Deep squats and meniscus
Coach Rippetoe, you are the man! thank you for all your contributions to the strength training community! With that out of the way,
I work in the athletic training room at Santa Clara University and started doing the Starting Strength novice rutine recently. One of my bosses in the training room saw me doing deep squats and was all upset and said it looked so painful. I tried to explain to her about how deep squats activate the hamstrings and keep balanced force over the knee and help prevent ACL injuries but she responded saying that some studies have shown that is questionable and that going below parralell in squats puts a ton of stress on the meniscus. Not wanting to argue with my boss too much i left it at that and kept doing my deep squats because i do not think she is correct.
Since then i have tried to look up studies on Olympic lifters(overhead squaters and snatchers) and meniscus tears but have found little. I also searched this forum and found little on the subject so i figured i would post and ask you. Do lifters going below parralell have increased incidence of meniscus tears? What do you think about this argument?
Thank you very much for the input!! Hopefully ill be able to use it the next time i talk to my boss
Well, I have several tears in my meniscus, none of which occurred while squatting. Furthermore, deep squats do not bother either my torn meniscus or my absent ACL. In my 30 years of doing this, I have never observed a single example of deep squats tearing a meniscus. Ever. I've seen it happen once or twice on cleans and snatches that got in a bad position, but never squats or deadlifts. As for actual data, I don't have that, but I do know that she doesn't either. I do, however, have experience and logic on my side, while she has merely her preconceived perceptions and conventional wisdom. Maybe there are people with input on this question...
Rip and Robert,
The link below was posted on the thread Robert started in the CF forum. It seems to clearly address the question and support Rip's experience and his understanding. In fact, it looks like Rip could have referenced this in the squat physiology/biomechanics explanation n SS.
You're referring to full cleans above? If I stick to power cleans (and have no interest competing olympic lifts) I'm guessing I can cross this off my list of things to worry about.