First and foremost, squatting is the most important movement pattern to master. It can tell many things about a human being: flexibility, strength, body awareness, coordination, stability, balance, core control, and digestion too! People who cannot squat low end up squatting above or just to the knees while bending forward. As a kind gym Samaritan, please read this blog, then assist the struggling individual. You can literally change someone’s squat in a matter of seconds! How does a squat show poor digestion? Well, if someone is bloated because of poor dietary habits, or because they are allergic to foods and are not aware, the will bloat. Core muscles will suffer and weaken over time, and therefore, with weak core muscles, combined with many other issues, the squatting movement will be limited!
There are two things that come to mind when helping people squat low: form and flexibility.
- Imagine you are taking a #2 in the woods
- Wide shoulder width stance
- Knees and Toes turned out 45 degrees
- Tall spine
- Exercise – Ball Squat against wall with a targeted depth
- Practice depth squatting with the support of a ball and wall on your mid to low back
- Use Stepper Risers to gauge your depth and create targets for your desired depth
- Feet should be under the shoulders, slightly behind the knees
- Breathing – Breathe as if you were neck deep in water: exhale as you sink down and maintain the exhalation until you stand back up, then inhale. Your diaphragm needs to assist your core muscles in the squatting movement by releasing all of the air in trunk, thus creating a stable and solid unit for squatting functionally.
- Spend 10 breaths per stretch for a total minimal time of 20 seconds per stretch
- Stretch to the point of discomfort but not pain
- If you have trouble squatting deeply, make flexibility a larger focus to your overall fitness and health goals – without length, there is limited strength
- Hamstrings – Downward Dog (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbJaj0Aqw5k)
- Gluteals – Pigeon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVlX5HNKamw)
- Piriformis & Hip flexor – Kneeling Lunge Stretch with Arms above (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBx1XqnujOU)
- Piriformis – Cross Legged Sitting (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qZ517Rw7ME)
- Calves – Standing Wall Calf Stretch (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1HzSAuB-Vw)
- Lower Back – Child’s Pose (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MATFkfTgJU)
- Lower Back & Groin – Happy Baby (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTeoG3H0vsM)
- Groin – Sumo Squat Stretch (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT67_8ox-pk)