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  1. #1
    Registered User wop79's Avatar
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    Uneven Foot position on Squats - HELP!!!!!

    I have been working out now for a couple years on and off, but more steadily and seriously in the last 6-7 months or so. I've always been one of those preaching that is better to do less weight with perfect form rather than heavy weights and screwing your body up by creating imbalances.

    The question I have, and I really hope someone can help me with is...in the last few days I've started paying attention to the fact that when I'm squatting the stance of my feet seems to be uneven. One of them is slightly behind the other, and slightly rotated outwards more.

    During my last two leg workouts I tried to force the stance of my feet to be even.
    - During the first workout it went ok (not great) and it resulted in one of my legs feeling being recruited more than the other, and also my back feeling not being recruited equally on both sides either…along with the feeling the barbell was sort of rotated to the same angle that I fixed with my now-even stance.
    - During my second workout (yesterday) I just couldn’t seem to be able to keep my feet even. Whenever I would feel I was doing it right, I would go check my feet and there it was…the same stance as usual.


    The way I go about the stance of my feet is: I first put the bar on my shoulders, then start squatting once I feel the stance of my feet distributes the weight equally on my feet.

    What to do?
    Do I continue forcing my stance to be even or are there exercises I can do to fix this?
    Is the discomfort I feel due to the imbalance I might have already created by keeping my feet uneven and it will eventually go away if I keep forcing my stance?
    Is it possible that the barbell is now just moving the right way and I wasn’t doing it right before and now one side feels like it’s being recruited more because the form I used to follow before was recruiting more the other side?
    Is it possible that the uneven stance is natural and a way for your body to put equal stress on either leg and I should just keep doing squats the way I was doing it before? (I know legs are not usually the same length…although I cannot detect the difference)…at the end when I would look at myself from the side in a mirror I would see the bar parallel and moving in a perpendicular direction which seemed to be fine.

    ANY HELP is appreciated.

    Also…I noticed my right foot is slightly rotated outwards also when I do leg extensions. One foot is perpendicular to the floor, the other is slightly rotated outwards…let’s say at 1pm or so.

    I have tried to create an image giving the idea of my stance when I squat.

    THANKS!




    If you care you can teach me how to REP or whatever and I'll do any of that for whoever decides to help me.
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    Last edited by wop79; 05-12-2010 at 08:44 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Empythree's Avatar
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    A shoulder width stance, feet pointed slightly outward is pretty much the norm. I would say, as long as your knees don't track past your feet, do what's comfortable.
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  3. #3
    I am Thad. pezking7p's Avatar
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    I'm no physiological expert but I would think you would know if you had some physiological imbalance that would cause you to need to stand like that such as a twist in your spine or joint problems. Maybe even a little duck footed? I think you would already know those things.

    It's more likely that you squatted that way long enough that the rest
    of your body has compensated for it. If a normal stance causes discomfort, drop your weight and work back up to it with proper stance. If it still doest go away consider seeing a professional.

    One possible cause for your stance is a mirror that is not parallel to your squat rack. I have this problem and it can really screw with your stance. I would try making some tape/markings on the floor for you to stand on so you know your feet are always in the same location.
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  4. #4
    Registered User rocko2620's Avatar
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    Well that is how i squat as well I have badly damaged my ankle due to breaks and sprains where i completely tore all the ligament and my right foot i cannot point it straight ahead.. Even walking it is pointed outward more.. I try to keep it in as far as i can but is still comfortable to lift and I dont think it has affected me in anyway.. Legs seem to be developing the same.. Also my knees do come past my toes but i do not relax them in the bottom position.. I squat as low as possible til hams hit calves..
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    Registered User wop79's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies so far guys, I have to admit I expected a bit more support from the more advanced bbers out there, with suggestions on how to check form and posture and all that, maybe even some exercises.

    I guess next time I'll just post a thread asking how many chicks have the "brahs" banged...that usually gets more posts.

