Part 1 – Why is squatting and lunging so dangerous?
We don’t think twice when someone says they are going to start jogging. In fact we seem to attach a level of esteem to someone who makes that decision.
Or you are talking to a friend who has joined a rec hockey or soccer team, maybe joined a ultimate Frisbee league.
Maybe last weekend you were at a cottage or some other summer vacation where you decided that waterskiing for the day would be a perfect way to entertain yourself.
Where am I going with this? Besides making you feel like you should be outside doing something right now? I am talking about squats and lunges! How?
Not specifically about squats and lunges but more the perception of those particular exercises. For some odd reason we have adopted this attitude that squats and lunges are by far the most dangerous and risky physical activities we can partake in. And this is perpetuated by doctors, media, rehab specialists, and even anecdotally in the gym itself.
Newsflash. Each of the activities I mentioned above have injury rates more than a hundred times the injury rates seen in the weight room. You are much more likely to injure yourself playing sports, playing at the cottage, or jogging than you are in the gym.
Squatting and lunging are dangerous? Did you get in or out of a chair today? Squat. Get out of your car? Lunge. Go up any stairs? Same muscles as squat and lunge. Maybe you picked up your groceries? Deadlift! (We didn’t talk about that one but it is up there with squats and lunges and I didn’t feel like having to write out the names of all three exercises repeatedly throughout this blog).
These are things we do each and every day. They are the basic movements your body was designed to perform. You were built to squat and lunge. Ice hockey, not so much. They aren’t dangerous.
How about a recent recommendation by a doctor to one of our members. The doctor advised them that they should never squat or lunge again in order to prevent knee and back pain. However, they were clear to continue running daily (5-10km) as that was a much more safe and healthy activity. What? What the hell is wrong with that doctor? Did they miss part of med school? Do they understand what plyometrics are? What high impact activities are? That the joints in the lower body have up to 4x more strain put through them during high impact activities, such as running? Not to mention the thousands of impacts you go through during a typical 5-10km run.
Yeah, but doing 4 sets of 10 squats (40 reps total for you non-mathematically inclined), with no joint impact is dangerous. Best not ever do that again. And while you’re at it best not stand up sit down, go to the bathroom, walk up stairs, carry groceries, or get out of your car ever again.
Squats and lunges are dangerous and stupid. Yeah right. Want to know what’s stupid and dangerous? Listening to these stupid idiots who perpetuate false information and pretend to know what the hell they are talking about.