Everybody and their mother is an expert in physiology, biomechanics, and anatomy. What’s even worse is that everyone tells you how to live your life, how to perform your best, and how to do certain things. The fitness industry has some of the worst culprits. The most relevant and overly complicated example of this nonsense is the squat.


“You should squat with you feet wide and toes straight to be strong”.


“No!!!!! You should squat with you feet narrow, toes out for most force production”.


“Wait!!!! Put on this onesie squat with your left foot out, right foot at 72 degrees and scream alibaba”.


“Ughhhh I thought squatting was bad for your knees?”


Sound familiar?! Well, I am going to clear the air and the bullshit right now with today’s knowledge bombs. Let’s talk squat 101!


Ok, first things first. Squatting is not bad for your knees. In fact it has many benefits, one of them being strengthening the connective tissue around your joints and muscles that help open and close your knee joint. Where things gets hairy is when your knees and hips lose tension. 


Once tension is lost either due to instability, lack of strength, poor form, or a mobility issues that’s when we have a problem. By rolling the knees in you are praying on soft tissue structure that was not designed to handle a large load that you have placed on them.
So keep tension as you squat down and those knees in their proper place.
“What is there proper place”?
I’ll tell you!!!!!!!
One of the best things I ever heard when it came to squatting was everyone’s hip anatomy is different and so we should respect where people want to place their feet.
“But wait, didn’t you just say knee”?
Yes, I did but believe it or not you use your hips, knees, ankles and core to facilitate a good squat. And if you have weight in your hand, your shoulders and upper back too. Thats why so many call it the king of exercises.
So, the proper place for those knees is where ever you feel most comfortable and strongest. The biggest point and focus should be placed on how those knees track. When we squat we want our hips to be in line with our knees, and our knees in line with our toes. This will ensure a strong squat that allows an individual to create tension all the way through the motion and reap the benefits of a good squat pattern.
Now, that that is out of the way, let’s talk depth. Depth in my opinion should be at about 90 degrees of hip flexion or hips in line with knees. If you can go lower and maintain strong tension and feet flat on the ground, go for it. Remember though, we are trying to encourage strong patterns that create a strength bias so about 90 degrees is where it’s at. Check out the videos below on what these things look like. In addition, I include ways to increase ankle and hip mobility so you can feel strong in your squat.
Squat to 90
Squat below 90
Lunge matrix
Hip butterfly opener
Squatting with elevation
So there you have it the basics of squatting. Let’s stop complicating this basic human movement and keep the understanding simple when it comes to lifting weights

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