From mental health, to sports specific screening, to the latest research in exercise for Cancer our goal is to give our readers an overview of not just research in various areas of health and rehabilitation but to offer our opinion from years of experience in working in these areas.
This catalogue will to continue to grow over time, so ensure that you check back regularly to see what's new, and if there is something that you would like us to write about please contact Nicole as she'd love to hear to from you.
The squat is one of the best exercises to prescribe to clients. We like to prescribe the squat to clients who are deconditioned or have lower limb weakness, atrophy (loss of muscle tone) or loss of range of movement. The squat is a compound movement which means it involves multiple joints including the hip, knee and ankle. Therefore targeting multiple muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves just to name a few. The squat is also very desirable for clients who are trying to lose weight as compound movements have been found to expend a greater amount of energy when compared to an isolated movement such as a knee extension (leg kick out).
Common questions and misconceptions:
1. Is it safe to squat past 90 degrees?
Squat depth highly depends on an individual’s mobility and injury history
The depth of a squat will vary from one individual to another (No two individuals are the same)
For individuals that are injury free the latest research suggests that squat depth past 90 degrees will not cause any damage
For individuals with hip, knee or ankle injuries the depth of the squat should be monitored and modified dependent on symptoms
2. I’ve seen so many different types of squats on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, which is the best?
There are many types of squats including a double leg squat, single leg squat, goblet squat, pistol squat, sumo squat, split squat, Spanish squat and the list goes on….
Squats can also be modified with the use of resistance, which can be implemented with the use of a kettle bell, dumbbell, barbell or power-band
Let’s not forget… Your own body weight is a form of resistance
Different squats are used to target specific lower limb muscle groups and are also progressions e.g. double leg squat, to a goblet squat to a single leg squat
3. Do I need to put a band around my knees to do a squat?
You may have seen individuals using bands around there knees when squatting. Bands can be used to increase the activation of the glutes, by using facilitating the requirement to abduct at the hip you will get glute firing
There are other cues that can be used to increase glute activation and one of my favourites is to try and spread your feet as if there is newspaper underneath them, but keep your feet planted!
Squats are a great exercise that can be performed literally anywhere, you don’t need a gym or any equipment it’s as simple as doing a sit to stand from a chair
Squats are a compound movement, which work more than one muscle
There are a variety of techniques and modifications
For the month of October, Essendon Physio Group & Exercise for Rehabilitation and Health has put out the Squatober challenge to see how many squats you can do. We’ll be leading it so see whether it will be myself, Hayley or Craig that can do the most in 30 seconds!
For any exercise prescription, technique modifications or pain with squatting please don’t hesitate to book in with your health professionals!