by, Scottie Williams

1) 1/4 Squat – For what!?
2) 90 deg Squat – what chair is built that high?
3) Squat like this (see image) if you want to be strong and healthy!

As promised here is some info the squat and the importance!!

Squats are a staple of ANY fitness regime!!! Squats are a straightforward, yet effective exercise providing a workout for one of our major muscle groups. Squats improve balance, endurance and coordination, and promote muscular growth of the whole body.

If you could only prescribe one exercise it would be the squat..

A full squat promotes bone density enhancement, improves connective tissue strength and overall conditions the body. Many people fear squats and believe that knee problems are caused by the exercise. In reality, squats are not the culprit when performed correctly. A proper squatting technique reduces and prevents most of the common knee problems that accompany sports. Squats give you better movement in life and will make you a better athlete.

The Facts on Squats
Squatting below 90 degrees is not bad on the knees. It actually is a positive when you are positioned correctly. At the bottom of each repetition, the hips should be below the top of the knees, below 90 degrees. This is the safest and most efficient way to squat. A common misconception is that going lower than 90 degrees is harmful.

If you are not flexible enough to squat below 90 degrees, then you have a mobility issue of some description with which you need to work on (see Mobility WOD link below), or go see a coach to work on your squatting technique!

Right here is where we need to proceed with caution to reduce risk of injury. It will take some time (and work) to be able to squat to depth, and NO if you are not there yet, you should NOT go past parallel!! If any coach tells you, you have to squat deeper straight away then it is time to find a new CrossFit box!!
There are a host of squatting drills, techniques that your coach should have you working on to progress and NO you don’t load the bar up with massive weights just to get a PB.

Work on the skills and drills, go a small amount deeper over time and using a lighter weight initially to increase your mobility. This gives your muscles time to prepare for the added strain.

Stopping a squat short, above 90 degrees is actually worse for you, and adds a tremendous amount of stress to your knees. Ending the repetition before 90 degrees creates a stressful level of sheer on the knees.

Squatting Tips:
Throughout the descent and ascent, center your weight over the back half of your feet, not your toes.
Keep your chest and eyes on the horizon to maintain stability throughout your low back
Brace your abs for core training, and contract your legs and glutes (like pushing your feet apart without them going anywhere).
Always keep your knees and toes in line. Always be driving your feet and knees wide to create torque in your legs and hips

Here are a few great articles for you to consider:
1. from a physio perspective

2. from a Mobility/Flexiblity guru

For anything mobility, then please take the time to look around on this guys site!!

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