Well, let’s think about it. When in the womb we are in the fetal position, basically a full squat for almost 280 straight days. (fun fact) We are not born with kneecaps we are born with cartilage that turns into bone by age four. Right out of birth we are squatting it was such a natural position, but we are not born with knee or back pain. As we grow we start to sit in chairs or use toilets and our posture suffers. Things like getting out of the car, or rising from a chair is a form of squatting.
When we squat we are engaging so much more than just our leg or glute muscles. It is considered a compound exercise, using more than just one joint. Squats are a monster movement and require use of the chest, shoulders, arms, core, legs, and glutes. It is the King/Queen of all exercises.
Focus on Form
Eyes ahead, chest up…body will follow, arms can be held tightly into the chest or can be held straight out. Squeeze the core and bring awareness to the abs. Keep a straight spine and as you sit back lead with the hips. Always remember knees never over toes and screw drive the heels down through the ground. As you stand squeeze up through the heels – to the calves – to the hamstrings – and then the glutes.
Squatting vs. Knee Injuries
Free squats can be great for knee injuries if done correctly. They can help knee stability. It can help strengthen and tighten connective tissue around the knee. Try squatting with a stability ball up against a wall, press into the ball as you lower your hips to the floor. Seated leg extensions are another great alternative. The most important thing is to know thy body and work with it. Also when in doubt…squat it out.