The squat is essential to your well-being. The squat can both
greatly improve your athleticism and keep your hips, back, and
knees sound and functioning
in your senior years.
Not only is the squat not
detrimental to the knees it is
remarkably rehabilitative of
cranky, damaged, or delicate
knees. In fact, if you do not
squat, your knees are not
healthy regardless of how
free of pain or discomfort
you are. This is equally true
of the hips and back.
The squat, in the bottom position, is nature’s intended sitting
posture (chairs are not part of your biological make-up), and the
rise from the bottom to the stand is the biomechanically sound
method by which we stand-up. There is nothing contrived or
artificial about this movement.
Most of the world’s inhabitants sit not on chairs but in a squat.
Meals, ceremonies, conversation, gatherings, and defecation are
all performed bereft of chairs or seats.
Only in the industrialized
world do we find the need for chairs, couches, benches, and
This comes at a loss of functionality that contributes
immensely to decrepitude.
we encounter individuals whose doctor or
chiropractor has told them not to squat.
In nearly every instance
this is pure ignorance on the part of the practitioner. When a
doctor that doesn’t like the squat is asked, “by what method
should your patient get off of the toilet?” they are at a loss for
In a similarly misinformed manner we have heard trainers and health care providers suggest that the knee should not be bent past
It’s entertaining to ask proponents of this view to sit on the ground with their legs out in front of them and then to stand
without bending the legs more than 90 degrees.
It can’t be done without some grotesque bit of contrived movement. The truth is that
getting up off of the floor involves a force on at
least one knee that is substantially greater than the squat.
Our presumption is that those who counsel against the squat are either
just repeating nonsense they’ve heard in the media or at the
gym, or in their clinical practice they’ve encountered people who’ve injured themselves squatting incorrectly.
It is entirely possible to injure yourself squatting incorrectly, but it is also exceedingly easy to bring the squat to a level of safety
matched by walking.
On the athletic front, the squat is the quintessential hip extension exercise,
and hip extension is the foundation of all good human
movement. Powerful, controlled hip extension is necessary and nearly sufficient for
elite athleticism. “Necessary” in that without
powerful, controlled hip extension you are not functioning anywhere near your potential. “Sufficient” in the sense that
met with the capacity to explosively open the hip could also run, jump, throw, and punch with impressive force.
but no less important, the squat is among those exercises eliciting a potent central nervous system response.