One of the most frequent questions I get asked is: Are squats good for the knees in basketball players? Generally the answer depends on who you ask. Squats are a great total body workout. There are not many exercises that display totally body strength like the squat. In this article I will give you some benefits and some potential drawbacks to give you the best chance to improve performance and stay healthy.
As I stated earlier the squat is a great total body exercises. Generally most coaches and players have not given serious thought to other more efficient ways to gaining lower body strength. There are a few general reasons as to why the squat is still widely used without being given a second thought. One reason is that coaches have always done it this way. They learned from other strength coaches who have had success and will not think critically and deviate from that. Another is what I call the meat – head mentality. These coaches and athletes generally are all about the weight. The more weight I can squat, the better. They have generally little regard for form or trying to improve performance.
Typically there are two types of squats. They are the back squats and front squats. Back squats are traditional squats. The bar is placed on the upper back of the athlete right below the neck. This causes stress on the lower back as the weight increases.
The other type of squat is the front squat. This type of squat is safer than the traditional back squat. The bar is placed in front of the athlete allowing the athlete to keep more of an upright position. This position is generally harder for athletes to get into properly.
As for basketball players some of the major reasons that I don’t feel that squats are the best way to train the lower body. For starters, to be a good squatter, a person has to possess excellent total body mobility. Basketball players typically through the nature of their sports have very limited mobility especially in the ankles and the hips.
( Think he would ever be a good squatter?)
Also basketball players typically have abnormally longer femurs than most people. As you can imagine, this can be very difficult for a player to squat to parallel.
So you may ask if I can’t squat, how I should train the lower body. Well I would advise using all single leg strength exercises. This would include exercises such as one legged squats (pistols), lunges, rear foot elevated split squats (Bulgarian lunges), and other single leg exercises that can accomplish the same strength development without the added compression.