Written by Jada Jones
Not reviewed by Dr. Eeks
One of the common things that discourage individuals from working out in gyms or in front of other people is that they’ll be judged with their form and technique when doing the exercise. Squats are among those gym routines that should be done correctly to gain optimal results. Did you know there have been numerous misconceptions about squats? Here are some of them:
1. You should never do a deep squat
It’s pretty common to hear some individuals calling out those doing deep squats because it’s dangerous. The truth is, it’s perfectly acceptable to squat below parallel given that you have the correct technique to prevent any issues on your knee ligaments. This means you should be confident about your stability and mobility. When you do, deep squats can even strengthen your knee’s stability.
However, it’s important to note that those who have suffered from a previous injury to the knee or have problems with their mobility should first consult with their fitness coach.
2. Knees should remain parallel to the toes
One of the reasons why this is a misconception is because different individuals have varying body proportions. Those who have more vertical torsos would naturally have the knees going past their toes. The reason for this is because their torso would have difficulty maintaining an increased angle at the hip joint while at the same time maintaining an appropriate angle at the knee and ankle joints. This body proportion results in the knees moving past the toes. Doing squats like this would depend on the overall health status of an individual, as suggested by some studies. This is why it’s highly important to know what type of squats will work best for you. Steel Supplements wrote an article that differentiates back and front squats. Check it out if you want to know more about them.
3. Your back should be arched during squats
Ideally, you should be engaging your abdominal muscles and maintaining a neutral spine during the entire squat movement. This form will help you prevent compression on your lumbar spine. If you arch your back and protrude your chest as you descend into a squat, you’ll notice that you’re going to feel a hip tuck as the movement compresses your vertebrae.
4. Your feet should always face forward
It’s not necessary to always point your feet forward when doing squats. Some people would be ok doing a squat with slightly angled feet. In fact, it would help the femur’s head to have more mobility in the hip socket. They are also highly recommended for those with ankle dorsiflexion problems as they can proceed to a deep squat without issues.
5. Everyone can do deep squats
Don’t laugh at or judge someone who simply can’t squat low because not everyone has the same genetics that allows them to be more flexible when it comes to doing their workouts. Remember, what works for you may not exactly be the same for the other person.
6. You should look up when coming from a squat
If there’s one thing you should keep in mind when doing squats is that it must be done with a neutral spine. Looking up with your neck strained is not advisable. Your chin should be tucked in, and your eyes should be facing forward. When you look up, you’ll notice that you’re putting on unnecessary weight on your cervical and thoracic spine, which can be a source of injury.
Whenever you feel unsure of your movements, whether it be doing squats or lifting weights, it’s best to always consult and listen to the experts.