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Weight Distribution in the Split Stance

In the first of our blogs on the Key exercises we are talking about the Split squat.

What’s fantastic about the split stance position is that you are in full control of how much weight to put through each of your feet.

Under normal circumstances, you place the majority of your weight in your front leg, as that is the “working” leg. However, there are some exercise variations in which you are actually pushing a higher percentage than normal through the back leg. This depends on the goal of the exercise.

A good starting place for most is to put about 70% of their weight on the front leg and 30% on the back leg.

Now where to put the weight for your goals in your front foot?

We can either put the weight forward in the balls of the foot (forefoot), in the middle (midfoot), or all the back in the heel (rearfoot). There is no wrong answer to where to shift your weight. However, you can selectively bias certain joints of structures based on where you put your weight. 

For example, by shifting the weight into the balls of the foot you force your knee and quadriceps muscles to work harder. Furthermore, it places more strain on your quadriceps, patellar, and Achilles tendon. This may be a fantastic option for someone with weak knees as it will strengthen the knees a ton! 

However, it may not be the best option for someone who is currently dealing with a bit of knee pain due to patellar tendonitis or patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Conversely, by shifting weight onto the heel of the foot, you force your hips, glutes, and hamstrings to work a lot harder. This may be a fantastic temporary option for the person with knee pain described above to continue to exercise without placing too much load on their knees. If you don’t care to selectively hit your knees or hips, stick with keeping the weight right in the middle!

This video may help you understand a little more about the types of lunges and split squats. 🦵

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