T Nation

Floating Heel Training

Hey coach,

I’d love to hear your thoughts about performing lower body training with a floating heel (as in, heel off the ground, weight through forefoot only) for your athletes, particularly those who have to sprint like football players or your bobsleigh athletes.

If you do use it, how do you like to fit it around the Olympic lifting and squatting you program for your clients? If you don’t, it would be great if you could explain your reasoning. Is there something else you use to address foot and ankle strength, or do you feel the importance of this is overstated?

Look forward to your response!

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The only time I used it was with lunges, split squats and walking lunges. I do think it is effective at increasing calf and tibialis strength and thus ankle stability.

But I never use it on squats and CERTAINLY not on the olympic lifts. These are general strength and power builders and trying to kill too many birds with one stone and be too specific will essentially make those exercises less effective for their main purpose.

If there’s one thing I do on squats and deadlifts to strengthen the feet is teach the athletes to try to “grab, or push into, the floor with their toes when doing the lift”. This not only strengthen the feet, it will help you lift more weight by increasing stability.

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Perfect, thank you very much!

Did you mostly keep this in the hypertrophy range (6-12ish) or did you push more toward heavier/lighter loads?