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  1. #1
    Registered User me9980's Avatar
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    Squat on your heels?

    So everything I have read and been told says that the proper way to squat is with your weight on your heels. I have always squatted as part of my training for sports (football and now rugby) but I have always found it more natural to squat with my weight on the balls of my feet. It seems to make sense from an athletic performance standpoint, since most athletic movement is "on your toes". Can anyone explain to me why I am wrong or if it matters at all? Remember this is not as much from a bodybuilding/powerlifting standpoint as an athletic training standpoint. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Squat til you Puke patrick4588's Avatar
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    if you are on the balls of your feet, and going parallel, you will be off balance and your knees will be too far forward. Start curling your toes in, it forces your weight to your heels.
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  3. #3
    Registered User iawarner's Avatar
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    Pushing through the heals is a huge part of the movement man. When you push through the heals you engage your glutes a lot more which allows you to lift heavier weight. Athletic movement is on the toes but the squat is all about the form. You might have tight ankles because usually when people are like that they have a hard time staying on their heals. Try stretching out your calves and ankles.
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  4. #4
    Registered User tkddans's Avatar
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    squatting on the heel simply derives more power from your legs. yes, if you are running you are on the balls of your feet as you do have to be leaning forward slightly to move forward. but if you are training a motion standing still and you arent moving forward but instead you are moving upward, then you must use the heel to develop more power from all muscles in the leg. do squats for the immense power you can train from it, do sprints, calf raises, and leg extensions to target a sprinting movement specifically. i sprinted in highschool and did long jump as well. you lean so much forward that it is essentially a quad heavy movement. hams are necessary to strengthen too though because speed is key, and having powerful/fast hams means you can bring your feet back to the ground faster after each stride. squats hit everything pretty well so they are a great exercise. the gains will carry over to specific movements
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  5. #5
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    I used to have the same problem when I squatted...now if I start favoring the balls of my feet I flip my elbows inward which makes you keep your chest up basically forcing you to squat on your heals. My football coach taught me the trick, hope it helps man
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  6. #6
    Registered User ubiq's Avatar
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    Also, keep your knees out. One of the best ways to learn how to squat overall is having someone who is experienced in the lift, watching you squat and critique it. Proper critiques help in squat form.
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    Originally Posted by iawarner View Post
    Pushing through the heals is a huge part of the movement man. When you push through the heals you engage your glutes a lot more which allows you to lift heavier weight. Athletic movement is on the toes but the squat is all about the form. You might have tight ankles because usually when people are like that they have a hard time staying on their heals. Try stretching out your calves and ankles.
    well put...
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  8. #8
    Mundis Ex Igne Factus Ex txapn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tkddans View Post
    squatting on the heel simply derives more power from your legs. yes, if you are running you are on the balls of your feet as you do have to be leaning forward slightly to move forward. but if you are training a motion standing still and you arent moving forward but instead you are moving upward, then you must use the heel to develop more power from all muscles in the leg. do squats for the immense power you can train from it, do sprints, calf raises, and leg extensions to target a sprinting movement specifically. i sprinted in highschool and did long jump as well. you lean so much forward that it is essentially a quad heavy movement. hams are necessary to strengthen too though because speed is key, and having powerful/fast hams means you can bring your feet back to the ground faster after each stride. squats hit everything pretty well so they are a great exercise. the gains will carry over to specific movements
    wait wut?

    i was with you till this!

    lol agreed and most things but i never have my athletes on leg extensions... think of the front side of running as more a hip flexion not a knee extension. It is true there is knee extension ocurring but brake down the movement and see how the body works and then you will see how leg extensions are a waste of benefitial time!

    glutes and hams IMO are the most impostant in ru8nning but yes overall leg development is needed! just not by using leg extensions
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  9. #9
    do u even lift? ven33's Avatar
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    Do squats with a 2x4 or 5lb weight under your heels. Helps me go below parallel and stay balanced.
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    Originally Posted by ven33 View Post
    Do squats with a 2x4 or 5lb weight under your heels. Helps me go below parallel and stay balanced.
    worst advice you could give someone learning to squat. It is a band aid. Generally, its due to tight soleus - stretch, and continue to work on depth with lighter weight until you are doing it properly.

    OP - if you are initiating your squat properly, aka tossing your hips back, the weight transfer should be focused on your heels.. I'm not saying its 100%, but you do not want to be on the balls of your feet, as that transfers the load forward causing your knees to surpass your toes = not good.

    If you are a wide stance squatter, the load tranfer is different. In this case, think of it as "spreading the floor with your feet". Its more hip driven.
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  11. #11
    Registered User me9980's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I will try harder to stay on my heels next time I squat, maybe try some of the tips you guys have given here and update you with how it goes.
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