Many times I have had patients come see me because they love to exercise, lift weights and do it on a frequent basis. Some of these people unfortunately run into some sort of pain in the knees, ankles or hips possibly due to some sort of biomechanical error or purely just overdoing it. A lot times, these people have seen previous therapists who have told them “You squat how much? How many times? You have got to stop squatting if you want the pain to stop!” At this point most of these once energetic fitness fanatics hobble out of their therapists office saddened by the news that they can never squat again.

Here I am to tell you that these therapists are only half right. Stop squatting? Just for now, but analyse your technique and biomechanics to get you back there. But why should you keep squatting?

Squatting is a great exercise. In every day life we squat to pick up our kids, squat to sit down on a low chair and squat to pick up heavy things. Squatting body weight or with weights will improve
muscularity, strength, longevity and your overall ability to kick ass. Lifting weights and exercising has proven to improve bone density and general well being.

Start from the ground up

One of the biggest mistakes I see when people return from injury is they go back to their poor movement patterns and soon enough have another flare up of that previous injury. Eg start going
back to barbell squatting. One of the most underutilised and great training tools I have for my patients when they get back to squatting is the box squat. By starting with proper positioning
patients will become aware of where they need to be in space, muscular recruitment and stability. Box height will be dependent on the ability of the patient to maintain spinal neutral, pelvic neutral without a butt wink.

How to box squaT

Full body tension is vital when doing any type of lifting. Brace your core, glutes and hamstrings and drive up through your feet into a standing position. Return to sitting with full control and ensure that tension is kept until you are fully sitting down on the box. Most patients will lose core tension and pelvic neutral when they are about to sit on the box. It is important that you avoid this! Add a front load, for example a kettlebell, to enhance upper body and core bracing. Add a band around the knees to enhance glute activation and avoid knee valgus.

If you have any questions or would like to book in to see one of our physiotherapists, please do not hesitate to contact Get Active Physiotherapy on 1300 8 9 10 11 or email us at admin@getactivephysio.com.au.

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