Dr. Chakshu Bansal
BPT, MPT, Ph.D Scholar
Director: Arunalaya Healthcare, Faridabad.
Squatting – Are You Doing it Correctly?
Squatting is one of the best exercise to gain strength and muscle mass in the leg.
Full squatting involves nearly all the muscles in the body as it is the basic human movement pattern. Daily activities such as picking up stuff off the floor, toileting or sitting in chair or low sitting box involves squatting.
Exercise science says squats are excellent for building strength, power, mobility and muscle mass. Researches shown that squatting creates more growth hormone compared to leg press exercise. Growth hormone is important aspect for muscle mass.
But question arises here, are you squatting correctly?
Improper squatting can be result of less stability and mobility of spine or any of the joint problem (hip, knee, ankle, foot).
How to squat properly?
Let’s talk about positioning –
Head - To be held straight in line with the shoulders
Thoracic spine - To be slightly extended or neutral
Lumbar spine - Neutral stable throughout the movement
Hip joints - Stable, no outwards or inwards movement (medio-lateral)
No drooping (drop down of hips) should stay aligned with knees.
Knees - Aligned with hips and feet, stable, no excessive movement inside or outside, forward or back
Feet & ankle - Flat feet and stable, heels in contact with the ground at all the times.
These are few basic steps to follow while you squat.
So after knowing these, what will be the key requirements to do squat properly?
Balance , stability and mobility
Keep hips mobile
Knee follow toes
Does squats hurts or bad for knees or it is a myth?
It’s a myth, while you do full squatting, forces on the connective tissue increases which will not produce any injury. Full depth squatting in fact increases knee joint ligament stability.
This can turn out to be bad only when there is loss of strength of certain muscles, any injury to ligament or meniscus, or unstable joint. Then you need to seek advice from physiotherapist in particular.
Other major factors which can lead to injury are:
Fatigue (tiredness of muscles)
Faster repetition speed
More resistance ( over load)
What improper squat can lead to?
Low back pain
Upper & middle back pain
Ligaments sprain ( knee and ankle)
Injuries can come suddenly or can take a period of time to indicate you such as sprains and strains can come suddenly but low back pain due to abnormal bio-mechanics can take few days or months to show pain.
How to prevent these injuries?
“Prevention is better than cure”
There is increased risk of injuries when there is lack of knowledge among trainers or those who do exercises watching videos online which do not always justify exercise physiology and movement patterns.
Right thing is to consult sports or musculoskeletal physiotherapist for correcting movement patterns and exercise. Physiotherapist evaluates all the muscles, joints and mechanics of the body. Physio can recognize the faulty patterns or weak links in the body.
What is best to do if any injury or pain occurs during squatting exercise?
Initially if something happen you should stop doing exercise.
For sudden injury, apply ice with compression and take rest
Avoid any vigorous activity
Do not massage over the strained part of the body
*Best option is to consult Sports physiotherapist in Faridabad.
We “Arunalaya Healthcare” sports physiotherapy clinic in faridabad has witnessed many cases like these in the past many years. Faulty mechanics was the primary reason for body aches such as low back pain, upper - mid back pain etc.
It is needful that a physio should assess gym going clients by movement pattern analysis.
Squatting movement at different angles, faulty mechanics to be under stood and analyzing muscle function.
Solved over hundreds of cases, we concentrate on the faulty root which is causing pain instead of looking at pain only and treating that part.
Is there any problem or anomaly which can be diagnosed mistakenly in place of faulty mechanics?
Yes of course, one of the example is low back pain – after doing MRI, disc bulge is seen and any medical professional can blame disc to be reason which is not always true.
Faulty mechanics such as increased low back arch (lordosis curvature increased) during squatting can over stress back musculature, or butt wink or SI joint dysfunction.
Fact - Disc bulge can be seen in most of the gym going people no need to be worry always.
For any pain with or without any sports injury, for correcting exercise pattern, kindly visit once at "ARUNALAYA HEALTHCARE Faridabad earlier known as “PAIN FREE ZONE” rated best in sports injuries healing in faridabad, we will assess you the way it should be.
We will describe in detail what is causing discomfort to you.