By John Clark Breaking Muscle
How are you ensuring a solid connection to the floor so you can move big weight in the squat? A large array of problems with the squat, such as heels rising, knees collapsing and chest falling forwards, can be remedied by simply concentrating on the feet and their relationship to the lift.
The Foundation for Force Production
Your feet anchor you to the floor and allow you to produce enough force to complete your lift. They are the difference between you hitting a great lift and getting buried under a tonne of plates. Ultimately, your feet are the foundation of your squat. Let me show you.
How to Anchor Your Feet For A Monumental Squat
- Stand up and take your normal squat stance. Note what parts of your feet feel like they are anchored to the floor. For most of you, they will just be flat and resting on the floor, not anchoring you much, and not supporting you effectively.
- Drive your little toe into the floor. Push it in as firmly as you can. Feel the foot start to engage and the calf come into play.
- Repeat this action with your big toe. Drive it into the floor with force and feel the arch on your foot engage as well as the tibialis anterior (front of the shin) tighten.
- You will already feel much more stable on the floor.
- Imagine your heels are like two corkscrews you are trying to screw into the ground. Screw the heels in the direction that would push your knees outwards. Feel your adductors, hamstrings, glutes and quads activate.
Now, you’re ready to lift.
The tension generated will assist proper tracking of the knees, support stabilisation of the hips, and keep your heels flat to the floor, all of which are integral to a strong and powerful squat. You should feel a huge shift in tension, a big preloading of the lower limbs, and greater stability. You are now ready to squat in a more supported, safe, controlled, and explosive manner.
Remember, with poor foundations you’ll only ever build a one-story bungalow. Build a big foundation with your feet and you’ll build a skyscraper of a squat on them.