Best Squatting Techniques for Maximum Muscle Growth
Muscular Development|December 2020
The squat’s radical capability to boost muscle growth and strength stems from the large muscle groups activated during the squat, such as the quadriceps and gluteus maximus.
By Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D. Senior Science Editor

The squat is the ultimate leg-building exercise unlike any other. Correctly performed, squats dramatically increase leg strength and power – enhancing athletic performance1 while also stimulating massive muscle growth of the lower body. Because of the incredible muscle-building reputation associated with the squat, it has become widely regarded as a supreme test of lower-body strength.2 So considering the obvious importance of the squat, a more detailed understanding of certain critical, and often overlooked, elements of this movement will provide essential information that optimizes gains in strength and size while simultaneously reducing the likelihood of injury.

Correct Technique to Reduce Injury

When performed properly, squat-related injuries are pretty rare. Nevertheless, poor technique due to many different variables can produce injuries that typically involve the spine, hips and knees. For instance, flexible ankle joints are essential for proper balance when performing the squat. If ankle flexibility is too low, the heels have a tendency to rise off the floor during the downward movement of the squat. It has been shown that this can result in compensatory joint movement especially within the knee, potentially causing injury. A study by Bell et al.3 showed that during the squat, inflexible ankles with a 20 percent reduction in dorsiflexion (the ankle joint movement that brings the toes upward toward the shin) produced poor knee position, increasing the likelihood for knee injury. Of course, an improvement in ankle flexibility would be the most ideal solution. However, the use of a barbell plate placed under the heels should provide the necessary stability to mitigate injury to the knee until the desired ankle flexibility is achieved.

In addition to the negative influence that an inflexible ankle may have on the knee, forces that directly impact the knee while squatting have also been heavily investigated. These studies have shown that while most of the compressive forces imposed on the knee during the squat are tolerable to the knee joint4,5, one potentially negative shearing force increases considerably as the knees move past the toes during the downward phase of the squat – potentially causing knee damage.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENTView All

TO THE MAXX!

MAXX ‘THE DESTROYER’ CHARLES IS READY TO MOVE UP IN 2021!

9 mins read
Muscular Development
January 2021

TOP 5 PRE-and POST-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENTS

Seeing the best bodies in the world in Muscular Development, in print and online, tends to motivate the aspiring bodybuilder to train harder and with more focus.

7 mins read
Muscular Development
January 2021

WHAT BODYBUILDING IS ALL ABOUT?

Bodybuilding is a highly demanding sport. Disciplined diet, exhaustive exercise, sacrifices in personal matters, and financial demands make the iron sport an extreme one.

7 mins read
Muscular Development
January 2021

The True Low-Carb, Ketogenic Diet: What Went Wrong?

FAT ATTACK

8 mins read
Muscular Development
January 2021

SERGIO OLIVA JR.: 2021 WILL BE MY YEAR

This son of three-time Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva never holds back. Best of all, he can dish it out and take it too, which is why many other pros avoid engaging with him at all. Sergio only competed once in 2020 with a resonating fifth place at his first Arnold Classic, the first time we’d seen him on stage since the 2018 Mr. Olympia. I hadn’t spoken with him since shortly after the Arnold, the weekend when the COVID-19 pandemic began turning our world upside down. Since that feels like 20 years ago, it was high time to catch up with this genuine, passionate, and often hilarious bodybuilding star.

10+ mins read
Muscular Development
January 2021

MRE ® - Real Whole Food Protein Shake

Tired of wolfing down shakes that taste like chalk? No worries. These shakes from Redcon1 taste delicious.

1 min read
Muscular Development
January 2021

Ketogenic Diets Inhibit mTOR, Insulin, IGF-1 and Muscle Growth

Nutrition is arguably the most important component of an athlete or bodybuilder’s training regimen.

4 mins read
Muscular Development
January 2021

INSULIN: Bodybuilder Friend or Foe?

Insulin is an extremely anabolic hormone that has the ability to drastically increase muscle protein synthesis, enhancing muscle growth.

5 mins read
Muscular Development
January 2021

BIG IRON

With Big Ronnie Coleman, Eight-Time Mr. Olympia

5 mins read
Muscular Development
January 2021

Clinical use of aromatase inhibitors

Contrary to expectations, medical professionals (such as physicians and researchers) learn from folklore developed within (sub)cultures, or from impassioned pursuits by laymen affected by a specific pathology.

9 mins read
Muscular Development
January 2021
RELATED STORIES

How To Have Great Legs

It’s the time of year when we tend to show a bit more leg, so why not focus on the health, strength and tone of your pins? And you don’t even need to leave your home!

2 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
June 2020

How To Get Sexy Abs In 7 Days?

Steal the routine that a-listers use to trim and tone in record time. It’s so seriously effective, this will be the cheat sheet you keep!

4 mins read
Shape Malaysia
May 2016