It’s funny that ‘squat’ and ‘squatting’ both have negative meanings, but in the world of health it couldn’t be further from the truth. While there’s no one thing that’s the best thing, squatting comes very close.
Let me clarify too. I not talking squatting weights. I’m taking about being in the position of deep squat, under your own body’s weight. Your weight is on your heels, and they’re on the ground. Your feet are shoulder width (or wherever is comfy for you) and your knees tracking over but not beyond your toes. Your torso is upright not leaning ear forward and your head is also just neutral. Your low back is strong. The crease at your hips is below parallel. Breath. Relax.
Everyone always asks how much your feet should be turned out or facing forward. The answer is yours: there’s no idea of ONE perfect position. Just aim for maximal depth and relaxation. And footwear? Best is barefoot. Then minimal footwear, zero drop, no feel. Keep your heels on the floor if possible. Try a small heel support until you gain the proper mobility to squat flat foot on the ground. But get there with no support cos you can and should.
So what about neutral spine. Ok for a resting squat, no need to try to remain erect. It’s a RESTING position.
Knees? Knee pain? Hip pain? stand up and move around. Resume the squat and work in small short bursts of squatting throughout the day.
How deep should you squat? Just DEEPER. In fact the sign of good squatting is when you get tired from standing you squat.
So for August (1st-20th cos that’s my bday and I always love setting myself a challenge), Fitbynature clients are squatting 100 a day. Not all at once. 10×10, 25×4, 2×50. In fact the more spread over the day the better. Cos we’re gonna get better at this, the resting squat, a squat not as an exercise but as a movement we just relax into.
– Squat down as far as you can, just before you fall backwards on your bum you should grabbed a hold of a door or ledge so that you can balance yourself in that position.
– Depending on how much assistance you need to prevent you from losing balance – get a small weight plate at the gym or if at home a small book or raise block can be used to slide under the heel of your foot to prevent you falling backwards and losing balance. Obviously the more assistance your need then the bigger the raised item will need to be that you put under the heel of your foot.
– The challenge is to find the time each day to squeeze this in.
– Add books or a squatty potty to your toilet sitting and start to squat ALL incidental times too
– Squat to watch tv at night or just the ad breaks
– Do your first squats first thing out of bed and jump start your posture and your day
– tmi but squatting can improve the ease of your #2s! Your puborectalis muscle helps keep your everything in place by kinking your colon, much like a bend in a garden hose stops the flow of water. Squatting straightens the kink and allows for a ‘straight out’ complete elimination!
Squatting is a natural position for the human body which if we practice it more often we will be able to correct and return our posture back to its intended state.
Oh and apart from shifting the idea of squatting from an exercise to a movement you rest (comfortably) in by squatting throughout the day in this challenge, realizing that there’s not THE squat but YOUR squat through this challenge could be one of the biggest things you learn this year. Now you can really begin to help yourself to health!