My journey to Safe, Pain-Free Squat Technique

Squats are renowned as being an exercise you should do. Some go so far as insisting it’s the single best exercise there is. But if you’re not blessed with short femurs and a long torso, or simply don’t know how to do it, it can be an awkward movement that leads to constant pain and injury.

That was the case with me, squats always hurt my knees and back. Over the years I kept experimenting with technique and finally found a method that permitted a very deep squat with no knee or back pain. It can be distilled down to two things:

  • Rethinking the squat as a hip exercise as opposed to a leg one.
  • Consciously using my glutes to keep my hips open throughout the movement.

Squat Technique

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An Exploration of Back Pain Cures: What Worked & What Didn’t

There are few certainties in life. Proverbial wisdom counts death and taxes among them, but back pain should be on that list. Everyone seems to suffer it at some point, and it can be incredibly debilitating because our backs are involved in almost everything we do.

This article is an exploration of all the things I tried to heal back pain. What finally worked was completely rethinking how I use my back, and, surprisingly, heavy resistance training—specifically progressive range of motion squats and deadlifts.

Lumbar spine

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What I Did to Heal Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow

For a true gym rat the worst thing about golfer’s and tennis elbow is the effect they have on workouts. I got both conditions on both arms at the same time, but the good news is that I healed without a break in training. These are the things I did to heal golfer’s and tennis elbow while continuing with a level of activity that would make a physio cringe:

  • Instead of using lifting straps to relieve forearm stress, I cut down my use of them to strengthen my grip.
  • Took time to warm up the forearms before normal gym work.
  • I worked around pain, not through it.
  • I waited, albeit not very patiently! Poor blood supply means the injured tendons involved in golfer’s and tennis elbow take a long time to heal.

Arm anatomy - heal golfer's and tennis elbow

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Lifting and Joint Health

If you lift weights you’ll eventually be forced to give some thought to joint health. Well, unless your name is Ronnie Coleman and you have bomb-proof joints. But even Ronnie Coleman succumbed to injuries and required corrective surgery.

Thankfully for the rest of us, lifting and joint health aren’t mutually exclusive.

Old anatomy picture of knee joints

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