Squat

They Don’t Know Squat

They Don’t Know Squat

There seems to be much confusion amongst trainers and trainees as to whether squat should be performed all the way down or just half way. In most gyms today, a common instruction during squats, deadlifts, and lunges (as taught by many personal training organizations) is not to allow the knees to travel beyond the toes.

Doing so will ultimately cause the destruction of your knees! I do not agree. There are certain instances where partial range of motion (ROM) is indicated, but for the most part, I teach people the full squat for the following reasons:

* It is the most primitive movement pattern known to man; our ancestors used to perform many daily functions (i.e. harvesting, gathering, hunting, cooking, eating, etc.) in a full squat position.

* Also, in case anyone hasn’t noticed, we spend 40 weeks in the fetal position (which is basically a full squat) prior to entering this world – do we come out with bad knees?

* We should strive to train in full ROM for each and every exercise. The squat is no exception.

* Every exercise produces stress around a joint – the body then adapts to this stress.

* Co contraction of the quadriceps, hamstrings and gastrocnemius maintains integrity around the knee joint.

* Sheering and compressive forces do occur around the knee joint (as opposed to only sheering forces that occur in some open kinetic chain lower body exercises, such as the leg extension); however, the large contact area of the patella with the femoral groove (as knee flexion increases during the full squat) helps to dissipate compressive forces.

* Therefore, not only is the squat – as a closed chain exercise – considered a natural movement pattern with high functional carryover, but it is also a safe exercise if performed correctly (and that includes full ROM!)

* Drawer tests are performed at a knee angle of 90 degrees because there is a greater amount of laxity in the knee joint at that specific angle. So, does it make sense to only go down half way where you are most vulnerable especially when greater loads can be used (because you are much stronger in this partial ROM?)

* According to Ironman contributor, George Turner, the fulcrum moves to the knee joint in a parallel squat as opposed to the muscle belly of the quadriceps in a full squat.

* Think about it, if you constantly trained in a limited ROM, the likelihood of injury increases if one day you happen to squat beyond your trained ROM.

* Partial squats performed on a regular basis will decrease flexibility.

* There is a low incidence of lower back pain and knee injury in Aboriginal and Oriental societies which perform full squats on a regular basis.

* Even Olympic weight lifters who practice full squats have quite healthy knees compared to other athletes.

* Although you may find some research that indicates full squats as potentially harmful to the knees, only one study has ever proved this to be true. However, it was performed on a skeleton – the same results do not hold true with surrounding connective tissue. On the other hand, numerous studies show the benefits of full squats.

Unfortunately, many personal training certification courses are teaching half squats as a safe version suitable for all individuals and this has now become written in stone.

God forbid that you deviate from this golden rule to do something that our bodies are meant to do! Read this carefully: squatting should be performed in a full ROM where the hamstrings make contact with the calves (so that no light can be seen passing through your legs at the bottom position.) It is okay for your knees to travel beyond the toes (just do not relax the knees in the bottom position.)

In other words, keep the legs tight and try to stay as upright as possible throughout the exercise. So, next time some fitness instructor approaches you in the gym and advises not to go deep while squatting tell him/her that they don’t know squat!

John Paul Catanzaro is a certified kinesiologist and professional fitness and lifestyle consultant with a specialized honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. He owns and operates a private gym in Toronto, Ontario providing training and nutritional consulting services. For additional information, visit his website at www.BodyEssence.ca or call 416-292-4356.

 

 

 

FAQ

What squat means?

1 : to crouch close to the ground as if to escape observation a hare squatting in the grass. 2a : to assume or maintain a position in which the body is supported on the feet and the knees are bent so that the buttocks rest on or near the heels squatted by the campfire.

What are squats good for?

Squats burn calories and might help you lose weight. They also lower your chances of injuring your knees and ankles. As you exercise, the movement strengthens your tendons, bones, and ligaments around the leg muscles. … Regularly doing squats can help slow down this process and limber you up.

What are 3 benefits of doing squats?

* The list of squat benefits is lengthy, but to summarize and point out the top picks, here are seven key benefits of doing squats.

* Strengthens your core.

