It is clear that when it comes to the health and fitness sector, squatting will always be an important movement not just in your workout routine, but in everyday life in general.
As more and more people are really getting into health and fitness, more and more people are converting to the single leg exercise life. This is all good and well, but it is equally important to include double leg squatting into your workout regime.
Just because squatting is popular, does not mean that it is easily done. No, squatting does come with a lot of errors – the two biggest culprits being your knees collapsing inwards or your hips tucking right under.
That’s right, these errors all come down to form. So here, we are going to talk about just how to avoid these errors and to make sure that your form is as good as it can be.
Knees Collapsing In: Why Does This Happen? And, How To Stop It
So, let’s start with the direct cause of your knees collapsing in. We need to first of all make our definition of knees collapsing in absolutely clear. We are not talking about any kind of inward drop of the knee, also commonly referred to as a knock kneed position.
If this tends to be your usual squatting technique then a mere pushing your knees out will fix this for you.
When we talk about knees collapsing in, we are talking about those who squat with their knees pushed out as hard as possible for the entire time.
The difference with these people is that they will not be able to stop a slight inward movement of their knees at the bottom of their range of motion. This problem is all to do with the altering role of the musculature that is involved.
When it comes to range of motion, it is true that this plays a big impact in the way that you squat. But this is not something that you should be too worried about.
This is because in some cases there can be a very slight, almost undetectable movement of the knees – and this is okay.
But, if there is a really noticeable inward movement of the knees right at the bottom of the squat then this is something that needs to be rectified as a means of preventing future problems.
The solution here is arguably very simple: you need to strengthen the deep external rotators of the hip. There are a variety of different single-leg exercises that will really help you to do this – one of the best ones is the lateral mini-band walk.
You should notice a big difference in the strength of your deep external rotators around the hip area.
Hips Tucking Under: Why Does This Happen? And, How To Stop It
In comparison to knees collapsing in, hips tucking under really receive so much more attention. This was actually something that was attributed to individuals with short hamstrings, but there is another overriding factor that will impact the hips a lot more than short hamstrings.
This factor is the adductors. This would make logical sense as the adductor magnus also has attachment near the hamstring region, so on the whole, this does seem to be the real problem here.
Someone might have pointed out to you that when you squat, that one of your hips will continue down a little lower than the other. This would be an indicator of your hips tucking under.
You might find yourself panicking as to why exactly this is. Well, you might very well have unilaterally tight adductors. Or, you could even be suffering from a lack of hip mobility. An alternative culprit could even be CAM impingement.
When it comes to discussing CAM impingement, this is all to do with the head or the neck offset of the femur. In this case the head or the neck offset of the femur would be decreased.
So, this means that instead of having a femoral head that is very distinctively sphere-shaped, your femoral head would actually look much more like a thickened peg that just extends from the femoral shaft.
What happens during hip flexion is that the femoral head will rotate with the acetabulum, aka the hip joint. Then when you reach a certain point of hip flexion, the hood of the acetabulum will slip over the edge of the femoral head and it will move to the femoral neck.
This can be classed as the bony limitation to the hip flexion. Here’s the thing, if there is actually no femoral head or neck offset then actually, the acetabulum will have nowhere to go over the head.
Either of these things can end up having pretty significant training implications. Here’s the thing, in a n ideal world everyone would be able to squat to the same depth and this would eradicate the problem.
Unfortunately, we are not in said ideal world. It is important to illustrate that those with limited hip flexion who try to squat deeper than their anatomy will permit them to, are going to ultimately tuck their hips under at the bottom.
Ultimately, this will lead to lumbar flexion under a heavy load. The key is for us to really be able to obtain a much more concrete understanding of the hip joint.
As our understanding of the hip joint really advances then we will be able to work out that the causes of these injuries are not just down to genetic makeup.
They are not an abnormality. These injuries can just happen because of repetition of these long-lasting maneuvering impairments.
You will be pleased to know that there is actually a relatively easy fix for hip tucking. Let us introduce you to the box squat. This is where you should start the box right at a height which will let you do a full squat – this should be parallel to the top of your thigh.
If there is any kind of undesired hip movement then you should move to a higher box. This method will really help the athlete to build their own awareness, and teaching squat depth actually becomes pretty easy.
This means that squat depth can ultimately become something that is implemented to really help avoid some of the injuries that can become associated with abnormal hip movement.