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Squatting with your heels off the floor increases the torque on your lower back, stresses your knees and can cause plantar fasciitis. Squatting with your heels off the floor can also make you lose balance.
You must keep your heels on the floor during Squats to minimize risks of injury. Many of you struggle with this. Not anymore. Here are 7 ways to keep your heels on the floor on Squats.
1. Curl Your Toes up. Simple trick to keep your heels on the floor when doing Squats. Your heels can’t come off the floor if you curl your toes up. The weight automatically shifts to the center of your feet.
2. Keep Balance. Your heels can come off the floor if you Squat with the bar in front of the center of your feet. Keep the bar above the center of your feet.
- Bar Position. Put the bar low, on the muscles of your back shoulders. Below the bone at the top of your shoulder-blades.
- Squatting down. Move your hips first, not your knees. Squat down by bringing your hips back before moving your knees.
- Squatting up. Bringing your hips forward will push your knees forward. Bring your hips up, not forward.
3. Improve Hip Mobility. Your heels can come off the floor if you have tight hip flexors. This is your feet compensating lack of hip mobility. Do Reverse Warrior Lunges & Split Squats to improve your hip flexor flexibility.
4. Glute Activation. If you have tight hip flexors, you also have weak & dormant glutes. This is Reciprocal Inhibition. Anterior pelvic tilt and bad Squat technique are possible. Do Glute Activation exercises.
5. Improve Ankle Mobility. Bottom Squat position needs dorsiflexion flexibility. Tight plantarflexors inhibit optimal dorsiflexion. Your heels will come off the floor to compensate lack of ankle mobility. This can cause plantar fasciitis.
Increase your ankle mobility using Ankle Mobility Drills & Pike Calf Stretches. You can Squat with a wider stance in the meanwhile. Your ankles bend less with a wide stance as your shins are more perpendicular to the floor.
6. Proper Footwear. Running shoes with air or gel filling impair stability. Wear shoes with a hard, incompressible sole and good heel support. Flat soles work best for low bar parallel Squats.
7. Strengthen Your Posterior Chain. Heels coming off the floor can mean your quads are stronger than your posterior chain. Make sure your routine includes exercises for your glutes & hamstrings: Deadlifts, Power Cleans, Back Squats, …
Never put a plate under your heels to work around the problem. Find out why your heels come off the floor during Squats and fix it.