Squats have been a huge part of physical fitness for years. We incorporate them into our gym routines and rehabilitation exercises, but are they being performed correctly? This is a topic that's hotly debated in the physical fitness world right now, so I'm sure you've heard many differing opinions.
From a physical therapy view, "functional squatting" (or PRI squatting) is essential for proper biomechanics of everyday activities, not just squatting. Every time you sit down into a chair, you're doing a mini squat. Want to properly pick up that laundry basket from the floor? You'll hopefully use a squat with proper form to do it. That being said, there's a big difference between a functional squat and something you may perform at the gym. Being able to proper functional squat is essential to master before any gym-type or weighted squatting begins.
At one point in time, we can all squat correctly- it's an essential part of our gross motor development from infancy. Next time you're around a toddler that's in your family or out at the park, watch them. They're a perfect example of how we should all be able to squat, regardless of age.
Overtime we tend to the ability to do this correctly for many reasons - orthopedic surgeries that change our joint structure or range of motion, poor posture, poorly aligned musculoskeletal system, poor squat training, etc. At Integrate 360, we use a squat test as a tool to assess a patient's musculoskeletal position and flexibility. We then use it to help guide our therapy. If our patient's cannot do this, they'll have faulty form during a multitude of normal everyday activities that can keep them from fully healing or becoming pain-free.
Lori Thomsen, a physical therapist at The Hruska Clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska, created a great YouTube video further describing the importance of this. You can watch it here.
Can't do this? Call Integrate 360 PT at 314-733-5000 and let's us show you why as well as how. This will help to eliminate your pain or avoid any future pain issues.