T Nation

Squat Issue: Toes Lifting


I have been having some issues with my squats lately. I seem to have developed a bad habit where my toes are lifting when I squat and then I compensate by going too far forward and round my back.

I do have tight hip flexors and hamstrings which I have been trying to stretch. I've also been trying a wider stance which I like, but I am not quite used to doing.

I have no idea why suddenly I have developed this bad habit, it just seemed to happen when things were fine.

I've even tried going very very slowwwwwwwlly.. just to keep track of things and let me tell you.. that really throws my balance off.

Has this happened to anyone else and if it has, how did you fix it?

Should I get a box and aim to sit on it? Should I drop all weight and switch to bodyweight until I am back on track?

does someone have some good stretches?

any advice would be greatly appreciated.


IMO, maybe giving you something else to focus on will help..box squatting sounds like a good option.
Have you recently gone up in weight with your squats? Are you wearing different shoes than normal?
Here is a good article I found!

Or maybe you try front squats, or goblet squats to see if you have the same issue? With the goblet squat you could really focus on pushing the knees out as well.


I have gone up in weight. I figured I was cruising at the weight I had been using so I upped it. But I don't know why suddenly I lose body control.


Heavier loads can make you shift forward. Keep trying out the wider stance (point out your toes some) and make sure the bar is sitting low on your back. An overhand grip helps if you have trouble getting the bar low. Try and focus on starting the movement with you butt, like you are sitting back to find a chair and keep your chest high and tight.
Good for upping the weight, you just need to find your groove again.


Just make sure this is a legal grip! :slight_smile: Sorry couldn't resist
[/Ruggerlife runs and hides]

OG - Do you mean your toes are coming off the ground and your weight is moving to your heals?


You can't run fast enough!
I think she means she is coming up on her toes.


I find I will go forward on my toes from time to time when I'm pushing a heavier weight than I'm used to. It's a mental thing that I don't take time to set up properly. I move into it too quickly to get the squat overwith.

If we don't see you around Ruggerlife ... it was nice meeting you.


OP, grab Eric Cresseys Mobility DVD/Book. Its probably a combination of hamstring inflexibility and an inability to engage your glutes/hamstring in the movement.


[Ruggerlife posting from an undisclosed location]
Ouro, It was nice meeting you as well.

...but since I'm already going down...I might as well point out that if the problem is shifting her weight forward onto her toes, that Court is well versed in this technique and should be able to provide insight. :slight_smile:

On a serious note, I don't think it would be so much of a mobility problem since she's not having the issue at a lighter weight. I'm guessing that it's more adjusting to more weight/confidence. Generally everytime you add weight to the bar your technique needs to adjust with it. So focus on form and remember perfect practice makes perfect.


I did mean that I moved forward on to my toes. Sorry about that! I find I plant and then start the lift by pushing with my toes, I do end on my heels but it is a big mess.

I'll put a box behind me and go for the sit. I don't have a workout partner but maybe I can grab a trainer and have them watch and correct me.

It just feels really awkward but I don't feel I am straining overly hard with the weight. I actually think I could go higher for fewer reps.


The very last thing I do before I squat (after I've taken my big breath) is to wiggle my big toes just to ensure my weight isn't forward on them. With lower weights (ie. during warm ups) I'll consciously try to lift my toes to ensure my weight is fully back. I also used to tell myself 'butt first' until it became habit.


I'm not sure how I got roped into this, but I will hunt you down and I will kill you. First though, I think I will tape you to the ground and practise squatting on you. I'll let you be the judge of if I'm still going forward on my toes or if I'm driving through my heels. If you'll recall however, I DID take my head out of my ass and managed to come back and hit my 3rd attempt with ease.

Enjoy your last moments with the family.



I approve of must things that involve duct tape, but then I am a MacGyver groupie

So Court, you recovered from the dreaded toe plant?


Should this thread go to the SAMA forum? I must warn you though, at my current weight, I may feel a bit like squatting on a Bosu ball.

I would like to point out that I was correct, you were able to provide helpful insight. :slightly_smiling:

And yes, there is no doubt that the 3rd attempt was easy.


I did. My handler gave me shit, told my I was forward on my toes (which I totally felt on my way up) which is why I didn't hit depth. I had tears in my eyes because I was so pissed off at myself for missing an easy weight, then I pulled it together and made my 3rd at a slightly higher weight. It will be the last time I miss an attempt at a meet for being forward on my toes let me tell ya...


By the time Court had tears in her eyes, I'd already bombed 2 squats and even that did not console her.
Ruggerlife, Capital Barbell in July? Next time I compete in Ontario I'm speaking with the head judge before I touch a bar.
OG, if this is turning into a big issue, hire a trainer for 1 session. Make sure she/he knows how to squat though. The things I've seen at my gym...
Videos help a lot too. I have to start taking my own advice regarding that.


Thanks for the suggestion diana. It's just annoying when i feel my balance go out.

I will try and grab a trainer and have them watch.

If I can't seem to correct it I will drop some weight and try my form again.


If your toes are coming up, on your light sets, pick up your big toe. It will keep you from shifting forward and will add to your balance. Also, try to add in some static and heavy dynamic ab work. A sudden jump to a new weight can be rough if your core isnt ready to hold it. Heavy sidebends and planks should do it.

I know this is going to sound like I am just trying to get a video of you, but if you post one of your squats, or send me one, I am known as a technician and am good at fixing form problems and focusing on weaknesses.

Hope all goes well....and still Love Ya.'


I rock first up on my toes and then back to my heels. I will try the big toe trick though.

planks huh? I can do those. I forget about doing those and those are some good things to do when all the equipment is in use!


Seems simple enough but that tip about wiggling your big toes is great!! Don't know why I never thought of it but am glad you mentioned it!!

Hey LSUPOWERDC: Geeeeaaaaaaaauuuuuuux Ti-GERS!!