Squatting...What Do I Do with My Knees?

There has been a lot of recent discussion about how we squat; feet wide, feet narrow, toes in or toes out, knees in or out..... I am relieved to see this dialogue has switched form the old "you shouldn't squat argument".

In my coaching each person's squat stance and setup is as unique to the lifter as their fingerprint and in the early stages of training life very dynamic as well meaning that as mobility/flexibility/stability change so may their stance. I do have some basic rules that I live by when figuring out someone's squat. One of my Golden Rules that I always preach is "KNEES OUT!!!" You can hear me yell this at my lifters from across the gym even if they are keeping their knees out.

So why am I such a stickler for this one coaching cue, especially if you watch Youtube clips of some of the greats; Pyrros Dimmas, Pocket Hercules, Klokov and in the bottom of a squat when they start out of the hole their knees whip in? My answer is very simple these guys are strong you are not and I want to save your knee. In the squat if the knee travels inward out of the hole it can put unneeded stress on the meniscus (the shock absorbing cartilage of the knee). I usually imagine the knee joint just chewing off pieces of this cartilage. Now the degree to which someone's knee can travel in before damage occurs will be different for each lifter.

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