Squatting and Hip Dysfunction: 2 Common Problems and How to Fix Them
The main problem with the squat is its impact on your knees. If you have ever tried to squat, then you will know how painful it can be when your knees are not supported properly. Your body needs some support to maintain balance while doing squats.
So what’s wrong?
Well there are several things that could cause knee problems. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
1) You’re too tall.
If you are over 6 feet, chances are that you’ve had knee issues before because your legs don’t reach all the way down to the floor when you sit down. When you stand up, your knees tend to come forward which puts extra stress on them and causes pain.
2) You’re not using proper form.
You may think that you are keeping your back straight and just rotating your hips, but if you really try to do so, it doesn’t work out very well. If you keep your spine arched like this, it puts additional pressure on the front of your knees which causes pain. Try to keep your back flat instead and rotate your hips instead.
3) You have weak hips.
If you haven’t been doing a lot of leg exercises, then your hip flexors are not flexible enough to support your weight. You can stretch them out yourself, but the best way is to see a doctor or physical therapist who can tell you how to do it safely.
4) You have weak quads.
Your quads should be strong enough to support your entire weight. Even if you have flexible hips, chances are you will bend them during a squat since your legs are longer than your torso and it’s easier to do so. This can cause problems with your knees. Try doing leg presses on a machine instead of squats to strengthen your muscles.
5) You have weak calf muscles.
Your calves should also be flexible enough to support your weight.
Sources & references used in this article:
Hip function’s influence on knee dysfunction: a proximal link to a distal problem by MP Reiman, LA Bolgla… – Journal of Sport …, 2009 – journals.humankinetics.com
Activation of the VMO and VL during dynamic mini-squat exercises with and without isometric hip adduction by JE Earl, RJ Schmitz, BL Arnold – Journal of electromyography and …, 2001 – Elsevier
Identification of the most common problems by patients with ankylosing spondylitis using the international classification of functioning, disability and health. by CM Powers – Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 2003 – jospt.org
The hip’s influence on low back pain: a distal link to a proximal problem by Z Samar, A Bansal – International Journal of Sports Science, 2013
The Case of the Squat Part II by I van Echteld, A Cieza, A Boonen, G Stucki… – The Journal of …, 2006 – jrheum.org
Symphysial pelvic dysfunction by MP Reiman, PC Weisbach… – Journal of sport …, 2009 – journals.humankinetics.com