Yesterday, a couple of completely unrelated conversations came around to the same question: do I squat enough?
I’m not talking about the repetitive exercise of squatting, with or without weight. I’m referring to a resting squat: feet flat on the floor, knees tracking over but not beyond the toes, and buttocks against the calves (or, as some would say, “ass to grass”). In many cultures, this is a natural resting position that is even more common than sitting. I see it in the smooth, natural way my young nephews squat down to play with toys on the ground–while we, the adults, collapse down to sit on our butts, unable to hold the same position.
Think on that. Think about how much you sit and stand, and how hard it can be to fully squat and get yourself back up again. When you squat, do your heels touch the ground? I do squats as a regular exercise in my lifting routine (my favorite is goblet squat), but the idea of just hanging out in a low squat for a long time isn’t appealing to me — because I do things that cause a system of muscular imbalances, like sitting (contributes to weak abs, tight hips, weak glutes and a less flexible spine) and wearing high heels (shortens the Achilles tendon). I stopped wearing high heels almost two years ago, but other than doing a few stretches suggested by my chiropractor and generally trying to strengthen my core and improve overall flexibility, I haven’t really focused on my Achilles and tight hip flexors and psoas.
Enter: Ido Portal’s 30-day squat challenge.
We’ve all seen those challenges where you pick an exercise — push-ups, planks, burpees, whatever — and gradually increase the number you do every day, for 30 days, right? In most challenges, the goal is to do 100 repetitions of the exercise in a single day by the end of the challenge period.
This is not that.
Reminding us that a static, low squat is a natural resting position for our body, Ido challenges us to spend 30 minutes per day in a resting squat, every day for 30 days. He suggests setting a timer to 30 minutes and starting it every time you go down into the squat throughout your day. Pause it when you are coming up. Keep doing it throughout the day until you can stay in the squat position longer each time.
This is a heels-on-the-ground full squat. I can’t get my heels to the ground without putting my feet really, really wide. It’s uncomfortable.
I wonder how it will feel 30 days from now?
For more on the 30-day squat challenge:
- The post on Ido Portal’s Facebook page, here.
- A suggested squat and mobility/stretching routine posted by Ido to Youtube, here.
- A dedicated FB group for all participating in the challenge, here.