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foot position in squat
Posted: 10 September 2010 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have normally squatted with my feet running in line with my quads, knees out. Now I’m hearing to squat with feet straight, knees out. What’s up?

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Posted: 10 September 2010 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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From what I understand kelly starret and some others are suggesting getting the flexibility to be able to do this because it lowers the chances of one being succeptible to acl tears while squatting or landing. With your feet out your knee naturally is a bit further inside your foot and the angle of force will put more strain on those ligaments. He talks about it in the mobility wod that features john welbourne. and in the series on the journal called rebuilding khalipa but I cant remember which part.

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Posted: 10 September 2010 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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That’s where I encountered it too and in the latest CF Journal article by Bill Starr.

I’m working on it and I can’t deny that it has almost eliminated my knee pain, but I can’t say that it feels even as comfortable as a toes out stance under load.
If I get it right, yes, very effective. If I don’t and I don’t most of the time, it’s horribly difficult.

Kelly talks about that position loading up the hips more, which it does if done correctly, it’s getting my hips to power the movement that I struggle with.
I talk about it a bit here.
http://www.crossfitbrandx.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/11135/#210310

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Posted: 10 September 2010 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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My experience with it is pretty similar. For the heavy lifts or high rep squats I might not use it. I try and use it almost all of the time except for what I consider to be a max effort movement. Like for cindy the 15 squats arent wearing on me yet I will keep my feet as forward as possible. And I do feel more of a bounce out of the bottom of the squat when I force my knees out.; I have never gotten this before. The only problem is when I miss the slot with my feet facing forward. I tend to drop my entire upper body into more of a deadlift type lift when I am getting tired. The feet forward thing makes this happen sooner so once I fatigue I go with what I know.

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Posted: 10 September 2010 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’ll have to work on this. Thank you both for the input.

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Posted: 11 September 2010 06:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I foresee a whole generation of CrossFitters saying toes forward is the proper way to squat and condemning anyone that doesnt as a lesser being.

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Posted: 11 September 2010 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Garddawg - 11 September 2010 06:28 AM

I foresee a whole generation of CrossFitters saying toes forward is the proper way to squat and condemning anyone that doesnt as a lesser being.

Yep.  Like a conversation between Baptists and Presbyterians . . . oh and don’t forget to throw in a gratuitous: “Who’s Greg A.?”

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Posted: 11 September 2010 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Probably.

And I don’t know if that’s a bad thing or not.

Received knowledge is a powerful thing, responsible for the transfer of a great deal of incorrect information. Injured growth plates in young weight trainers for example.
But I can’t believe that toes out squats are universally incorrect, or toes forward is universally correct and I’m reluctant to recommend a toes forward stance for anyone unless they were trying to address the same problem I have. Even then I’d prefer they saw Kelly to get the recommendation directly from him. I don’t understand the anatomy and kinesiology well enough (yet) to know what he’s try to achieve in enough detail to know when either is appropriate.

Kelly acknowledges that toes out is the way that the squat is taught in the L1s, doesn’t say that it’s wrong and implies that it’s correct to teach at that level.
I believe that the toes forward thing is intended to address particular issues. I know of one because it’s a problem for me (and Jason Khalipa) as diagnosed by him from a personal examination, I don’t know if there are others and I don’t know when it’s not the correct technique.
Which frustrates me. I’d love to have a longer discussion about this with Kelly to understand it better

I see no reason for people to switch for positions wholesale without better information to base it on.

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Garddawg - 22 March 2009

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CrossFit, properly scaled to the individual is the safest and most efficient program available for strength, conditioning and movement.”
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Posted: 11 September 2010 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I have a few questions, but I should do my homework and read/listen to all the info first.

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Posted: 11 September 2010 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Garddawg - 11 September 2010 06:28 AM

I foresee a whole generation of CrossFitters saying toes forward is the proper way to squat and condemning anyone that doesnt as a lesser being.

hahahahaha, so true! so true!

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Posted: 11 September 2010 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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This is simple.  If you are training to lift as much as possible toes out.  If you are rehabbing or have to fix a problem with weak adductors straight ahead.

