9 Popular Squat Myths

9 Popular Squat Myths
9 Popular Squat Myths

Video: 9 Popular Squat Myths

Video: Fix Your Squat - 3 Squat Myths That Need To Die 2022, December

Contents Thesis 1: Exercise is very harmful to the knees Thesis 2: Squats provoke the occurrence of arthrosis, arthritis, osteochondrosis Thesis 3: Squats with weights - the reason for slowing growth in adolescents Thesis 4: During squats, the knees should not go beyond the socks Thesis 5: Squats negate the dream of a thin waist 6: Squats provoke the occurrence of sciatica Thesis 7: Squats increase the volume of the buttocks Thesis 8: Without squats, it is impossible to find a relief buttocks Thesis 9: Squats are an exercise for the legs only


Squats are one of the most useful and effective exercises, provided you do them correctly. Why do you need to squat every day, and what myths about squatting should not be believed? By MedAboutMe.

Thesis 1: Exercise is very bad for the knees

And it really is - if you neglect technique. But the same can be said for other similar exercises. For example, about the lunge of the legs. If the knee of the non-working leg touches the floor surface only slightly, everything will be fine, and if you push hard, problems cannot be avoided. So it is with squats.

If an athlete observes the technique, trains, gradually increasing the load, then from the load he will receive only "bonuses", and if in a hurry, unprepared squats with a weight several times higher than his own, pain in the knees and injuries are very likely.


Squats cannot be performed without the consent of a doctor for people who are overweight. Since in this case the load on the joints, muscles and knees is very significant.

Expert commentary Ksenia Belousova, expert personal trainer, has over 6 years of experience in fitness, master of sports in powerlifting

Squatting is a basic exercise that involves many muscles: gluteal, front thigh. The muscles of the core are also statically tense. Bodyweight squats can do everything without exception. Barbell squats give more effective results, but in addition to axial loads. Therefore, here we have, as a consequence, contraindications for people with diseases of the musculoskeletal system and the spine.

The simplest rules to start squatting are:

- be sure to warm up before squats, - keep your back straight, - take the pelvis back as much as possible, - try not to leave your knees behind your socks, this will reduce the load on your knees,

- the movement of the pelvis must be done back and down, - descend to parallel or lower, whichever allows you to stretch.

If you can squat with a barbell:

- the bar must be kept below the seventh cervical vertebra, on the trapezius muscles, - remove the bar from the racks and always do it back 2-3 steps, so you can see the racks and the place where to put the bar, - be sure to look up or in front of you, this will help keep your back straight, - carefully select the load.

Thesis 2: Squats provoke the occurrence of arthrosis, arthritis, osteochondrosis

Research published in the American edition of Sports Medicine in 2013 showed that the high risks of injury and degenerative disease when performing even deep squats is nothing more than a myth. “The increased risks of joint wear and, as a consequence, arthrosis and osteochondrosis turned out to be unfounded,” the scientists concluded.

Did you know?

Other studies have shown that athletes who practiced the double squat below the parallel of the knees had stronger knee joints compared to those who practiced the shallow squat.

Thesis 3: Weighted Squats Cause Stunted Teens

This is one of the most controversial and controversial judgments in medicine. Of course, weightlifting "pressing" exercises can be the cause of growth retardation in adolescents, but only if other physiological factors contribute to this, for example, dysfunction of the thyroid gland, problems in the functioning of the endocrine system, a slowdown in metabolism, etc.

The American Pediatric Association has made an official statement that proper strength training does not have an obvious negative effect on the linear growth and cardiovascular system of adolescents. Experts looked at studies from the 1980s and 2008s, which led them to conclude: “Well-managed, controlled strength training can help children and adolescents of all athletic abilities to safely increase strength and improve overall health. The benefits of such training far outweigh the potential risks, especially at a time when the problem of childhood obesity is acute.


The practice of leading athletes shows that squats are a versatile exercise that can help improve performance in a wide variety of sports. It has been proven that by practicing squats, you can run faster and jump further.

Expert commentary Valeria Barchenko, head of the medical center

In addition to the classic squats, there are other variations of this exercise aimed at working out certain muscles:

Squats with legs wide apart (the lines of the feet form a right angle) - working out the inner thigh. Squats are done in half. Squats, with the legs together and the feet touching, result in a toned glute and outer thigh. Cross-legged squats train your glutes. Squats on one leg (the second is extended forward) - significantly increase the load on the body, teach you to redistribute and balance. Such exercises are more difficult to perform, therefore good physical shape and preparation is necessary. Squats with weights - help you more effectively get fit and lose extra pounds. Thesis 4: When squatting, the knees should not go beyond the toes.

