Why We All Should Be Squatting
The squat is a great way to assess functional ability and movement. It allows us to look at trunk stability and extremity mobility. But why should you care? Squatting is an activity we are required to do daily (think of toileting, getting in/out of a chair or car). In fact there are more and more women who are delivering babies in a deep squat position! If you look at cultures outside the United States they eat meals in a deep squat position or wait for the bus in a squat, a lot of these countries tend to have less low back and hip pain.
But squatting is bad for your knees, especially a deep squat!
Well no, this is actually not true. There is no increase strain placed on the knee joint during a deep squat than squatting to 90 degrees (the height of a chair) if you squat with good form. A lot of the stigma around squatting is because people are not squatting properly. Look at a child who is bending down to pick up a toy off the floor. They have perfect squat form and guess what? They don’t have knee pain.
The squat is a great functional activity and should be part of our daily lives. This is not to say everyone out there should start squatting immediately as mentioned before improper squat form can lead to injury/pain. If you are already squatting regularly and are having pain or cannot seem to achieve a deep squat, give us a call at Mana Physical Therapy. If you have not been squatting and want to start, give us a call as well! At physical therapy we will perform an in depth assessment of your movement, strength and flexibility in order to develop a plan that works for you! Remember the squat can give us a great way to evaluate overall functional ability and movement.
Gorsuch, J., et al. The Effect of Squat Depth on Multiarticular Muscle Activation in Collegiate Cross-Country Runners. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2013. 27(9), 2619-25.
Hartmann, H., et al. Analysis of the Load on the Knee Joint and Vertebral Column with Changes in Squatting Depth and weight Load. Sports Medicine. 2013. 43(10), 993-1008.
Schoenfeld, B. J. (). Squatting Kinematics and Kinetics and Their Application to Exercise Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24, 3497-3506.