The fact is athletes and trainers should be sophisticated enough to recognize that different foot position including width, toe position and even knees are necessary for sound development.

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All of life’s problems can be solved by heavy deadlifts.

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Posted: 11 September 2010 07:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Metric - 11 September 2010 01:45 PM

I believe that the toes forward thing is intended to address particular issues. I know of one because it’s a problem for me (and Jason Khalipa) as diagnosed by him from a personal examination, I don’t know if there are others and I don’t know when it’s not the correct technique.
Which frustrates me. I’d love to have a longer discussion about this with Kelly to understand it better

I see no reason for people to switch for positions wholesale without better information to base it on.

Metric, why not call him and ask him?

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Posted: 12 September 2010 12:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Garddawg - 11 September 2010 04:48 PM

This is simple.  If you are training to lift as much as possible toes out.  If you are rehabbing or have to fix a problem with weak adductors straight ahead.

The fact is athletes and trainers should be sophisticated enough to recognize that different foot position including width, toe position and even knees are necessary for sound development.

That’s elegantly succinct and logical, thank-you.

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“The point of CF is to get better at life.  Being unable to workout tomorrow because you were pigheaded today is not in line with our goals.”
Garddawg - 22 March 2009

“CrossFit is not dangerous.
Bad coaching is dangerous, poor movement is dangerous. Ego is dangerous.
CrossFit, properly scaled to the individual is the safest and most efficient program available for strength, conditioning and movement.”
BlueBugofJustice - 18 August 2009

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Posted: 12 September 2010 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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frosty996 - 11 September 2010 07:20 PM

Metric, why not call him and ask him?

I don’t know him that well. I met him for an hour and despite Bluez and me being referred to as “my friends from New Zealand” (and yes I’m going to mention that, often, Kelly featuring my balls in a video is a bit of fame worth claiming. And yes I could have phrased that better, but it’s funnier that way. grin ) I don’t know him well enough to interrupt his day with a phone call. I was going to ask him in a comment on the mobility WOD blog or send him an email, but GD has covered it pretty well for now.

What I still want to understand is the anatomy involved. There are some interesting comments on the Bill Starr Journal article that could shed some light on how toes forward helps bias the adductors and why that’s a good thing and I want to check the facts mentioned in case the person commenting doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

It seems to be working for me, don’t know why yet.

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Craig Massey


“The point of CF is to get better at life.  Being unable to workout tomorrow because you were pigheaded today is not in line with our goals.”
Garddawg - 22 March 2009

“CrossFit is not dangerous.
Bad coaching is dangerous, poor movement is dangerous. Ego is dangerous.
CrossFit, properly scaled to the individual is the safest and most efficient program available for strength, conditioning and movement.”
BlueBugofJustice - 18 August 2009

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Posted: 12 September 2010 05:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I don’t know if this is a flexibility issue for me, but I cannot squat with feet perfectly forward. The closer I get toes out to 45 degrees from straight forward, the more comfortable I am in the squat, the deeper I can sink into the squat (toward good form), and the less shear I feel in my lumbar.

It occurs to me to mention that putting feet forward in a stretch has been beneficial for me, but I would not want to try a heavily-weighted deep squat in that position. 

mastroj - 10 September 2010 12:10 PM

With your feet out your knee naturally is a bit further inside your foot and the angle of force will put more strain on those ligaments.

True. But the instructions for squat also remind us to actively press the knees out to counter this tendency. Trying to “spread the floor” does the same thing.

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Posted: 12 September 2010 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Garddawg - 11 September 2010 04:48 PM

This is simple.  If you are training to lift as much as possible toes out.  If you are rehabbing or have to fix a problem with weak adductors straight ahead.

The fact is athletes and trainers should be sophisticated enough to recognize that different foot position including width, toe position and even knees are necessary for sound development.

GD, Thank you. That pretty much takes care of my questions.

Metric - 12 September 2010 12:12 AM

(and yes I’m going to mention that, often, Kelly featuring my balls in a video is a bit of fame worth claiming. And yes I could have phrased that better, but it’s funnier that way. grin )

Metric, What ?!?!?

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