Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums Foot/Ankle Weight on sides of foot while squatting

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    • #70366
      AvatarMatt Ferrando

      Hello, I’m trying to figure out the air squat. I can squat low, but I feel all the weight on the sides of my feet and the inside arches of my foot starts to lift up. I do the bracing sequence, screw my feet into the floor and press out my knees when I squat, but the more I push out my knees the more my weight goes on my sides of my feet and I can feel my heels moving in the more I try to screw my feet into the ground.

      How do I get my weight in the center of my foot at the bottom of a squat? How can I stop my heels from turning inside?


    • #72505
      AvatarJessica Cohen

      I have the same problem, would love to hear what people suggest.

    • #72508
      AvatarErin Ritter

      I had this same exact issue and it was driving me nuts because I couldn’t keep my big toe screwed in at the bottom of the air squat. Interestingly enough, once I fixed my douchebag shoulder syndrome and set my shoulders properly back in the socket as opposed to having a rolled forward shoulder position, I saw significantly more stability across my entire foot including my big toe staying screwed in.

    • #72504

      What is your ankle mobility like?
      Your heels are moving in to create slack within the system to allow you to squat.
      Think of your weight being through the arch of  your foot vs in your heels.
      The issue could be at your hip.
      Squat Quick Test: Is it your Ankles or Hips?
      Foot Position Test: Breaking Diane
      Case Study: Tight Ankles = Bad Squatting
      Episode 303: Going Around The Ankle at MBSC
      Episode 285: Sliding Surfaces; Ankle Range of Motion Case Study Part 1
      Episode 285: Sliding Surfaces; Ankle Range of Motion Case Study Part 2

      Episode 258: Ankle Mobility-Self Mulligan Technique

      Yes, you shoulder were in a better/more stable position so other elements found a better place as a result.

    • #72533
      AvatarKelly Waters

      What is the shape or dysfunction in your foot?  I know that because of the way my feet are shaped (extremely flat on front of foot and back, but vey flexible), it is impossible for me to squat shooting my knees out without keeping all of the weight on the outside of my foot.  Olympic lifting shoes (I own Romoleos 2) are better for me because they help create an arch where I am lacking, but I don’t think it’s best to use those for back squats.

      Consider orthotics, at least temporarily, while you squat and you may notice some improvement (especially if your feet are flat).  However, I would try Kelly’s methods on improving your arch.  For me the methods don’t work.  I’m one of those rare genetic exceptions (identical twin who has the same feet as me whereas every other sibling in my family has normal arches).  Hope this helps.

    • #72579
      AvatarJessica Cohen

      Kaitlin thank you very much for those resources, they were very helpful. It’s clear my ankles are the problem. One thing I am confused about – to improve my ankle mobility should I be pushing my knee forward out over the front of my foot, or should I be pushing my right knee forward and right to mimic the knees out of the bottom of the air squat?

    • #72582

      You want to work to restore full range of motion in your ankle.
      Ankle circles will help and identify where in the rom there is restriction.
      Looking downstream heel cords could tie in as well.

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