Have you ever been told that letting your knees go over toes is bad for your knees? Dangerous, even?
Well, I regret to inform you that it’s not. As a matter of fact, this myth may actually cause more problems than it solves.
|Once upon a time, a long, long, time ago…|
|A study showed that knees traveling over toes increased torque at the knee, and therefore was bad for you knees. They weren’t wrong, the torque at the knee increases as the knee travels over toes. HOWEVER as we’ll discuss shortly, this does NOT make it bad for your knees and in many ways may actually be better…|
|Knees over toes is SAFE and promotes STRONG and ROBUST knees...|
|Schoenfeld (2010) showed that knees over toes increased torque 22% through the knees. HOWEVER, stopping the knees from moving over toes increased torque at the hips and low back 1070%… Not a great trade-off if you ask me.|
What this doesn’t account for is the increased engagement and recruitment of our quads when the knees travel over toes. Strong quads are a fundamental component to knee function and stability!
|Peak compressive forces at the knee occur at 90 degrees of knee flexion (squatting to parallel)...|
|Keeping knees behind toes greatly reduces the depth of the squat, limiting the depth of the squat to around 90 degrees of knee flexion… which coincidentally happens to create the highest compressive forces at the knee.|
|Learning a little something from weightlifters…|
|Grzelak (2012) demonstrated that high performance weightlifters had ACL and PCL ligaments that were 2-4x thicker than your average joe. What do weightlifters have in common? KNEES OVER TOES and ASS TO GRASS squats. A true thing of beauty…|
With all that being said, in cases where knees over toes causes pain, TEMPORARILY altering mechanics may allow you to continue strengthening through an injury. But is not a long term solution.
Don’t quite have the mobility to get all the way down yet? Prop your heels up on a wedge, dumbbells, or make use of that massive text book you bought back in college which you haven’t opened since!
If pain is holding you back or you’d like to learn how to move better and let go of those restrictions holding you back, Reach Out To Us to see how we can best help you achieve your goals! Click here if you’d like to set up a Movement and Mobility Assessment!