Heels Elevated on Narrow Squats

When doing rock bottom front squats or hack squats, I have to elevate my heels by standing on 2 10lb weight plates. I feel very comfortable using this method and it helps me obliterate my quads with the above mentioned movements. I know that Poliquin has supported heel elevation with certain squats, but he usually talks about using a wedge. Do you guys elevate your heels? Any thoughts would be great, especially from Coach Davies as you just wrote the “Forgotten Squats” article.

I can front squat in Chucks, but I usually squat in olympic weightlifting shoes. They’re expensive but a good investment if you’re going to do a lot of front squatting.

Some people have very good flexibilty in their ankle joint. If the knee travels beyond the toes substantially, you have excellent ankle flexibilty and you are more likely to full squat without elevating the heels. On the other hand, if your knees stay behind your toes (shins near vertical), then you will need to elevate your heels to work more of the quads. Just try to stretch your calves. I keep stretching mine but I still need to raise my heels if I want a full deep squat.

I have to say, I couldnt have said “spanky” and “ptonline” comments better. These really are great movements and hopefully you can find a way to incorporate into your training. Just a question have you done the “11/2” Front Squats? I look forward to hearing from you. In faith, Coach Davies

I have done a fair amount of front squats and have done hack squats on rare occasion. I have never used the 1 1/2 method although that’s because I probably want to still walk the next day. Anyways, do you guys see anything wrong with needing to elevate my heels using a moderate stance and rock bottom depth?

Nothing wrong with some heel elevation. Some OL have high heels built into their shoes. Just play around with foot and heel placement so you are able to distribute load more effectively. To target quads, incorporate Real Hack Squats, Front Squats, O/H Squats, high heel split squats with rear foot elevated and leg presses. For hams and glutes, try a powerlifting stance, deadlift or clean pulls etc. It depends on your objectives. If you are an athlete, then you need to stress the knee joint in different positions and elevating the heels is just one of many positions. Coach Davies, great squat article.

Give the “11/2” a shot & tell me how it goes. I am dying to see how you and others do this because if you start to incorporate this exercise there are a few others components that can be used for great results. Thanks “ptonline”, I appreciate your comments and knowledge tremendously. In faith, Coach Davies

Coach Davies, great squat article. Have you ever done Jefferson squats (with the bar between your legs)? What do you think of them?

Part of the problem with elevating the heels on plates when squatting (in any form) is that you leave the arch totally unsupported, allowing for collapse. A wedge would be better. Note that the olympic shoes with the elevated heels also have a rigid arch.

Actually, this article is part of a very large series of training protocols in which Jefferson’s definately play a part of. Great lift and when used properly can have some tremendous benefits. I look forward to hearing from you. In faith, Coach Davies

I usually stick to the basics like front/back squats, overhead squats, GM’s, and RDL’s, but Hacks, Jeffersons and Zercher lifts are all fun and a great change of pace. Will you be posting those training protocols you mentioned on T-Mag? A training protocol using just old school lifts would be a blast.

I squat flat foot, with no shoes, sometimes barefoot if i feel uncomfortable. Next time try taking your shoes off and going flatfoot, Ive been using that technique for 4 years now, and Ill never squat another way

Great article Coach Davies! I’ll be hitting those exercises hard in about a months time, so if there’s still a thread around on it I’ll post the results down the track. Cheers.