    Shame.
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  6. #6
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Don't attempt to "point" your feet in some particular direction. Use the foot position that feels natural to you. No one's body is perfectly symmetrical: if your most comfortable foot position (the position that causes you no joint pain) has your feet slightly off-kilter, then so be it. If you attempt to 'force' your body into a position it naturally doesn't want to go, you're likely to be in for joint/connective tissue damage.
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  7. #7
    Mundis Ex Igne Factus Ex txapn's Avatar
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    it means you have a muscle imbalance.
    if your foot turns out when you squat (ex. if you put it facing forward and do a squat and then look down and the foot is back to facing out) it means you have an imbalance.

    what is going on is ur lateral gastroc (outerhead of ur calves), ur hamstring, and ur TFL are potentially overactive (meaning they are 1.)stronger or 2.)tighter than ur glutes, medial hamstring, and ur medial calves.)
    basicaly ur outer leg is stronger or tighter than ur inner leg. thats why ur foot is turned out!

    suggestions try foam rolling those overactive muscles before squating and start with ur body weight and slowly add on heavier weights! or you can just pre fatigue theose over active muscles and force the underactive ones to start picking up more of the work load!

    FIX IT NOW BEFORE IT COMES BACK TO CAUSE PROBLEMS LATER ON!
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    Don't attempt to "point" your feet in some particular direction. Use the foot position that feels natural to you. No one's body is perfectly symmetrical: if your most comfortable foot position (the position that causes you no joint pain) has your feet slightly off-kilter, then so be it. If you attempt to 'force' your body into a position it naturally doesn't want to go, you're likely to be in for joint/connective tissue damage.
    I was going to say this. But since the guy who taught me just said it I don't need to
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  9. #9
    Mundis Ex Igne Factus Ex txapn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    Don't attempt to "point" your feet in some particular direction. Use the foot position that feels natural to you. No one's body is perfectly symmetrical: if your most comfortable foot position (the position that causes you no joint pain) has your feet slightly off-kilter, then so be it. If you attempt to 'force' your body into a position it naturally doesn't want to go, you're likely to be in for joint/connective tissue damage.
    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    I was going to say this. But since the guy who taught me just said it I don't need to
    ur both right about the point you dont want to force the feet placement into a position while squating with weights. but you do need to fix the imbalance and you do that without heavy weights! the problem NEEDS to be fixed or it can escalate!
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  10. #10
    Registered User wop79's Avatar
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    Thank you guys. I spoke to a personal trainer yesterday and I need to figure out whether the imbalance I feel in my legs and back when I force my feet in an even position is due to my body having adjusted to the imbalance (which means my body is now imbalanced) or whether my body is balanced and the position of my feet is just a way for my body to distribute the weight evenly. So far my body is quite symmetrical, but I'll try to record myself squatting and deadlifting and we'll see.

    I'll be looking at the ROM of my legs, and whether my back and shoulders go down straight and perpendicular to the floor when my feet are uneven vs. when they are. If my back is fine, then I guess it might just be a problem isolated to my legs, and at that point I'll have to figure out whether it is about some muscles being more dominant and driving the movement, or is an issue due to the anatomy of my legs themselves.

    In any case, I've already dropped the weight of my squats drastrically and am starting from the bottom up again...and my right leg is already feeling different. Also, I'm paying more attention now to the way I stand and sit and walk.

    Any good exercises for internal leg muscles???
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  11. #11
    Bulk-ity Bulk medjen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wop79 View Post
    thanks for the replies so far guys, I have to admit I expected a bit more support from the more advanced bbers out there, with suggestions on how to check form and posture and all that, maybe even some exercises.

    I guess next time I'll just post a thread asking how many chicks have the "brahs" banged...that usually gets more posts.

    Shame.
    This is not the misc. You typically won't get 40 replies in an hour. Be patient.

    Originally Posted by wop79 View Post

    Any good exercises for internal leg muscles???
    Obvious answer: Adductor machine
    -
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  12. #12
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by txapn View Post
    but you do need to fix the imbalance and you do that without heavy weights! the problem NEEDS to be fixed or it can escalate!
    OP may, or may not, have some undiagnosed structural problem. Either way, it's beyond the scope of an Internet forum to advise him to do anything other than to stop forcing himself into an 'unnatural' (for him) exercise position.

