How squats can strengthen your knees

If you exercise regularly, or even if you don’t, you’ve probably heard that squatting can be hard on your knees. We’re here to debunk that myth. In fact, deep squatting has many benefits for the body, and can make the knee stronger and healthier! Don’t believe us? Read on!

What is a squat?

To start simply, a squat is an exercise that works the entire body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. You’ve probably seen or even practiced a parallel squat, when your thighs are parallel to the floor. A deep squat is a little lower, and according to, getting lower will work the muscles better.

Squats can help to strengthen the entire body – bones and muscles – and increase flexibility!

Sometimes I experience knee pain when squatting…

If you’re experiencing knee pain while squatting, it is probably due to poor form. Excessive knee movement puts more pressure on the knee, causing pain. Your hips should be the main focus while squatting, not your knees. Your feet should never come off the ground.

How can squats benefit my knees?

Squats are a great compound exercise for the entire body. They are beneficial to every muscle group and are not harmful to your knees, as long as you are practicing proper form. Deep squats allow the knee to move freely and when you squat

low, the contact between the back of the thigh and the calf reduce the knee joint forces.

According to a study done in 2013, “deep squats do not contribute to increased risk of injury to passive tissues.” The same study states that deep squatting will present more effective training and protect against injuries!

MedicineNet explains that the the thigh bone (femur) meets the large shin bone (tibia) and together, they form the main knee joint. It has an inner and outer compartment. The kneecap (patella) and femur form a third joint: the patellofemoral joint.

T-Nation clarifies that there is no discernible difference between three different squat depths with regards to patellofemoral joint reaction force and patellofemoral joint stress.

In short: deep squatting is not bad for your knees.

So, how can I deep squat?

Deep squatting is done at 110 degree angle, versus the 90 degree angle parallel squats are performed. Many trainers recommend perfecting your deep squats with Box Squats. See this article for a demonstration.

Call my office today if you would like some more information on how squatting can be beneficial to you.