Why Use Heels Elevated Squats?

Heels elevated squats are something that is pretty common within SOS Athletic Excellence. They have been ever present in the first two phases of our recently launched 'Body Transformation Classes'. These group sessions are designed around getting participants following a periodised program which will enhance strength, improve structural balance, increase lean mass and help all members drop body fat.
 
So what are the benefits of heels elevated squats and how do they differ to more traditional back squats?
 
To help answer this great question we will refer to a fantastic blog post on the Strength Sensai website that was written by Wolfgang Unsold.
 
He highlights the three main benefits for elevating the heels on the squat.
 
These are:
 
Increased recruitment of the vastus medialis – Elevating the heels allows for the knees to pass the toes to a greater extent. This increases vastus medialis recruitment. The strength of the Vastus Medialis is crucial for knee stability. That means, moving your knees over your toes to a greater extent does have a positive effect on your knee stability and is a natural movement that can be found in everyday activities e.g. taking the stairs.
 
Depth of the squat – Elevating the heels allows for knees to be further brought past your toes. Besides the increased recruitment of the Vastus Medialis, the elevation allows for an increased range of motion within the knee joint through greater dorsiflexion of the ankle, and thereby for a deeper squat – especially if the ankle mobility is restricted in early training phases.
 
Decreased compression of the lumbars – By elevating the heels, the torso will be in a more upright position. This decreases the compression of the lumbars and the recruitment of the Erector Spinae. This allows a higher training volume without overloading the lower back in athletes whose lumbar erectors aren’t conditioned yet – mainly in untrained athletes
 
So heels elevated squats certainly have their advantages. You can read the rest of the article on Charles Poliquins Strength Sensai website >>> HERE <<<

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