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Heels Coming Up, Squat?

i recently started adding squats (newb) to my routine in order to add mass and strength… however, i noticed when i come parallel to the floor my heels start to lift off the ground. from everything i have read this is incorrect form. what can i do in order to correct this problem.

is it an issue of flexibility, or is this just illustrating i am using a weight which is too heavy for me right now? any suggestions are much appreciated. thanks in advance.

There are a few things you can do…

First, try squatting with blocks under your heels (these can be plates, a 2X4, whatever). If this fixes the problem, then work on ankle flexability. You can slowly reduce the height of the block over time.

Also, try to take a wider stance. For many of us taller lifters (I don’t know if you are, but I am), we need a slightly wider stance in order to go deep without going up on the balls of our feet or falling backwards.

If that doesn’t help, try squating with your toes off the ground, raising them as high as you can, focusing all of your weight on the heel.

Good luck!

Two things that helped me when I started squatting below parallel:

  1. Make sure your shoes are good. Chuck’s or the like.

  2. Make sure your head is looking slightly up, chest out and belly full of air.

Once I corrected these two things, my squat form really fell into line.

Squatting with plates under the toes/forefeet helped me push through the heels. Try it and see.

wldnt use the block under ur heels mate if I was u ud prob end up with a prolapsed disc, just get soem nice flat hard soled shoes-boots n u shld be fine, save the heels up for the calve raises lol, B

[quote]Benny Boy wrote:
wldnt use the block under ur heels mate if I was u ud prob end up with a prolapsed disc, just get soem nice flat hard soled shoes-boots n u shld be fine, save the heels up for the calve raises lol, B [/quote]

No offense, but please tell me you were intoxicated when you wrote this?

To the OP, work on hip mobility and ankle mobility. Try to practice perfect Squat form with your bodyweight at home or with an empty barbell as much as possible. Stretch your hip flexors and plantar flexor muscles.

[quote]midnightamnesia wrote:
There are a few things you can do…

First, try squatting with blocks under your heels (these can be plates, a 2X4, whatever). If this fixes the problem, then work on ankle flexability. You can slowly reduce the height of the block over time.

Also, try to take a wider stance. For many of us taller lifters (I don’t know if you are, but I am), we need a slightly wider stance in order to go deep without going up on the balls of our feet or falling backwards.

If that doesn’t help, try squating with your toes off the ground, raising them as high as you can, focusing all of your weight on the heel.

Good luck![/quote]

I have been doing some reading last night and a few sites did mention to try placing a 2x4 or some sort of elevation plate underneath my heels. I’ll have to try that out.

Also, I do happen to be on the tall side, 6 feet, but I don’t feel like that is tall enough to be causing the problem. In the mean time I’ll try working on my form. The weird part is with my own body weight I can stay on my heels, but as I add more weight the heels start creeping up.

[quote]Siirous wrote:
Two things that helped me when I started squatting below parallel:

  1. Make sure your shoes are good. Chuck’s or the like.

  2. Make sure your head is looking slightly up, chest out and belly full of air.

Once I corrected these two things, my squat form really fell into line.[/quote]

i have been using a regular pair of running shoes when i go to the gym. would going barefoot work just as well as the chucks?

[quote]critter wrote:
The weird part is with my own body weight I can stay on my heels, but as I add more weight the heels start creeping up.
[/quote]

As mentioned use the plate (or a board) and try to reduce the height over time (ie. using a 10lbs plate, 5lbs plate 2.5lbs then flat).

If it’s only when you add weight, it’s likely not so much a flexibility issue as a form issue. Really focus on sitting back as you squat and when coming up focus on driving your upper back into the bar, driving your knees apart and your heels into the ground.

Another suggestion is to try some front squats. Again if needed use the plates under your heels, but I’ve found using front squats usually corrects form quicker than only using back squats.

I honestly have no idea. I’ve always worn shoes.

