Do you think about your feet when you squat? 👣
When setting up for a squat, I recommend starting from the ground up. You want to start your set up by grabbing the floor with your feet. This will...
1. Create a more stable support for your squat (more stability = stronger lift!)
2. Prevent your ankles or knees from dropping in when you squat (less injuries!)
3. Better glute activation during your squats if combined with driving your knees out (more muscles engaged = stronger lift!)
The photo above shows the difference in my squat when I think about grabbing the floor with my feet (photo on the right ) and without thinking about my feet (photo on the left ). Notice how my knees stay wider when I set up my feet. Why is this? The photo below shows a close up of what is happening at my ankle. When I'm not contracting the muscles of my feet, my arch collapses and my ankle rolls in. This affects everything up the chain, including the knee dropping in and can contribute to pain/injuries at the knee and hip.
The video and photo below show how to grab the floor with your foot. You want to think about pushing the base of your big toe into the ground and pulling it back towards your heel. The muscles in the arch of the foot will contract and your arch will rise. As you do this, you will likely feel your knee rotate out slightly and your glutes engage. The muscles in your feet and your glutes work together to maintain the alignment of your leg. And getting your feet set right will help those glutes fire during your squats!
Learning how to engage the muscles in your feet is HARD WORK! It takes lots of practice and patience. But it have a huge impact on your lifts! If you're not sure if you're doing it right, find a PT that you can help you out!