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Squatting Flat Foot Causes Inflexible Ankles

Hello,
First of all im 16 years old 168 cm long 5’6 i think?
I went to the doctor yesterday turns out i have flat fleet.
My right ankle is unflexible.

If i do a bodyweight squat my right feet turns outward and when i try to hold it back i fall backwards.
Also if i sit in a squat position for longer then some minutes , my right shin starts to burn.
Now my question is ,is my right ankle unflexible because of my flat feet ?
I started doing foam rolling and mobility work but it doesnt really seems to work
I do dynamic stretches pre workout

Also in some weeks i get my orthotics(arch support) will they help my flexibilty(the doctor didnt know it sure
For squatting i use do wins are these good for flat footed or should i wear chucks?
these shoes http://www.ebay.nl/itm/DO-WIN-WEIGHTLIFTING-SHOES-GEWICHTHEBEN-SCHUHE-/151015793730?pt=UK_Sporting_Goods_Athletic_Shoes_ET&var=&hash=item68cfa59f10

I squat high bar
knees also buckle in when i take a stance thats shoulder width when i take a wider stance i can go alot deeper.
I did a few months a wrong way of low bar squats with too much hip drive (like a goodmorning now my lower back hurts with like every exercise,thats why i use high bar and i went to the doctor for my lower back and made some photos of it and nothing is wrong they say)

Some videos of me squatting :
Thanks for your time.
[youtube]H67XzmR8GLA[/youtube]
[youtube]OeF9cdUtc_4[/youtube]

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I was going to watch the video but the address doesn’t work. Can you provide a link?

Do you fall backwards when you sit on a chair? If not then use the same premise when squatting, pretend you are about to sit on a chair.
don’t think about your knees buckling, your shins aching or anything other than what you are trying to achieve. I.e sitting down position

Do it with an empty bar until you have mastered the movement, you don’t have to go low, not everyone can squat to the same depth.

It sounds as though you are overcomplicating matters.

Have you tried doing a goblet squat instead of a back squat? An educated progression for people learning how to squat would go Goblet->Front Squat->Back Squat. What you are probably lacking is core stability, mix that with poor movement patterns (mobility+stability) and you have a shitty squat.

Orthotics will not increase your flexibility, they may actually make it worse as they act as a band-aid. I am flat-footed and can squat 275 ATG for reps without any issue. However, I have been squatting for a long time, that shit didn’t just happen overnight.

I would recommend reading everything you can by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. They probably have over 100 articles just on this website.

Greg, never trust a doctor, please go to drschol’s pressure map machine in walgreen, and get a picture of your foot pressure map and confirm the findings.

2nd. please post a video of your squat form, so I can access your technique. my nephew has flat foot, he is squatting just fine.

In most cases flat feet are the result of week arch muscles/ankle pronation and can be corrected via exercise. Your shins are burning when you try to stay in a squat for prolonged periods because you lack ankle mobility (quite possibly due to weak Tibialis Anterior but also likely because of your inactive Gluteus Medius/hip abductors.

I would work on pushing your knees outwards during your squats and adding in some Tibialis raises to strengthen up the shin muscles.

feet turning out is fine. roll your shins and get massages for your ankles and do some good stretching on your ankles to improve mobility. make sure when you squat its almost like just falling butt first down in a straight line ( completely upright torso). Us americans aren’t forced to keep this ability throughout the years so it will take awhile to regain the mobility. In the video below look at his foot angle and where his knees track. notice the controlled inward push on his knees upon pressing out of the squat. Perfectly safe. Also shown in 2nd vid.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
In most cases flat feet are the result of week arch muscles/ankle pronation and can be corrected via exercise. Your shins are burning when you try to stay in a squat for prolonged periods because you lack ankle mobility (quite possibly due to weak Tibialis Anterior but also likely because of your inactive Gluteus Medius/hip abductors.

I would work on pushing your knees outwards during your squats and adding in some Tibialis raises to strengthen up the shin muscles.[/quote]

I think i have simliar problem. Sounds like sento said what’s on my mind though. My shin and feet and ankle hurt (just on my right foot which is flat) and then I squatted through my heels, pushed my knees out and pushed the floor apart and it got fine in a few weeks. Still can feel pain when I do it incorrectly though. My .02

if you want to know about feet… ask a ballerina…

(i’m serious)

do you have a baseball or a softball or something like that? roll it around under your foot. try and make yourself an arch. you might need to do some joint manipulations etc to get mobility in your feet… then the idea is to strengthen them… you can typically fix pronation, flat feet etc with combinations of mobilization / strengthening.

orthotics are crutches. they enable your deformity rather than rehabilitating it.

Greg I am a foot and ankle surgeon It sound like you have ankle equinus that is common with flatfoot it contributes to further mid foot collapse
The orthotic may help but you need to stretch your Achilles and hamstrings becaus both cross the knee
Also use a small plate under your heel while squatting until your orthotics come in

Pesto elastin "never trust a doctor " go to Walgreens and use the foot scanner You are an idiot , how reproducible you think your stance is each time you step on it van actual casting of a foot ??! All it takes is you supinating or pronating in stance an the machine will tell you something different
Those OTC device are fine to use as pads not for a pathologic condition

Picc- nice I was waiting for an intelligent response to the OP’s question. I have been dealing with severe flat feet for years. Awhile back I got a mold of my feet, and a proper set of orthotic in soles made (600$) I wear these in my gym shoes when I squat. If I don’t have my insole’s when I squat my ankles and knees roll inward, and it cause’s a lot of pain (inner knee) Regardless through perseverance I have managed to get my squat up over 450lbs.

