Deep Squats ... For Everyone ?
A few studies have shown that the parallel squat is king for maximizing work and overloading on the muscles . High reps with low to moderate weight gives exercisers the least effective way to overload the lower body muscles. The deep squat can contribute to tight knee joints / kneecap pressure . With this in mind , would you put deep squats in your personal leg workout ?
I agree with Bryant, in that as long as most trainees progress slowly and have correct form, there should be no knee issues. In fact, if you look at the mechanics of the movement, partial squats have a tendency to create muscle imbalances, as they are quad-dominant. This can result in unequal pressure being placed on the knee ligaments.
That being said, there ARE some people who are going to have mobility issues, particularly those who have no exercise experience or previous injuries. I think squats should be part of a progression and should be worked into, much like Karin has stated, as some clients will not be able to effectively handle their own bodyweight. For some of us, squats come easy, but the squat is actually a fairly complex movement that also requires a great degree of balance and coordination.
Good training is key here, as there are a lot of things you need to pay attention to when you are having a client squat. Generally, I have healthy clients go as low as they can before they lose ability to maintain lumbar curve (this is not the only thing I am looking for, but for the sake of brevity...). My end goal is to have them go low enough so that the hip crease is below the knee, however, there will be some people who simply cannot go this low without a LOT of mobility work...and some can't go that low at all.
As for the leg press, I am not a big fan of the movement, which I believe is, at best, an assistance movement. The positioning puts people in a position where they can handle an unusually high amount of weight, but also can place the back in a compromising position, particularly if the weight is high enough to cause the client to lift his/her hips off of the pad. Not good.
I tend to emphasize the squat, for the functional aspect of it and its ability to improve quality of life.
I think it is so very important that fitness professionals understand the biomechanics of the knee joint as well as the arthrokinematics of the knee joint. How the femur rotates on the tibia and how the tibia rotates on the femur and what joints and joint structures are involved in a deep squat.
I believe if more fitness professionals were aware of the above, they would not include deep squat in their programs unless it specific to their sport. If it is not, it just not worth the risk of damage to connective tissue.
Thanks for your question.
if you are thinking about a traditional leg press machine studded with plates on either side - the answer is 'no', both for myself and for my clients.
However, if a deep squat means assisting people getting stronger in the range of motion required to get up from the floor or a low seat - absolutely. For those, I use my Total Gym on steroids (Power Tower) at a rather low setting so that the weight pressed is only a fraction of the body weight.
For the minority who want to play sports or really challenge themselves? Deep squats are a must.
Ignore those who say the deep squats are bad for the knees- completely not true as long as the person progresses safely and at a good pace. Most injuries are results from people training improperly.
There are many gyms and programs using deep squats routinely regardless of the damage that can potentially occur by not using proper progression.
Again, we are not a regulated industry
Probably not...I like moderate weight with high 30/50 rep frontal squats...gives a great pump and increases heart rate.
I do deep squats whenever I pick up something from the floor; so, to stay strong for that, I will incorporate deep squats once in a while.
I do not do deep squats with maximum weight load.
I personally prefer the Goblet squats (w/ kettlebells or sandbags) and the pistols (one legged squats using a weighted plate, kettlebell, dumbbell or sandbag) than the traditional squats with the bar. As for when I train my clients, it depends on their fitness level, flexibility and/or any injuries they might have.