The Truth About Knees Over Toes: The Squat DEBUNKED
This is a common and mainstream cue that in my opinion is wrong. When we consider the mechanics of the squat and when completed with proper technique, the knees tracking over toes is not an issue to promote injury. Again, this is dependant on how the squat is executed.
The way the knee moves is a product of the hips and ankles respond to the movement. If knees drive forward because a client squats from the ankles first, the client may experience pain. If a client has poor hip mobility or balance, their natural instinct may be to drive the knees forward. This will also result in discomfort in the knees.
When it comes to progressing to a stronger squat, more often than not in my experience it is lack of mobility in the hips. Therefore, spending time on the development of your hinge is the best bet for progressing your squat safely. You can do this by using a box at first, sliding hips back and lowering into the squat. Almost like your going to sit in a chair. I would also spend time with the hip extension. Incorporating bridges into your routine, this will help develop your glute muscles. More importantly, it will help condition the proper Range Of Motion when squatting. Another thing to try is loading the squat. In the developing stages of a squat I am not one to back load clients. I prefer to apply load to the front. You can do this with a set of Dumbbells or Kettlebell. This will help recruit your core and track a more neutral spine position. Finally, if you have poor dorsiflexion. Which when seated is the ability to pull your toes towards your shines effectively. You could do a couple of Mobility strategies for the ankles. That is a whole other blog. You could also check out my Facebook Group @ Hamilton Female Fitness with Morgan Kate. I have posted a video with some mobility practices you can start using today. Finally, if you do wish to squat and the ankles are not flexible you can always elevate the heels to start. This does not fix the mobility issue but it can allow you to continue to develop the other mechanics needed to squat.
In conclusion. It comes down to technique. Squats are a fundamental and primal movement. Injury is a reflection of poor technique.If your squat posture presents a neutral spine, hips shifted back, no apparent pelvic tilt in the lower squat ranges than knees tracking over toes could be a result of excellent hip mobility and some might flexible ankles. Functionality is key.