I'm new here, and new to bodybuliding. I started at 6'4" and 155lbs. REALLY skinny. I started eating right and lifting 3 months ago, and have put on close to 22lbs, so things are going pretty well.
I'm concentrating on pretty basic compound exercises - initially on machines because I felt safer, but now I'm using free-weights.
My problem and question is regarding squats. I understand how crucial they are to full body strength, but I can't do them properly because of my flexibility. Ever since I was a kid, I had problems with my feet - high arches and abnormally thick and short achilles/hamstring tendon. I had to wear shoe inserts for most of my childhood to avoid walking on my tiptoes everywhere I went. If I keep my feet flat on the ground, I am unable to squat down more than about 6-8 inches. If I want to go any further down, I need to transition to the balls of my feet - I can't keep my heel down.
This, of course, prevents me from keeping my heels on the ground if I do squats. I'm concerned about doing them because of the lack of stability because I'm balancing on the balls of my feet.
This went kind of long in the explanation, but basically I'm looking for options, including "extreme" ways of increasing my flexibility. I'm already stretching my hammies (by placing my heel on a bench and leaning forward) 3 times daily, but haven't seen any real flexibility improvement. I'm thinking maybe I should use the Jean Claude Van Damme "Kickboxer" method?
It's really frustrating.