The benefits of the squat as an exercise has been debated for many years. However, if you really want to know what the purpose of sitting in a squat is, ask a one year old...
“But one year olds can only speak on average around 20 words!”
What I’m saying is, by looking at ‘how they move’ you’re going to get a really good idea of how humans are designed to move. Or even better how you ‘used’ to be able to move simply because... they’re teaching themselves!
Young children are humans in their most innate form. They’re at a time in their lives before culture conditions them not to sit in a squat. Quite simply because it’s not social acceptable! Or because it’s the same position we crap in. Have we denied our resting position through embarrassment?
“Maybe as babies we sat like this but why would you assume that as an adult I should be able to sit like this? I mean, don’t babies have shorter limbs?”
In my TED talk I introduced you to a lady called Esther Gokhale who spent years visiting indigenous cultures where she discovered groups of people (adults) moving naturally, that just happened to be free from back pain. One of the go-to positions for indigenous people is the squat.
(Essentially the message of my TED talk is that by moving ‘how we are designed to move’ we can also become pain-free).
So now we’re aware that as adults we too are designed to sit like this, let’s get the ethnicity argument out of the way.
“It’s the Asian squat!”, “no it’s the Slav squat!”
Well if it’s either the Asian/Slav squat why does every able-bodied child of every race on the planet sit like this? And secondly, how have I taught thousands of non-Asian & non-Slavic adults who had previously lost the ability to squat to do it again… including myself!
This is because it’s the human squat or to be more precise. This is the ‘human resting position’.
Really, it’s just a position designed for those tired from standing. That’s it!
"So how do I get my resting position back?"
A. Dedicate 10 mins of your day to getting your squat back. This can be at home, at work, in the kitchen or even on the train & you can divide this 10 mins up throughout the day.
B. If you feel you’re going to fall backwards or if you feel pain in your knees when sitting in your resting position, wedge a block underneath your heels until you feel either a burning sensation or a stretchy sensation. These are the sensations you want to feel for improvement.
C. Never give up! The biggest reason for people not squatting better is people not trying to squat better. Quite simply if you don’t do it you won’t receive the benefits. If you do however, you’ll be laughing all the way out of a hip replacement. Goodbye chronic pain. Hello resting position!
I hope you enjoyed this blog. If you’d like to see me on the TED stage talking about getting schooled by a 5 year old... please find it below.
To moving better! Roger.