September 01, 2006
Contrary to what you might hear from some medical professionals, going deep in full squats is a spectacularly good idea, writes Coach Mark Rippetoe, co-author of Starting Strength and owner of Wichita Falls Athletic Club/CrossFit Wichita Falls.
Oftentimes orthopedic surgeons, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and nurses are administering bad advice when the conversation turns towards squatting. Most people have absolutely no idea what a full squat even is, much less how they affect the knees, unless they have had additional training beyond their specialties.
The squat referred to here is the full, below- parallel squat where the top of the patella and the iliac fold (the crease in the shorts that defines the position of the hip joint) form a plane below which the hips must drop.
When one of these professionals explains why you will die if you perform full squats, he will demonstrate with squat technique so incorrect that it hurts to watch. And then he’ll say: “See, there! Squats are bad for your knees. “
The problem is that one profession does not recognize that the other has something to offer. Strength and conditioning professionals, with decades of experience in getting people strong, might know more about squatting than people whose training has been in the treatment of injuries and disease.