a couple of days ago my squat form was criticized by an experienced powerlifter who said my center of gravity was too far forward during the squat. he felt that it was due to the fact that i wear olympic weightlifting shoes while using a low bar placement. On video we noticed that i was going too far forward at the bottom. Is there any merit to this squat critique? should i be wearing flat soled shoes instead? I have been wearing these shoes for 3 years now, and have competed in powerlifting. yet, i am always looking to improve my form
Weightlifting shoes can aide in explosive movements such as when performing the olympic style movements and the flat surface they provide are great, becasue they create a more solid foundation, this is especailly important when you are under a lot of weight. As for using them during a back squat, they could be deterimental to you technique. You want to make sure that you are planting your heels into the ground when you are on your way down, you also need to press through your heels on the way out of the hole. As for bringing your center of gravity forward, they can definately do that. The height of the heel serves as an extention to the tibia(lower leg bone). Which can put your weight more forward, unless you have a longer femur(upper leg bone) to compensate, if you have extremely long femurs it will allow you to bring your hips back far enough to stay centered over mid-foot.
So in essence, try to squat with out the shoes, uexcept for front squating, If you have been squating in the shoes for a long time, your gastroc(a calf muscle) and achillies tnedon might not be flexible enough for you to get to parallel while keeping the heels planted, but going deep as you can will stretch them out.
Am I understanding that you are doing more of an OL squat as opposed to a PL squat? If that's the case I say keep on what you are doing. Unless you want to do a PL squat. If that's the case, ditch the OL shoes and get yourself some Chuck's or whatever PLers squat in.
How do oly shoes affect your back and front squat?
e.g., do they make the squats more quad-dominant? I am getting a pair in a couple weeks (I have my first USAW comp in about two and a half months), and I'd like to know whether I should squat in them and, if I should, whether I not I should add in some extra posterior chain work to balance out the load.
From what i've seen with 2 guys who went o-lifting in the olympics they are all VERY quad dominant. Their quad are 2 times bigger than their hammies (if you think about a proportionnal muscular leg).
This might also come from the huge amount of weight they put on front squat.