The Definitive Guide To Owning Your Flat-Footed Squat:
Why Can’t I Squat With My Feet Flat?
I have been asked many times why i cannot squat with my feet flat. Here are some reasons why you may not be able to do it.
1) You don’t have enough ankle mobility.
If you can’t get your toes under the bar then you won’t be able to put weight on them if you try.
2) You lack hip flexibility.
If you aren’t flexible enough to bend at the hips properly then you won’t be able to place weight on your heels if you try.
3) You haven’t done any heavy lifting before.
If you’ve never lifted weights or even taken a gym class, then chances are that your ankles will just not allow it.
And if they don’t allow it, then what’s the point of trying?
4) You’re too tall.
Taller folks usually have less flexibility than shorter folk because their bones don’t protrude quite as far from the ground. This means that they need to use a little extra leverage to hold onto the barbell when squatting.
5) You’re wearing shoes that restrict your range of motion (ROM).
Shoes tend to make it difficult for you to get into proper position so you end up having to lift more weight than you would like.
6) You lack the specific strength and/or skill to squat with your feet flat.
If you have never squatted with your feet flat then chances are that you don’t actually know how. Even if you can get your heels under the bar, it doesn’t mean that you can keep them there when you start adding weight.
7) You lack the motivation to try.
This is a possibility that I can’t do anything about. If you don’t want it bad enough then nothing that I say is going to help you.
These are the most likely issues at play here. Of course, there may be others but they don’t happen quite as frequently.
How Can I Fix These Problems?
There are several reasons why you may not be able to squat with your feet flat. But here are the most common solutions to these problems:
Wear Shoes That Let You Use Your Heels:
If you wear flat shoes, then you won’t be able to squat with your feet in proper position. The reason for this is that your heels will end up rising off of the ground when you go to squat. When this happens, you will lose all of the force production from your heels and will be unable to go anywhere. To prevent this from happening, wear shoes that have a heel.
It doesn’t need to be that large as long as it’s sturdy. You won’t ever have this problem if you’re wearing weightlifting shoes or Chuck Taylors.
If you are in a gym that has a slick floor, then you can use weightlifting slippers. These are a type of slipper that is made out of a very sticky rubber material. This will give you just enough traction to protect the floor and allow you to place your heels firmly on the ground.
Stretch Your Ankles:
If your ankles are too tight, then they may not allow you to bend your foot far enough in order to get your weight onto your heels. The simplest way to fix this is to perform some ankle stretching exercises. There are many ways in which you can do this but here is a pretty basic example:
Put your foot against a wall with your heel pressed as far away from it as possible. If you can’t reach the wall then just stretch your foot on steps. Hold this position for about 15-30 seconds and then switch feet. Do this until you have adequately stretched your ankles enough so that you can achieve proper position when squatting.
Make Sure Your Squatting Form Is Perfect:
If you’re doing proper squat form, then your weight should be centered directly over your heel. If you’re not doing this, then the rest of your body will have to compensate by shifting positions which can lead to injury. Here are some tips to make sure that your weight is centered over your heel:
Push your hips back as far as you can before squatting down.
When you lower yourself down, do so slowly and focus on sitting back instead of just squatting straight down. By sitting back, you keep your weight centered over your heels instead of in the middle of your foot.
Keep These Things In Mind Next Time You’re At The Gym:
Always wear shoes with heels when squatting – this will make sure that you are able to place all of your force through the center of your foot and heel.
Perform some ankle stretching exercises before squatting – this will help you get the proper form that you need in order to prevent injuries.
Make sure that your weight is centered over your heel when you go to squat. You can cause severe injuries if your weight isn’t centered properly.
Squatting can be difficult for most people but as long as you are aware of these common problems, then you shouldn’t have too much trouble with it. Make sure to keep these tips in mind if you’re wanting to build up your quadriceps and glutes. In addition, make sure to take some glucosamine tablets every day. These tablets will help strengthen your ligaments and tendons in your knees which will help prevent injury when performing heavy squats.
The biggest key to remember is to take it slow. Don’t try to do too much too quickly or you’re going to severely hurt yourself. Start off by performing just the barbell squat for one set of 15 repetitions. Once that begins to feel easy, then you can increase the weight a bit and perform another set.
Follow this routine and you’ll see some great gains in no time!
Sources & references used in this article:
Preventing running injuries. Practical approach for family doctors. by CAM Johnston, JE Taunton, DR Lloyd-Smith… – Canadian Family …, 2003 – cfp.ca
Movement skill assessment by AW Burton, DE Miller – 1998 – books.google.com
Henry James and the’Woman Business’ by A Habegger – 2004 – books.google.com
Rehabilitation of running injuries by TL Nicola, A El Shami – Clinics in Sports Medicine, 2012 – sportsmed.theclinics.com
The equid ethogram: a practical field guide to horse behavior by SM McDonnell – 2003 – books.google.com
Running with Lydiard by A Lydiard, G Gilmour – 2000 – books.google.com
How to Diagnose and Treat Low Back Pain Without an MRI by A Lock – breakingmuscle.com