Why kids need to know how to squat...
Squatting is a complex movement. It is also one of the best tools for assessing the potential for ACL knee injury in kids and adults. A simple squat test and jump and land testcan help determine if you or your kids are at risk.
Toddlers are natural squatters, but sitting all day combined with a sedentary lifestyle can lead to tightness and weakness in the hip, ankle, and knee. We are starting to see compromised movement patterns in kids as early as 5 years old.
Good squatting technique helps safeguard against ACL injury.
Simple Squat Test
1. Squat 10 times using only your body weight
2. Asses the feet by making sure that the toes are forward and the arch of the foot is off the ground, while the heel remains on the ground.
3. Make sure as you are squatting the knees are driving out laterally.
4. Try squatting and jumping as you asses both the feet and the knees. As the squat becomes more dynamic, with a jump, or loaded, it becomes more difficult to maintain good mechanics.
5. The give away fault is when the arch of the foot collapses and the knee caves in. If you see this happen, the risk for ACL injury can more than double.
Check out the squat test I put my 8 year old through in this video. I go over all the details on what to look for.
Let me know what you or your kid looks like when squatting. We are happy to help dig into the assessment and solutions to help with ACL prevention and squat mechanics.
We also offer our Fit Kids Class where we review and coach kids on these mechanics.