Squatting - Equipment
Squat - Equipment
Two pieces of standard
squatting gear - shoes and knee wraps - should be carefully selected and
used, not only to maximize your lift but to maintain the short and
long-term health of your knees.
Your shoes are literally where the rubber meets the road. Don't ever
train in your tennies. Most general purpose athletic shoes lack
adequate longitudinal or transverse stability and have little or no
arch support for heavy lifting. As you squat, your feet may develop
a tendency to pronate, or cave in toward the inside. When this
occurs, the knees are also forced inward, leading to a constant
strain on the medial collateral ligaments, excessive shear force on
the meniscus and improper patellar tracking, which can lead to
chondromalacia. If your feet tend to pronate anyway or if you're
prone to being knock-kneed (and these two conditions are very often
associated with each other), it becomes even more important to
select good training shoes.
Specialized squatting shoes provide a deep and solid heel cup that
prevents the foot from rocking
and rolling to the outside, causing great stress on the lateral collateral ligaments of your knees.
KNEE WRAPS - When properly used, wraps can improve knee
safety during heavy squatting. Just as important is the fact that
wraps give you at least a 5%-10% increase in how much you can lift.
Wearing them while squatting under 80-85% of your max is
counterproductive because the wrap absorbs the stress so the muscle
tissues never get stronger. Keeping your knees warm (wrapped
loosely) improves blood flow and tissue elasticity, improving
When buying knee wraps, opt for ones that weigh the most (more
fabric equals greater protection) and that stretch out to at least
19-20 feet in length (more times around the knee equals greater
protection). Don't purchase wraps that are bulky, heavily
elasticized and stretch out to fewer than 15 feet. Tightness from
elasticity doesn't provide you real support.
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