    OP, if you feel you have such a problem, see your doc, and have him refer you to an Orthopedic specialist, preferrably someone with a sports background. A "personal trainer" would be the last person to whom I'd take this problem.
    No brain, no gain.

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  13. #13
    back with half the reps im2manly's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wop79 View Post
    If you care you can teach me how to REP or whatever and I'll do any of that for whoever decides to help me.
    you slut
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  14. #14
    Registered User wop79's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by medjen View Post
    This is not the misc. You typically won't get 40 replies in an hour. Be patient.

    Obvious answer: Adductor machine
    I've noticed. Glad good replies are starting to come through. Any free weights exercise? I saw people doing split squats with one foot elevated, or step-ups. Would those work?

    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    OP may, or may not, have some undiagnosed structural problem. Either way, it's beyond the scope of an Internet forum to advise him to do anything other than to stop forcing himself into an 'unnatural' (for him) exercise position.

    OP, if you feel you have such a problem, see your doc, and have him refer you to an Orthopedic specialist, preferrably someone with a sports background. A "personal trainer" would be the last person to whom I'd take this problem.
    This guy is not just A personal trainer...he's a very knowledgeable athlete and fitness model. His approach is not the one of the typical 20yrs old personal trainer and he didn't tell me whether or not I had a problem, but threw some ideas of things to look at in order to establish whether I have a problem or not and exercises that could help bringing up to speed those muscles that might be determining the issue.

    Once again though, my legs are perfectly symmetrical and there's no muscular imbalance that is visible...and also the unnevenness of my feet positioning is minimal...it might just me being paranoid (I'm sort of a fanatic) LOL

    Originally Posted by im2manly View Post
    you slut
    why slut? LOL I don't know what's this rep stuff...I can only tell that everyone goes crazy for that. How does it work anyway?
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  15. #15
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wop79 View Post
    This guy is not just A personal trainer...he's a very knowledgeable athlete and fitness model.
    Is he a medical professional?


    Once again though, my legs are perfectly symmetrical and there's no muscular imbalance that is visible...and also the unnevenness of my feet positioning is minimal...it might just me being paranoid (I'm sort of a fanatic) LOL
    Something is causing what you describe. It very well may be a hip or knee joint that doesn't track properly; it may have nothing to do with the muscles, or anything else you can see by eye.


    They're your legs. Good luck. I'm out.
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  16. #16
    back with half the reps im2manly's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wop79 View Post
    why slut? LOL I don't know what's this rep stuff...I can only tell that everyone goes crazy for that. How does it work anyway?
    I was just bustin' your balls...when you like a post or think a post is funny or you feel like it for whatever reason you click on that little balancing thing and click approve (green) and then do the oppossite if you don't like the post (red/disapprove).
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    LOG: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?p=518498193
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  17. #17
    Bulk-ity Bulk medjen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wop79 View Post
    I've noticed. Glad good replies are starting to come through. Any free weights exercise? I saw people doing split squats with one foot elevated, or step-ups. Would those work?
    Wide stance stuff hits my inner thigh pretty well, (goblet squats, sumo squats, etc)

    Split squats/step ups are good for hamstrings in general. When I've done them, inner thigh didn't seem like it was getting worked as much, only to prevent the wobble of a unilateral exercise. You'll have to try them and see where they work for you. One way to test this: do 10x10 of test exercise and no other leg exercise that day. Wherever the DOMS shows up, that's where you've targeted.
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    Registered User wop79's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by medjen View Post
    Wide stance stuff hits my inner thigh pretty well, (goblet squats, sumo squats, etc)

    Split squats/step ups are good for hamstrings in general. When I've done them, inner thigh didn't seem like it was getting worked as much, only to prevent the wobble of a unilateral exercise. You'll have to try them and see where they work for you. One way to test this: do 10x10 of test exercise and no other leg exercise that day. Wherever the DOMS shows up, that's where you've targeted.
    What's DOMS?
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    Bulk-ity Bulk medjen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wop79 View Post
    What's DOMS?
    DOMS = Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
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