Its important to remember that a squat is a movement pattern which can be used as
an exercise with difference variations and adding weight. A constant question we are
asked in the clinic is should I squat toes in or toes out.
It is important to be able to perform a body weight squat with feet relatively straight
forward. What this allows is for you to push through your feet evenly, drive equally
through your legs and fire the glutes and quads (prime squat muscles). In most
people this should be achievable. If one is unable to perform this it may be due to
inadequate hip and ankle mobility, reduce pelvis/core stability or possible feet
For performance however a toe out position is also acceptable. By turning your feet
outwards, it creates a biomechanical advantage of not challenging our core and
pelvis, increases muscle recruitment from the adductors and widens the base of
support. The allows you to move more weight effectively and fluently and allow for an
greater depth in the squat.
Ideally feet should out be turned out between 10-30 degrees as anything greater
reduce the activation of the prime muscles and thus less effective.
Thus both variations of the squat are of importance. Toe forward focusing on
movement patterns and range of motion while toe outwards focusing on sport
specific and performance.