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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-12-2008, 03:39 PM   #1
Justin Knighten
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toe positioning for squats

A guy a work with is a personal trainer. he has told me that when doing squats, my toes need to be pointed straight forward (as opposed to having the pointed out) problem is, when i turn my toes forward, it causes excessive forward lean. after watching the video of one of the WOD posted on the 11th, everybody in that video has their toes pointed out. i think i started pointing them out when i started crossfit, it allowed me to be more stable, when doing air squats for time. he has given me a few exercises to work on strengthening the underactive muscles...what are the thoughts on this?
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:54 PM   #2
Richard Vanmeerbeek
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Re: toe positioning for squats

They have to point in the same direction as your thighs when you squat down, which is a little outwards. It just has to feel natural.

For instance, stand on a box and jump on the floor. The way you'll land should be your squat position : I doubt your toes will be pointing straight forward
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:06 PM   #3
Chris Drewry
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Re: toe positioning for squats

30 degrees or so to the outside, depending on biomechanics.
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:11 PM   #4
Justin Shipley
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Re: toe positioning for squats

although i have no formal training in the lifts, i am also a personal trainer and have the opportunity to study and attempt to improve on technique for a wide variety of clients. in my limited experience, if someone's feet tend to roll inward due to excessive outward pointing of the toes (weak ankles; weak/ inflexible glutes and hams) then they usually benefit from a squaring up of the feet to a straighter (not dead straight) position. too square a stance, whether wide or narrow, initiates too much forward overbalancing and too much quad and not enough ham and glute. just my experience, and i stand ready to be corrected by those with far more knowledge in this area
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:22 PM   #5
Matthew J Tortoriello
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Re: toe positioning for squats

Yeah I would say about 30 degree is the average. When you squat down your knees should point in the same direction as your toes.
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:43 PM   #6
Brian Lawyer
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Re: toe positioning for squats

Sorry guys since I am about 8 months late on this response. I was just fishing around the website to see if I could find a CrossFit professional's position on the argument of toe position. Incidentally, here is the argument for the parallel foot position per an Athlete's Performance Trainer,

"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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Old 10-22-2008, 06:55 AM   #7
Brian Lawyer
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Re: toe positioning for squats

I am surprised no CrossFitters have any Hot Sports Opinion on the above comment regarding why you should have parallel foot stance for squats.....
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:22 PM   #8
Andy Gann
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Re: toe positioning for squats

Alright Gordo ... how bout this HSO (BTW, is this the three minute drill? If so, I'm line 4 guy) And if, by chance, that wasn't a 'ticket' reference then I'll look really stupid!!

Quote:
An athlete would never cut by pointing their toe out
That's because THEY CAN'T CUT AT ALL when their knees keep blowing out from too much squatting with bad form: knees tracking outside their toes, slack in the posterior chain, and an overly developed quadricep in relation to hip drive strength ....
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:36 PM   #9
Robert Callahan
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Re: toe positioning for squats

The knee joint is not meant to handle rotation. It is a very straight forward joint made to act like a hinge. Because of this when you squat the most bio-mechanically safe way to do so will involve the the knee tracking directly over the foot. Any deviation from directly over foot, or parallel to the foot if you will, will introduce a rotational element which strains the knee joint.

So if you want to squat with feet pointing forward the only way to do that would be to stand with your heels directly next to each other. Unfortunately this is a very inefficient way to squat. Therefore with your feet about shoulder width apart you will need your feet pointed out about 30 degrees + or - to enable your knees to track directly over them in a mechanically safe manner.

As to the comment that people who role in on there feet while squatting should squat with more straight feet to prevent this, I believe this is a misdiagnosis. If someone is rolling in on their feet is because they are not SHOVING their knees out hard enough. It has nothing to do with their feet

Hope that helps

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Old 10-22-2008, 01:40 PM   #10
Brian Lawyer
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Re: toe positioning for squats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Gann View Post
Alright Gordo ... how bout this HSO (BTW, is this the three minute drill? If so, I'm line 4 guy) And if, by chance, that wasn't a 'ticket' reference then I'll look really stupid!!
Yes that is a Ticket reference. We tend to use the term HSO around our office for any potentially controversial statement even if it has absolutely nothing to do with sports. I drop HSO bombs all the time, religion, politics, females, etc.
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