Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are one of the most common among young female athletes occurring at a conservative estimate of 38,000 incidences per year. (1) With the cost of a surgical repair ranging between $17,000-$25,000 (2), the economic impact is significant, not to mention the long term sequela to the athlete which includes a significantly greater risk of osteoarthritis in the future. (3) Approximately 80% of these injuries are non-contact, suggesting many of them can be prevented. (4)
To this day, we still hear certain squat rules echoed over and over throughout gyms and health clubs by many fitness professionals that often sound contradictory. While some rules emerged through research, the origins of others may lie in folklore and myth. The squat is one such example where we hear an endless list of cues: keep the knees behind the toes, align your knees over your second toe, open your stance, keep your head up, and many more. Which do we trust as evidence-based and which present as more myth than fact?