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.