Whether you like squatting or not, there’s no denying that it’s a basic human movement you probably do many times each day. But when it comes to it being used as a form of exercise, there are quite a few myths running rampant about squats, myths that could reduce the benefits you get out of them for exercise and worse, end in injury. Here are the biggest squatting myths busted by personal trainers in Los Angeles!
Myth No. 1: Never Let Your Knees Go Past Your Toes
How many times have you heard this in a group fitness class or in the weight room? You’ve probably heard it a million times from many different people, but that doesn’t make it any truer. It’s a common instruction that in some cases may be poor squatting form, but in most cases is just bad advice. “It all boils down to an individual’s body,” says Los Angeles personal trainer Lalo Fuentes, CSCS, “some people simply have long limbs that can result in the knee jutting out past the toes in a proper squat.”
What should you really be doing? Well, there are many methods that can help you find your ideal squat position. Just remember not to focus so much on your knees – it doesn’t help you do what you need to.
Myth No. 2: Your Feet Should Be Hip-Width Apart
Every single body is unique and because of this, no two people are going to do a squat in the exact same stance. According to Los Angles personal trainer Lalo Fuentes, there’s no compelling reason to spread your feet apart at hip-width or to turn your toes in when squatting. You and your personal trainer will discover the best squat stance for your particular body by trying out different ones. They may change the angle or width of your feet, but you’ll eventually land on a stance that is right for just you with a professional to help guide you. “A rule of thumb is to have a stance where the tip of your toes are aligned with your knees” says Fuentes.
Myth No. 3: Everybody Needs to Squat
Many people are under the impression that squats are necessary for everyone to get fit and healthy, but that’s simply not the case. Squatting is not for everyone and there are a host of reasons they may not be ideal for you.
An experienced personal trainer knows that different people have different builds and not all builds are made for squats. The way your body is made and past or present injuries may mean squats are not ideal for you. But it’s also important to note that squats in and of themselves are not bad for your joints. But if you can’t accomplish a squat without true pain, then you probably shouldn’t try them right now. Working with a personal trainer can help you progress to a point where they may be possible without pain, but that may take time.
Squats require glute and leg strength and a lot of core control, that’s why they’re touted as such a great all-around exercise. Whether they’re doing them right is something your trainer in Los Angeles can help you with!