Many people are not comfortable squatting and do not incorporate it into their regular workout routines for a number of reasons. It may be a lack of awareness of its benefits, lack of education of proper form, or for others, they may suffer from hip pain and believe they can’t squat. Truth be told, if you suffer from general hip pain or discomfort, not only can you squat, but you should as this exercise can play a key role in your recovery.
Squat technique is endlessly debated and mostly centers around the depth of the squat, where pressure is distributed though the foot or how wide apart your feet should be. The good news is, everyone can find a safe way to perform this exercise as long the understanding is that “one size does not fit all” and the correct range of motion varies from person to person. That said, keeping the squat controlled is the most important element of all.
You Can Increase Your Exercise Efficiency
When done properly, squat sets not only help with therapy, they also increase strength and overall cardiovascular fitness. Full body exercises such as the squat increase natural hormone release and are a great stimulus for muscle growth. Research shows that squatting is effective at preparing the body for activities requiring power output, strength, and speed.
The Squat is a Fitness Level Indicator
Squatting is a task that requires both trunk stability and mobility. Ankles, knees, and hips must flex while the core has to remain strong to maintain an upright torso. The squat is a functional movement—maybe not sexy to athletes, but crucial for avoiding injury due to pressure on the back or knees. Your patients benefit from this full body coordination.
You Will Strengthen Your Body
On average, Americans sit for more hours per day than they sleep! Sitting is affecting our physical anatomy and may be a factor in your patients’ hip pain. Poor cervical positioning, posterior pelvic tilt, little core strength, tight hamstrings, and an anterior femoral head position are the main afflictions of sitting all day. We have to correct these impairments with proper exercise.
Again, squatting requires core stability, and can strengthen the posterior chain. By breaking parallel with the thighs during a squat, the glutes and hamstrings can be fully recruited in order for this strengthening to occur. Hamstrings have been thought to be a fast-twitch muscle group, but they actually display a balanced fiber type leaning slightly toward more slow-twitch fibers. Utilizing this muscle group will go a long way toward helping your patients build endurance and reduce hip pain.