Why People HAVE to Squat Differently

A fantastic short article by The Movement Fix on how and why our bone structure about the hip joint may affect how we squat.

With squatting there is no one size fits all position. How we squat should and will be determined by how our natural bone structure in the hip joint is made up.


The hip joint is made up of a “ball” at the top of your thigh bone (femur) and a “socket” on the pelvis (called the acetabulum). Around the hip joint are a lot of muscles, a joint capsule, and connective tissue.


A lot of people will assume that if they have difficultly squatting, their feet turn out, or they like a wider stance it’s because they have tight hips. This is not necessarily true. What if someone’s femoral head points more upwards than another? Will this not influence the way they squat?


What if one of the “balls” in the ball and socket joint is extended longer off the femur than another? This will absolutely change the way two people may squat and no amount of soft tissue treatment will change that.


What if the ball itself is off at a different angle on the femur? That may very well affect whether you prefer using a hip-width or slightly wider stance, or how one will be able to squat wide and the other will have pain with wide squatting. But if there’s that much anatomical difference in the shape of our “ball” then perhaps your piriformis isn’t the limitation of achieving the convention squat pattern.


Now, let’s consider differences in the socket. If your socket points more outwards then you will likely be able to squat with a narrow stance vs someone with sockets pointing more inwards and down might literally run into themselves when squatting with a narrow stance.


Added to this, if a person’s hip socket points straight out to the side and another person’s points down and in front then the first person may find particular squat patterning more challenging than the other. For example, It is likely that the first person may find pistol squats much more difficult than the latter.


So, if two people have differences in how their socket or ball is structurally made up then there is no way these two people will be able to squat exactly the same. The bony anatomy literally won’t let them.


To have your squat patterning assessed contact us at Infinite Health Chatswood - Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology & Massage Therapy today to book a free initial consultation or click here to find out more!


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