Squat Fiction

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Many reading this have probably heard that squatting below parallel is bad for you and causes injuries. However, this is far from the truth and I am going to tell you why. If you watch a toddler move, they will naturally squat all the way down while playing, resting, or, sometimes even, crying. Getting technical, humans were designed to have 120 degrees of hip flexion, 135 degrees of knee flexion, and 20 degrees of ankle flexion. That range of motion is more than enough to allow you to perform a squat past parallel.

Humans were made to move; however, we have unintentionally limited our own capabilities. People are sitting the majority of their days. First, we sit at desks during our formidable school years. Once done schooling, too many of us continue this pattern of sedentary living at work. Finally, after work, we sit in our cars or bus, and, again, at home to relax. Sitting does not require our full range of motion and also causes certain muscles to be inactive. By years and years of cumulative sitting, our hips and strong squat muscles shut down on us. All of this is a recipe for injury and discomfort.  A limited range of motion and muscle strength imbalance leads to problems for people who try to squat. Their limitations do not allow them to squat properly and their improper squat technique leads to injury. This is not just limited to squats as any exercise performed with poor form can cause injury. Humans were meant to move. Through proper mobility work, coupled with core stability, the squat should be a movement we hold onto a lot longer than we do.

I hope this has shed some light as to why you should start squatting how you were designed to. If you have any questions, or need any help achieving this motor pattern again, you can call (204) 452-5632 to set up an appointment at the clinic or email me at jason@jointeffortclinic.com. Stay tuned for future blog posts on tips for addressing range of motion and strength imbalances so that you can squat…forever.

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