Here was an interesting article that ran recently in Shape Magazine.
So, shall we have a little round table discussion about these 10 ‘faux pas’?”
I’ll start. Number 6. “Letting your knees shoot ahead of your toes, lifting your heels, dropping your knees inward. These mistakes place excess pressure on the tendons and ligaments of the knee.”
I’m going to let you in on a little secret that won’t go over well with the ‘norm.’ The knee extending out past the toe is not a problem at all as long as the knee is TRACKING the toes. What you don’t want is the knee collapsing inward toward the center line of your body or, even worse, pulling out. It should extend right over the foot. As long as it does this, bio-mechanically it is doing what it was made to do.
Olympic weightlifters have the least amount of knee injuries of all olympic sports and if you look at their form as they squat or clean you’ll see that very often they’re knees go WAY past the toes but it always tracks the foot.
The main problem with most people’s squat form really isn’t the knees, it’s the ankles. Most people need to develop better ankle flexion in order to serve the full range of motion in the squat. If someone bends to far forward and can’t get their thighs to at least parallel in the squat, the primarily culprit is most likely the ankles. This is also going to cause the body to compensate in other ways – such as the aforementioned drop of the knees toward the center-line of the body taking them out of alignment with the foot.
So all that said, which faux pas are you into?
Mike Babbitt, M.F.A, M.A., CSCS, ACSM-HFI
USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, Master Trainer
Mike is a Master Level trainer at Empower Personal Training. He has a unique approach to fitness that combines his scientific foundation of research and applied exercise physiology with his artistic experience as a professional stage actor. For more information about Empower Personal Training please call (919) 401-8024