Why Squatting Hurts, is it Bad For You and How Deep Should You go Anyway??

Squatting

If you are someone that doesn’t squat because it hurts your back or your knees then this is written for you. If you do squat in spite of the pain then you should definitely read this because you will get serious positive information that could save you from having surgery in the future!

Squatting is a Functional Movement!

You have to do it in daily life… we have to be able to get down and grab things from the floor and we should be able to do that without pain or discomfort. We need to be able to get out of a chair, even sit on the toilet. When those movements are something you begin to worry about then this thought of it being bad for you comes to the forefront of your mind.

What we hear all the time is that a person can’t do these things because of arthritis or degenerative disk disease… those are two diagnoses that equal one thing – you are getting older and natural degeneration of your joints is happening.

NATURAL degeneration, this term is used specifically because it is nothing special, this is happening to everyone around you and some will do something about it and some simply won’t do anything.

Our bodies are essentially a masterpiece if there aren’t any dysfunctions that you are born with, so why do we get hung up with pain in our daily movement??

There is a specific design for the body and it goes like this:

  • Bones link together and make joints
  • Joints are held together by ligaments
  • Muscles are held to bones by tendons
  • Muscles are here to help us do TWO things: MOVE our bodies and STABILIZE our joints
  • Muscles are separated further into: MOVERS and STABILIZERS

If you don’t have muscles that help stabilize your joints then the joint is “bone on bone”, that term is used so often that it is synonymous with arthritis.

All of the things listed above are integral portions of the body and they make it possible for us to move comfortably through life but there becomes a huge problem when we don’t use them correctly.

Why do you Have Pain When you Squat Down??

Most of the time it is a movement pattern that uses the prime mover muscles, leaves out any stabilizers and it becomes a dysfunctional movement.

Once the pain starts then it is hard to get out of that cycle because we just start moving toward pain avoidance and that works for a very short period of time. We have to fix things in order of correcting the movement pattern so we can move without increasing pain.

Those patterns, with the “right focus” start to strengthen the stabilizing muscles and limit the amount of discomfort you feel when doing movements that make you bend down and stand up from sitting but it’s not easy to stay alert all the time.

We have to keep in mind what muscles are performing actions and are they the right ones? If not, how do we start to use the right muscles so our pain goes away?

The squat is a functional movement that should rely heavily on the muscles around your hip, the glutes and the hamstrings, they do hip extension which lifts you up out of the squat. Not the Quad muscles! They will always be used but they should be secondary.

Done the right way squats are not bad for you and they shouldn’t ever hurt you once you break the poor movement pattern and pain cycle that you’ve likely been stuck in for years.

When squatting for exercise you should go down to parallel only as long as you don’t break the correct movement pattern and you don’t have pain, otherwise stay above parallel until you can maintain the correct pattern.

If you found this helpful, then please share it with someone you know!

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Jonathan

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Dr. Jonathan Ruzicka

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