Do you Need to Squat in Front of a Mirror? Is there a Benefit?
Most personal trainers recommend that squats be performed in front of a mirror to get visual feedback on your technique. Some people to tend to put more weight on their dominant leg while squatting, so when using a mirror, one can self-correct the issue during the exercise. Contrary to this, if you walk into most Olympic lifting gyms, there are no mirrors in front of the squat rack. To address the question of whether or not it is beneficial to perform squats in front of a mirror, researchers from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago recently examined how preferential loading is affected when performing the exercise both with and without a mirror. This research was presented this week at the Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting in Sacramento, Calif. Lead Investigator in the study, Monica Rho, MD; Director of Women’s Sports Medicine at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s Sports and Spine Rehabilitation Center and assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine set out to examine whether squatting in front of a mirror makes a difference.
Ten healthy subjects (five male, five female) performed five squats to the fixed height of a chair in 3 different foot positions and five deep squats both with and without a mirror. Subjects were asked to stand with their feet on two different force plates. This tool allowed the researchers to calculate the amount of force a person put on each leg during the squats. Half of the participants started by using the mirror and the other half started without the mirror, and then they switched. So at the end of the study, the researcher’s found that comparing those squatting with or without a mirror, there was no difference. The lead researchers Dr. Rho was quoted as saying, “Our findings indicate that, when it comes to equal weight distribution and symmetry of loading each leg during a squat, the mirror doesn’t seem to make a difference. “ The presence of a mirror during a double legged squat exercise did not change preferential loading of the lower extremities. Athletes should self-select a comfortable foot position during a squat exercise for equal loading.
Key Points: Squatting in front of a mirror does not seem to have any advantages.
Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP). (2016, February 18). Using a mirror for squat exercises: Is there a benefit?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 18, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160218062231.htm