Have You Been Told That Squatting Is Bad For You?
A common advice given by some fitness and healthcare professionals is to avoid squatting since it can damage your knees and back.
But what does science have to say regarding this movement? Is it harmful or beneficial?
First of all, the majority of us do need to squat on a daily basis.
Think of when you sit on a chair or on the toilet, that requires doing a squat. So squatting is inevitable in order to move independently.
Moreover, studies show that squatting does not damage your knees and back. On the contrary, it helps to improve lower body strength and it is generally good for your health, with benefits outweighing the risks. Increased muscle strength is associated with reduced risks of several health issues, including cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Therefore, it is not the movement itself that is bad for you, but you might need to adjust the frequency, volume, intensity and technique of your squat.
The same applies to other activities such as running, weight lifting and cutting drills.
There are some instances where you want to rest completely from a specific movement, for example after an acute injury or a surgery. However, these are exceptions and the majority of people should be able to resume their activities after some training guidance.
If you are currently having pain when squatting, consult a doctor or physiotherapist to get an individual assessment and treatment plan.