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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 06-22-2006, 07:57 PM   #1
Andrew G. Greenberg
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I did a little searching on this board for the proper positioning of the feet when doing front squats, but I am still not sure which way I should be doing.

On the one hand, there is this: feet slightly wider than shoulder width, with toes pointed out, a la Eva T. in that infamous photo.

The other stance seems to be feet directly under shoulders, with toes pointed forward.

I can do MUCH more weight with feet wide and toes pointed out, but when I lift this way my legs are super-wide open; "splayed" might be the right word. In the narrow stance -- it's hard to explain, but I don't feel like I can get a flat back and good hip flexion.


My question: Is it more beneficial in terms of increasing hip and leg strength to use the narrow/toes in stance than to use the wider/toes out stance?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:59 PM   #2
Pierre Auge
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Andrew,
let me just say that a "narrow toes in stance" has little advantage and isn't natural. Unless I am completely misreading your comment! Think of yourself as sitting between your legs. Get yourself into the bottom of a squat and then play with the position, until you find a spot where you can sit fairly comfortably. You will notice this is more of a wide stance with toes out. This is your natural squatting stance.

Now when you achieve that stand up place your hands in the crooks of your hips (where your legs join the base of your pelvis) and squat. When you feel the tension in your hip flexor mark that feeling in your mind. Now stand, remove your hands, squat and stop when you get the same feeling in your hip flexors, you've found your squat depth. This should be slightly below parallel.

I hope this helps. Oh one last note if you notice, when you squat if you go past the previously identified position you will lose tension in the hip flexors. They are disengaging and you will be unlikely to pull yourself out of that position with heavy weights. Even light weights may be challenging.

Please anyone feel free to point out any errors in my comments I'm sure I've made some but I can only re-read my own words so many times before I start spinning in circles.
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Old 06-23-2006, 07:22 AM   #3
Garrett Smith
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Two simple ways to describe the stance and/or how to find your stance:

The stance that allows you to sink the deepest in a squat (this isn't super wide, nor is it narrow).

The stance you catch your cleans in, which should be the same as what I described above.

I know that's simple, it should help though.
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Old 06-23-2006, 05:22 PM   #4
Aimee Anaya
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I feel that when doing squats, you need to have your feet under your shoulders, toes slightly pointed out. you dont want a position that is too wide (unless you are a power lifter), and you dont want them too narrow because it takes away from your flexibility. With any lift, technique varies from person to person. As pierre mentioned, you have to find where you are most comfortable. and as Garret says, the stance that allows you to sink the deepest in a squat.
i position my feet in the same starting position whether i am snatching, squatting, pulling, pressing, or cleaning. when i snatch and when i clean my feet jump out wider than my starting position. however, you get the most power and drive when your feet are narrower (below shoulders), which is why you will see lifters start their lifts with a narrower stance than when they catch it. also, after a clean, the feet are again brought back to that starting position before the jerk.
its explosive.
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Old 06-23-2006, 06:34 PM   #5
Andrew G. Greenberg
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thanks for the responses. what is the deficiency if i tend to go really wide?
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Old 06-23-2006, 07:32 PM   #6
Lincoln Brigham
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The 'deficiency' is thinking you can use a wider stance to get deeper instead of simply squatting deeper.
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:48 PM   #7
Adam Noble
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Can your feet be too pointed out? I ask because I am naturally wildly duckfooted, and I have tried to focus on keeping my feet a little more to the front; or is it really more a matter of feel?
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:14 AM   #8
Chris Forbis
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As long as your knees are tracking over your toes, I would think your toes are not pointed too far out.
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Old 06-25-2006, 01:03 PM   #9
Andrew G. Greenberg
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lincoln,

i have difficulty maintaining a flat back when I squat in a non-wide stance. I can go only down down so far before my lb flexes or my heels pop up. Yet if I go wide stance I can keep a flat back and go below parallel. (I'm sure I'm not the first person to have this problem..)

I've seen your previous posts on the subject. Is your advice to maintain a normal stance and work on depth by improving hamstring flexibility?

thanks
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Old 06-25-2006, 02:21 PM   #10
Lincoln Brigham
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hip flexibility, yep
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