As you've probably been hearing me talk about, squatting is the natural human resting position.
I'm not talking about squatting as an exercise, or barbell squatting. I'm talking about the deep, flat-footed squat.
Some people call this the "ass to grass" squat. This posture is how we evolved to "sit" before the modern use of chairs (which we've only been using for about 100 years or so to a significant degree).
If you can't get into a full, flat-footed squat without falling over, don't worry, you are not in the minority. Most people in the developed world have lost their ability to squat comfortably. Pain is the reason most people hate exercising (and because it's boring).
In this video I share with you step-by-step progressions for reclaiming your squat. No matter where you're at, you'll find a progression in here you can use.
Here are the progressions:
For a more detailed routine, check out the squat mobility routine here.
You've probably heard the headlines "Sitting is the New Smoking" - while I'm not sure if that's true or not, it's clearly not great for you.
We are not meant to sit for long periods of time. Just think back to school as a child, you had to be trained to be able to sit still. It's not a natural ability by any means.
Not only does it create lots of postural imbalances, but it puts you in a static position for a long period of time.
[clickToTweet tweet="Humans are not machines. We're meant to move." quote="Humans are not machines. We're meant to move."]
Squatting while you work, or at least taking squatting breaks is one way to combat the effects of long-term sitting. It's not a panacea, but it's certainly a great place to start.
Just as we have RDAs (recommended daily allowance) for vitamins and minerals, we too should have "RDAs" for natural movements.
In the wild, we'd get these daily minimums without any thought or planning. In the domesticated world, we have to artificially build them in.
The good news is that once you build the habit, you'll just start squatting automatically without having to think about it.
I recommend squatting for an average of about 30 minutes a day. Once you've achieved a decent proficiency holding the deep squat, you'll want to start playing with moving while squatting.
Squatting was used in the wild for many human activities, probably mostly for foraging and playing. You wouldn't just sit there during these activities. You'd be reaching, crawling, twisting and pulling.
An interesting experiment is to simply go out in your yard and imagine yourself foraging while in a squat. What kind of movements do you feel drawn to do? Those are likely pretty close to what you'd do while foraging in the wild.
One of the hallmarks I see in modern fitness is this complete lack of patience. We want to just be able to do it, and we want to do it now.
Remember, you didn't get where you are overnight. It took a lot of sitting and bad habits to get here.
It will take time to undo the years or decades of domestication and static living.
Be patient with yourself. Enjoy the journey and go easy on yourself.
You're starting now.
In this series I go deeper into the squat, and how you can free up the hips, ankles and spine.
You'll get detailed instruction, including sets, reps and a video you can use from any device.