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Just a few years ago, American fitness experts were telling people that deep squatting was dangerous.
This despite the fact that entire cultures of people—see India and China, for instance—actually relax while in a deep squat. Yes, people in those countries have been known to literally have long conversations in that position—by choice.
But here in the U.S., we prefer to sit in a chair. And maybe that’s why so many of us have trouble squatting. From my experience, even most fit Americans can’t stay in a bodyweight squat for more than a minute or two without collapsing.
So while the advice I’m about to give you might sound strange, it’s also completely strange to people in other countries that you’re not already doing it.
Here it is: I want you to spend at least 5 to 10 minutes per day in a deep squat position.
The purpose: 1) to get you some much needed mobility work for your tight and stiff ankles, knees, and hips, 2) to help you prevent lower back pain, and 3) to naturally improve your squat mechanics for the gym.
I can say with a pretty high-degree of confidence that you’ll benefit in all three ways.
Chances are, you’ll have a hard time following my recommendation—especially if you have a sedentary job where you spend hours sitting on your butt.
But you can make it easier to spend more time in the deep squat by using any combination of the hacks in the Instagram video below.
You can do a few of these without the need for any additional equipment by placing your hands on the back of a bench, chair, or ottoman for assistance, or by holding onto a pole or power rack for counter-balance.
Other options require the use of a heavy-duty resistance band, or a load –like a weight plate or barbell—to help set you in the right position for an extended period of time.
For best results, alternate between wider and closer foot positions, and between a passive deep squat (just “sit” there) and an active parallel squat hold (squeeze your glutes and thighs hard) for best results.
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