Leg Exercises

Avoid Squatting Missteps with Proper Foot Position

Focus on foot placement to maximize your leg workout efforts.


The squat is the one of the best exercises to help develop the quadriceps as squatting causes the desired natural anabolic hormonal response required for muscle hypertrophy and overall muscle growth, but are you aware that you may not be hitting all areas of your quads purely because your feet are not in the right position?

The guide below will help ensure that your foot position will maximize your lower body gains.

Foot Placement

Feet Shoulder-Width Apart

Having the feet shoulder width apart with the toes pointed slightly outwards will help the overall development of the quadriceps muscle.

Feet Close Together

Having the feet close together with the toes pointing straight ahead will help with outer thigh development (vastus lateralis). Exercises that will help develop this muscle include:

  • Front squat
  • Hack squat
  • Abductor machine

Feet Wide Apart

Having the feet wide apart with the toes pointed at a wide angle will help with the development of the inner thighs (adductors) and front thighs (vastus medialis). Lunges and the adductor machine offer great ways to help develop these muscles. 


When back squatting. it's good to have shoes with a flat heel so that you can get as close to the floor as possible. However, if you are performing the front squat it is beneficial to have footwear with a heel of at least 1 inch, which will allow you to get more depth.

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