The Activcore Blog

Dr. Gavin Ongsingco, Physical Therapist and Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist at Activcore

Recent Posts

Squat Misconception #2:  Deep Squats are Bad for the Knees

The squat as a foundational movement pattern and exercise is becoming more of a staple movement in physical rehabilitation, fitness and sports performance training. As this type of exercise gains in popularity, we should take a look at not only its benefits, but also its safety.

In my two previous blog posts about squatting, I presented the case that squats are safe and highly effective for building functional strength, and that your knees are allowed to travel past your toes as long as it's not to initiate the squatting movement. So, are deep squats bad for your knees?

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Squat Misconception #1:  My Knees Should Never Go Past My Toes

In my previous blog post, Should I Be Doing Squats, I explained the benefits of training the fundamental movement pattern of squatting. When engaging in an exercise program, the way you move is vital for overall health and performance. Within the realm of your exercise techniques are the cues and instructions given by coaches, fitness trainers, physical therapists and physicians. You also have the interim reality of internet opinions weighing in. 

Keeping the knees behind the imaginary vertical line of the toes is a cue frequently given when instructing someone to squat. This “over-cue” may be the result of certain biomechanical studies — showing compression forces on the patella-femoral joint with a knees forward approach — that have since been extrapolated to all populations. What may be at issue here is the suggestion of a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching the squat.

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Should I Be Doing Squats? 4-Part Series on 'The King' of Exercises.

The squat exercise continues to have a dual identity in the realms of fitness, sports performance, and physical rehabilitation. On one hand, an exercise like the barbell back squat is in an elite category for its ability to build full body strength, especially in the legs. It has even been called the “King of exercises” by some enthusiasts. On the other hand, there is a polar opposite perspective in the industry where squatting is misconstrued as a negative exercise that increases wear and tear on the knees.

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Is the Overhead Shoulder Press Safe?

Overhead (OH) shoulder exercises are some of the most commonly performed exercises across all exercise and fitness domains. With the ever growing participation in resistance training and functional fitness, such as Crossfit, overhead shoulder exercises have become a staple in developing muscle and strength in the shoulders. These exercises can include a variety of movements from an overhead shoulder press, pull up, overhead squat, handstand, barbell snatch, clean and jerk, and multiple variations of exercises where your arms are in a position above your head. For the sake of this article, I am going to specifically address movements where you are pressing or holding a weight overhead.

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