Training - What Science Tells Us | 6 Facts About Squats & Strength Programs Video Description

The squat is a popular exercise among bodybuilders and power athletes. Coaches, physicians, therapists and biomechanists disagree about the risks and benefits of deep squatting. A study by Klein in 1961 concluded that competitive weightlifters had lax knee ligaments compared to the average person. As a result, most coaches and the U.S. military banned deep squatting as part of physical training. More recent studies have shown that male powerlifters and weightlifters who regularly practice deep squatting have tighter knee joint capsules. Indirect evidence shows that deep squats increase the pressure on the kneecap, menisci and posterior cruciate ligament. Most athletes, particularly women, break at the spine during the lift instead of hinging at the hips. Deep squatting is not specific to most sports, so going below parallel is not recommended. Deep squats are safe and effective if athletes have good technique. Using improper squatting biomechanics is dangerous. (Strength Conditioning Journal, 34 (2): 34-35, 2012)

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