We’re BACK with another episode of The Friday Fix! Take 60 seconds out of your day to learn a new tip you can use to improve your fitness results and get the most out of your training! Check back every week for the newest episode. Get the archives here.

The Problem?

People are still very much stuck on the idea that knees should NEVER pass the toes when we squat. YES. That can be problematic. YES. Everyone squats differently. NO. You should not be worried if your knees go over your toes in a deep squat with all other technique markers on point. NO. You probably won’t get hurt if your knees pass your toes on a perfect deep squat. Here’s why…

What’s the Big Deal?

This is one of the most common squat cues used today, and has been used for a while now. It’s generally a decent coaching tip but I believe the severity of this pattern has been way overblown.

Let’s make this clear… If your knees go over your toes during the squat, that may not be a bad thing. Here are some things you must take into account if you have your knees track forward and want to know if this is alright for you:

  • Are you at the bottom of your squat when your knees pass the toes?
  • Are your heels remaining on the floor?
  • Are you avoiding an excessive forward lean?
  • Are your knees in line with your mid-foot in terms of ab/adduction tracking?
  • Are you squatting without heel lifts? (I’m a fan of heel lifts, just not for this “test”)
  • Are you squatting below parallel?

If you answer yes to all of those, chances are the knees passing over the toes is not going to be a bad move for you.

If you are a the bottom of a squat, below parallel, without heel lifts, maintaining good posture and foot contact with the ground… and your knees go past your toes… YOU ARE FINE. You are showcasing great mobility, control and mechanics. You will not be injured as a result of your forward drifting knees.

Here’s what will aggravate your body though…

The Solution?

If your knees go over your toes and any of the following occurs, you may be in trouble:

  • Heels elevate from the ground
  • Over-shifting of weight in any direction
  • Knees pass toes before parallel
  • Poor posture during movement

If you’re experiencing those things AND a forward knee glide, then you may run into some issues. Otherwise, don’t stress about it!