Squatting – You’re Doing It Wrong!

If I ever see this at a gym, I will kick myself in the face.

If I ever see this at a gym, I will kick myself in the face.

For those that know me well, you know that I love some good squats.  In fact, I proclaimed my love for “the king of lower body exercises” in my first blog post.  Thus, I’m always saddened when I see someone squatting incorrectly, or when they claim that “squatting is bad for the knees.”

So today, you’re in for a treat!  Below is my first video on the exercise I love so much, as well as how to fix many of the problems that are often encountered.

In the video, I note how deep squatting is not bad for your knees, which I explain a little further down in this post.  But for those that want to watch the video, please go ahead (I apologize for the black screen on both sides.  It's what happens when you want to look lean....or are new to the whole video thing!)

Ok, so I breezed through why squatting isn’t bad for your knees a bit, so now I want to back it up with science.  In this study, knee forces were measured at three different angles in squats to see if they had any appreciable difference on the knee joint.  Measurements were taken when squatting above parallel, parallel, and below parallel.  So what happened?  Well, it turns out that when you squat correctly the knee protects itself.  There were hardly any differences between deep squats, illustrating that they were safe.

I’ll also go on to say that a full, deep squat is actually safer than any type of partial squat.  The reasoning is that at the bottom of the squat, your hamstrings and quadriceps balance out the forces on your knees.  Partial squats, on the other hand, have more of a potential to hurt your knees as the forces are being directed primarily through your quads.

Anecdotally, I’ve coached several kids with Osgood-Schlatters who I’ve taught successfully to squat without any pain.  The cure?  Make sure they hinge, or stick their butt out, as they initiate the movement.  When they have a vertical shin, they are balancing the forces inside their legs, preventing any type of shearing force in the joint.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post, because I sure enjoyed writing/filming it.  But until then...