Squats are one of the best exercises for rehabilitation and strengthening of the lower body
Squats are one of the best exercises (in our humble opinion) because they work so many of the muscles in our lower body. We also squat every single day! Think about it… when we sit on the toilet, or getting up from a chair, we really performing one portion of the squat.
When your knee or hip hurts, squats are one way that you can strengthen that joint to help get you back to your day-to-day activities. That being said, it depends what you are doing. In our physiotherapy clinic, we progress the squat very specifically. We do this to prevent a flare up in pain.
We need to gradually move into a full range of motion
Of course being able to do a full squat is best. However, many people because of injuries or other reasons aren’t able to. We can progress the squat with the goal of being able to do a body weight squat.
Mechanics are Key
The first thing we do is make sure that you are performing this exercise safely. Everyone is a little bit different but some of the concepts stay the same. Keeping your knees over your toes (no collapsing knees). Find a position that feels good for you. It will be based on flexibility and height and a couple of other factors.
Progression # 1 – Height and Squat Depth
At STAVE OFF, in our gym we have boxes that have a variety of heights. We progress a person from the tallest to lowest in height before we move people to a body weight squat. These squats can be extremely challenging and sometimes we add weights even to the box (so many possibilities!).
This video was prompted by our Arthritis podcast. We started talking about squats and so we decided to explain a little bit more what we meant. Enjoy!