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Telling your clients "just do yoga" to squat deeper?

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

Let's use me as an example.

Susan, a woman with Celtic hips, which are characterized by deep hip sockets, offers an insightful perspective on how her unique hip structure affects her ability to perform certain exercises, particularly squats. Unlike shallow hip sockets like the Polish are more likely to have which is more associated with hip dysplasia, individuals with Celtic hips are more likely to experience hip impingement due to the depth of their sockets. This is because the deep sockets limit the range of motion of the hip joint.

The depth of the hip socket, the length of the femur, and the Q angle (the angle between the line of the quadriceps muscle and the patellar tendon) are all factors that contribute to how an individual can perform squats. For Susan, her deep hip sockets and the natural angle of her femur due to her Celtic heritage structure make it difficult for her to squat deep, especially with weights. This is because the ball of the femur is more likely to pinch against the edge of the acetabulum (hip socket), causing strain on the labrum lining the socket. This can create tension that extends to the lower back.

Personal trainers who are not aware of these anatomical differences may incorrectly advise individuals like Susan to modify their squat stance or depth and "just do yoga". However, it is essential to recognize that not all physical attributes are modifiable, and forcing a deep squat can be detrimental to someone with a hip structure like Susan's.

Furthermore, it is important to note that deep squats are not necessary to achieve fitness goals. There are alternative exercises and squat variations that can be equally effective without putting strain on the hip joints. Additionally, while yoga can be beneficial for flexibility and strength, it is not a remedy for anatomical limitations and should not be seen as a solution for individuals with deep hip sockets.

In a study by McGill, a renowned spine biomechanics professor, it was noted that individuals with Celtic hips can generate tremendous power from a more upright stance due to their deep sockets. This is evident in sports like golf and traditional activities like caber tossing, which are popular among populations with Celtic ancestry.

In conclusion, it is crucial for individuals and fitness professionals to recognize the role of anatomy in exercise and to adapt exercise regimens to suit individual body types. Understanding and respecting the limitations of one's body is key to preventing injury and achieving fitness goals in a safe manner.

If you liked this post, check out more from my website! And if you're interested starting your fitness journey with us, just reach out.


  1. McGill, S. M. (2010). Core training: Evidence translating to better performance and injury prevention. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 32(3), 33-46.

  2. Dwyer, M. K., Boudreau, S. N., Mattacola, C. G., Uhl, T. L., & Lattermann, C. (2010). Comparison of lower extremity kinematics and hip muscle activation during rehabilitation tasks between sexes. Journal of Athletic Training, 45(2), 181-190.

  3. Powers, C. M. (2003). The influence of altered lower-extremity kinematics on patellofemoral joint dysfunction: a theoretical perspective. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 33(11), 639-646.

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