5 Essential Insights on Squatting for Health and Performance Professionals

Sean Hiller
February 2, 2024
min read

Squatting - arguably the most fundamental human movement - is essential for coaches, physical therapists, chiropractors, and healthcare practitioners to understand and teach effectively. This article will explore the 5 things you need to know about squatting - highlighting its importance in both fitness regimes and daily life activities. Let's dive into these crucial insights.

1. Full Depth Squatting: A Must for Optimal Range of Motion

The longstanding debate between parallel squatting vs full depth squatting has led to many misconceptions. Squatting to full depth is crucial as neglecting this range of motion can result in losing strength, stability, and neuromuscular awareness in those ranges. Embrace full depth squatting to maintain and enhance your body's natural capabilities.

2. The Importance of Knee Position: Understanding the "Drive Your Knees Out" Cue

This common coaching cue is about more than just knee positioning; it's a call to activate hip external rotation for increased stability in the hips and lower back. This contraction creates a stable force to aid your primary squat muscles (adductor magnus and quads) in helping you stand up from the squat, creating a more effective and safer squat.

3. Toe Positioning: A Key Factor for Hip Stability

An often overlooked element of squatting, the position of your toes plays a significant role in what happens at the hips. Toes pointed straight forward facilitate the proper length and contraction of hip external rotators, crucial for stabilizing the hips and lower back during squatting. Overlooking toe positioning can lead to compromised stability and effectiveness in the squat.

4. Ankle Mobility: The Unsung Hero of Squat Depth

Contrary to popular belief, ankle mobility, more often than hips, can be the limiting factor in achieving full squat depth. Recognizing and addressing ankle restrictions is vital for improving overall squat performance and depth. While finding the limiting factor when it comes to mobility can be difficult for coaches, we cover this in depth in our educational courses (see more information below).

5. Squatting for Knee Health: A Misunderstood Benefit

The notion that squatting is harmful to the knees is a myth. In fact, squatting can be integral to maintaining knee health and independence, especially later in life. Regular squat training can be the key to preserving the ability to perform everyday activities as you age - even things as simple as standing up from a sitting position.


These insights underline the versatility and necessity of squatting for health and fitness professionals. Understanding these concepts can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your coaching or therapeutic practices. Squatting is not just a gym exercise; it's a fundamental movement that enhances our daily lives and long-term health.

Remember, enhancing what moves you goes beyond just lifting weights – it's about understanding and applying the right techniques and principles to all aspects of movement.

The Squat in Depth - An Educational Opportunity

Join us for an educational event at Vulcan Performance & Physical Therapy, titled "The Squat in Depth," on Saturday, February 24th, at 8 am CST. This comprehensive course will be held in-person at our Vulcan Performance facility in Mountain Brook, Alabama. There is also an option to join online live for those who prefer the comfort of their home. Designed to last 2 hours, this session is not just informative but also interactive.

We're excited to offer 2 Continuing Education Units (CUs)* for a diverse range of health professionals including coaches, trainers, physical therapists, chiropractors, physicians, and other health experts. The course is specifically tailored for physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, coaches, trainers, fitness professionals, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, chiropractors, physicians, and athletic trainers.

To ensure a hands-on experience, attendees should wear comfortable clothes and athletic shoes. The course includes practical sessions where you will have the opportunity to practice identifying and correcting improper form.

Don't miss this chance to deepen your understanding of squatting and enhance your professional skills. Whether you're a seasoned practitioner or new to the field, "The Squat in Depth" at Vulcan Performance & Physical Therapy offers valuable insights and practical knowledge for all. You can learn more or register now by clicking here: The Squat in Depth.


Sean Hiller