Should your knees go over your toes in the squat?

 

Squats. Split squats.

If you've ever taken a group fitness class, you've done them. If you've ever had a trainer, you've done them. If you've had a forward-thinking chiropractor or massage therapist, you've done them.

You've also heard the admonition: DON'T LET YOUR KNEES GO PAST YOUR TOES.

It's usually delivered with a serious warning. "It's dangerous," they say.

"If you let your knees go too far forward, it's bad for your knees."

"Your knees aren't designed for that kind of motion."

"I don't want you to hurt your knees."

"Your knees may explode."

Scary stuff.

 

Nothing about these warnings is nefarious. There's no deceit intended.

But there's a lot of half-truth and mythology baked into these warnings.

Heck, even I used to say "don't let those knees go beyond your toes." That's what I was taught. I accepted that wisdom at face value. Who was I to question the wisdom being passed to me from a teacher with many more years of experience?

It's 2021 now. I've been studying human movement since 2007. I've been an athlete using my body since 1994. I played roller and ice hockey for years. I spent about 10 years with a deconditioned, chronically aching body after following the advice of multiple doctors. That dark period in my life taught me not to accept everything at face value. Even if it's delivered with good intentions. 

I've gotten my body back. Now I surf three to six times a week. 🏄‍♂️🏄‍♂️🏄‍♂️

Breaking rules and discarding unsupported beliefs made it possible.

 

In all this time, I've learned a few things. I've learned where this "knees shouldn't go over toes" warning comes from. And I've learned what happens when you take it at face value.

People ask me about this cue all the time. Any time I post a video where I talk about a squat or split squat with knees going in front of the toes, a chorus arises asking me what the heck I think I'm doing...

So I finally made a video to answer all the questions.

In this video, I'm going to explain:

  • where the belief that knees CAN'T go over toes come from
  • why you SHOULD and SHOULDN'T let the knees go past your toes
  • how the "physically feeble fallacy" fools us
  • why I finally decided to squat with my knees over toes in my late 30s
  • how to train your body to allow the knees to go beyond the toes safely (assuming you want to)

 

 

The video is packed with lessons that can make you a better parent, grandparent, tennis player, runner, hockey player, basketball player, dancer, and even golfer. Be sure to share it with someone you know who wants to be better at any of the above. You'll be their hero! 🥳 

 

Train your body to be more flexible, strong, and resilient! 

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