Squats are DANGEROUS!
Squats are not for everyone!
Many view this exercise as the mother of all leg exercises, while others demonize it as a poison for the joints and knees. We’re talking about squats. In today’s article, you’ll learn why squats are not for everyone and why they should not be included in every workout routine. From personal experience, I include squats only for about 30% of my clients in their programs, because the remaining 70% fail at my biomechanical analysis. 😉
The main problem with squats
Although squats are one of my favorite exercises, they certainly should not be practiced by everyone. The main problem I see is muscular imbalances and poor mobility. Too often you’ll see the phenomenon that people have problems squatting in the full Range of Motion (short ROM). At the bend, the feet begin to move outward, the upper body tilts forward, the knees buckle inside, etc. Many people wonder why the strain is mainly felt in the lower back, knees, or the ankles hurt.
The two most common problems from my point of view
# 1: Tight Hip Flexors
In particular, people who have little exercise in everyday life and sit a lot, often have to contend with shortened hip flexors. Especially for these people, it is important to resort to alternative exercises and first improve their mobility with specific stretching + assistant exercises. (see picture below)
# 2: Lacking Ankle Mobility
A lack of ankle mobility is often seen in runners, or team athletes – especially football, soccer and basketball. Poor mobility in the ankles can often be recognized by the fact that the feet turn outwards as soon as the people go into the deep squat. If only the ankle is the problem, it is often enough to squat with the heels elevated, or to work with special weightlifting shoes. So you improve your ROM relatively quickly and the squats feel a lot more comfortable. To improve the mobility of your ankle, I’ve linked a good video from one of the world’s best mobility coaches, Kelly Starrett. Here he explains how you can easily improve your ankle mobility with a simple rubber band exercise.
You should be able to squat your body weight properly without any restrictions on your range of motion. If you can not do that, work with alternative exercises first and improve your mobility to keep the squat clean.
Have fun with the implementation!