You’ve Probably Been Doing Squats Wrong This Whole Time

by | Feb 6, 2019

Ah, the humble squat: how can such a simple move require so much technique? Keep your chest up. Get your butt down. Shift your weight to your heels. The list of do’s and dont’s goes on and on and on.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Take Your Squats To The Next Level

For the most part, these tips are valid – good form equals good gains, after all. But there’s one rule that’s been drummed into gym goers that’s worthy of forgetting: never let your knees extend past your toes.

For context, this first came to fruition after researchers back in 1978 established that keeping your shins as vertical as possible would lessen the pressure placed the knees during a squat. Then, another study in 2003 backed this up, reporting that knee stress increases 28 per cent when they venture past the toes.

But here’s the thing: all bodies are built differently. Peeps with long legs or particularly small feet, for example, would have a harder time pulling this off. And for others, it could actually lead to injury (i.e. those who lack hip or ankle mobility.)

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Instead, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends focusing on maintaining even contact with the ground through the balls of your feet and heels. Think: hinging at the hips as you drive your booty backwards. The idea is that you target your butt muscles while allowing the knees to bend naturally – as little or as far over your second toe as they want to go.

So, next time you’re planning to include squats in your sweat sesh, experiment to find out what works best for your body.

And remember, sometimes rules (just like knees) are meant to bend.

RELATED: The 5 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making With Your Squats

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Women Fleeing Domestic Violence Can Now Receive A One-Off Support Payment

It’s been labelled the shadow pandemic and the fact remains that for many women across Australia, domestic violence is a lived reality that doesn’t discriminate by age, occupation, or socio-economic status. Researchers have found that during Covid-19 lockdowns, there was a surge in family and domestic violence, with agencies experiencing a surge in demand as nearly half their clients reported an increase in controlling behaviours. 

As many who have lived through such turmoil and trauma can attest, the roadmap to fleeing such situations at home can be fraught with challenges and extremely difficult to navigate, particularly when such bureaucracy makes it even harder. Now, it’s been announced that women fleeing a violent relationship will be given a one-off $5,000 payment as part of a federal government trial scheme. 

Known as the “escaping violence payment scheme,” the government has set aside $144.5 million over the next two years to give women $1,500 cash, with the remainder to pay for goods and services, bond, school fees and other necessaries to establish a new safe home. UnitingCare Network will be tasked with delivering the payments while helping link women and their children with relevant community services. 

As the Daily Telegraph reports, “An analysis of domestic violence data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that while it is more common for women from poorer areas, women from high socio-economic areas are not immune from experiencing partner violence.”

As Women’s Safety Minister Anne Ruston explained, the trial has been introduced with the aim to help women overcome the financial barriers that might deter them from leaving a violent relationship. “We know that financial hardship as well as economic abuse - which may involve interfering with work or controlling or withholding money - reduces women’s ability to acquire and use money and makes it difficult to leave violent relationships,” she said. 

“The payments will assist people who need financial support to leave. We know the size of the house a woman is fleeing doesn’t matter. Often she bundles the kids into the car, maybe the dog too and they leave with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.”

To be eligible for a payment, women must be facing financial stress and have some evidence of domestic violence such as a referral from a family and domestic violence service provider with a risk assessment and safety plan, or an AVO, court order or police report. As UnitingCare Australia National Director Claerwen Little said, “We believe that all people, especially women and their children, have the right to live freely and without fear, and this payment is an important step forward to ending violence against women and children.”

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about domestic violence, please call the 1800 

Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online. 

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.