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    Registered User next00's Avatar
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    Knee, toe and leg positionning during a Squat

    I'm talking about the basic squat in rippetoe's. I know your knees are supposed to point to the same direction as your toes, and at which angle you're supposed to keep your toes (and hence your knees) pointing. How far apart must you keep your feet though?
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    Originally Posted by next00 View Post
    I'm talking about the basic squat in rippetoe's. I know your knees are supposed to point to the same direction as your toes, and at which angle you're supposed to keep your toes (and hence your knees) pointing. How far apart must you keep your feet though?
    The "official" answer is pointing out at a 30 degree angle with feet at shoulder width or a little wider. Don't sweat the exact details.
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    Registered User QuarterbackX's Avatar
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    Cool were to point

    Originally Posted by next00 View Post
    I'm talking about the basic squat in rippetoe's. I know your knees are supposed to point to the same direction as your toes, and at which angle you're supposed to keep your toes (and hence your knees) pointing. How far apart must you keep your feet though?
    I am familiar with the make sure you point your toes in the same direction as your knees, and vice versa. When I was getting my degree in Exercise Science, we also covered that in a class. Even one of the professors, she made a big deal out of it when watching our form on the squats. I personally did not think she really had a clue. After all what does that really mean, point your toes in the same direction as your knees? Really? Take a moment to think about it, can you ever point your knees in a different direction as your feet, or vica versa. I don't really think you can. It is natural to point them both in the same directs. So the point I am getting to is, don't worry about it. That part just comes naturally correct, unless you have some blatant body deformity.
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    Registered User Dave76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by QuarterbackX View Post
    That part just comes naturally correct, unless you have some blatant body deformity.
    Or unless you try to do that knock kneed type of squatting.
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    Your stance can change; a wider stance targets your outer quads more, and a more narrow stances hits the inner quad muscle, more over the knee.
    Edit: A normal stance is generally a bit wider than shoulder width.
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    Ohh, I see!

    I was at the gym and asked one of the monitors to verify my form, and he explicitly said "make sure your knees and toes point in the same direction." It's very logical to assume that your knees and toes point at the same place, but the fact that he warned me about it got me a bit worried.

    Thanks for all the answers, it helped.
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    Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
    The "official" answer is pointing out at a 30 degree angle with feet at shoulder width or a little wider. Don't sweat the exact details.
    That thing . I just signed on to a few sessions with PT (to mainly use him as a spotter on deads - cause he seem to know deads well) .

    But also tried to work on my squat form with him . I think I am starting to grasp little bit where I have problems ( i think it is the unhinge hips first part, keep your knees as immobile as possible part)

    Anyway this guys advide about knees seems sound but he want me to have my toes point straight ahead - which is very unnaturaly leg position ( I naturlly keep them at about 30 degress when squatting mid stance) . He insists on this thing .

    I personally would prefer squat wider (that seem help unhinging my hips part) and that just require toes pointing at angle.I stumbled at what to do
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by next00 View Post
    Ohh, I see!

    I was at the gym and asked one of the monitors to verify my form, and he explicitly said "make sure your knees and toes point in the same direction." It's very logical to assume that your knees and toes point at the same place, but the fact that he warned me about it got me a bit worried.

    Thanks for all the answers, it helped.
    Don't worry about it. It is practically impossible to not point your toes in the same direct as your knees when doing a squat. The only exception to that rule would be if you had some type of deformity, which would not be the norm. Go ahead and try it. Just find a place to stand in front of your computer and bend your knees, then look at your toes. You will notice you will have them both pointing in the same directions. Go ahead and point your toes in different directions and you will see you will have to rotate you leg at the hip socket to point your toes in a different direction, hence they are always pointing in the same direction. The ankles are not designed to rotated from side to side, that rotation is done at the hip socket. So, conclusion is to point either or both, is caused by a rotation as the same place which causes them both to rotate together as the same time to the same degree. It's an old saying but I always felt it was a sillying for that very reason. Because you can't do one without doing the other.

