When we are little and learning to walk, the squat position is a safe go-to in-between position to keep us from falling and injuring ourselves. If you watch a child who is just beginning to walk you will see them often pause and squat and then keep going. When you are a kid it’s natural. You are flexible and it’s a comfortable motion.
As adults, most of us never even think of squatting. It’s a cultural thing. We have chairs and we intend to use them. In other countries around the world people do still actually squat in daily life picking things up, gardening, talking to children or pets, or just to stretch out.
When you hear the word squat in America most of us think first of the gym and “doing a squat” as a glute exercise. It sounds like work and tiring. We won’t lie, when your body is rigid or weak and unused to doing a motion, it can be difficult. But squatting incorporated into your daily life, over time can benefit you so greatly you may just want to try anyway.
It is important to make sure your posture is good and you are doing it correctly or you can stress your knees too much leading to injury.
There are two kinds of squats
The Gym Squat – This version you do not go down all the way, though instructors do say to get nice and low, but not so low you cannot get back up without tremendous effort.
- Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart or a little wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance. You can also bend the elbows or clasp the fingers.
- Sit back and down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you lower yourself.
- Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels.
- Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.
The Full Squat Position
Repeat the same steps as above only really lower yourself down past that imaginary chair seat so that the backs of your thighs are resting on your calves. It should feel like a nice comfortable stretch. No pain should be felt anywhere.
Stay like that for as long as it is comfortable. Start slowly with 30 seconds and work up from there.
The Benefits of Squatting – Gym squats will help build your legs, butt, and core. They will shape and tone and build strength and balance. Additional to that the squat sitting position also benefits the body in the following ways:
Relief from Back Pain – In a deep squat, the pelvis rotates backward stretching the shortened muscles in the low back. It produces a traction effect decompressing the spine.
Stronger Hips and Glutes – These glutes (buttocks) are vital in performing everyday tasks such as walking, running, and lifting. A deep squat optimally activates these muscles. Stronger hips and glutes mean more control and less chance of injury in workouts as well as daily life.
Increased Ankle Mobility – Lack of ankle mobility can lead to health issues in the body. Getting into a deep squat can stretch the tight muscles in the legs and restore the ankles range of motion.
Better Posture – With improved joint mobility and lower body strength, it is easier for the musculoskeletal system to stay in the right alignment.
Better Digestion – Toilets have been created at a 90-degree angle. We were never meant to do that. Elimination was supposed to be done in a squat. If you have digestive issues just assuming this position daily can help internal muscles relax and work right again.
Start squatting today. You may just be amazed at how much better you feel!
Chiropractor | Nutritionist in Ft Myers, FL.
Chiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent it as soon as possible?
Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor, and nutritionist in Fort Myers can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.