Classified Fitness Home of Classified CrossFit Squat Tips
Why do we squat?
It is one the basic movements of life. Every time you sit in a chair, sit in a car, sit at the movies, or sit on the ground you are performing a squat. Fortunately most devices support our muscles and don’t require us to engage them constantly as we would grow tired quickly. But it is also unfortunate because our bodies were built to sit in the perfect squat. Imagine an infant who is reaching down to grab something from the floor, their butt is mere inches from the ground, knees are tracking outward, chest is upright and the lumbar of the back has a perfect curvature to it. They are incredibly comfortable in that position, they do not require a chair, which is a human invention.
But why is that so?
Because we as humans are born that way, squatting is a natural position of life. When you sit down on an object you no longer are supporting your body with your leg or hip muscles, you have to engage your back and chest and abs in order to sit up right. This is one reason why many people develop back issues from sitting all day leaning over their computers; a hunched back becomes a natural position for them.
What if we could adjust that natural position?
Well first we’d see that our posture was not as hunched, Our upper backs would not be as rounded and our lower back, where the pain usually resonates from, would not feel as stressed out trying to keep your chest upright when you are leaning forward. But back to the squat, the best way to fix our positioning is to practice our form!
So how do we practice?
Squat, frequently if you can. Age, shape, size, mobility does not dictate the limits of what we practice. Everyone has a different degree to what they do this very moment. Our job is to help you change that degree to a satisfactory level, one that compliments your life. One that helps you feel more comfortable in your body, and hopefully helps eliminate pain as well!
What do we want to think about when you squat?
We want to think about getting our feet shoulder width apart with our toes slightly out. We want to keep our chest up by looking at the horizon and drop our hips as vertically as possible. We want our knees to track outward in order to create space for our hips to drop straight down and we want to stay in our heels and not lean into our toes. There it is, as simple as that! Well we wish it was that simple, but, it gives you a great place to start! Not everyone will be able to break parallel on their first try, just like not everyone can ride a bicycle without training wheels. It takes practice. That is what we assist you with. We give you the coaching and the tools to practice.
Try this at home: Focus on a fixated point in front of you with your feet shoulder width apart. Try and sit back on your heels and see how low you can go before your chest starts leaning forward, raise your hands upwards if you have to. Whether you can only go a couple of inches or you can go all the way at least you have a place to start. You can measure your progress as you learn to go lower and lower. For some people it’s mobility, for most it’s just required practice. The body and mind can be trained to do incredible things.
Stay tuned for our follow up post about mobilizing for the squat!
2017 06 07