T Nation

Are Heels Coming Up When You Squat Illegal for Competitions?

I know it is on the bench but I’m not sure for the squat

I’m not sure. I would assume that it’s legal, but chances are that if your heels come up, you aren’t going to make the lift anyways

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Lifetime ban from fed gg


I dont believe there is a rule against this but there may be federations that disallow it

BTW, what’s the big deal about lifting your head off the bench?

I just called IPF headquarters, they will be busting down your door any second criminal scum. 8 red lights. no lift, no mercy.


Heels Coming Up On Squat OR Deadlift

It is not a violation of the rules for the heels to come up for the Squat or Deadlift in the majority of the Powerlifting Organizations.

Lateral Foot Movement

Laterally moving the foot is a rule violation in most organizations.

Head Coming Up

Some organization allow the head to come up, some don’t.

What is interesting about the lifter in the organization that allow it is that it elicits the…

Tonic Neck Reflex

Lifter who lift there head up in the descent of the Bench Press and then drive there head down when pushing the bar up elicit the Tonic Neck Reflex, Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex

The Tonic Neck Reflex causes the arms to straighten, thus producing a stronger pushing movement when bench pressing. Source: Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 5(4):188-191, November 1991.Berger, Richard A.; Smith, Kirby J.

Kenny Croxdale


It looks to me that some lifters let their chest collapse slightly as they raise their head, when they push their head back down they also push their chest up (aka heaving). I wasn’t aware of the tonic neck reflex, but that combined with heaving and leg drive will definitely give you more power off the chest if done properly.

Is heaving actually banned in any federation? I see people bitching about it online (the same people saying that it’s not raw with a belt and that squat wasn’t ATG) but it’s allowed in the IPF, arguably the strictest fed of all, so long as you keep your head and hips on the bench.

Heels coming up when you squat sounds like a good way to injure yourself. As long as your feet don’t move in any other direction you won’t get red lighted for it, but not having your feet in full contact with the floor will also inhibit certain muscles as well as put you off balance. Watch/read stuff by Chris Duffin on “rooting”, which is basically grabbing the floor with your feet. This is also discussed in the JTS squat pillars videos.

No, but hitting the floor with the face is so you better keep your feet flat.