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Proper Squat Technique

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Squatting Kinematics and Kinetics & Their Application to Exercise Performance

This study's intention was to examine the dynamic squat in relation to the ankle, knee, hip, and spine as well as to provide recommendations for optimizing muscular development from the exercise. When properly performed, the squat leads to very few injuries; however poor technique or exercise recommendation can increase the risk.

 

What this investigation found are as follows:

 

Quadriceps development is maximized by squatting to parallel. No additional quadriceps activity takes place at higher flexion angles. Therefore, going "deeper" not only lacks benefit, it increases injury to those who already have knee injuries. For those with knee issues, 50-60 degrees of knee flexion is ideal, especially PCL injuries.

 

Hip extensor strength does increase with increase depth of the squat, but again, knee injury potential or existence of a current injury must be considered.

 

Speed should be controlled unless athletic goals dictate otherwise. Otherwise, a decent with at least a 2-3 second eccentric tempo is ideal.

 

Front squats produce much lower compression on the knee and lumbar spine as opposed to low or high bar back squats.

The spine is the most vulnerable area of the body during squats. Therefore, maintaining a normal lordotic curve should be maintained throughout the movement.

 

Brad J. Schoenfeld, M.S., CSCS, Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: December 2010, Vol.24, Issue 12, pp. 3497-3506.

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