Just a few quick points off the top of my head this am …
I always get an athlete to squat (even if they have a heel raise issue – unless the technique is very bad or they have severe injury)
I start by checking the footwear first then using a comfortable heel raise and each week or so reduce it slightly until the athlete is doing it with none.
My reasoning is simple – in the game they will play on Sunday with massive hip forces required and they must be strong …. heel raise will occur on ther field … also the calf won’t be fully flexing thru a full ROM – so why worry about it in the gym on that day?
Once we recognise it and are moving in the direction of getting the calf or soleus felxible then I think we are doing ok.
Front Squats are great – for everyone – especially for taller guys.
As Ashley pointed out foot width is important as is foot orientation.
(I also believe that the increase in adductor ‘activation’ in the wider squat helps the hip movement and strength much more – inclduing in speed work, once posture is correct. Often wider squats can have poorer posture and without good core work I feel it weakens the abdominal wall – but I digress)
I always go below parallel or ATG (if possible) – get best bang for buck (some VMO activivation, good stretch on the knee, unload the quads for a second and relax before hamstring recruitment etc.)
Poor Hip Flexion and Thoracic tightness are issues in some cases.
In fact one of the biggest problems I think is adductor tightness.
Just a few quick things …