THIS is how you take it to the next level!
Don’t fear for your knees, one more PLEASE!
There’s a golden rule in squatting: break parallel. But do you strive to hit full depth? I’m talking full range of motion (ROM), ass-to-grass position.
There’s no doubt some people may have mobility issues that prevent them from exercising their full range of motion, but squatting to full depth is far more effective—and safe—than squatting to just below parallel.
Full squats are better for knee health. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the deeper you go in a squat, the increased knee stability you’ll experience. This is because there is increased contact between the back of the thigh and the calf, reducing the shearing forces on the ligaments within the knee. In fact, a 2013 study from Sports Medicine found that the highest compressive forces are placed on the knee when it is at a 90-degree flexion angle. Essentially, allowing the knee to move freely in a full range of motion helps to build tissue strength around the knee joint—not to mention decreasing the amount of stress (and therefore reducing the risk of injury) on the knee itself.
As world-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin states, “Not only do full squats keep you honest and encourage you to achieve functional mobility, they allow you to train for better structural balance throughout the body.”
When you squat to full depth, your muscles are stretched further and are better activated than if you were to just perform a parallel squat. With all that tension in your muscles, you can generate more power when coming out of the bottom position. Furthermore, when you squat deep, your hips take more of the load than your knees and ankles, and hip extension torque is increased.
The squat is renowned as the best compound movement in the world of fitness. During the squat, the hip, knee and even the ankle joints (plantar flexion occurs at the joint when you press into the ground during the concentric phase of the squat) are all involved in the movement. As a result, your soleus (the calf), hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, abdominals (core stability), hip adductors and erector spinae are all engaged during the back squat.
When more muscles are being worked, the body secretes more HGH (human growth hormone) and testosterone, two hormones that are vital for building muscle. In addition, the more tension that is placed on a muscle, the more muscle fiber is recruited, which increases muscular hypertrophy and strength.
Under my guidance, clients should have no fear of improper form. Want a trainer that will get you there, contact Debbie at 616-901-6247.
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