Exercise Type: Passive Stretch / Active Mobility
Equipment Needed: N/A
Primary Focus: Overall Squat Mobility (Hips, Knees, Ankles, Thoracic Spine)
Secondary Focus: N/A
This is a very fundamental human position which for some people will be extremely easy to adopt, and for others it will be a long and arduous journey of improving their Mobility to achieve this position comfortably without heeled shoes. Most people will fit somewhere in the middle of those two.
For those that find this position absolutely trivial, I would recommend the following more advanced Mobility exercises that utilise this position as a baseline:
- Squat Prayer Stretch as a good adductor and proximal-medial hamstring stretch
- Squat Sky Reach as a good upper back stretch
- Squat Head-to-Fist as a good lower back stretch
If you do not fit in either of these camps, you likely can hold a resting squat for a while but it is not completely to you yet and so simply holding it for longer will be the a great option for you, which is what this entry is for.
It is important if you are going to start practicing longer holds with the resting squat that your upper thighs are relaxed. If your quads are engaged to hold yourself in the squat because you cannot get deep enough to rest the backs of your thighs against your calfs, you are not ready to do this exercise.
You will not be completely relaxed in this position, as your upper back and the muscles on the front of your shins will likely be working hard and burning if this is an appropriate challenge for you. This is expected.
How to Perform:
To perform this exercise, squat down as low as you can, and sit up as straight as you can. As stated, your thighs should be relaxed, but your shins will likely be contracting hard to pull you forward/stop you from falling backwards onto your butt. This is normal.
If you want extra help, you can wedge your knees into your armpits and squeeze down on them with your arms. That will help ease a bit of the load off of your shins.
As a fun added bonus, once you can squat around as deep as I can (butt nearly touching the floor), you can start practicing an entry to the squat from the floor as shown below:
Surprisingly more useful than you’d think when it comes to having multiple strategies for standing up off the floor, and I find myself doing that very regularly to get up off the floor as it requires far less re-positioning, and does not require your arms, unlike other methods.