OP just keep at it, and work on your squat form, I’ve had better luck with low bar PL squats, sitting back keeping the weight on my heals, and pushing with my glutes, hams. You might want to find a good coach for a couple sessions, and work on squat form. Take care of your knees, and ankles because flat feet puts lots of pressure on these. I’ve been dealing with this for years, and it’s not something you can just fix with a couple workout, and some stretching, but I’ve heard overhead squats fix everything. lol

How are your hip lateral rotators?

I have a couple ankle fusions. The arch in one of my feet is abnormally high because a bunch of the bones in the midfoot are dislocated. The arch in one of my other feet (ha!) is flattened straight out (also burst calcaneus). My squat was not pretty to start with. It is competent now, though. Instead of going ‘I can’t squat right because of my feet wah’ (well, there was a lot of that, truth be told) I started more top down. Worrying about my hip mobility and stability. Pushing those knees right out is partly about turn-out from the hip, you see.

Seriously… Ballet dancers have very strong and very flexible feet. Not saying you can go from where you are now (or where I am now) to having a strong enough arch to dance en pointe, but not saying that training like an olympic lifter is going to get you to the Olympics, neither. Surely there is something to be learned…

alexus; Awhile back I spent some time running on the tread-mill barefoot, on my toes. I was told this would strengthen my arches, and I did this for a good while working through some pain along the way, but I gained very little. I’m a positive person, who believes anything is posible, with enough hard work.

I’ve come to the conclusion though that in my case, there’s not much I can do about my arches, I was born this way, and will die with flat feet. I just learned to adjust my workouts, and to use proper insoles. I do imagine there is different degrees of flat feet, and some that could be fixed with proper strengthening. The OP sounds young, and might be able to work through this, I can only tell my story.

Anyway OP best of luck.

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i can only tell my story too - and your squat certainly beats my squat ahaha. i think each of us needs to find their path… i actually have been thinking of getting some specialized orthotics because i can feel my feet collapsing in on squats - as you say. i think it is important to work to strengthing / developing what you have got (as you indeed tried with the running), though, to maximise the usefulness of the crutches, even.

Anytimejake, there are true flat feet (which as you said is a condition that some people are born with and cannot therefore be fixed through exercise and stretching), and then there are “flat feet” as the result of pronation due to poor arch strength, weak hip Abductors/horizontal Abductors. Since none of us are actually examining the OP in person and privy to X-rays or other diagnostic information and therefore cannot accurately diagnose the OP, some of us have chosen to give him advice that would help him in the case where the latter was the case (since there is really nothing that we can tell him other than “go see a pediatrist” that will help him with the former).

If it isn’t actually true flat feet though, then him getting and relying solely on orthotics will only mask and continue to allow his weaknesses to persist (which may lead to further injury down the road). Not saying he may still be better off using them in the interim, but IMO he should wait until he actually gets an official diagnosis from a qualified professional in person before resigning himself to the notion that he cannot improve his situation via exercise.

Just because we are born with something doesn’t mean that it can’t be fixed via exercise / stretching / strengthening. Are infants born with arches - or to arches typically develop with the development of walking? What are the effects of infants learning to walk with shoes with rigid soles vs learning to walk with slippers with flexible soles vs learning to walk with socks / in bare feet? And then you have those suspension things that get infants standing / bouncing before they have the strength / stability to be upright (Grey Cook has stuff to say about that).

I think… Arches are part of a development process rather than being fixed (therefore invariant) from birth. The thing with exercise… Is that you never know what you can get from it unless you really set your mind to getting what you can from it.

Generally speaking… I think people are too willing to turn to relatively ‘quick fixes’ (involving little effort on their own part) like surgery, drugs, etc. Rather than the good old fashioned hard yards. But of course exercise is not a cure all. I will never run. I will never dance en pointe. I will never have normal ankle dorsiflexion. But I know I sure as hell will not quit trying… And every millimeter of progress (hard one) is an achievement. For me.

OP – I’d love to see a video of you trying to squat holding a 5kg plate out front - like this.

3 second descent (as low as you can go). pause. Explosive stand up.

I’d love to see front on and side on vid.

Maybe we can help.

[quote]alexus wrote:
Just because we are born with something doesn’t mean that it can’t be fixed via exercise / stretching / strengthening. Are infants born with arches - or to arches typically develop with the development of walking? What are the effects of infants learning to walk with shoes with rigid soles vs learning to walk with slippers with flexible soles vs learning to walk with socks / in bare feet? And then you have those suspension things that get infants standing / bouncing before they have the strength / stability to be upright (Grey Cook has stuff to say about that).

I think… Arches are part of a development process rather than being fixed (therefore invariant) from birth. The thing with exercise… Is that you never know what you can get from it unless you really set your mind to getting what you can from it.

Generally speaking… I think people are too willing to turn to relatively ‘quick fixes’ (involving little effort on their own part) like surgery, drugs, etc. Rather than the good old fashioned hard yards. But of course exercise is not a cure all. I will never run. I will never dance en pointe. I will never have normal ankle dorsiflexion. But I know I sure as hell will not quit trying… And every millimeter of progress (hard one) is an achievement. For me.
[/quote]

Yes, totally agree.