SQUATS - Plate under your heels?

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SQUATS - Plate under your heels?

Postby Putt_Punjabi » Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:24 pm

SSA all,

It has been a long time since I posted here. I actually saw a video on youtube of a guy doing heavy squats while having a 2.5 or 5 lb plate under his heels. I was not sure what he was using that for, so I tried it. It felt easier to squat like with a small 2.5lb plate underneath your heels. I also felt that my muscle were being focused on more. Is this dangerous to do? Is it better then the normal squat? So this be done at all? Have you tried it?

PP :showoff
Putt_Punjabi
 
Posts: 1187

Re: SQUATS - Plate under your heels?

Postby hsingh » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:38 pm

To me, that amounts to cheating. If you can't keep your heels down while squatting, there's flexibility issues that need to be looked at (hamstrings, lower back, glutes). It's best to look at them and fix them in early stages rather than reinforcing bad form which does not allow you to perform the exercise properly. Also, incorrect form increases the chance of muscle imbalances, which are truly very bad for you! If heels go up with weighted squats, cut the additional weight and go back to doing body weight squats with proper form then slowly add weight as your flexibility and stabilizer muscles improve.

Also, safety is a concern. You have to backup with weight on your shoulders, going to tough to get your feet up on the 5lb plates. If you are squatting using a Smith Machine that problem doesn't exist, but Smith Machine squats should NEVER EVER be done so that is irrelevant.

All in all, don't do it.
hsingh
 
Posts: 1187

Re: SQUATS - Plate under your heels?

Postby hsingh » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:40 pm

Important information relevant to this topic, from Starting Strength - Basic Barbell Training by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore

The practise of placing a block or a 2x4 under hells is common. Most gyms keep one lying around somewhere. The purpose of this is to make the full squat position easier to reach, and an understanding of the reason this works is necessary to the understanding of why it should not be done. A block under the hells tilts the shins forward by lifting the ankle up a little and allowing the knee to move forward without stretching the ankle joint. This sin angle causes the attachment point of the hamstring not he back of the tibia to move back closer to their origin on the pelvis, unstretching the muscle a little and thus decreasing the amount of stretch necessary to get full depth. If you are having flexibility problems sever enough to need a block under your heels to squat seep, you will no benefit by being prevented from stretching those muscles that are too tight. The squat, being a full range of motion exercise, provides an even better stretch than most stretches do. It is far better to approach full squat depth a little at a time each workout, with an exercise that will very quickly stretch you out, than to use an artificial aid that will prevent you from obtaining enough stretch to ever fix the problem.


Placing a block under the heels allows the knees and hips to move forward, compensating for a lack of hamstring flexibility. This, of course, merely allows you to postpone solving the problem that makes the block helpful.
hsingh
 
Posts: 1187
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