Yesterday, I watched a personal trainer approach a gym member and caution him about letting his knees travel in front of his toes while doing squats. Being a polite Canadian, Mr. Squat acknowledged the trainer’s concern and thanked him for the advice. After the trainer split, I caught Mr. Squat’s eye and we exchanged a knowing roll of the eyes.
Another young trainer spreading half-truths he learned during his weekend personal training certification.
Fast forward to this morning – I get an alert about some new research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research entitled - Effect of Squat Depth and Barbell Load on Relative Muscular Effort in Squatting …. which got me thinking about Mr. Squat & The Trainer and inspired me to look for research investigating squatting and joint angles and torques – Here’s what I found:
What did the research say?
It said that when you restrict the travel of your knees so that they do not travel past your toes, you end up with:
Which results in:
Conversely, the unrestricted (toes in front of knees) squat resulted in:
And what did the researchers conclude from their research?
When it comes to knee position while squatting, our young PT was wrong to declare unrestricted squats universally wrong.
Right or wrong is subjective and depends on a few different factors:
None of which Mr. Personal Trainer considered before spreading his Fitness Myth