason he would not need to elevate his heels is because he should not be in this silly position in the first place, with his knees going straight forward, accept to ruin his knees.

C: He has failed to spread the feet and externally rotate the thigh so the weight can properly activate the muscles needed to open the hip, clear the hip pointers, and allow himself to sit BACK and not down.

If you are purposely squatting with your knees..you are not actually squatting...you are doing deep knee bends. Good Luck with that.

I like this too... "Doing it this way makes you understand gravity a whole lot better. Gravity demands that you use less weight." No, improper biomechanics demands that you use less weight. Much like OH Squatting with the weight in front of the Frontal Plane.


That was not a good reference for ANYONE, doing anything, with a squat. But it was a great reference of someone who would like to build an arguement that there should be higher standards for becoming a trainer.

Last edited by Joey Powell : 02-22-2009 at 02:49 PM. Reason: spelling and additional thoughts
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