Q: Is it safe for your knees to go over your toes when you squat?
It is essential for your knee to go past your toe when you squat. That is how your body is designed. The squat is one of the human body’s resting positions. Think about it – the squat is supposed to be for rest/sitting, elimination (i.e. going to the bathroom), and childbirth. It is essential for the knee to go past the toe line in order to squat properly. In most (if not all) cases of people preaching about the dangers of letting the knee go past the toe line, they cannot demonstrate a proper, natural, full-depth squat.
Get rid of rules around what the position should look like. Once you know what the position is (picture a baby resting in a squat, or someone gardening at ease), just aim for that. Obviously, if you lack the ability to compress in your hips and knees, and your ankle mobility is non-existent, it’s going to be hard for you to achieve that position. But don’t fear – there are individual things you can do to improve your mobility in order to restore your squat.
Here are three guidelines to know about the squat. Firstly, your weight should be balanced over the midfoot the entire time. It’s common to see people go forward onto the toes when trying to squat.
This is something that will aggravate the knees, among other things. Secondly, your knees shouldn’t feel like they are caving inward. Lastly, keep your heels on the ground for the entire squat.
At the end of the day, the squat should be the most natural position for anyone to get into. People say you shouldn’t squat if you have knee pain. Well, maybe you have the knee pain because you haven’t been squatting. Our knees and hips are made for squatting. If you don’t use it, you lose it. But use common sense – to start re-using it, your approach should be gradual, instead of suddenly trying to force yourself into that position by using external weight/load.
You need to gradually re-introduce that position to your body. There are easy ways to re-groove the squat pattern that go outside of this Q&A.
If you want help on regaining your squat, stop by our Saturday morning classes at Grand View Hotel, starting at 10:15 am. We always work on squatting there, and all are welcome!
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