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Thread: Squat Stance

  1. #1
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    Squat Stance

    Simple question. I've heard a slight 15 degree angle outwards and the knees track the feet. Now I'm hearing from one person that all that is wrong and it's suppose to be feet straight and you practically go bow legged when you squat to avoid knee damage. It feels weird doing it that way, and I see no damage from doing it the other way for years with proper back alignment. Any advice?...

  2. #2
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    15 degrees out is fine.

    The potential advantage of feet straight ahead is that your arch might be in a stabler position. But, if you can't do it I wouldn't worry. Look at world record lifts, very few have feet straight ahead.

  3. #3
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Feet straight ahead is more stable but I don't have a chance in hell being able to squat like that so I angle out.

  4. #4
    Wannabebig Member Bulking's Avatar
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    It's mostly personal preference, within reason. Personally, I angle my feet out a bit as it feels far more 'natural' than having them parallel.

    Just don't face them in, otherwise you'll be sure to hear some snapping action.
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    Well, the reason I ask is because I get the "violent" response from this person when I mention that most everyone else I talk to says the 15 degree slant is okay, including people who lift 500lbs more than HER. You know, "well, they're all wrong, and they don't know what they're talking about, and doing it that way will destroy your knees", blah blah blah. Normally, I don't trust anyone with the whole hard headed attitude since it's usually opinion fueling their passion, not fact. So, there's no glaring documentation that doing it the slanted way will pop open your knee caps and make you crippled as opposed to straight and bow legged squat, is there?...

  6. #6
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    I am taking a wild guess here but does she CrossFit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    I am taking a wild guess here but does she CrossFit?
    Hah, yeah, she's the head instructor. I mean, the workouts are great even though they do less weight, because I do heavy weights on my own. But some of the stuff they try to demonize is weird. That being the main thing...
    Last edited by Codeguru; 11-23-2013 at 07:13 PM.

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    Kelly Starrett, CrossFit's mobility expert, who has put out a lot of good info has been a big proponent of feet forward. But most of the stuff I've seen from him is try to get the feet forward but some angle is OK as long as the arched don't collapse. He also emphasizes the foot forward position for mobility exercises but not so much in weighted action.

    Louie Simmons also recommend feet pointing forward as much as possible but admits the bigger guys have to point out more to let their mass pass through their hips.

    I'd ask the CF coach to show you world record Oly Lifts and Powerlifts done will the feet 100% forward.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9j_B0XVAv4

    Tell her to tell this guy he better straighten his feet to fix his squat.

  9. #9
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codeguru View Post
    Hah, yeah, she's the head instructor. I mean, the workouts are great even though they do less weight, because I do heavy weights on my own. But some of the stuff they try to demonize is weird. That being the main thing...
    Yeah, that is what I figured. There are plenty of GREAT CrossFit coaches out there don't get me wrong, but when someone acts like this they are usually crossfitters. This is why CrossFit gets the cult label or people say they are drinking the koolaid, people like your friend who hear that you are supposed to do some like squat one way and one way only and they just run with that.

  10. #10
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    I trained with an OLY coach for a while and I really liked how he helped us determine our stance.... stand on a box and hop down to the floor and land in full squat...then jump onto the box and land in full squat. Stance is somewhere between these (which are probably nearly identical). But this might be because we were squatting 'high-bar' and front squatting, not lowbar. Shin travel forward in highbar and front squat is standard, which might require angled feet, whereas a low bar style, I believe shin travel is restricted as much as possible making parallel feet more of a possibility. I may be wrong, but this is my inclination to believe, although it has been a long time since Ive squatted lowbar.
    Last edited by ZenMonkey; 11-26-2013 at 06:59 AM.
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  11. #11
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I think pointing your feet out a bit and tracking the knees with them is the way to go.


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  12. #12
    Become Unbreakable Mark!'s Avatar
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    I honestly can't see anyone with any common sense telling someone to squat bow legged. Not saying it didn't happen, there are some idiots in the fitness/strength world. Bow legged squats are going to put a ton of unnecessary pressure on the medial and lateral ligaments. As Chris said, slightly pointed, knees tracking toes.
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