I do know that when I started I was also using running shoes, mine were by new balance, and the heel was higher than the toe and it would cause me to want to topple forward.

[quote]Siirous wrote:

I do know that when I started I was also using running shoes, mine were by new balance, and the heel was higher than the toe and it would cause me to want to topple forward.
[/quote]

mine are new balance shoes also.

I am also relativly new to squating, but I have switched from back squating to front squating to front squating from the pins. I find it easier to drive up with good form when I lift from the bottom, and plus, TC recommended it.

I also lift in New Balance shoes, but mone don’t seem to have an elevated heel, at least not that I have noticed.

If flexability is an issue then you should certainly look into that. Injuries are painful.

sorry to hijack your thread but I have a quick question.

Sometimes my toes raise. I assume that means I am tilting back and not keeping my weight centered.

Any advice for this other than just pay attention to my form when squatting?

Celeste

[quote]Siirous wrote:
i have been using a regular pair of running shoes when i go to the gym. would going barefoot work just as well as the chucks?

I honestly have no idea. I’ve always worn shoes.

I do know that when I started I was also using running shoes, mine were by new balance, and the heel was higher than the toe and it would cause me to want to topple forward.
[/quote]

YES!! IO prefer barefoot but many gyms wont allow it nor will PL fed. Luck strongman will. either go el natural or get some hard soled flat shoes

Phill

Thats an odd prob you got the most having the heel prob./ Your for sure firing through the heel which is GOOD. are the balls of your feet up front still planted?? If so Id say no big deal if your staying off the toes

Phill

[quote]OctoberGirl wrote:
sorry to hijack your thread but I have a quick question.

Sometimes my toes raise. I assume that means I am tilting back and not keeping my weight centered.

Any advice for this other than just pay attention to my form when squatting?

Celeste[/quote]

Doing squats barefoot is pretty close to flat sole shoes. Even with flat shoes though, for deadlift at least, I prefer just my feet. It’s a lot easier to really feel where the weight is being distributed and keep correct form. I’d assume it may do the same with squats but I just use my converse for them.

OctoberGirl,

It happens to me as well on my light sets. Since for me it only happens on light sets, I don’t worry about it.

But the more I focus on “spreading the floor” the less it happens.

The only time I would worry about it is if it caused a balance issue.

[quote]Phill wrote:
Thats an odd prob you got the most having the heel prob./ Your for sure firing through the heel which is GOOD. are the balls of your feet up front still planted?? If so Id say no big deal if your staying off the toes

Phill

OctoberGirl wrote:
sorry to hijack your thread but I have a quick question.

Sometimes my toes raise. I assume that means I am tilting back and not keeping my weight centered.

Any advice for this other than just pay attention to my form when squatting?

Celeste

[/quote]

I had to go to the physiotherapist once and i had to raise my heels under to do a certain exercise similar to squats. The first thing she said was that she couldn’t believe how tight my hamstrings were. I would suggest you fix it.

I don’t address the heels coming off the floor in these videos, but the symptom can be caused by the same underlying causes. Watch these videos:

Squat Rx #1: Lower Back Rounding at the Bottom of the Squat

Squat Rx #2: GMing Out of the Hole

Squat Rx #3: Engaging the Glutes and Hamstrings (Part I)

Squat Rx #3: Engaging the Glutes and Hamstrings (Part II)

Ankle flexibility really isn’t the answer to your problem. Actually, I’ll be putting Squat Rx #4 on youtube later this week and I’ll be talking about bar placement and squat depth - I mention ankle flexibilty in it only because it’s a factor only if you allow the knees to track TOO FAR forward.

[quote]Ruggerlife wrote:
OctoberGirl,

It happens to me as well on my light sets. Since for me it only happens on light sets, I don’t worry about it.

But the more I focus on “spreading the floor” the less it happens.

The only time I would worry about it is if it caused a balance issue.
[/quote]

Thanks I have heard that term before, “spreading the floor.” I will give it a try.