Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

They Dont Know Squat!

There seems to be much confusion amongst trainers and trainees as to whether squats 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.

* Cocontraction 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 or call 416-292-4356.


Daily Star

Bodybuilding twins reveal fastest way to build muscle: 'We only workout 20 ...
Daily Star
GET a body like these hunky twins by working out for just 20 minutes a week. By Laura Mitchell / Published 9th October 2015. Bodybuilding twins muscle posing and on beach PH. HOT: The ripped twins claim to only work out for 20 minutes a week.

Men's Health News

Build Muscle with Cook and Chisel: The Gainz Edition
Men's Health News
Every recipe is designed to contribute to the total protein and carbohydrates you need daily to build muscle. You don't need to count calories or macronutrients. Curry has already done that work for you. All you need to do? Eat a breakfast, lunch ...

Vitamin D3 supplementation helps women build muscle even after menopause
EurekAlert (press release)
CLEVELAND, Ohio (September 30, 2015)--The benefits of vitamin D supplementation for postmenopausal women have been widely debated. But a new study from Sao Paulo, Brazil, now documents that vitamin D supplementation can significantly increase ...

and more »

How to Build Muscle With Partner Manual Resistance
Lowering the weight during a rep is often an afterthought. You work hard on the "working" part of the rep, regarding the second half as simply a time to reset. If you're guilty of this, you're only getting a portion of the benefits of the exercise ...

The Corvallis Advocate

Build Muscle, Skip the Gym
The Corvallis Advocate
working-out-at-home Kettlebells provide a holistic approach to health and fitness. These cast-iron cannonballs with a handle attached come in different weight sizes. The design allows the user to perform ballistic movements with seamless transitions ...

How you can build muscle and strength quickly
Ahmedabad Mirror
If you are looking to achieve massive muscular growth, try German Volume Training, the ultimate workout programme. It was popularised by German national weightlifting coach Rolf Feser. It was used to help lifters build muscle mass and burn unwanted ...

Three Muscle-Building Myths
Huffington Post
It's certainly true that an excellent way to build muscle is by lifting heavy weights with big compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts. But it's not the only way to go. Contrary to popular belief, you can gain muscle using light weights (or ...

Men's Fitness

Squat More Weight Instantly With This 1 Simple Load-Tampering Tactic
Men's Fitness
You are here. Home / Training / Build Muscle. Squat More Weight Instantly With This 1 Simple Load-Tampering Tactic. Trick your body into lifting heavier and getting bigger by putting this simple tactic to use. by Joel Seedman, Ph.D. Squat More Weight ...

The Cheat Sheet

5 Yoga Poses Every Guy Should Be Doing
The Cheat Sheet
Myth: Yoga is for girls, and it is not a good workout for guys if they are trying to build muscle or get in shape. Reality: Yoga is a great way for guys to gain strength, balance, flexibility, and so much more. Plus, some of the best and most-respected ...

and more »

Men's Fitness

The Weight Sled Workout
Men's Fitness
The Weight Vest Workout It's a perfect tool to build muscle and burn calories. Battle Ropes 2.0 Whip yourself into shape with this muscle-building workout. The Vyper (interior view) The Vyper Warmup Routine How to warm up and cool down with the ...

Google News


Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright LLC. All rights reserved.