|1.1: What is a Squat?||1.2: Are Squats Bad For Your Knees?||1.3: The Bounce; What Is It, And Is It Bad?|
Are Squats Bad for Your Knees?
Ever since I started deep squatting many people have come up to me telling me how squatting that deep is bad for your knees.
Is It Really?
I’ve always been surprised at how gullible people are – they clearly have done no research on the matter and are assuming that an old wives tale is true. Typing in ‘are deep squats bad for knees’ on Google will give you a mixture of responses so this topic needs to be cleared up:
Perform deep squats with bad technique and risk injuring your knees.
Perform deep squats with good technique and you risk nothing.
Unlike people spouting that deep squats are bad for your knees I am going to give you PROOF. This is what sets me apart. Before I get to the scientific studies, first consider:
"Squats, when performed correctly and with appropriate supervision, are not only safe, but may be a significant deterrent to knee injuries."
Taken from Fleck, S.J. and Falkel, J.E. Value of Resistance Training for the Reduction of Sports Injuries. Sports Medicine, 3, 61-68, 1986
This has been known scientifically since 1986 yet 25 years on people are still ranting the same nonsense.
The primary danger to the knee occurs when the tissues of the calf and thigh press together altering the center of rotation back to the contact area creating a dislocation effect. The danger of knee injury in this situation may be prevented if either of the following factors are present: 2
- Centre of gravity of the body system is kept forward of the altered centre of rotation
- Muscles of the thigh are strong enough to prevent the body from resting or bouncing on the calves.
From the above we can see that the only danger when deep squatting is if you bounce off of your calves, and if you change your centre of gravity - something you are not supposed to do anyway.
If is useful to point out that bouncing off of your calves will risk you injuring your knees but bouncing off of your hamstrings WILL NOT. These are two separate things and should not be considered to be the same. The issue of the bounce is discussed further in the article, ‘The Bounce; What is it, and is it bad?’
1 Image found freely floating on the internet. Please contact us if you are the original owner and you would like it to be removed.
2 Kreighbaum, E., Katharine, B.M. (1996). Biomechanics; A Qualitative Approach for Studying Human Movement, Allyn & Bacon, 4, Pgs 203-204..