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Anthropometrical Considerations for Customizing the Squat Pattern

by John State Rusin, DPT, PT, CSCS and Ryan Debell
Personal Training Quarterly February 2019
Vol 4, Issue 5

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Proper form and biomechanical execution of the squat has been a long-debated subject in the fitness and sports performance industries. The following article describes a method to help determine an individual’s preferred squatting foot position, setup, and depth based on their unique hip anthropometrics for smarter, safer, and more optimized squatting.

Debunking Deeply Rooted Squat Dogma

The squat has been one of the most debated topics across demographics in the fitness and sports performance industries for as long as people have been lifting weights. As the fitness industry continues maturing, so does the ability to answer some of these debated questions. In a constantly evolving industry that has experienced the golden age of bodybuilding in the 1970s, the rise of competitive powerlifting in the 1980s, and the exponential growth of Olympic-style lifting and CrossFit in recent years, the influences of these specialty barbell sports have influenced the way in which coaches, athletes, and general fitness consumers view the squat pattern as sport-specific requisites to achieve a desired goal.

As our industry continues to be exposed to more sport-specific squatting influences, we have lost an appreciation for the squat being a fundamental movement pattern present in the normalized human developmental sequence, and not an exercise that only occurs within the confines of the gym.

As we gain more insights into the unique anatomical, biomechanical, and neuromuscular variables between individuals, the need to customize a squat pattern according to an individual’s specific needs instead of their theoretical sport or goal set has become apparent. If people are all built differently how they all could squat the same? It is time to throw away the one size fits all dogmatic approach to squatting. Outlined below is a method to help determine an individual’s preferred squatting foot position, setup, and depth based on their unique hip anthropometrics for smarter, safer and more optimized squatting.

This article originally appeared in Personal Training Quarterly (PTQ)—a quarterly publication for NSCA Members designed specifically for the personal trainer. Discover easy-to-read, research-based articles that take your training knowledge further with Nutrition, Programming, and Personal Business Development columns in each quarterly, electronic issue. Read more articles from PTQ »

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Dr John State Rusin, DPT, PT, CSCS

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John Rusin is a sports performance specialist and injury prevention expert who has worked with several elite athletes in the world throughout his care ...

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Ryan Debell

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Ryan DeBell is a sports chiropractor and has a Master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Science. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of West ...

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