Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Know Your Squat

In all my years in the business, I have always loved the comment from prospective clients, "I don't squat because of my knees". Well, my reaction has always been and still is..."it IS because of your knees that you should squat". I never understood that while people 'clam-up' at the idea of squatting, they don't realize that they perform this action everyday to relieve themselves of yesterday's food consumption. Yes, I am talking about sitting (or squatting) on the toilet and "pushing". Gross, I know.

However, the fear of sheering forces and knees going beyond the toes have frozen us in fear of squatting. I mean, come many people have been taught how to squat incorrectly or add too much weight? How many boyfriends try to teach their girlfriends, and they get it all wrong only to massacre their knees, hips, and low back? How many weekend warriors who learn how to squat from the biggest guy at the Y, and instead perform good-mornings with 225 strapped on their back? The squat movement is unequivocally one of the most beneficial exercises for the body because the act of triple extension (ankle, knees, hips) is a 'constant rehearsal' of sorts for the body to help in athletics and daily function.

The lesson here? If you are a personal trainer or coach and you train others then you need to listen up. You need to learn how to rid people of negative perceptions and fear in order for them to truly absorb the instruction and knowledge you share with them. Your client or your athletes will not believe you simply because you tell them "the squat rules--do it!" You must find ways to reach people and tap into their trust, attention, and intuition so that fear and perceived consequence do not interfere with overall goals.


  1. Spot on John! I'm doing my part to educate my clients. The squat has always been the cornerstone of my training program.

    I can't tell you how many of my golf colonel friends tell me how bad squats are on my knees.

    Yet, I'm not the one hobbling to meetings during the day, they are. must be bad on the knees! ;)


  2. I can't agree more!!! The golf players I work with sit at a desk all day and complain that squats make their knees hurt. If they only knew, the slient killer is that big oak desk they sit at evry single dayu! Thanks for the comment.


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