Fitness instructors of group programs most often insist on this, since it is necessary to teach trainees to squat as quickly as possible, making this process as safe as possible. If you do not pull the toes behind the knees, then the amplitude of the squat will be greatly reduced, which really prevents injury to the knees and joints if the athlete takes on the scales. But for a trained person who knows how to squat and have been training with free weights for a long time, this recommendation is not relevant.


The only exercise that can become an alternative to squats in terms of the degree of involvement in the work of different muscle groups is "deadlift".

Thesis 5: Squats negate the dream of a thin waist

Squats, just like abdominal exercises, do not increase the waist, but work on its relief. During the exercise, the abdominal muscles are strengthened, the press progresses. If there is excess fat on the stomach, the waist may actually become wider, but over time this "side effect" will disappear - due to the burning of fat, the abs will become more prominent and the waist thinner. The secret of a narrow waist is simple - systematic training and a low percentage of body fat.

Did you know?

If we talk about professional athletes who constantly exercise, they have an enlarged waist - a likely scenario if they adhere to a calorie surplus and during the deadlift take on weights of at least 1.5 body weight. Training in a different mode and with lower weights does not affect the athlete's waist.

Thesis 6: Squats provoke the onset of sciatica

This myth extends not only to squats, but other exercises that involve the lower back.It should be borne in mind that the squats themselves, inclinations with a barbell, lifting the barbell to the chest or "deadlift" do not have a damaging effect on the lumbar muscles and the spine. Factors such as improper technique, non-observance of precautions, multiple approaches and heavy weights threaten their health - that is, situations in which both the spine and long back muscles are forced to work with prohibitive efforts.

It is interesting!

Studies show that squats work better on the abdominal muscles than the crunches familiar to many athletes. Therefore, if you want to build abs with cubes, squat more often!

Expert commentary Lyubov Kitchenko, personal fitness trainer

Squats are a good all-around exercise, but as with any load, you need to approach them wisely and with the right technique. This exercise loads the front and back of the thigh, the buttocks to a certain extent, and the muscles of the core (center of the body), especially if the exercise is performed with weight.

Thanks to squats, you can make the muscles of the legs strong and relief, strengthen the whole body. It is also a training for the brain and central nervous system: they learn to perform complex movements, and you learn to control your body, making it beautiful and functional.

You cannot squat after recent surgeries, injuries to the knee and hip joints, if there is a chronic inflammatory process in the spine and joints, and most importantly, if there is pain. In such cases, be sure to consult a doctor.

Squats don't need to be rushed. As a reward for gradualism, you will receive beautiful legs, strong abs, coordination and strength. Common mistakes during the exercise:

- round back, - relaxed belly, - reliance on toes, - knees protrude over the toes, - the tailbone "bites" on the floor, - knees fall inward with an X, - a strong bend instead of squats, - holding your breath.

Thesis 7: Squats increase the volume of the buttocks

If an athlete decides to squat so that his buttocks become more voluminous and acquire a seductive shape, then he may be disappointed. Squats, like any other exercise, cannot do "everything" out of nothing - they will improve the shape of the buttocks, make them more elastic, pump up muscles, which will make the hips appear more rounded, but they cannot go against genetics. If the athlete is naturally “flat buttocks”, the changes will be insignificant.


To reach your goals faster and improve the shape of the buttocks, squats should be deep - during the exercise, the thighs should touch the calves of the legs. Studies using electromyography have shown that deep squats are several times more effective than half squats when it comes to shaping your buttocks. Conversely, if there is no such goal, do not go below knee level and do not spread your legs wide, then the load on the gluteal muscles will be minimal.

Thesis 8: Without squats, it is impossible to find relief buttocks.

If an athlete has health contraindications for performing squats, this does not mean that he can forget about the beautiful shape of the buttocks. There are many exercises that can be great alternatives. These are leg presses, lunges, swings, lifting the pelvis while lying on your back, deadlift on straight legs and more.

Did you know?

Squats increase flexibility, keep your posture flat, your belly flat, and your glutes rounded. This is a great exercise if you want to maintain your beauty and body mobility into old age.

Expert commentary Alina Romashova, running trainer, CCM 800 and 1500 m, organizer of sports camps

Bikini season is very close, so you should pay attention to the buttocks. This exercise will help us - squat. When doing the exercise, be sure to follow the technique! In order not to pump up too much and not to aggravate the state of health.What should you pay attention to when doing this exercise?

