Get Low- Squats

 

 

In our culture we sit much more than we squat.  Often people new to fitness or yoga have a difficult time getting in a low squat position. As they begin the descend to the floor, the heels come off the floor and they are limited in their range of motion.  It can take a long time to feel comfortable in this position. However, we perform squatting motions everyday (getting out of a chair/car and every time we pick something up off the floor), so this pose is extremely relevant. Unfortunately, our reliance on chairs and poor posture habits have made squatting more and more challenging. Have you ever noticed how babies have perfect squat form? When did we lose this ability? And more importantly how do we get it back?

First, let’s examine what’s required in the posture. Squatting challenges the mechanics of the entire body; it requires mobility and stability in the ankles, knees, hips, pelvis, and spine. 

 

Squatting is one of the most effective ways to tone the entire lower body. It works the quadricep, hamstring, gluteal, and calf muscles of the legs, plus, it strengthens the lower back and core. In everyday life we rarely see someone in a full squat outside of the yoga studio or gym. And for squat lovers, yogi and non-yogi alike, here is a list of 3 of the most popular and most effective squat exercises to get your body strong and moving like it should...

 

1. Pistol Squat - Squatting on one leg is definitely harder than with two legs.  It is not just twice as hard but more like 3-4x harder.

2. Goblet Squat - Stand holding a kettle bell or dumbbell close to your chest. Squat down until your legs are parallel to the floor. At the bottom position, pause and use your elbows to push your knees out.

3. Bulgarian SplitSquat -

It is a great way to build single-leg strength, add lower-body mass, and improve hip mobility.  Start with one foot forward and one foot back and lower the knee that is back to 

 

Mobility Exercise for the squat:  

1. Squat Breathing- 

2. Calf Stretch

3. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch