No, I dont advocate high heels for squatting (just for a night on the town). After an ankle injury or surgery many times the ankle is limited in dorsiflexion either due to joint restriction, tightness of the achilles/calf or both. This often occurs as a result of the foot/ankle being immobilized (casted or boot) or just not walking normally due to pain, swelling and/or apprehension to fully weight bear. This restricted ankle movement often limits the ability to squat. The ankle, knee and hip all have to flex (as well as rotate and ab or adduct) simultaneously during the descent. Obviously if the ankle joint motion is limited the the depth of the squat will be effected. This should’nt stop you from squatting, it just requires a little creativity. Simply put a 2×4 under the heels. This places the ankle in a plantarflexed position which allows the ankle (and lower extremity) to go through more motion thereby creating a more normalized squat. Now the legs can be strengthened while the ankle is protected and everyone is happy! Dont forget to gradually lower the heel lift as their mobility returns until they are able to performa proper squat with their feet flat on the floor.
The other benefit to the heels up squat is that it moves your center of mass forward and the body automatically will sit back into the squat creating a more “normal” pattern. Most of the people I see cant squat to save their lives and the sad thing is I deal mostly with athletes! As a whole our society has lost their ability to squat. Why? Good question, probably because we utilize toilets instead of a hole in the floor. Think about it, many other cultures dont utilize toilets which forces them to move through the full range of motion and thereby maintain a normal squatting pattern. Relative to the U.S. these other societies have fewer cases of low back pain and knee pathology. See, I wasn’t kidding! Other causes of poor squat mechanics are inactivity, injury, and overuse / repetitive movements.
As I always say, there is always a way. It just might take a little creativity and of course understanding your functional anatomy and biomechanics.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!


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