Have her sit on the edge of a chair and stand up and sit down
Then have her stand up and squat and stand up
OR have her lower down only as far as she can with her heels down, once they come up, have her stop her squat
Personally, I don’t use squats for overweight clients. I feel it’s too awkward and can be irritating to the knee joint, especially if the are doing them incorrectley.
Wall sits are a good alternative.
This is not uncommon. In powerlifting competition a person is permitted to squat with a 1 inch board at their heels. Physiologically there can be a number of reasons this occurs as well as neurologically ( in reference to balance). You can evaluate the bio-mechanics of the squat or, just let her use a 1 inch flat board. However, if her heels are raising above 1 inch, i would evaluate the bio-mechanics of the squat and locate the problem. Sometimes it is just a matter of looking straight or up toward the ceiling. Other times it can be a matter of the muscles involved. Also, make sure her knees do not go beyond a 90 degree angle in the descent of the squat as the heels will lift to balance the body mass. Check to see if she has ever beeen diagnosed with flat feet. Good luck, Brian
I am with Sue in limiting squats with the very overweight. I do find success having them squat against the wall with a stability ball behind their back. Even with that they often do not go very low. As Michael said it could be related to tight lower legs, but could also be a lat and or lower back flexibility issue as well.
Two potential issues jump out at me!
Of course it could be motor control through perhaps a quad dominant tendency where your client can’t recruit proper glut engagement. This would cause the knees to come forward and heels to lift.
The more likely, in my experience, is a ROM issue in the ankle. Try looking into release dynamic stretches that work ankle mobility in the beginning of your sessions, using exercises the encourage the full use of your client’s current ankle ROM, and utilizing some release techniques on the soleus, gastroc and plantar region (foam rolls, trigger point balls, lacrosse/tennis balls, etc.). You might do a little work on the anterior portion of the lower extremity, too!
TRY THIS TEST: have your client use something stable to grab onto (ex. smith machine bar) as they carefully lower with good form into a full depth squat. If they can’t get into a full the end range of a full depth squat (be safe and define what each clients’ safe depth is) and stay there without support there’s a ROM issue (ankle, hips, quads, hamstrings, etc.). In this case, my guess is you will see your client get to a certain depth and either lift the heels or fall backwards (if they were to let go).
Overweight vs Obese – my assumption is that you are talking about someone who is NOT obese.
Hope this helps!