Deep squatting is not a new phenomenon, it’s actually one of the body’s default resting positions (I’m guessing the other is lying down).
When my kids were growing up they would instinctively squat to pick something off the floor and would hold themselves effortlessly in that position while at play. Elias (4.5 years old) still seems to prefer resting in a low squat to sitting when he’s playing at floor level although Issy (6) alternates between kneeling and squatting.
You see we were born to squat and not just “squat”, I’m referring to the ability to squat flat footed ALL the way down till our hamstrings rest (momentarily) on our calf muscles before rising. Unfortunately as our society has “evolved” many of us have lost the ability to do the things our forefathers could (like darning – who out there under the age of 60 can darn these days?).
A quick google image search of the term deep squat brings up (in order of appearance) olympic lifters, crossfitters, young children and people in what we deem to be third world countries. Simply put, those who have re-learned how to squat and those who have never lost the ability and use it as a natural alternative to sitting.
The number one reason behind todays society being unable to squat is … we don’t squat enough!
Often we think that unless we are performing a squat in a gym environment with a weight it’s pointless, however if that’s the only time you spend squatting then “Houston we have a problem”. If you’re unable to hang out in the bottom position of a body weight squat it’s pretty obvious you are going to struggle once you stick a bar on your back. Get your air squat sorted and the rest will come.
Everyday I spend time sitting at the bottom of a squat (mostly because my coach said I had too) some days I use a band for support, some days I’ll sit against a wall and other days I’ll hang out in a low squat while I play with the kids on the floor and I’ve got to say that it’s helped immensely with my squat pattern and to some degree my confidence in my ability to get out of the hole. *tip push your knees out as you rise*
You won’t see me doing a 50kg overhead squat like young Jamie did this morning during our strength session at CrossfitHPU but at least I don’t chicken out as I go to hinge anymore, well at least not often. 😉
Which brings me to a post I saw on Petite Athleats blog about the 30/30 squat challenge created by Ido Portal. I tried to find the original source but could not, but it seems to be pretty self-explanatory.
Spend thirty minutes spread throughout the day sitting in a squat! Such a simple idea but one I’d say is bound to reap dividends.
Go do it! You know you want too ..
Till next time