Keep the Knees Behind the Toes When Squatting

Keep the Knees Behind the Toes When Squatting
The load on the knee ligaments increases by nearly 25 percent when the knees are allowed to go beyond the toes when squatting— according to a biomechanics study from Switzerland. Most beginners squat incorrectly. They place too much weight over the balls of their feet, round their back, and rely excessively on the quad muscles rather than the larger, more powerful gluteal and hamstring muscles. Preventing forward knee movement during the squat placed a greater load on the hips, which enhanced the capacity to exert force during the lift. Hinge at the hips instead of at the spine when doing squats. Produce maximum force during the squat by maintaining a neutral spine and using the posterior chain muscles (glutes and hams) to bare most of the load. (Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 26: 2829-2836)

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