Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Re-learning proper squatting technique in further detail

Friday's post led to extended discussion and debate over proper technique. Today, Brian clarifies his position.

Re-learning proper squatting technique in further detail

0 comments
Travel Deals

My recent article and the subsequent comments presented show some of the difference in opinions when it comes to squatting. I appreciate the responses and discussion and would like to clarify a few things.

First off, to clarify, I DO teach people to squat with their backs rounded, not extended. I have learned these methods form the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) and once I incorporated these techniques, I found my athletes/clients were healthier. Even if you do not agree that the spine should be rounded, most would agree that the back should NOT be extended or arched. An extended back clearly increases your risk of back injury.

Let’s separate 2 parts of the article. First, the picture at the end (below) shows a deep squat with the back rounded. This is an excellent position to learn how to squat properly. It allows you to stretch when you incorporate deep breathing and extended holds. I would not place a heavy weight over her head in this position, but if she was using a vest or dumbbells, she could perform squats.

More coverage
 
You're squatting all wrong — learning the proper technique

When you perform a squat with a bar on your shoulders, you should not extend or arch your spine. If you do you will likely injure yourself.  As you descend, I advocate dropping your hips so that your back rounds, exhale fully, then maintain a rounded back when ascending. When you exhale fully and breathe properly with your diaphragm, you will allow your transverse abdominus and internal obliques to fire correctly. You will have a symmetrical pelvis. With back extension or an arched back, you will have an anterior tilted pelvis, overactive erector spinae and Psoas/ hip flexors, and will not fire your core stabilizing muscle. This increases the stress to the low back.

A rounded back does not increase the risk of injury, an extended back does. The first 7 minutes of the video does an excellent job showing how much the back should be rounded. In the video, they call it a “neutral” spine, I call it rounded. Regardless of what you call it, the technique presented in the video is what I advocate. The video also posts incorrect techniques in which you can clearly see the back arched.

Some people are not going to change their opinions of squatting, but if you are on the fence try this experiment: if you can perform a deep squat, look in a mirror, fully arch your back and rise up.

Then perform the same deep squat and round your back (you may need to drop your hips and/or reach forward to achieve this) while you exhale fully. Now rise up with your weight through your heels and use your glutes. If performed correctly, you will likely feel less stress on your back when your back is rounded.

The methods I present from PRI are not mainstream, but I encourage you to consider how we began squatting with a rounded back as toddlers and how most people around the world squat every day to live. Why as we age and add weights would we suddenly attempt to reverse this? 


Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.
Partner at Symetrix Sports Performance
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

J. Ryan Bair, PT, DPT, SCS Founder and Owner of FLASH Sports Physical Therapy, Board Certified in Sports Physical Therapy
Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Partner at Symetrix Sports Performance
Ellen Casey, MD Physician with Drexel University Sports Medicine
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Head Team Physician for Phillies & St. Joe's; Rothman Institute
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Justin D'Ancona Philly.com
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Head Team Physician for Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon for Flyers; Rothman Institute
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director of The Center For Sport Psychology; Sports Psychology Consultant for 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Team Physician for USA Wrestling, Consultant for Phillies; Rothman Institute
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer, The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Brian Maher, BS, CSCS Owner, Philly Personal Training
Julia Mayberry, M.D. Attending Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Main Line Hand Surgery P.C.
Jim McCrossin, ATC Strength and Conditioning Coach, Flyers and Phantoms
Gavin McKay, NASM-CPT Founder/Franchisor, Unite Fitness
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales and Hatfield, PA
Kelly O'Shea Senior Producer, Philly.com
Tracey Romero Sports Medicine Editor, Philly.com
David Rubenstein, M.D. Sports Medicine Surgeon, Rothman Institute
Robert Senior Event coverage, Sports Doc contributor
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Athletic Trainer for US Soccer Federation; Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute
Thomas Trojian MD, CAQSM, FACSM Associate Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine at Drexel University
Latest Videos
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter