T Nation

Squat w/ Feet Facing Out or Straight Ahead


I’ve always squatted with my feet slightly facing out with a fairly wide stance. However, a trainer told me that if I wanted to get faster (which I do) I should squat with my feet straight ahead.

His reasoning was something about how you want to keep your feet straight when running and if you squat with a wide, feet out stance, you will want to run like that which will slow you down.

Any truth to any of this? I’ve found it to be comfortable to squat both ways.

He told me to squat more like the picture above instead of a “power lifter” type squat

Feet turned slightly out is bio-mechanically more efficient/stable.

If you’re ever in that position (the bottom of a squat) while running, I’d bet you’re not very fast. Squat to get stronger, run faster with a stronger body.

A lot of people don’t run with the feet straight, either.

Think about it.

I rarely had a good leg workout when I squatted wider than shoulders. I’m also not as strong that way. I generally go narrower than shoulders and have a very slight outward angle with my toes. I feel the most quad recruitment this way.

But I also elevate my heels and generally do front squats instead.

[quote]LCCHSathlete wrote:
I’ve always squatted with my feet slightly facing out with a fairly wide stance. However, a trainer told me that if I wanted to get faster (which I do) I should squat with my feet straight ahead.

His reasoning was something about how you want to keep your feet straight when running and if you squat with a wide, feet out stance, you will want to run like that which will slow you down.

Any truth to any of this? I’ve found it to be comfortable to squat both ways.

He told me to squat more like the picture above instead of a “power lifter” type squat

[/quote]

Anyone trainer who claims that something like foot position in a squat is going to make you faster is an idiot.

The correct thing he should have said was “you should become more powerful if you want to run faster”.

[quote]MytchBucanan wrote:
I rarely had a good leg workout when I squatted wider than shoulders. I’m also not as strong that way. I generally go narrower than shoulders and have a very slight outward angle with my toes. I feel the most quad recruitment this way.

But I also elevate my heels and generally do front squats instead.[/quote]

Another ridiculous way of thinking if you are worried about strength or speed.

Instead of trying to find what you “feel the most” in your quads you should probably find what you can lift the most with. If you have a bigger heel elevated front squat than back squat then your programming is seriously in need of a tune-up.

[quote]AssOnGrass wrote:
Anyone trainer who claims that something like foot position in a squat is going to make you faster is an idiot.

The correct thing he should have said was “you should become more powerful if you want to run faster”.[/quote]

Ya that’s sort of what I thought. It just had me thinking…

[quote]gi2eg wrote:
Feet turned slightly out is bio-mechanically more efficient/stable.

[/quote]

I’m with this one. I have my feet wider and toes out. It seems like this would be the most advantageous position to force your knees apart to get your hips forward pushing up through the middle. It tends to be exaggerated on me because I have long legs compared to my body.

In the picture posted, it looks as if it would be awkward to get through your knees like that.

Is there any reason you want to squat faster?

Keeping your feet facing forward can cause serious damage to your knees, unless you have a special condition in your legs stay far away from keeping your feet forward in a squat.

[quote]ouroboro_s wrote:
gi2eg wrote:
Feet turned slightly out is bio-mechanically more efficient/stable.

I’m with this one. I have my feet wider and toes out. It seems like this would be the most advantageous position to force your knees apart to get your hips forward pushing up through the middle. It tends to be exaggerated on me because I have long legs compared to my body.

In the picture posted, it looks as if it would be awkward to get through your knees like that.
[/quote]

Agreed. I do feel much more stable with a wider stance.

I also just remembered the trainer’s other reasoning… I forget what he called it but it was something of a chain effect. He said if your feet are out of alignment, then your ankles will be mis-aligned, and then your knees, and then your hips. He said this would all lead to unnecessary stress on your knees.

I don’t think he considered that maybe the natural alignment is with your feet slightly out whereas feet straight ahead is wrong…

Your trainer is a fucktard.

[quote]elih8er wrote:
Your trainer is a fucktard. [/quote]

Luckily he isn’t my personal trainer… long story short- he just worked with me and my training partner once