Are you familiar with the age-old guideline of “not letting your knees go past your toes” while performing certain exercises such as squatting? Most of us who have performed squats or lunges in an exercise setting or even played sports in our younger years have likely been taught this at some point in time. Have you ever thought about the same guidelines when descending stairs? Give it a try next time you take the stairs and realize how silly something deemed as “dangerous” in an exercise setting is naturally performed during everyday movements!
Most modern or “staple” exercises often place strict and rigid constraints on the way we are “allowed” to move. We are taught not to deviate out of strict planes, not to let our knees move here or our elbows move there, but has anyone stopped to ask why? The myth behind this is that when your knees go over your toes, it puts more pressure on your joints and increases the chance of injury. If done correctly, the knee is able to handle more weight pressure than believed and realistically, allowing your knees to go over your toes will be no problem for healthy knees.
Instead of practicing movements solely for workouts and placing unnatural limitations on the natural movement systems that our bodies are capable of, why don’t we encourage exploration of the incredible ranges of motion that we’re meant to move through? After all, research shows that stress placed on tendons/ligaments, with a proper amount of load, will work to improve the resiliency of our bodies, NOT damage them. With that being said, there are of course better ways to move with certain exercises, including optimal positioning for joints and ensuring all target musculature is active, keeping movements safe and getting the most “bang for your buck”. But it’s time we re-examine what we thought we knew about the way we move.
Renew physiotherapists, located inside O2 Fitness, are movement experts and are here to work with you in addressing any limitation or restriction you feel is holding you back from peak performance this Spring. The better you feel, the better you perform; so schedule an appointment or free screening today!