Login
Password

Forgot your password?

The Benefits of the Full Squat

By Edited Sep 15, 2015 0 3

How Deep Squats Can Improve Your mobility

Look at a picture someone took of their experience in Southeast Asia and you will most likely see someone squatting down at the street corner eating or cooking. When was the last time you walked around your local market or shopping center and saw someone in a full deep squat? I am certain the answer is never.

Next time you are around a small child watch how they move, especially kids under 5. Notice that they go into a full squat when standing, almost sitting on their heels. I’m sure when you get up there is some rolling, grunting and awkward movement before you eventually stagger to your feet. How much do you think that has to do with your hip mobility? If a small child can do it so effortlessly I am certain the human body is designed to move such a way.

Simple Test

While you are watching your favorite TV show in the comfort of your own home try going into a full squat. Now before you say your knees are shot or whatever realize this is most likely because you are not flexible at the hip. First, push your butt back and down like you are going to do a barbell squat with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Next, try to rest your butt as low as possible, like you are trying to sit on your heels. Now if you can do this without your heels coming off the floor – Congratulations, you have good hip mobility. If your heel is lifting up or you just can’t get down there that is fine but now you know you have some work to do.

If you are very close I recommend trying to watch TV for about 10 minutes a day like this until it feels really comfortable. You will be amazed at the increased mobility, which could help alleviate problems stemming from certain tight muscles.

Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance
Amazon Price: $59.95 $29.75 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 15, 2015)
This is an excellent book to learn more techniques on improving mobility for athletics, or just to improve your overall well-being.

Getting There

Now for those of us who can’t get there right away, don’t fret. I have two ways which really helped me to be able to sit in this position for extended periods of time. The easiest is to perform the squat in front of something that you can hold onto and will support you pulling against it. Simply face a pole or ledge you can grab and squat back away from it. While you sit back you can use your arms to help you sit back onto your heels. The second way is to put your heels close to a wall then sit back into the wall and push your back flat as you squat all the way down. Practice holding this position longer each day. Every few days try testing your squat and see how far you have come. Once you can get in a full squat without your heels coming up try staying in that position for at least a few minutes a day.

Conclusion

Deep full squats are incorporated into everyday life in places across the world. However, here in the US we rarely ever get into this position. Improving your hip and ankle mobility by getting comfortable in this position can work wonders for your movement and possible reduce some pain associated with tight hips and calves. Spending just a few minutes a day can work wonders for your overall mobility and flexibility. 

 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Comments

Feb 21, 2015 9:25am
totalathletictherapy
Great article and I couldn't agree more. I heard an interesting analogy the other day that people argue that it's bad for your knees to move through their full range of motion because it put way to much stress on them. If we look at that with a similar joint, the elbow, we would never say that we couldn't flex the elbow through a full range of motion and would have to stop at 90 degrees. It would be impractical and make no sense and also causes no pain so why would we think any different with our knees? Thanks for writing this.
Feb 21, 2015 1:54pm
dalton14
Thank you so much for the kind words. I absolutely agree with that analogy.If we said that about the elbow it would seem ridiculous to most people, but when it comes to the knees we seem to think otherwise. Usually the culprit is tightness in the calves and hips which don't allow people the proper form when squating. This pushes the knee forward and causes unnecessary stress.If people would practice the movement they would get better...just like anything else.

Thanks again
Feb 21, 2015 9:25am
totalathletictherapy
Great article and I couldn't agree more. I heard an interesting analogy the other day that people argue that it's bad for your knees to move through their full range of motion because it put way to much stress on them. If we look at that with a similar joint, the elbow, we would never say that we couldn't flex the elbow through a full range of motion and would have to stop at 90 degrees. It would be impractical and make no sense and also causes no pain so why would we think any different with our knees? Thanks for writing this.
Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Media

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB Health