Lately while teaching some of my Bootcamp classes I’ve heard the following excuse “I can’t squat because…” Now to make this very clear, I am asking the member to do a body weight squat with their hands clasped behind their head as part of their warm up. The most common excuse as to why someone cannot perform a squat is because of their knees… This is very frustrating for me, because these members tend to be very persistent of their inability to perform the exercise, and not to mention I’m teaching a large class. I don’t have much time to explain to them that they literally perform a body weight squat everyday, and I don’t want to single them out in front of the class either. So, I decided to write this blog post to inform you guys that just because you may have knee issues of any kind, this includes arthritis, it does not mean that you can never ever perform a squat. I mean if you can figure out how to poop standing up without a diaper, please give me a call! Because literally every time you sit and stand up you are doing the same exact movement as you would when performing a squat…
A squat is a natural movement, it is a functional exercise, and it is something that you do everyday. The problem however, does not necessarily lie with the exercise itself but with your inability to perform the exercise correctly. This is why many of you may feel pain in your knees when you go to sit and stand up. It is very unfortunate the amount of fear that surrounds the squat. It is fear, reduced range of motion, and excess girth that makes the squat difficult and uncomfortable to perform. Just because something is difficult, or uncomfortable, does not mean that you should completely cut it out of your exercise routines, especially when it is something that is so essential to your everyday life! Instead of trying to avoid this exercise at all costs, ask for help! Explain your pain, and your situation to someone who is a trained professional like a physiotherapist, an athletic therapist, or a well trained personal trainer. They can assess your movement pattern, and help you to improve your form and strength when performing a squat so you can either reduce or remove any sort of pain when you squat. Like I’ve said before, you do some sort of squat everyday, so why not learn how to do it properly? Because if you are experiencing pain when you squat, then there must be something wrong, and if there’s something wrong it should be corrected! If it is left unattended your pain will only increase, and your ability to sit and stand on your own will degrade over time. Do you really want to have to hold on to something like a cane so that you can be able to sit and stand?Probably not, but if you are in pain now when you squat, and therefore you refuse to squat, or even break past 90 degrees when squatting, then this will be your foreseeable future sooner rather than later.
The body is an amazing thing, and there have been so many accounts of people coming back from serious injuries and learning how to move again. So why is it that people think that just because they experience minor knee pain, they can no longer can bend their knees and perform a squat? To me it is illogical, and fearful. You can squat, even if it is assisted or with just body weight there is no reason why you cannot sit and stand back up. I have done a video tutorial on the squat in the past, actually it was the first video tutorial I’ve ever made. It is meant to teach you how to properly perform a squat and what a squat should look like. Watch the video, then record yourself performing a squat. Compare, and evaluate your squat. I have also provided some suggestions on how to improve your range of motion and strength so that you can further improve your form. https://alexrinaldo.wordpress.com/2015/10/15/squat-tutorial-video/ In addition, I have written another article related to the squat, it can also help to provide some insight as to why you are not performing the squat properly and therefore experiencing pain. https://alexrinaldo.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/want-to-feel-more-bootylicious-but-youre-not-seeing-the-results-here-are-some-reasons-why-you-might-not-be-getting-the-jlo-butt-youre-looking-for/
This post is not meant to be rude, judgemental or harsh. I just want to simply open your eyes to the fact that completely avoiding certain exercises like the squat will not help your situation. If anything it will only make your situation worse. As the saying goes “if you don’t use it, you loose it.” This is very true when it comes to your range of motion in the squat. If you never allow yourself to get full depth and range of motion in your squat, you will loose the ability to do so. This is why you must work on your flexibility, mobility, form and strength in your legs so that you never loose the ability to sit and stand. Even if you must start out with some sort of assist so that you can perform the exercise properly, so be it! If you continue to work on it, eventually you will be able to perform a squat completely on your own! Wouldn’t it feel so great to be able to move freely without pain? Well it takes patience and hard work, but it is possible! People do it all the time! You just have to be willing to work through the pain now, so you can be free of it later.
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