This newsletter dispels the common (but incorrect) belief that deep squats are bad for you. It will cover research that explains why squatting deeply is safe, the associated benefits, and how you can get started squatting deeper. 

WHY SQUAT DEEP? ISN’T IT BAD FOR YOU KNEES AND BACK?

What the research says….

  • The highest amount of compression forces with the kneecap is at 90 degrees (a mini squat position). Squatting past 90 degrees of knee bend actually reduces this compression1.
  • Restricting forward movement of the knees may minimize stress on the knees, but the forces are then inappropriately transferred to the hips and low-back region, due to an increased forward lean2.

TOP 3 BENEFITS OF SQUATTING DEEP

  1. Maximized Muscle Engagement:

When you squat deep, you better engage a broader range of muscles, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and even the core. This full activation promotes balanced muscle development and helps prevent muscle imbalances that can lead to injury over time.

  1. Enhanced Mobility:

Squatting deep requires a greater range of motion in your hips, ankles, and knees. By consistently challenging these joints through deep squats, you can improve your overall mobility and joint health. This translates into better functional movement in everyday activities and reduces stiffness and discomfort. 

  1. Injury Prevention:

Contrary to the misconception that deep squats are risky, they can actually reduce the likelihood of injury. When performed with proper form, deep squats strengthen the muscles and connective tissues surrounding your joints, providing stability and protection against potential injuries. The stronger the body is in these positions, the less likely it will fail when it has to move through that position with daily life or activities that require it. This is building your body’s resilience to these demands.

HOW TO START:

Incorporating deep squats into your fitness routine requires patience and dedication. Start with bodyweight squats and gradually add weight as your form improves. Focus on maintaining proper alignment, keeping your back straight and core engaged. If you’re unsure about your technique, consider working with a certified personal trainer or fitness forward physical therapist.

Embrace the power of the deep squat and take your fitness journey to new depths of success!

References: 

  1. Hartmann H, Wirth K, Klusemann M. Analysis of the load on the knee joint and vertebral column with changes in squatting depth and weight load. Sports Med. 2013 Oct;43(10):993-1008. doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0073-6. PMID: 23821469.
  2. Fry AC, Smith JC, Schilling BK. Effect of knee position on hip and knee torques during the barbell squat. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Nov;17(4):629-33. doi: 10.1519/1533-4287(2003)017<0629:eokpoh>2.0.co;2. PMID: 14636100. 

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