Strength coaches and physical therapists tend to use fancy terminology to describe knee caving in a squat. For example, the terms knee valgus, valgus collapse, and medial knee displacement are tossed around quite frequently. Most strength coaches believe knee caving to be undesirable from a knee health standpoint. Countless greats in S&C circles seem to fall into this camp, including experts ranging from Kelly Starrett, to Louie Simmons, to Dan John, to Mike Boyle, to Mark Rippetoe, to Eric Cressey, to Tony Gentilcore, to Mike Robertson. It is thought that keeping the knees tracking over the toes in the squat will produce the least internal load on the passive knee structures, thereby keeping them healthy. Another champion of the knees out strategy is yours truly. I’ve written articles and filmed plenty of videos on this topic, including THIS one addressing valgus collapse as a whole, THIS one showing a simple squat correction, THIS one discussing coaching cues. Also, THIS guest blog from Derrick Blanton shows another simple correction strategy, and HERE is an article by my colleague Chris Beardsley discussing the mechanisms of knee valgus.
Let’s face it: Life is tough! Work alone is hard enough, but we also have our daily chores and errands to run, our friendship and familial duties, various hobbies, and emergencies to deal with. In addition, we’re supposed to be trying to get ahead in life, getting sufficient sleep, and maintaining a social life, all while keeping everything in good balance. Now we’re being told to add more onto our plates – exercise – without completely falling apart?
You might be thinking to yourself that you simply do not have the time. Furthermore, you might be looking at all of those fit people out there with disgust. Clearly they starve themselves and are all slaves to the gym. There’s absolutely no way that they can lead normal lives, let alone have any fun, right? You’d like to see them try to look good and be fit while dealing with actual responsibilities and real jobs. They couldn’t possibly juggle half of what you deal with, let alone handle your lousy genetics.
Considerations for the Rehabilitation of the Post-operative Knee: Restoring the Athlete’s Active Knee Range of Motion
Robert A. Panariello MS, PT, ATC, CSCS
Professional Physical Therapy
Professional Athletic Performance Center
New York, New York
During the course of rehabilitation of the post-operative knee pathology athlete, common interventions utilized in the field of Sports Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation include the use of modalities for pain, edema, and neuromuscular control, restoration of the knee joint range of motion, lower extremity strength, proprioception, and normal gait, as well as structured treatment progressions to the achievement of the eventual milestones of running, jumping, cutting, and additional athletic activities, and “functional tasks”. All of these milestones are achieved through a number of various treatment methods, manual techniques, exercises, and practices.
I’ve discussed squat depth in multiple articles over the past couple of years. I’ve talked about hip anatomy HERE, and I’ve talked about buttwink HERE. But how do you know what your ideal squat depth is?
Get down into the squat position and find the exact moment where you start to lose your lumbopelvic positioning – you need to keep the arch in your lumbar spine – no going into flexion, and keep the tilt in your pelvis – no going into posterior pelvic tilt. Make sure you stay planted on your heels and don’t rise up onto your toes. From there, you can determine if you want to go slightly deeper, but keep in mind that there’s only so much wiggle room and it may be best to play it safe. Here’s a video that better explains it: