Gripping the Ground during Squatting
Why is it important to grip the ground during squatting?
One of the common problems in squats and other leg exercises is passive foot.
This causes the foot to drop, the knee to buckle in, and the hip to lack stability.
Grip the Ground for Better Squats
Before performing a squat or any other leg exercise, we must create a stable base from the foot through the hip muscles and up to the core muscles. A stable base will balance the load on all the joints and bones. The principal is to statically activate the foot muscles in order to maintain the arch. And at the same time to activate the hip rotators by rotating the hip outward in order to stabilize the knee and the hip and also to contact the core muscles. All of these muscles work together and form a stable base for the leg exercises.
How to grip the ground when you squat.
You can perform 2 actions that can activate all of the relevant muscles.
1. Press the big toe down onto the floor
2. Rotate the hip externally. Drive your knee outward and at the same time push the legs to the side as if you want to separate them
Fixing the foot and rotating the hip will preserve the foot arch and stability of the knee and hip. Moving the legs apart and contracting the pelvic floor will activate additional muscles among them the hip abductors and the core muscles.
A short practice of these 2 actions will give you a very important motor pattern that for now on can serve as a basis for all leg exercises.
If you’re still having a hard time conceptualizing how to grip the ground, you can visualize a “Tripod Foot”.
The foot tripod concept is a useful way of thinking about how to evenly distribute weight on the foot. The tripod refers to three points of contact that the bottom of the foot makes with the ground.
The three points are:
1. Center of the calcaneus (heel)
2. Head of the 5th metatarsal (little toe)
3. Head of the 1st metatarsal (big toe)
Done correctly there should be pressure on all three aspects of the Tripod foot.
Tighten the arch by pressing the toes “down and back” without shifting the weight out of the heel.
Have a safe and fun workout!
In Strength Training, small nuances can make a big difference!
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