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National Everything You Think Is Wrong Day 2023

So, you THINK you are doing that squat correctly? Well in honor of today, I'm going to show you ways that what some people may THINK is right ... well ... is WRONG.

The Head-Up Position: is and old-school style that is used to help with balance issues while trying to get a deep squat & maintain your weight over the heels. Really, this is just a compensation for typically poor mobility of the hip flexors and ankles, and causes increase compressive forces on your thoracic spine (yuck).

Excessively turning your feet outward or a really wide stance: Turning outward excessively (anything great than 30 degrees engage the adductors more), which may sound lovely to some people that want to work on that area, but the problem is that if you have any limitations (injuries or underlying problems that you may not know about) you are more likely to have your and feet cave in. This is putting you at risk for a knee injury; your knees should track over the second toe (or shoelaces).

Having your knees go over your toes: "In 2003, University of Memphis research confirmed that knee stress increased by 28% when the knees were allowed to move past the toes..." (2). So yeah, it's good to be cautious (especially if you have underlying issues or previous history of injury), but more importantly to make sure that you knees are tracking over your 2nd toe (see #2).

Excessive forward lean: (a compensation for trying to squat to deep but not actually getting the mobility in your knees): "However, hip stress increased nearly 1,000% when forward movement of the knee was restricted" (2). Sooooo, we need to find a middle ground! Get this, you SHOULD AND WILL have a slight forward lean, but the key is that the degree that you lean forward should match the angle of your shin.

How to perform a squat:

  • Begin with your feet shoulder width apart (the inside of your feet align with the outside of your shoulders)

  • Toes Point Forward OR slightly turned out (15-30 degrees at most)

  • START Shifting the hips backwards

  • After a 15-30 degree hip hinge, bend and shift the knees forward while tracking your knee over your shoelaces (or second toe to be more specific)

  • While lowering you want to shift and keep your weight on your heels

  • You are engaging your abs and inhaling slowly

  • Your upper body WILL LEAN FORWARD slightly (you should be able to draw a line from your shoulders to your hips & it would be parallel to a line drawn along your shins- ankle to knee)

  • Your eyes and gaze are straight ahead (do not drop your chin or use a heads up position)

  • Exhale as you press through your heels

  • Squeeze the glutes and continue to engage the core

  • Extend (straighten, but never locking) your knees and return to your starting position

1. Comana, Fabio. “Diving Deeper into the squat: common misconceptions”. 2022.
2. Comana, Fabio. “Is it ever okay for your knees to extend beyond your toes while doing squats or lunges?”. Mar 03, 2010.

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