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Toe Position on Narrow Stance Squats?

I’m trying to not build my inner thighs anymore. In a narrow or close stance squat (and squat variations), does having toes pointed in or out effect the inner thigh activation? It seems to me that pointing out creates less activation. Is this correct o would straight ahead be better for this? Balance isn’t an issue.


Foot position should be in line with your legs. In a narrow stance squat, I can’t picture anything other than your knees pointing straight ahead. That means your feet should point straight ahead.

If you want your feet to point out then you’ll need a stance that allows your knees to go that direction.

I’m having a hard time describing this so here are some pictures.
Wide Stance

Narrow Stance

Narrow Stance (toes out)

I didn’t even know that last one was a thing but notice how the knees always stay in line with the feet during the movement.

I’ve never done that last version but it looks like it would load the outer hip (glute medius) more than anything else. I’ve always felt more inner thigh (adductors) activation with a wider stance. I’ve noticed it on deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and squats.

I hope this helps. The simplest answer is to try different things and see how it feels. If it doesn’t do what you want then try a different movement and continue until you find your favorite.

Everyone is different, I would rely on how it feels. You should be able to feel tension in your inner thigh if those muscles are being heavily activated.

It’s going to largely depend on how your hips are built and how your femurs sit in the hip sockets.

I’m incapable of the middle pic posted by @Frank_C, but I can do the 3rd pic.

If you able to, having your toes pointing more forward will decrease adductor activity. With feet that are flared more, your adductors will assist with hip extension more and be activated more.

Thanks for all of the info. I’m stable with my feet narrow and straightforward, so I’ll try that for awhile and see how it goes. I still feel a little adductor involvement this way, but I’ll see if there’s any real work done by them after a couple of workouts. My legs respond quickly so I wanted to be sure I wasn’t going down the wrong path. I want to increase my outer quad while maintaining a gap between my legs.

Thanks again

so the good thing for you here is that this will likely stay almost no matter what you do. That’s a genetic quality based on your hip structure, and even adding significant muscle mass throughout your quads will likely not change that gap.

My quads as a whole respond quickly. I stopped training them a few years ago to let them go a bit, as it wasn’t the aesthetic I wanted. I tried hack squats with a very narrow stance yesterday and was still feeling it in the inner quad, probably due to an imbalance.

I’m going to keep trying different exercises and stances/positions to achieve the look I want. I know I’m creating more imbalance, but I’m after aesthetics, not performance. I’m looking at hiring a trainer with IFBB experience to achieve my goal.

Thanks again for the info, input and knowledge. I really appreciate all of the responses.

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are you actually looking to compete, or are you hiring an ifbb trainer simply for their knowledge base? just curious. I’d be interested to hear what feedback you get when you talk to them.

No, I’m not looking to compete, but I’m beyond the “enthusiast” level. I would like the advanced knowledge of an advanced trainer and take things up a notch. I’ve worked with a number of trainers in the past, and never had a good match. I’ve butted heads when I’ve disputed ACE and NASM manuals with clinical double bind studies. At one point, I was going for my certification, so I’ve studied their materials and I know the approach.

I don’t mean to cut down personal trainers - not at all. However, it takes a different skillset to trainer a lifelong athlete with specific goals (and workaround past injuries) than it does to get the average client “in shape”.