Did The Doctor Really Say You Can’t Squat?

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Category: Functional Fitness

Did The Doctor Really Say You Can’t Squat?

sports performance westchester

We hear this far too often from clients and athletes: “My Doctor said not to squat.”; it’s a phrase as old as time in strength & conditioning. Other phrases that are as old as time include “The earth is flat.”; “The sun revolves around the earth.”; and “Yes sir, you can smoke in the hospital.”…see where we’re going here?

Now folks, we want to make it clear that we aren’t questioning your doctor’s wisdom or knowledge. Doctors obviously know their stuff, and sometimes there really is a reason why they would want you to avoid the squat pattern altogether for a little while. However, most of the time, a no squatting policy is a just a big misunderstanding. They may not want you handling a spinal load, or may not want your bearing a ton of weight in the pattern, but that doesn’t mean that the motion itself is to be avoided. In fact, the movement is pretty unavoidable for most people. Do you plan on never sitting on a toilet again? Or never using a chair? Better find a new way to get out of bed while you’re at it, because all of these daily functional activities are going to involve some form or part of a squat. Furthermore, per our partners at Haven Physical Therapy and Sofos Chiropractic: “Most rehabilitation and pre-habilitation for the muscles of the leg involves some usage of the squat pattern”. Seems like “I’m not supposed to squat.” might not be the idea your doctor wanted you to have.

So what’s the answer to the confusion? Simple: Ask questions. Find out what your doctor really meant when he or she said to avoid squatting. Were you supposed to avoid a specific range of motion or resistance pattern? Because odds are, the answer is more specific than “Don’t squat.”. Even easier for you, make sure that you have a personal trainer, strength coach, or sports performance coach that will communicate with your doctor to find out what’s best for you. We know some guys who do this all the time…what? You didn’t think we’d get our plug in by the end?
Coach Craig Machado is Co-Owner of Massi-Machado Stength & Conditioning in Peekskill, White Plains, and Brewster New York. He and Coach Guy Massi work with clients and athletes all over Westchester and Putnam County New York and the surrounding areas.

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