Can you spot the difference?
Shout out to Sarah Polacco, Head Coach / Fitness Director for our friends over at Achieve Fitness in Boston for the inspiration behind this tip, shared with her permission. For those of you interested in strength and fitness podcasts, be sure to follow her and listen at Purposeful Strength.
A strong base can make all the difference in your lift!
Having an unstable foot position while lifting is like having a crack in the foundation of your house. It’s an energy leakage, a lack of stability and less than optimal for building upon.
In the top picture, my feet are relaxed, flat, with my arches caving in towards the floor. If I were to SQUAT, DEADLIFT, OR PRESS with my feet in this position they would probably wiggle, shift and potentially cause unwanted movement up the chain such as caving in of the ankles and knees. Not only will this decrease your potential to lift more, it could potentially lead to injuryover time if it is causing unwanted movement in the ankles, knees, hips and back.
In the bottom photo, my feet are FULLY ENGAGED and screwed into the floor. We love the term “screwing into the floor” because it evenly distributes pressure throughout the outside of the foot, creating an arch in the mid foot and pushes the toes and heel into the ground. This will assist with tracking ankles and knees properly which then helps with solid movement quality up the rest of the chain. Much better position for a PR lift here.
Some other cues that work for this are:
👣Spread the floor
👣Keep weight in the outside of your foot
👣Grip the floor with your feet
👣Push the knees out
Try this out next time you lift and see how much stronger you feel!