Having the correct knee positioning when squatting is essential to increasing the weight for yourself or your clients. It’s a common misconception the knees shouldn’t travel past the toes when squatting.
When the knees are positioned over the toes it may provoke a pre-existing injury, but it’s unlikely to be the true cause. Instead, you may be oblivious to the structural imbalances within the musculature around the knee.
Over time there is a cumulative effect, until one day you’re in pain. Welcome to chronic overuse injuries via imbalances.
Here are some key things you should know about the correlation between knee positioning and the squat:
- A healthy degree of ankle flexion involves the knee travelling roughly 10-12 cm past the toes.
- If the knee is able to travel over the toes, you’ll be strengthening the vastus medialis (VMO). This is your lower and inner quad muscle and is integral to knee health.
- More ankle flexion allows for greater squat depth.
- More depth involves more recruitment of the VMO. A stronger VMO = a healthier knee. The VMO is typically most active during the first 15 degrees and last 15 degrees of knee flexion and should be trained at both points for maximal effectiveness.
- Weightlifters’ knees have been studied and their patella tendon (in the knee) was shown to be thicker than the average person. Therefore, all their squatting has made their knees more resilient.
Yours in health,
Glen Carroll / Clean Health Fitness Institute Senior Presenter
Clean Health Fitness Institute
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