This is a pretty common question I get from clients – so I thought I would address it here.
The thought is – if your knee goes past your toe on squats or lunges, you’re putting excessive stress on the knee joint.
This is simply not true.
Every body is different – different levers, different lengths, heights, etc. Some people will be able to squat correctly and deep without their knee going past their toe. Others – like myself – will definitely have their knees go out past their toes.
They key is to make sure you’re using proper form. We teach the bodyweight squat in the first session with a client, and my 2 favorite cues are:
1. Hips back first. This helps to keep the weight back on the heels and get the glutes and hamstrings involved.
2. Sit back on the weight. This essentially is getting the client to do the same thing – keep their weight back. Some clients make the connection better with 1 cue over the other.
The most common mistakes are trying to stay too upright in the torso and letting the heels elevate off of the floor. These are cleaned up pretty well with these 2 cues.
So – if you’re keeping your weight back, your heels are flat throughout the movement, and you have a slight forward lean in your torso, you have a solid squat – regardless of your knee position relative to your toes.
Now – if you have pre-existing knee issues, you obviously want to be more careful.
Hope this clears up the myth of the “knees over toes”. Let those knees free!!