The sensation of the squat, if you can hit one deep enough, is luxurious. As a rest position it is as soft and relaxing as my warm evening drink, and as an exercise as harsh and invigorating as my cold morning shower. Both are salubrious, in their own ways. One will assuage you, loosen you, and cause you to expand like wine does. The other will hit you like a hangover.
I do not take my squat mobility for granted. I earned it the hard way, the long way, the only way it can be earned: by taking liberties to squat where it is most likely to fetch me the attention of people I’d rather have pay me an indifference.
So be prepared to have people look at you with interest when you squat where most others stand. But let me give you this, first.
If you are to do it in line at the post office, inquire of the fellow in front of you if he’s yet had his morning dose of Metabolic and take the precaution of making your company known before you descend below the level of perception, else he might permit himself an indulgence, imaging nobody around to be alarmed or offended by it, and afford you the unpleasant insight as to how his eggs were seasoned.
I taught two Becoming Minimalist* workshops this weekend with Som. One in New Jersey at Escape Fitness, the other in PA, at The River of Life, in Montgomery county, hosted by John Bair of Bair Knuckle Strength. You can tell a lot about a person’s movement by how they squat.
(*If you have a facility and would like to host a one (or two) day Becoming Minimalist workshop, please email us at PatFlynn@ChroniclesOfStrength.com with the subject line of “workshop”).
Are you only as old as your squat is deep? I’d like to think there’s some merit to that, sure. Saw two women in their mid and late sixties with deep, luscious squats over the weekend. Would have guessed them to be in their forties, hadn’t they already made their ages known to me. Women of iron, really—very athletes!
Then saw many younger folks with wretched, abominable squats. There are many reasons for it, some remediable, some not.
Ok, so mobilization in the squat is great—IF YOU CAN GET THERE.
If not, then what do you do?
The answer, of course, is to get there—however you can. For some this may be on all fours, and done from a quadruped rocking position (pushing your butt back towards the heels while on your hands, knees, and feet). Frog stretch works damnably well, too. For others it can be done simply and easily from the goblet squat, while holding onto a light kettlebell or some other object not too overly cumbrous.
If I were to give you a minimalist squat mobility routine—and I’m going to venture some sweeping generalizations here; but we MUST make generalizations, from time to time, otherwise we lurk in that dark, nebulous void of “it all depends”, where no good or useful ideas are ever submitted for the fear of public disapproval. Could care less, myself.
Do the frog stretch, and do it everyday. Here’s one of our more archaic videos, pulled from the deepest back corner of my Youtube Channel. It’s Som doing a “two-minute to do” (we should really bring this series back…).
Next, rock and crawl and much as possible to mimic the squat from a horizontal position and developmental perspective. Just keep your back flat when you do it, ok?
And I don’t want to hear any bitching about this video. I can see it, and I’ve got the eyesight of an earthworm.
And finally, from the goblet squat:
If you have any questions, which I’m sure you probably do, I welcome them in the comment section.
PS – Check out One Meal a Day : – )