We all could squat at some stage of our lives. Over time, unfortunately, some of us have lost the ability to get down into a relaxing deep squat. Whether this is due to injury; poor movement habits or sedentary lifestyles.
All is not lost though. It is still possible to train your body to be able to squat again.
There are many benefits to enabling your deep squat!
Improved hip & ankle mobility / Improved lower back flexibility / Improved abdominal stability.
There are also some common reasons why a deep squat may currently be out of reach:
Tight calves / stiff or immobile ankle joints / stiff hip joints / tight hip musculature / stiff, immobile spinal joints / weak, dysfunctional abs.
There are ways to work around these issues to help you gain your squat back!
When you're able to squat effectively, it crosses over into your daily life and helps you to avoid moving in awkward ways which can avoid a number of potential injuries that otherwise may have occurred.
Practising the deep squat:
Using a door handle for support and heel raises (door stoppers from Bunnings) if ankle mobility is an issue.
Holding onto the door, slowly lower into a squat to a depth that feels manageable. Hold for up to one minute. Start slow, if a 10 second hold is all you can manage, that's ok.
As above, but if it is comfortable enough to do without needing a heel raise assist then use this version.
Using a doorway for support and heel raises (door stoppers from Bunnings) if ankle mobility is an issue.
Holding onto the doorway, slowly lower into a squat to a depth that feels manageable. Hold for up to one minute. Start slow, if a 10 second hold is all you can manage, that's ok.
If lowering deep into the squat isn't comfortable at first, then start at a depth that is.
Take your time with this, slowly build up the amount of time you spend in the squat and then work on the depth. If you're using heel raises then aim to try and slowly wean off them (by having your feet further forward on the raise until you no longer need it) as it gets more comfortable.
Once you have spent time (and it may take a lot of time, even a year or so) on your deep squat and feel comfortable enough to try without any assistance, start working on an unassisted deep squat.
This is the final destination of the deep squat journey! This is where you want to try and aim for eventually and then work up time spent in this position.
Once comfortable to do this you can gently rock side to side and forwards and backwards as well as gently twisting either side to try and create more movement through the ankles and hips in this position. Click here for a video demo.
Start your deep squat journey now! I would love to know how you go so feel free to post a pic of where you're at with the squat on our facebook page!