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Squatting In Oly Shoes

Hi friends,

I have long legs and poor ankle mobility and I am considering investing in some oly shoes to make my squat easier and to increase my depth.

Question is: by wearing shoes with a heel lift mean that by going to a similar depth I am recruiting less muscles fibres compared to a no shoes squat at the same depth. in other words, do shoes with a heel lift improve the depth, but at the same time decrease muscle fiber recruitment.

I hope that makes sense.
I train for strength and sexy legs, not for competition.

Uncle Bird.

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Just go ATG. You don’t plan to compete so no point worrying about hitting that proper depth.

the bird - I have recently started using some olympic lifting shoes, and personally have experienced the following - depth is easier, I get more quad involvement, and less hamstring/ass involvement. I am very slightly weaker with the shoes on, however i am confident that will change when i get used to the shoes. I also find it easier to keep my torso properly upright. However i have short legs, so your experience may differ.

just get the oly shoes…easier to squat deep…and no you will not be recruiting less fibres…i found that when i switched to oly shoes I fixed my but wink…

Thanks buddies for your advice.

[quote]AntonioFlores wrote:
just get the oly shoes…easier to squat deep…and no you will not be recruiting less fibres…i found that when i switched to oly shoes I fixed my but wink…[/quote]
But is that because your using less muscle and “hiding” your mobility issues?

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In my experience I’m bending more at the knees and hips and less at the ankles. Try squatting with a plate or two under your heels to see if you like oly shoes, it’s the exact same feeling.

When you elevate your hips a bit you will actually stimulate the quadriceps more. This is especially beneficial with long-limbed lifters since because of their levers they will recruit the hamstrings, lower back and hips more than the quads when doing a normal squat.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
When you elevate your hips a bit you will actually stimulate the quadriceps more. This is especially beneficial with long-limbed lifters since because of their levers they will recruit the hamstrings, lower back and hips more than the quads when doing a normal squat.
[/quote]

strange that you say this, i feel the opposite, i get a lot of quad involvement even without shoes or maybe I’m just a hamstring-o-phile?

FWIW, Rogue now has a 1/2 inch heel weightlifting for those who like a lower effective heel height than 3/4 inch. Same construction and stability but less heel.

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
When you elevate your hips a bit you will actually stimulate the quadriceps more. This is especially beneficial with long-limbed lifters since because of their levers they will recruit the hamstrings, lower back and hips more than the quads when doing a normal squat.
[/quote]

strange that you say this, i feel the opposite, i get a lot of quad involvement even without shoes or maybe I’m just a hamstring-o-phile?[/quote]

Possible… but mechanically speaking elevated heels should increase quads activation potential… but if you are great at activating quads… and since you can squat without shoes it tells me that you do not have range of motion issues then you might not see a difference.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
When you elevate your hips a bit you will actually stimulate the quadriceps more. This is especially beneficial with long-limbed lifters since because of their levers they will recruit the hamstrings, lower back and hips more than the quads when doing a normal squat.
[/quote]

strange that you say this, i feel the opposite, i get a lot of quad involvement even without shoes or maybe I’m just a hamstring-o-phile?[/quote]

Possible… but mechanically speaking elevated heels should increase quads activation potential… but if you are great at activating quads… and since you can squat without shoes it tells me that you do not have range of motion issues then you might not see a difference.[/quote]

i have some problems using a wide stance more posterior chain dominant powerlifting squat due to buttwink, but all other squat variations i have no problem

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
When you elevate your hips a bit you will actually stimulate the quadriceps more. This is especially beneficial with long-limbed lifters since because of their levers they will recruit the hamstrings, lower back and hips more than the quads when doing a normal squat.
[/quote]

strange that you say this, i feel the opposite, i get a lot of quad involvement even without shoes or maybe I’m just a hamstring-o-phile?[/quote]

Possible… but mechanically speaking elevated heels should increase quads activation potential… but if you are great at activating quads… and since you can squat without shoes it tells me that you do not have range of motion issues then you might not see a difference.[/quote]

i have some problems using a wide stance more posterior chain dominant powerlifting squat due to buttwink, but all other squat variations i have no problem[/quote]
is the increased quad use due to bending at the knees more when using oly shoes? With my tall height and poor mobility I can’t use my quads in back and front squats much at all without the elevated heels.

[quote]browndisaster wrote:

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
When you elevate your hips a bit you will actually stimulate the quadriceps more. This is especially beneficial with long-limbed lifters since because of their levers they will recruit the hamstrings, lower back and hips more than the quads when doing a normal squat.
[/quote]

strange that you say this, i feel the opposite, i get a lot of quad involvement even without shoes or maybe I’m just a hamstring-o-phile?[/quote]

Possible… but mechanically speaking elevated heels should increase quads activation potential… but if you are great at activating quads… and since you can squat without shoes it tells me that you do not have range of motion issues then you might not see a difference.[/quote]

i have some problems using a wide stance more posterior chain dominant powerlifting squat due to buttwink, but all other squat variations i have no problem[/quote]
is the increased quad use due to bending at the knees more when using oly shoes? With my tall height and poor mobility I can’t use my quads in back and front squats much at all without the elevated heels.[/quote]

i feel like its the opposite i use quads more when squatting without the shoes

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:

i feel like its the opposite i use quads more when squatting without the shoes
[/quote]

You are strange.

[quote]smallmike wrote:

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:

i feel like its the opposite i use quads more when squatting without the shoes
[/quote]

You are strange.[/quote]

i have heard that many times, but i feel like the heel allows me to “sit back more” and therefor drive my hips forward out of the hole, where as my barefooted squat i do the knee extension to good morning thing more (not that bad but just to give the idea)

In my experience with the heeled shoes, as others have said, depth is easier and the quads are more involved. As for the fiber recruitment, I would argue that it is the opposite. Think of it this way, if you were squatting on a bosu ball you use much less weight. Why? The instability provides a “distraction” that takes away from the main focus. Similarly, the limited ankle range also takes away from the main focus; instead of focusing on technique, you are focused on the mobility. Thibs also mentioned another example in his training lab videos where going the full (bottom) range on the seated overhead press would be inferior to simply cutting the range and using more weight. In all three of the examples I mentioned, yes, there will be less fiber recruitment by taking away the bosu ball, elevating the heel, and limiting end ROM, however, you more than make up for it in the switch. I hope that makes sense.

FTR, my squat max is 345 without the OLY shoes and 325 with them, although noticeably more upright and deeper.

At OP:

Not what you were asking but I thought I would add my two cents reference lifting in Oly shoes. Before I started lifting in Oly shoes I had issues with Patellar tendinitis. Since I switched over it has cleared up. If I recall right I ran across a previous post of yours in reference to Patellar tendinitis.

Just chipping in for the use of Oly shoes. I get hip impingement if I try and go low in flat shoes; oly shoes let me get ATG. So totally worth it.

oly shoes are awesome.

I like Vibrams. Range of motion is much better on squats for me anyway.