1. Knees. Make sure that the joint does not move in different directions when performing a squat.

2. The pelvis. At the time of the squat itself, we move the pelvis back so that the knee does not go beyond the toe.

3. Loins. When doing exercises with weights, we monitor the deflection in the lower back. You shouldn't bend or arch too much, your back stays in a natural position.

And finally, when getting up, we slightly tuck the pelvis at the end of the exercise, we do not straighten the knees to the end.

If you are a beginner, then it is better to start work gradually and preferably without weight, but do it regularly. This will make it possible for your ligamentous apparatus to get stronger. If you are a runner, then bodyweight work is best for you. The secret of a high-quality result is the obligatory keeping of a training diary, in which you will note the degree of load and your condition. If you follow the above recommendations, a beautiful and healthy body is guaranteed to you.

Thesis 9: Squat - Exercise for Legs Only

Squats are considered multifunctional exercises. During the load, the quadriceps muscles, calves and hamstrings are included in the work, while the rest of the muscles progress. The production of growth hormone and testosterone increases, the body is nourished with anabolic steroids, which contributes to building muscle mass.

The more muscle mass in the body, the more calories will be burned during exercise, and the faster a person can lose weight. This is why squats are also called weight loss exercises.


If you exercise regularly by doing full squats, you can develop your leg muscles. Thus, you can more easily endure prolonged loads during active rest and exercise, forget about the feeling of heaviness in your legs after a hard day at work.

Expert commentary Yuri Konstantinovich Glazkov, Ph.D., traumatologist-orthopedist, doctor of joints, full member of ESSKA, AAOS, ASTAOR, ATOR

Squats are one of the three most important basic exercises in heavy sports, along with the chest press and deadlift. Not a single athlete, professional or beginner, will pass them. This exercise is one of those that help to quickly build muscle mass, since several groups of large muscles are involved here at once: the hips, back, buttocks, calves, and abdomen are working.

Squats, on the other hand, are number one among the most traumatic exercises. You need to squat correctly, observing the technique of execution from and to. For some people, this exercise is completely contraindicated: these are patients with arthrosis of the knee or hip joint and diseases of the spine.

To avoid harmful effects on the joints, do not squat too deep, avoid improper range of motion and rotation of the body, do not "fold" your knees inward and do not rush to build up weights. Otherwise, it can overload the articular cartilage, damage the ligaments and menisci inside the knee.

Women are better off starting squats without weights. Men who have never trained before can take a starting barbell weight of 15 kg. You need to perform eight repetitions and do three approaches with an interval of 1-2 minutes. Weight gain should be done slowly and gradually. Don't chase big gains and don't jerk squats. This will increase the load not on the muscles, but on the spine and connective tissue structures, which is fraught with injury.

Expert commentary Lyubov Kitchenko, personal fitness trainer

If you plan to include barbell squats in your workout, you need to see a neurologist or orthopedist, as weight on your shoulders exacerbates muscle imbalances and posture disorders - such as scoliosis - that may not yet be felt.The doctor will see them, assess the perspective and answer the question, what is the benefit or harm to squats for you now. If everything is okay, first train without weight, accustoming the brain, central nervous system and body to a new pattern of movement. It is great during the exercise to hold the wand / mop on outstretched arms in front of you, then train the rotation of the wand behind the back and back, while remaining in the squat. This is easier said than done for many! When you can skillfully and confidently perform 3 sets x 25 squats without weight during a week of training, you can pick up dumbbells or small plates, gradually increasing the load. The bar on the shoulders can be put on after 2-3 months of regular training, having learned the technique, well strengthening the back and core, as they will bear a serious load. An empty bar weighs 15-20 kg - in a hurry, it is easy to exchange embossed legs for a sore back.

Expert commentary Zhanna Galanskaya, personal trainer, sports nutritionist, blogger

The value of squats is that they are often used in everyday life, and the skill of performing them correctly is necessary in everyday life. Squats are mistakenly considered glute exercises. This is a basic multi-joint exercise that, in one role or another, involves all the large muscles of the body: the muscles of the back, legs, abs and gluteal muscles.

Well-developed neuromuscular connections are required to perform the squat correctly. Since the beginner's coordination is poorly developed, it is necessary to begin squatting without additional weights. And only after confidently performing the exercise in the correct technique with your own body weight, you can take dumbbells or a barbell. A contraindication for performing squats is pain in the spine or one of the joints (usually the knee).

