Squatting without pain is definitely possible. We all need to be able to squat. “How” we squat is an individual approach.
I’ve attached a video by Dr. Wes Hendricks, that shows several techniques to adapt the position for a pain free squat. It’s important that we, either in our own practice or in a class, take the time to adapt the activity to accommodate our personal situation. We are all built differently and have had different experiences that have led us to where we are today so, we need to take an approach that works for our individual situations.
Although, we don’t do any extreme heavy training or competition training here at the Forever Fit Studio, good technique is the same. If we want to stay out of pain and preserve our bodies, we need to be performing our movements for optimal benefits. Squatting is a movement that we all need to be able to do. Moving from a standing to sitting position is a squat. Going to the bathroom is a squat. Training to squat helps to keep us strong and pain free in our everyday life.
Squat safely and effectively……..
Performing an exercise just for the sake of moving is not safe or effective. We need to consider the form, technique, tempo and symmetry of each movement in order to reap the benefits and prevent injury.
In this video, Dr. Wes talks about form. Good form is crucial to a pain free squat in the moment but also as a proactive approach. An effective squat requires good mobility at the ankle, knee and hip. If these areas are tight, weak, too mobile or not stable, the movement will be compromised and there is a risk for injury. You may not feel any adverse effects now but repetitive movements in the wrong position may cause deterioration in a joint(s), muscle imbalances that compromise your posture which, in turn, creates pain in your back/hips/knees. This is why, here at Forever Fit, we spend a lot of time on movements to mobilize the ankle, hip, knee without weight before our workout. The mobilization movements help to increase the lubricant called synovial fluid and the movement helps your brain get in touch with how to track the joint efficiently before we add a load.
In order to prevent poor postural form to prevent back pain, Dr. Hendricks points out the need for good tempo in your squat. Moving slower creates a more challenging exercise and provides you with more benefits. Slower tempo also give us an opportunity to synchronize the movement of each joint. When one joint moves out of synch with the other, it changes the whole postural alignment, thus, compromising the back.
Here are a few points to consider to perform a squat in the most efficient and effective way to prevent pain either in the moment or as a proactive approach. Remember though, never move through pain. Let pain be your guide to stop, change and consider what is happening.
Squat without Pain
- Mobilize the joints prior to the workout, specifically, your ankles, knees and hips but shoulders are important too.
- Consider the alignment of your hip, knee, ankle in your mobility movements before adding a load
- Consider the tempo of your squat, or any exercise for that matter. The slower you go, the harder the exercise is…. aaaand the more benefits you get.
- Consider the symmetry of your tempo as it relates to the timing of your joint movement. The ankle, hip and knee joint need to be moving in symmetry, all at the same time.