In the physical arena, not only do most people not know HOW to Squat, they DON’T Squat. This is a shame, because the squatting motion is a basic movement pattern and should be incorporated into your regular programming. But, some people may have physical limitations, injuries, or aversions.
And as this recent article by Ryan DeBell indicates (“The Best Kept Secret: Why People Have to Squat Differently”) people are just put together differently. This is the first article that I’ve seen with supporting photos of bone structures that shows the physical differences in the “ball” angle of the femur, ball length, and socket shape & direction. These anatomical differences will REQUIRE slightly different foot positioning or lower body posture between different people. There is no “one way fits all” approach to Squats (or many other motions). Please check out Ryan’s article. I thought it was pretty cool.
Being able to modify and adapt an exercise to accommodate physical (or mental) differences in a client or student is the mark of a good trainer or Instructor. Not every Instructor is able (or interested) in getting into this individual level of analysis with their students. But the good ones will lead the students to squat, punch or kick to the best of the student’s ability. That much I do know, and it’s something I’ve tried to apply and reinforce in the past 30+ years of training.