How To Do a Squat: Ideal Foot Angle & Width

//How To Do a Squat: Ideal Foot Angle & Width

How To Do a Squat: Ideal Foot Angle & Width

Learning how to do a squat appropriately can positively influence your ability to perform functional movements outside of the gym or training setting. When you think about your daily routine, you can quickly start to see how the squat is one of the most-used movements—whether you are standing up from a chair or bed, getting low to pick up something from the ground, or getting off the toilet. For that reason, a common functional exercise prescribed by many health professionals is the body weighted squat.

Ascending and descending from a squat position engages a large amount of major muscle groups. Proper technique is important to maximize the movement and avoid injury. In this article, Bob Tran, registered massage therapist at Propel Physiotherapy’s Etobicoke Location, provides suggestions on how to do a squat optimally for you by determining your ideal foot angle and foot width when attempting these movements.

How To Do a Squat – Step 1: Determine Your Ideal Foot Angle

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Having a difficult time finding a comfortable foot angle during squats? Watch this video! • #MoveToday

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Bob Tran shares some insight into finding the ideal squat stance that works with your body the best. A simple way to determine your ideal and most comfortable foot and hip angle for squatting can be achieved in a few simple steps. Check it out below!

  1. Stand up tall.
  2. Put palms/ hands by hips.
  3. Palpate and look for greater trochanter of the femur (sides of hips, boney prominence).
  4. Lift one foot.
  5. Turn that leg in and out (internal/external rotation), until you feel the angle that makes that boney greater trochanter easiest to palpate (feel).
  6. Are your feet straight? Are they pointing inwards? Are they pointing outwards?

If you feel uncomfortable squatting in your ideal foot stance, drop us a line and let us know! We will be more than happy to help!

How To Do a Squat – Step 2: Determine Your Ideal Foot Width

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𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐓𝐨 𝐃𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐈𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐒𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐭 𝐖𝐢𝐝𝐭𝐡. • If you’re having trouble figuring out how wide apart your feet should be when squatting, this video is for you. • This method takes into account your relative femur length and hip anatomy to determine the width that offers you the most unrestricted range of motion at the hip joint. • What this method does NOT address is compensations that may limit you from adopting the most ideal position for your body. • Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. #MoveToday • *I’ve noticed the volume is very low, which makes it difficult to hear what I’m saying. I don’t know what happened, but I apologize for the inconvenience. I hope the message is still receivable.

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Bob Tran shares some insight into why people may differ in their preferred width of their stance during their squats. If you’re trying to figure out your ideal width of foot placement that will provide you with the most mobility, check out this set up that takes into account hip flexion and external rotation at the femur.

  1. Laying on your back, bring one bent knee to chest to achieve maximal hip flexion.
  2. With the same leg, provide an external rotation to the hip, while it is fully flexed (knee is still close to chest). Stop at a position where the hip sinks in comfortably. Be sure not to torque at the knee joint.
  3. Keep leg in that position (you can use your hands for assistance).
  4. Repeat on opposite leg.
  5. Measure distance between feet (partner required).

If you feel uncomfortable squatting in your ideal foot width, drop us a line and let us know! We will be more than happy to help!

Note: Please note that these procedures are estimates only and do not take into account any injuries, compensations, of instabilities of the body. If you are unsure, or these movements are causing discomfort, please contact us and we will get you assessed immediately!

Written by

Hoong Phang
Hoong PhangClinic Manager & Physiotherapist
Hoong holds a Bachelor Honours Health Sciences from the University of Western Ontario (2008). He has also completed a Master of Science in Health and Exercise Psychology (2010) from McMaster University, and Master of Physiotherapy (2012) from McMaster University. Hoong is currently published in the academic journals “Disability and Rehabilitation” and “Spinal Cord.”



By |2020-10-05T13:07:37+00:00October 5th, 2020|Exercise|0 Comments