One thing I get told by a lot of my patients is “I don’t squat” or “I was told not to squat.” Well, unless you have an injury or other medical condition you do in fact squat, and you do it multiple times a day even if you don’t realize it. Whether you want to believe it or not you should be squatting every time you get on/off a chair, bed, toilet, floor, picking up something heavy, looking into a low cabinet, and many more things. Squatting is something we have been doing since we were babies with perfect form. But as we get older, we often forget how to do them correctly and stop doing full squats. Many people claim that doing squats is bad for your knees, but when done correctly, squatting is good for your health because it helps strengthen your legs and protects your knees.
If you’re already injured, or squats are hurting your knees, please check with your Physical Therapist to discuss your personal situation and form. Your Physical Therapist can make sure you are getting into the correct position, check your strength, and look for mobility issues which might be limiting your ability to perform the squat. Here is an easy exercise to check your form and get you started on doing squats!
Try This: Sit-stand from a Chair
- Stand about 1 foot in front of a chair, feet about hips width or just slightly further apart.
- Tighten your abdominals/core to help keep your back straight/neutral and move your hips/butt BACK as you sit down in the chair, DO NOT PLOP down, and point your knees towards your 2nd to 3rd toes (don’t let your knees collapse in).
- Now don’t move, keep everything tight, and check your position.
- Is your back straight and core tight? The answer should be yes.
- Where is the weight on your feet? More of it should be on your heels and mid-foot, but keep your entire foot on the ground.
- What position are your knees in? They should be pointed between your 2nd and 3rd toe.
- Repeat this process slowly many times until your form is correct. As you get better work on just touching your butt down without putting weight into the chair and stand back up or to go deeper into the squat work off a lower surface.
- Stand back up by driving through your heels and pushing your hips forward, keep core tight, and don’t let your knees collapse in.