hmmm…that makes sense because i’ve always thought that i had pretty good ankle mobility. can you elaborate on the “breaking at the hips first, rather than the ankles”. at the bottom of my squat my pelvis rotates under…actually now that i think about it, this is when i feel like i lose stability and lean forward. this have anything to do with it?
thanks for your help[/quote]
I think ankle mobility is way overrated for guys unless you’ve worn nothing but basketball shoes your entire life. Men’s footwear, i.e. really restrictive dress shoes, locks up the foot a lot more than the ankle in my experience.
At any rate, just go up to a wall, put your foot about 2 inches away from the wall and try to touch your knee to the wall. If you can do that, you have enough ankle mobility to do an olympic squat. It’s honestly pretty rare to find this in the average dude. It’s a lot bigger problem in women since they wear high heels.
What putting plates under your feet really does for most people is create artificial stability. It shifts the body into an anterior weight bearing posture which makes the nervous system more comfortable. A comfortable nervous system will in turn “loosen the reins” so to speak and dish out some extra ACTIVE mobility.
Anything you do to increase stability will make the movement feel ‘better’ and 'more natural. Putting the weight in front of you = more stable position, which is why front squats are feel better for a lot of people, and people that are “not mobile” that are “too tight” to back squat can knock out some deep front squats.
The Olympic squat is going to require more knee bend then a wide stance powerlifting squat. You can’t just “sit back” into an olympic squat and expect to hit depth. You have to use knee bend. Olympic lifters routinely violate the old ‘knee can’t go over the toes’ rule and don’t think twice about it. That said, getting a great looking barefoot olympic back squat is not an easy feat. This is why olympic weightlifting shoes exist, and why it’s a hell of a lot easier for people to use a wider stance squat.
If you don’t have short femurs, a great barefoot olympic squat is going to take a lot of work. I mean, just a ridiculous amount of practice. I’m not sure I’ve seen enough at this point to make the call, but I’m under the impression that a deep barefoot olympic squat WITH neutral spine is something that is simply not on the table for every person out there.