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@DrAndreoSpina: On squatting

February 20, 2014








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It is widely believed that there is a “proper squatting” position that must be strictly adhered to during training. Failure to do so is pro-ported to lead to excessive strain on the knees thus leading to injury. One such example is the “rule” held by many that if the knees translate past the toes, the increased patello-femoral forces will lead to symptoms in that region (PFPS).

However, if one were to take the time to observe human function they would soon realize that during the acts of daily living, numerous forms of squatting is utilized. One leg, two legs, knees past the toes, knees behind the toes, with tibio-femoral rotation (at various degrees), with the heels planted, with the heels raised….and multiple combinations of the above ad infinitum. 

If all of these movements are required…should we not prepare for them?

Perhaps it isn’t the position utilized during squat training that is the causative factor leading to injury. Likely (as is the case with most exercises/movements imo) it is the lack of tissue preparation. In other words, it isn’t the movement that is inherently “bad”…its that the tissues involved in the movement are unable to absorb the loads being placed on them. After all…


Therefore, if one were to properly progress & improve load bearing capacity, they could safely prepare for/train movement demands that are faced in life on a regular basis…thus DECREASING the chance of injuries. 

There is no such thing as a bad exercise…there are only those who are unprepared.


The Squat Table Every movement can be broken down, and/or defined by the mobility requirements of each articulation involved. Stated another way, there are prerequisites to every movement. Many training injuries are the result of attempting movements before these prerequisites are met. The question shouldn’t be “is ‘X’ a ‘good’ exercise?” The question should be “am I PREPARED to do ‘X’?”

There is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” movement/exercise…there is only prepared, or unprepared.

The Squat Table contains many “requirements” including adequate Glenohumeral extension, torsional capsular mobility/strength of the knee, and adequate hip hinging ability, and short function of the glutes. As you counter-balance the posterior pelvic translation with the forward reach, open up the spine segmentally. In other words, start at one end and concentrate on opening each spinal segment one at a time. Focus on “opening the table.”



When an imparted load exceeds the load bearing capacity of the tissue accepting it, damage occurs. Neurological errors in movement execution commonly lead to loads being placed on “unprepared” tissues. It is therefore important to focus on two aspects of #training to reduce the likelihood of sustaining #injuries: 1. Working on improving neural control via progressively complex movement tasks –  2.Improve the physical, mechanical load bearing capacity of tissues

Nowadays, we commonly hear of people focusing solely on number one. Trainers are constantly talking about “assessing movement” and “correcting movement.” But thats not enough. The reason being because we CAN’T perfect movement…there are just too many variables. We therefore have to prepare for movement error by building resilience along as many movement paths (and hence tissue lines) as possible. You will always regret not training the position you got injured in…

The Butterfly squat is an excellent way to challenge the lateral lower limb tissues




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