As you’re probably aware the 30-day squat challenge has been a hot topic of many young women (and men) for the past few years. With before and after photos of people who have taken on the challenge plastered all over Instagram with their seemingly flawless new bod. The beauty of the squat challenge is it’s free and can be done in the comfort of your own home. However, a lot of people are unaware that if squatting is done incorrectly it can cause both long and short-term damage to your body.
Here are just some of the many injuries that can occur if your squatting incorrectly;
Sore Knees – sore muscle joints of supporting tendons and ligaments respond poorly to excessive and repetitive movements.
IT Band Pain – pain on the outside of the knee, this is thought to be caused by repeated friction of the tendons.
Shin Splints – cause pain in the shin, increases risk of stress fractures.
Plantar Fasciitis – pain that occurs in the heel and sometimes all the way up to the arch on the foot.
Hip Bursitis – a result of inflammation of the bursa on the outside of the hip. This can become tender to touch and can give people difficulty walking.
Tips on how to do a proper squat without injuring yourself;
- Warm up first
- Keep your back straight
- Toes turned out (25-30°)
- Wider stance (just outside shoulder width)
- Knees pushed out to be in line with feet (ensuring that they never go over your toes)
- Don’t allow your knees to bend inside or outside of the position
- Give your muscles a break
If you learn how to do squats properly and allow your body to rest when it’s required, you can nearly eliminate the risk of injury. Here are some of the benefits of squatting when you know how;
Builds muscles in your entire body
Squats can help increase muscle in your legs, back, backside and even your arms/shoulders if you choose to squat with weights, giving you a full body work out.
Makes real-life activities easier
Functional exercises can help your body react better to real life activity. For example, if you’re not active you may find tasks like walking up more than two flights of stairs quite challenging, but for an active person, it would be a breeze.
Maintain mobility and balance
Strong legs are incredibly important for staying mobile as you get older. Squats are also great for increasing leg and core strength which can improve communication between your brain and muscles making your balance better.
Squatting incorrectly can cause injury, but squatting correctly can do the opposite and prevent injuries. Most athletic injuries are caused by weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissue, all of which squats help strengthen.
Squatting is a great way to tone your legs, bum and tum. Few exercises work as many muscles as the squat making it a great toner.