So my company has a program with the local 24HR Fitness health clubs. We also get monthly newsletters from them, and the December newsletter caught my eye... They had a section on squats....hehe amusing at best. Thoughts?
Squat Time Is It?
Squatting is one of the best exercises to build leg strength and increase size, but they're not for everyone. Squats, done correctly put stress on the knee and back but if done incorrectly they can be disastrous. They can be harmful for people with previous knee or back injuries and beginners with limited trunk strength.
Special attention should be given to proper form to limit injury and help isolate the muscles of the leg. Going below a 90 degree bend at the knee increases stress to the knee joints and shifts the muscle emphasis from the legs to the glutes.
Here are some tips to maintain good form and isolate your leg muscles with the least amount of stress and risk of injury:
Your body size/design should determine where you stop, going too low requires you to arch your back, stick your butt out or lean too far forward. Don't worry about how low you go, it's the quality of the movement not how far you move the weight or how much weight you move.
Keep your feet shoulder width apart and your knees in alignment. Your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles should be lined up throughout the exercise.
Maintain neutral spine alignment and don't arch your back. Lower yourself with your legs, not your torso or back - after all, this is your leg workout not your back workout.
Keep your whole foot flat on the floor throughout the exercise and focus on pushing through your ankle not the balls of your feet or your toes. If your heels are coming off the floor, you're going too low.