By: Megan Maes

A heals down, hips below parallel squat should be easy and comfortable. It should be a relaxing position. If you struggle to get down into a squat, or you need to fight for ten seconds at the bottom, you may be spending too much time in your office chair or on the couch.

So, what’s the good news? You can improve your mobility and master your squat at any age.

 

Why You Should Get Out Of Your Chair:

  • Sitting in a chair teaches your gluteal muscles to turn off.
  • Your abdominal muscles help you sit upright, and sitting back in a chair doesn’t require them to engage.
  • Long periods spent in a chair will decrease your hip mobility.
  • Sitting in a chair often increases your risk of herniating lumbar spinal disks.
  • Poor bone density is caused by lack of activity (chair sitting). Deep squatting will improve this!

 

The Many Benefits of Squatting Deep:

  • Spending more time in a deep squat will increase your body’s ability to perform tasks without compensation. Improved mobility = improvement in movement patterns.
  • Deep squats will improve overall muscle development in the lower body.
  • Posterior chain muscles perform more work as your squat depth increases.
  • Getting into a deep squat will stretch many of the muscles in the legs and help restore ankle range of motion.
  • There is a neuroendocrine response to squats that is like a fountain of youth.

 

Simple Steps to Improve Your Squat:

Start working on sitting down into a resting squat position with your heels down and knees out. Accumulate 5 minutes over the course of the day. When this is done a few times, work on holding for longer periods until you are spending 10+ minutes of your day in a squat.

If you have trouble with this, use a stable object to keep yourself upright. Also, perform awesome stretches like pigeon pose and frog stretch to enhance your squat, and target the muscles that have become tight over time from lack of movement.

Good luck and happy squatting!

 

References:

Don’t Be Afraid To Squat Low: 7 Reasons To Squat Deep

The Resting Squat – How It Makes You More Human

CrossFit, Weightlifting, and the Neuroendocrine Response – Part 2