* Reduces the risk of injury.

* Crushes calories.

* Strengthens the muscles of your lower body.

* Boosts athletic ability and strength.

* Variety helps with motivation.

What is a squat person?

As an adjective, squat describes someone who is very short and thick. In the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the dwarfs are depicted as squat little men.

Why is it called a squat?

This marks one of the first known usages of the word “squatting” as a weight training exercise (9). … As the bar lowered to his shoulders, he would drop into the bottom of the squat. From this bottom position he would then stand up with the loaded barbell upon his back.

What does squat man mean?

adjective. short and fat; dumpy. a squat little man; an ugly, squat building.

Do squats make your butt bigger?

Squatting has the ability to make your butt bigger or smaller, depending on how you’re squatting. More often than not, squatting will really just shape up your glutes, making them firmer instead of bigger or smaller. … If your glutes are building muscle, however, then your butt will appear larger.

Does squatting burn belly fat?

While you cannot selectively burn fat from your stomach, squatting burns fat and builds muscle. While squats primarily develop strength and power, heavy squats increase your lean muscle mass, which increases your ability to burn calories at rest over the course of the day.

Can I do squats every day?

Squatting everyday is a program where squats are performed each day of the week. … If you are thinking about whether you can squat every day in your training, then the short answer is yes, you can squat everyday.

What are the disadvantages of squats?

Squat cons

* There’s a risk of back injury, from leaning too far forward during the squat or rounding your back.

* You can strain your shoulders if you’re supporting a heavy barbell.

* There’s a risk of getting stuck at the bottom of a squat and not being able to get back up.

What happens if you only do squats?

Also, despite hitting many muscle groups, it is not the most effective in training each of the areas involved. The most likely result of only doing deadlifts and squats is a stronger backside and legs. You may also notice some weight loss since you’re burning calories. However, ACE notes that spot reduction is a myth.

What happens when you do squats everyday?

Unsurprisingly, doing squats every day makes you a whole lot stronger and less prone to injury. … Better still, by doing squats every day, you’re strengthening your core and pretty much signing yourself up for rock hard abs (via Harvard Health Publishing). You’re also likely to notice improved posture by default.

Are squats the king of exercises?

Barbell squats are called the king of all exercises because the entire body gets worked by this exercise. But learn to do the bodyweight squat first. Then, add load and reap the benefits. As renowned strength coach, Dan John, says – movement, volume and finally, load.

What body part do squats work?

When performed correctly, squats are an extremely safe exercise. The primary muscles involved include the gluteus maximus, hip flexors, and quadriceps. Your abdominal muscles, calves, hamstrings, and lower back also get a good workout.

How many days rest after squats?

Recovery after lifting weights.

Many bodybuilders alternate their workouts by focusing on upper body one day, then lower body the next, etc., but sports physicians suggest that if you’re really working your muscles hard, resting for 48 hours before working that set of muscles again is a better idea.

What are the benefits of squats?

Squats burn calories and might help you lose weight. They also lower your chances of injuring your knees and ankles. As you exercise, the movement strengthens your tendons, bones, and ligaments around the leg muscles. It takes some of the weight off your knees and ankles.

What should hurt after squats?

When you do squats, you’re supposed to feel the strain in your legs. If you’re feeling pain in the lower back, you’re probably doing it wrong. This means that you are putting the weight and work into your lower back muscles instead of your glutes and quadriceps. Pay attention when you squat.

Are squats the best exercise?

Whether you’re hoping to tone your muscles, strengthen your core or just improve overall health, squats are one of the best exercises you can do. Although the movements appear relatively simple, squats can take time to master.

Do squats make your whole body bigger?

Squats obviously help to build your leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves), but they also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building.

Do squats increase hip size?

The tensor fascia latae gets worked when you move your thigh outward in what’s called abduction, and when you move your thigh upward. This upward motion is called hip flexion. Being that the squat involves hip extension and flexion, it works the glutes and tensor fascia latae, which in turn makes them bigger.

How many calories do squats burn?

According to a study on the calorie-burning effects of a variety of exercises, researchers found that squats burned an average 35 calories per minute, the most of all the exercises tested.