It is not recommended to squat on their own for people with health limitations. These restrictions include diseases of the musculoskeletal system (hernias, protrusions, arthritis, etc.), vascular diseases of the lower extremities (varicose veins, hemorrhoids), diabetes, etc. In these cases, the implementation of any exercise, not just squats, should be carried out under the supervision of a competent trainer.

It is very important to remember that the goal of any exercise and any workout is to develop certain skills that will allow a person to stay healthy and strong for longer. Therefore, unlike professional sports, the load and intensity of squats in fitness should be adequate to the state of health and lifestyle.

Expert commentary Irina Elizarova, Qigong teacher

What about squats? From an aesthetic point of view, this exercise forms a relief, adds volume to the muscles of the thigh, lower leg and buttocks. For beginners, in order to prevent the destruction of the kneecaps, you need to squat to a right angle.

We get up, feet shoulder-width apart, feet parallel to each other. Inhale - arms forward, squat, do not lift the heels off the floor, linger in this position, then exhale. We slowly get up, lower our arms along the body, to the starting position. We perform slowly and smoothly, without jerking.

We start with no more than 8 times, 2-3 sets. Smoothly increasing the load on subsequent workouts up to 20 times each approach.

There are contraindications for exercising: cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the veins, joints, problems with blood pressure, diabetes mellitus.

Andrey Eronin, musician, has developed a personal system of nutrition and physical training

Squats are a basic exercise for anyone looking for shapely legs and a toned butt. By the way, anticipating jokes about beautiful male buttocks, I clarify: a well-formed "fifth point" is the basis of a person's balance in upright posture and the main condition for maintaining a healthy spine. Legs are the largest muscle group, and squats should use all of them.

Thus, the load on the body is large and the exchange of energy is large.By all the rules, the main load in the exercise should fall on the exhalation. It means: we sit down - inhale, get up - exhale. We always push off with our heels, arch our back, and direct our gaze just above the parallel of the eyes. This is important because it helps to keep your back correct.

We do 3 sets of 15 times with breaks, or 3 sets of 20. Squat shallowly, working out exactly the muscles of the buttocks and thighs. This is especially important for men, because along with the increase in energy metabolism, the release of testosterone is also stimulated.

Expert commentary Sardor Rakhimov, sports coach, instructor

Squats are a basic exercise that is part of the training programs for amateur and professional athletes. Who can and can't squat?

Squatting is not recommended for people with back problems and flat feet. With flat feet, it is necessary to train with orthopedic insoles to avoid deformation of the knee and hip joints.

What do squats give.

is a universal exercise that puts a load on all muscle groups, - improves blood circulation in the body, - improves posture, - for men, squats make the leg muscles more prominent and stronger, for women they help get rid of breeches, strengthen the gluteal muscles, - with good physical preparation, 100 squats a day for 8 weeks will help to increase muscle mass, strengthen the knee joint, - for men, squats are a great way to increase testosterone levels, - contribute to the acceleration of metabolism and weight loss.

How to start squatting?

The main rule is to do squats with an instructor or at least looking in the mirror. It is important to control the position of the back and the depth of the squat. Incorrect squats can lead to injury. The back should be straight. The knees should move towards the foot to avoid injury to the joints.

The load is determined individually. Do not forget to stretch and warm up your muscles before squats. Start with 10 squats of 3 sets if you've never trained before. Increase the load gradually. Remember that you should not experience any pain during exercise. After training, you should have strength, you do not need to do squats until you are completely tired.

Expert commentary Valeria Barchenko, head of the medical center

Thanks to squats, a whole group of muscles is involved in the body: the back corset, calves, outer and inner thighs, buttocks. With the correct squat technique (with arms extended forward), this muscle group is also trained. From all of the above, we can conclude that squats are an excellent way to maintain physical fitness. In addition, squatting involves the hip, ankle and knee joints, which is especially important for people leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Squats are not only strength training, but also anaerobic. During the exercise, the work of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems improves.

In combination with proper nutrition, squats help you lose weight, get a beautiful and fit shape of your legs and buttocks, and even get a pumped-up stomach and correct posture.

Another plus of squats is accessibility for most people. You can squat at home, outdoors, and even in the office! In general, you will not spend large sums on improving your physical condition if you exercise regularly and correctly.

Like any type of physical activity, squats have not only a list of indications, but also contraindications. In particular, people with various diseases of the spine, joints (knees, etc.), after surgery, with cardiovascular problems, it is necessary to start squatting under the supervision of an exercise therapy doctor or a fitness trainer. Again, in order for squats to be beneficial, they must be done correctly.

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