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Fitness myths that need to go – pt. 1

I want dedicate the next few posts to dismantling a few of the prevalent fitness myths that I run across frequently.

For this post I want to talk about the myth that having your knees go over your toes is bad for you.

I’m not sure how this one started, but for whatever reason people think the first image of the woman shallow squatting is safer/better for the knees than the second picture depicting the deep squat.

Unless you have some type of structural or soft tissue damage in your knees, letting your knees track over your toes and go into deep flexion (knee bending) is perfectly fine.

Just look at a baby or an olympic power lifter as they both regularly go into a deep squat position

Now in all fairness, you could argue that babies and olympic lifters are exceptions to the rule for the average adult.

But let’s remove the squat position for a second. Think about walking down the stairs…

Consider where the knee is in relationship to the toes as the foot lifts off (see picture above). The knee is WAY over the toes. This is a great example of how it’s common, normal, and perfectly safe for the knee to track forward. Let’s not make some random rule for squatting that doesn’t actually carry over to real life biomechanics.

Now if you prefer a shallow squat there is nothing wrong with that. If you have a history of knee issues, understand you may have some limitations. But in general, we should perform exercises and lift weights in the fullest range that we can safely execute. For many healthy athletes and adults, this means you can feel free to squat deep and get the fullest range possible.