Squatting Fitness

3 myths on squatting busted!

Re-learn Deep squats are not bad for you

Re-learn Deep squats are not bad for you   | Photo Credit: Getty Images/ istock

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Gym instructors can bully you no more

Naturally, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all, perfect squat, because our bodies are not the same as each other. Take your time, go slow, and do what works best for you, while keeping a check on safe limits.

Myth #1: Your feet should be slightly wider than hip-width

All our bodies are different, so we don’t all need to squat uniformly. There isn’t any compelling reason to keep your feet hip-width apart and turn your toes out by 10 degrees. Yes, it’s probably a good stance to know when you’re a beginner, until you find your sweet spot. So how do you find your best squat stance? There are several options that work. Here’s a great place to find your squat stance:

Jump; then try squatting wherever your feet land.

Test turning your toes out up to 30°.

Try a squat and see how it feels; if it feels natural, use it for whatever squat variation you want (front squat, goblet squat, and so on). If it feels unnatural, adjust width in or out by a couple of inches. Keep trying until you find something that feels good.

Myth # 2: Deep squats are bad for your knees

Ever seen an infant squat? Most children spend a majority of their time in what looks like a deep squat. That should be a good cue that it isn’t bad for you. Children move in natural human movement patterns until we teach them otherwise, confining them to school desks for long hours, compromising their flexibility. Studies have found there is no difference between partial, parallel and deep squats’ impact on the knee. In a study published in The Journal of Biomechanics it was found that the deeper the squat, the less the pressure inside the knee. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research also featured a study which concluded that parallel squats with heavy weights are less effective at increasing strength than deep squats with a lighter weight.

Myth #3: Look up as you squat:

‘Keep your head up’ is probably one of the worst instructions your trainer can give you as you squat. When performing an exercise, looking up while lifting is a ticking time-bomb to your spinal health. All exercises are performed best with a neutral spine. In the case of the squat, that would mean tucking the chin in slightly and focusing your eyes straight in front of you at approximately knee level.

While looking up may encourage a tall spine, the extension you’re putting your cervical spine in while bearing a load is not ideal. Your chest should be up and back desirably arched, while positioning the head neutrally. A neutral spine encourages ideal nerve conduction from the spinal cord with no impingement, which increases the potential for you to use all your available muscle fibres.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 9:10:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/three-myths-on-squatting-busted/article25991001.ece

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