If you're somewhat familiar with the fitness world, you probably have heard lots of myths already. The thing is, even professionals are often mistaking to believe some of those myths are true, so that makes it even harder to let go. In this article I will try and break down some of the most common myths about squats, so that things are a bit more clear. Shall we begin?
1. Avoid squatting lower than parallel, or you will ruin your knees.
Ha ha. Wrong. Have you ever seen a kid squatting? That's what is called ass to the grass. By being sedentary for a lifetime, we lose that ability to squat as low, but it is completely safe. Have you seen people from the eastern cultures? A lot of them spend most of their lives squatting instead of sitting on chairs, and they're fine. Professional powerlifters and olympic weightlifters are squatting with extremely heavy loads below parallel. Deep squats are found to be safe, so unless you have a particular injury that prevents you doing that, feel free to grab the benefits of the ATG squats. When you squat low, your glutes kick in to help, which means less forces on your knee (and better trained glutes ahem ahem).
2. Avoid letting the knee go past your toes.
Wrong again! Every person has their own "right" style of squatting. While some of us will stay almost upright when squatting, others won't. Your squat style depends a lot on your structure, so instead of matching yourself to the squat, match the squat to yourself. You will see way more benefits.
3. Everyone should aim for the same "perfect" form.
That one kind of connects to the previous point. People tend to think there is this perfect form of squatting that everyone has to learn. Not a big surprise, trainers are taught that way, they are taught only the classic form, rarely do they progress to dig deeper. As I said, everyone is built differently. Your hip joints may be pointing more forward, or more to the sides (they don't even have to be symmetrical...). Your femurs (hip bones) may be longer or shorter. You may have more or less range in your ankle. You can be anterior or posterior chain dominant. I can go on and on. The point is, your unique structure determines what is the right squat form for YOU. The position of your feet, the direction to point your toes, the placement of the bar and so on. And while there are some key points that have to be maintained for everyone, there are still a lot of squat forms that are "perfect", some of them for you, some for others. Don't try to copy someone else, find the right form that suits you.
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I hope this article was useful for you. Stay tuned for the Best Squat Tips article which is coming soon!
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