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Kettlebell Is it wrong to keep your feet pointed straight ahead instead of turned out for ballistics and squats?

SvenRieger

Level 6 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
@Thedeadgamer429 if it feels comfortable to you than it's probably a stance/position, that works for you and your structure - and that's the key here.

Nope, not wrong.

Differences in anatomy (pelvic, in particular) can lead to people having differences in mobility in the hips, which can then lead to a change of stance.
Anatomy plays a huge role here, especially the structure (and also mobility of your hips). Have a look at @Brett Jones´ article:
(There was also a newer video posted on the StrongFirst FB and IG channels a while ago).

"Don't force a square peg into a round hole" as he likes to say. Work with you structure and adjust your stance and position accordingly.

Usually, "your comfort is not our concern" but in this case I'd say comfortable is good - until it gets heavy ;)
 

Stefan Olsson

Level 5 Valued Member
Both Mark Wildman and Mark Lauren (you are your own gym) advocates that the feet should be pointing straight forward and not out. Not sure about their rationale behind that. Can check Laurens book when Im back home from work if anyons interested.
 

ImMrAdam

Level 3 Valued Member
I vaguely recollect an episode of the Strongfirst podcast where the guest advocated feet pointing straight out. But I don't remember which episode and which guest it was and which caveats they mentioned. Maybe someone with a better memory will remeber and chime in :)

Likewise, in Kettlebell STRONG!, Geoff weighs pros and cons about feet pointed out vs straight. I don't know how much information is appropriate to share since STRONG! is a paid course. But the jist is that forward is better IF your body allows that (this is where previously mentioned Brett Jones' article comes in), because feet facing forward is better for the mechanics of the hips. The caveat is that STRONG! is about double kb ballistics which generally require wider stance to make room for the bells, so a potential issue is whether the rationale is applicable to narrower stance as well.
 

Xcal

Level 5 Valued Member
Both Mark Wildman ...advocates that the feet should be pointing straight forward and not out.

Mark says that humans (wave hands) walk straight (wave hands) forward, and our feet naturally (wave hands) point forward(wave hands) . so we (wave hands) should always try to keep (wave hands) our (wave hands) feet (wave hands) pointing (wave hands) forward.

his hands! they so distract me!
 

Xcal

Level 5 Valued Member
I'm ranting about his animated hands but not complaining. I enjoy it :) reminds me of the top academic achiever in my school (way back in the 90s...we're still close friends). She could never speak without using her hands. we experimented once and tied her hands behind her back when she presented an English speech and she just couldn't focus
 

Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
Yeah everyone is going to have a different arrangement of leverage points around their joints due to anatomical differences. I know for me, I basically can make my knees hurt whenever I want by making my feet be closer and more parallel in any given movement.

And my understanding is that others experience the opposite.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
SFG standard is that knees track the toes. There is not a standard of which way the feet are pointed; however, it's rare to find any StrongFirst instructor that wouldn't recommend some turn-out.

@Thedeadgamer429 if it feels comfortable to you than it's probably a stance/position, that works for you and your structure - and that's the key here.


Anatomy plays a huge role here, especially the structure (and also mobility of your hips). Have a look at @Brett Jones´ article:
(There was also a newer video posted on the StrongFirst FB and IG channels a while ago).

"Don't force a square peg into a round hole" as he likes to say. Work with you structure and adjust your stance and position accordingly.

Usually, "your comfort is not our concern" but in this case I'd say comfortable is good - until it gets heavy ;)

+1 to all that!
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member
Both Mark Wildman and Mark Lauren (you are your own gym) advocates that the feet should be pointing straight forward and not out. Not sure about their rationale behind that. Can check Laurens book when Im back home from work if anyons interested.

I have a lot of respect for Mark's work, but have never agreed with him on this one.

If I do what he says with regard to feet, I don't perform better, I perform worse.
 

Kev

Level 6 Valued Member
I’ve been farting about with changing it and I won’t lie. Toes straight forward feels more powerful than toes out. I think I began kettlebells as a toe forward guy and then pointing out and then began barbell squatting that way too. It’s probably the same as eyes fixed on a point or eyes tracking naturally. Just go with what’s comfortable.
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member
I’ve been farting about with changing it and I won’t lie. Toes straight forward feels more powerful than toes out. I think I began kettlebells as a toe forward guy and then pointing out and then began barbell squatting that way too. It’s probably the same as eyes fixed on a point or eyes tracking naturally. Just go with what’s comfortable.

If I'm teaching someone, I ask them first to just get into a position to jump on top of something, and look at where their feet and hips are instinctively.

I don't know how well that works for people who are totally un-athletic or never played sports as a kid, though.
 

Kev

Level 6 Valued Member
If I'm teaching someone, I ask them first to just get into a position to jump on top of something, and look at where their feet and hips are instinctively.

I don't know how well that works for people who are totally un-athletic or never played sports as a kid, though.
Used that very cue about 2 weeks ago showing someone swings when we found a 16kg holding a door open at the judo club in my local sports centre. Was a piece of junk but he wanted to learn swings.
 

silveraw

Level 7 Valued Member
Both Mark Wildman and Mark Lauren (you are your own gym) advocates that the feet should be pointing straight forward and not out. Not sure about their rationale behind that. Can check Laurens book when Im back home from work if anyons interested.
I remember Kennith Jay had strong opinions on this as well.

I also seem to remember @Geoff Neupert referring to his feet straight forward stance as something to do with his hips being awesomely strong/ advanced technique from Oly lifting/ something along those lines and most people shouldn't do it. I think it was in one of the kettlebell burn extreme "watch me workout" videos.
 

Geoff Neupert

Level 7 Valued Member
Beast Tamer
Likewise, in Kettlebell STRONG!, Geoff weighs pros and cons about feet pointed out vs straight. I don't know how much information is appropriate to share since STRONG! is a paid course. But the jist is that forward is better IF your body allows that (this is where previously mentioned Brett Jones' article comes in), because feet facing forward is better for the mechanics of the hips. The caveat is that STRONG! is about double kb ballistics which generally require wider stance to make room for the bells, so a potential issue is whether the rationale is applicable to narrower stance as well.
Thanks for your discretion here.

And yes, the same applies to the narrower stance. IF...
 
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