How to properly squat to avoid knee injury:
The squat is the most common exercise used when training because it is a movement needed throughout almost every sport, great for strength and muscle development, and is a technique we use millions of times throughout our lives. The squat is very popular because it can be performed in many different ways depending on the goal you are trying to achieve. However, the squat is only beneficial when performed properly and can often lead to future knee pain when form is not optimal for the athlete performing the squat. One common mistake is not keeping the knees out throughout the squat (Bottom Picture). When the knees fall in the knee is placed in a valgus stress which leads to pain in the future. This is caused by weakness in your hip abductors. Another common mistake is letting the knees go over the toes when squatted down (Top Picture). When this occurs, increased stress is placed on the knee because of the increase in lever arm. This mistake is caused by decreased hip mobility not allowing the athlete to use the amount of range necessary to perform an optimal squat.
Why is this important?
It is very important to make sure that you are performing exercise techniques properly to be certain you are improving your performance and not just making yourself more prone to injury. Please contact Dr. Ben Bagge at prokinetixrehab.com for his expertise in exercise biomechanics if you have any questions regarding how you can be improving your performance in competition or technique in the weight room.
Pro+Kinetix Physical Therapy & Performance specializes in helping active individuals in Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, and San Francisco get back to exercising and working out pain free without having to take time off or relying on injections/pain medication. Pro+Kinetix offers rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.