Why mini squats are BAD for your knees
In this video Dr. Spina discusses why the most popular exercise prescribed for knee rehabilitation, the “mini squat,” is bad for your knees. As described, the mini squat places an un-checked anterior force on the tibia thus leading to anterior shearing of the tibia-femoral articulation. This is caused due to the lack of posterior line activation.
Also discussed is how to use Progressive Angular Isometric Loading (P.A.I.L.’s) to correct ‘winking’ (counter-nutation of the sacrum) in the ‘basement’ of the squat. While most think this problem can be corrected by simply improving hamstring flexibility, it actually requires more….
Take home points:
1. When prescribing squats for your patients/clients, the maximum possible depth should be encouraged (of course this means the maximum depth that can be achieved with proper form…for example without squinting). To progress to lower depths, use progressively lower ‘targets’ to sit back onto.
2. In order to prevent squinting at the bottom of the squat (the basement), it is not only a matter of creating improved flexibility in the hamstrings…but creating eccentric strength in the hamstrings outer range of motion…thus the utilization of Progressive Angular Isometric Loading.
3. Utilizing P.A.I.L’s training in the ‘sticking-points’ of a squat, or any other exercise will allow the athlete to overcome the troublesome range. P.A.I.L’s teach the nervous system to maximally recruit motor units in a given range. Recall Hennman’s size principal – increased numbers and sizes of motor units will be recruited based on demand – by using isometric efforts, you have essentially created maximal demand as the object is by definition never going to move.