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To Squat or Not to Squat?

Physical Therapy

At some point in our lives, we have all heard the saying “squatting is bad for your knees.” But have we ever stopped and wondered why such a normal movement pattern in day-to-day life is frowned down upon and recommended to avoid? Not only is squatting good for the knees, but it may also aid in reducing knee pain and improving function when performed correctly.

As compared to walking, squatting as well as stand-up and sit-down exercises can be utilized early in rehabilitation as the forces generated at the knee are generally lower than those while we are walking. This leads to greater strength gains earlier in rehabilitation, earlier return to independent and/or pain-free activities and improved outcomes following rehabilitation. Under the supervision of a qualified physical therapist, careful selection of functional exercises can be utilized to control the amount and location in which the knee is loaded for safe return to activities.


Van Rossom, S., Smith, C. R., Thelen, D. G., Vanwanseele, B., Van Assche, D., & Jonkers, I. (2018). Knee joint loading in healthy

adults during functional exercises: implications for rehabilitation guidelines. journal of orthopaedic & sports physical therapy48(3), 162-173.

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