SQUATS!!!

Looks like I finally got some of you to come out and defend squats so know we can really get a good discussion going. I will try to discuss as many of your comments as I can in this but if I miss something let me know.

First off I liked several components of the comments. Let me give you a little more background on what I do know about squats and then you can rip me apart after that. As I mentioned in a comment after the last post I was coached starting at age 15 by a former Olympic lifter on how to perform a legitimate squat. His angle was obviously a little more towards the power lifting component of the move so it had its weaknesses for every day use. He made huge mistakes in my opinion like placing plates under heels of the guys who were too tight in their hips to be able to break all the way down.

Then starting at age 19 I had a strength and conditioning coach for track who taught us how to use squats as a tool to specifically focus on its ability to improve our vertical leap. He used slightly different form than what I had used in High School but still more or less the same move. He was also a huge fan of the hip sled and LEg extension and leg curls. We can discuss how non beneficial these are later.

I went on to become a personal trainer at the age of 20 and received certifications from the ISSA, ACE, Gold’s Gym, NISAQ (National Institute of Speed, Agility, and Quickness). During each of these I had to demonstrate proper form myself as well as how to teach someone how to them correctly. The point I am trying to make is that I know how to do squats, I know good form, I know bad form, I even know how to change the move based on various demands of hip angle, femur length, and sport specific demands.

The video was not a scare tactic and if you think injuries do not happen doing squats with good form and not as a powerlifter your crazy. In my years as a trainer and a coach I have seen many athletes get injured in the squat rack with moderate weight and perfect form. I will explain how this can happen and why it makes squats too risky of a choice for most to bother with making it a move to focus on. I understand that for several decades now squats have been used as one of if not the primary move for gaining strength in the lower body. I understand that there are strength benefits to doing the exercise. I am not a complete idiot nor am I retarded like some of the comments said. I also have done all the research and yes even visited the NSCA conventions and read all the papers on how amazing squats are.

Just listen to my argument against them and then we can continue to have a good discussion about them. I will split this into a few posts so it does not get ridiculously long but next keep these things in mind as we go through it. I have stated it many times on this blog that all exercises represent stimulus to the muscular system. Your goal should be as a trainer to establish which type of stimulus your client needs and then go from there. Not the other way around. Don’t look at the positives an exercise offers, those are obvious. Instead look for the negatives that come along with the exercise your choosing.

I understand that this is all relevant to the trainer giving the exercises but those of you who commented clearly know what you are doing in regards to squats so I will look at the negative side effects that exist even when you do have good form.

Again thanks for your comments and please continue to add to this discussion. I will start the next post now so we can keep this going.

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