The MOVE by BJC Blog

The Perfect Squat

Friday, November 09, 2018

The squat is one of the most effective exercises on the planet. It works nearly every muscle in your body and burns tons of calories.

There are also many other benefits of the squat, it improves your strength, balance, endurance and work capacity. It can also improve your functional mobility and active flexibility. Finally, using the squat to develop all of these abilities has numerous practical applications in daily life: Trouble is, plenty are doing it wrong or are they?

If I asked five people of different age, size, and gender to do a squat chances are they would all look different. But does this mean that one is better than the other? The Perfect squat is a squat that doesn’t cause pain to the individual. I will never force a client into a certain position just because science says this is how it should be done. Forcing the body into an unnatural state may cause pain and force the body to start compensating for weaker areas, which will then turn into other issues that need attention.

I let my clients squat comfortably in a pain free range of motion while educating them on the benefits and purpose behind a squat. So my eighty-nine year old grandmothers’ (shhh) squat is not wrong if she can’t reach 90 degrees or lower nor is my twenty-one year old athlete who can squat until his glutes hit the floor.  And why are we stopping our squat at 90 degrees? Is this because our desk chair and every other chair in our house or at restaurants are set to 90 degrees and there’s no reason for us to go beyond that? As long as we continue to put limitations on our range of motion during daily activities our body will adapt to that range which is not good. I like to call this “glute amnesia”.

Our glutes have been shut off and have forgotten how to do what we need them to do with lack of muscled engagement and proper strengthening. An infant can do a perfect squat every time they sits or stands. Why? Because there have been no limitations put on range of motion. As long as the client is pain free while doing the movement, it is a “Perfect Squat”

- Bake McBride

Exercise Specialist​