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  • Writer's pictureLoren Wooldridge

Top 3 Squat Myths


Squats are often hailed as the king of exercises, and for a good reason. They engage multiple muscle groups, promote functional movement, and contribute to overall strength and stability. However, like any popular fitness activity, squats have also accumulated their fair share of myths and misconceptions. In this blog post, we'll debunk the top three myths about squats, shedding light on the truth behind this fundamental exercise.

Myth #1: Squats Are Bad for Your Knees

One of the most pervasive myths about squats is that they are harmful to your knees. Many people believe that the deep bending motion puts excessive strain on the knee joints, leading to long-term damage. However, when performed with proper form, squats are not only safe but can also contribute to knee joint health.

The Truth:

Squats, when executed correctly, distribute the load evenly across the hips, knees, and ankles. The key is to maintain proper form by keeping your knees in line with your toes, sitting straight down towards your heels. Additionally, incorporating a proper warm-up routine, gradually increasing weights, and ensuring flexibility can help mitigate any potential strain on the knees. In fact, squats can strengthen the muscles around the knee, they improve meniscus health, ACL/PCL thickness, as well as maintain cartilage over the course of time.

Myth #2: Squats Are Only for Building Leg Muscles

While it's true that squats heavily target the muscles in the lower body, the misconception that they exclusively build leg muscles is far from accurate. Squats are a compound movement that engages multiple muscle groups, including the core, back, and even the upper body.

The Truth:

Squats are a full-body exercise that requires stability and coordination from various muscle groups. The core is heavily involved in maintaining an upright posture, and the back muscles play a crucial role in stabilizing the spine. Furthermore, gripping the bar during back squats and holding weights during front squats engage the muscles in the arms and shoulders. Embracing squats as a comprehensive exercise for the entire body allows individuals to reap the benefits of increased strength, stability, and muscle development.

Myth #3: You Shouldn't Squat Below Parallel

There's a common belief that squatting below parallel, where the hips go lower than the knees, is harmful to the knees and can lead to injuries. Some even argue that stopping above parallel is sufficient for reaping the benefits of squats.

The Truth:

Squatting below parallel is not only safe but also essential for maximizing the benefits of the exercise. Going through a full range of motion allows for increased muscle activation and engagement of the glutes and hamstrings. Research suggests that stopping above parallel may actually place more stress on the knees than squatting to proper depth. The strength returns of going to full depth also seem to be superior to stopping half way down. Of course, maintaining proper form is crucial, and individuals should gradually work on their flexibility and mobility to achieve a full-depth squat safely.

Overall, squats are a powerhouse exercise that offers numerous benefits when performed correctly. By debunking these common myths, we hope to encourage individuals to incorporate squats into their fitness routines with confidence. Remember, proper form, gradual progression, and understanding the biomechanics of the squat are key to unlocking its full potential and enjoying a strong, resilient, and functional body.

If you want to get started on building your bodies resilency with squats but don't know where to start, we can help you here at The Health Lab. If you have been squatting for a while but still can't get to full depth then we can help find the solutions to your barriers. We are excited to help you get the maximum benefits out of a full depth squat. Scheduled

to get started today.

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