The Importance of Squats
You may not realize it — but you do squats every day! You’re doing a squat every time you get on and off the toilet, or in and out of a car seat. Further, all babies learn to stand by rising from a squat to a standing position. Squats are a fundamental human pattern that you should prioritize during your workouts.
There’s a common misconception that squatting hurts your knees. It’s actually not squatting that hurts your knees; it is squatting with improper form that will hurt your knees. Tyler Mounce says, “There are a lot of people that will likely hurt themselves doing deadlifts and squats — not because the exercises are inherently bad, but because of poor coaching, poor technique, and biomechanics.” In fact, if you do squats with the proper technique, squats can help alleviate lower back issues. Dr. Stuart M. McGill is a world-renowned spine and back expert who is a big advocate of the squat and deadlift.
While we understand that lower back issues are very common, we want to emphasize that it’s possible to squat again without any pain. If you have low back issues like a herniated disk — you can get to a point when you can squat hundreds of pounds pain-free through the process of rebuilding, restructuring, and restrengthening.
You can always begin squatting using support or without weights before progressing to other types of squats! Amir Mofidi says, “Even squatting without weight is possible. You can use support — putting your arms on an object and helping you descend into the squat. You can bend in that fashion, support your posture, and make it pain-free. Whenever I say squat or deadlift, people immediately in their minds have these images. But that’s brushing with the same stroke. That’s not what it entails. Squatting is a pattern that can be made more intense and loaded in various ways — there are many forms of squats. The pattern itself is universal.”