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Will changing my foot position during squats work my glutes better?

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Updated January 23, 2009

Will changing my foot position during squats work my glutes better?
Photo © Paige Waehner
Question: Will changing my foot position during squats work my glutes better?
Answer: If you're a regular exerciser, you may have heard that changing your foot position or stance during squats can help you target different areas of the glutes, quads and thighs. Some say taking the feet wide will activate more inner thigh, while keeping the feet narrow activates more outer thigh and glutes. Is this true and is there a right position for working your glutes during squats?

The truth is, there is no "right" foot position for squats. In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, scientists studied different foot positions during squats and found they made no difference in the muscles activated (which include the glutes, quads, inner and outer thighs). That doesn't mean you shouldn't try different stances -- changing how you squat, whether you change your stance or the type of squat you do, can make them feel fresh and more interesting.

When positioning yourself for squats, take your feet out to a comfortable distance and keep your knees in alignment with your toes as you squat. Practice different stances and foot positions until you find what feels good to your body. Each person will have a different stance based on his height, body and goals.

Source:

Boyden, Gareth. A Comparison of Quadriceps Electromyographic Activity With the Position of the Foot During the Parallel Squat. J Strength Cond Res 2000 Nov; 14(4): 379–382.

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