When we think of squat, we think of an “exercise”, but in reality we are squatting all the time in our every day lives. If we are doing this with non-authentic movement patterns, then we are setting ourselves up to generate low back problems.
A squat is a complex movement pattern, that requires stability and mobility of the core, low back, hips, knees, and ankles.
Compare a good and bad squat. In the bad squat, the knees buckle, there is no mobility of the hips, which causes instability of the lower spine. In the good squat, because there is stability and mobility of the ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders, there is no inappropriate force on the low back.
A squat is not just an exercise, it is a basic movement pattern that we do all day long. If you cannot properly do a squat in the gym, then you are not squatting properly in life, and it is only a matter of time before the structural dysfunction that builds up becomes noticeable to you in the form of low back pain.
Peter McMahon is an ACE, NASM, FMS certified fitness coach at IMPACT Metrowest. His unique approach is called Functional Integrated Training, which integrates different components such as Flexibility, Power, Speed, Balance, and Strength Training. While machine training alone has a place in the world of fitness, it only provides exercise in an isolated, single plane of motion, with little emphasis on functional improvement or injury prevention.
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