    As far as getting the trainer, I think that is great. Always good to learn new information, and it is best to just do it the way he said's. When you are done with all the training sessions, just keep what you think works/is best and discard what you think does not. Just remember that not all trainers are created equal. There is a lot of information out there and many people will disagree with what works or not. There are many things to look for in a trainer, how many years have they lifted weights, have they tried many different programs, are they always trying something new and learning or not, are they certified, how good is that certification, are they degreed in that field, do they just quote information really well, or can they do more then quote it and look confident ( many people can quote information but getting results in the application is another story, so look at if they understand how to apply that big of information in mutable ways), do they understand the difference between what they feel is a fact (gym myth) to actual documented facts ( many don't know the difference), do they have a build that said's I really know my stuff or I kind of know my stuff and I look like Joe blow off the street. A trainer charges a lot of money, make sure you get your money worth. I have known trainers when I was one, that felt if they made you winded that was a good workout. So find a trainer that can really teach you a lot of information and really break it down, instead of one that can just make a few over generalized statements and stops form there.
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    IMO,

    Wider stance, sitting back (knees behind toes) squats targets the hams/glutes.

    Closer stance (shoulder-width), knees past toes targets the quads.

    If you have tight hips it will be really hard to do deep shoulder-width stance squats..

    Personally, I prefer the closer stance targetting the quads as I do deads on my leg day also and deads target the posterior chain (hams/glutes/lower back) sufficiently.

    However, if you're used to the wider stance, you should progress to this stance and stretch out your back and hips frequently or else you will have poor form and may throw out your back or will not be able to go low enough for good quad activation...

    Just my opinions though... take it for what it's worth.
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  10. #10
    I pee a lot ogesII's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by QuarterbackX View Post
    Don't worry about it. It is practically impossible to not point your toes in the same direct as your knees when doing a squat. The only exception to that rule would be if you had some type of deformity, which would not be the norm.
    I disagree with this. What has made one of the biggest differences in my squat was concentrating on pushing my knees out so they are inline with my feet. They don't naturally push out that far due to weak adductors and inflexibility. My legs would naturally go into an un-natural position to make up for these deficiencies -- if that makes any sense.

    Anyhow, I'm not deformed but I have to really push to get my knees out where they should be. This helps me keep my shins more upright and overall helps my squat.

    As far as angle goes, I think you just want your feet to point in the same direction as your femur.

    Edit: I forgot to mention. Everything I know is based on an athletic type squat. So I don't know what pertains if shooting for something wider or narrower.
    Last edited by ogesII; 06-22-2007 at 10:41 AM.
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    Unless you're going nock-kneed your knees are in line with your toes. Also, don't worry about your knees going forward, it's a myth that if your knees go forward your knees are going to break.
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    Originally Posted by ogesII View Post
    I disagree with this. What has made one of the biggest differences in my squat was concentrating on pushing my knees out so they are inline with my feet. They don't naturally push out that far due to weak adductors and inflexibility. My legs would naturally go into an un-natural position to make up for these deficiencies -- if that makes any sense.

    Anyhow, I'm not deformed but I have to really push to get my knees out where they should be. This helps me keep my shins more upright and overall helps my squat.

    As far as angle goes, I think you just want your feet to point in the same direction as your femur.

    Edit: I forgot to mention. Everything I know is based on an athletic type squat. So I don't know what pertains if shooting for something wider or narrower.

    OgesII is right. Your knees will always point in the right direction, its the femur you should worry about. This only happens if you don't drive your knees outwards while you squat. Allowing them to buckle in is what makes you knees "not inline with your toes", in PT speak. I've found tat forcing your knees outward also helps focus on the glutes, which makes sense because you don't really need to force your knees out with a narrow stance.
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    Originally Posted by gfundaro View Post
    Your stance can change; a wider stance targets your outer quads more, and a more narrow stances hits the inner quad muscle, more over the knee.
    wrong
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