Last Saturday, I was at our relatives for a 50th Birthday Celebration. During the course of the evening, fitness and injuries came up as one of the topics. My ears of course immediately zoomed in on this conversation during which I mentioned my phrase – “to live is to squat.”
I have had clients tell me that they are not supposed to squat past 90 degrees or that the human knee was not designed to bend that deeply. My response has either been a. “Well, clearly 80% of the world’s population has not gotten that memo because a deep squat is a way of life in most parts of the world” or b. “And how do you get off the toilet, out of a chair, out of the car, off the sofa?”
I firmly believe that we must continue to work on our ability to squat if we want to continue to have a functional life as we age. In many cases that has meant learning how to squat correctly maybe for the first time in one’s life. What are the parts of a squat?
- Butt back – you have to get back on the toilet.
- Knees in line with the 2nd/3rd toe – not letting the knees ‘dump together’ as they bend.
- Keeping a neutral spine – so that back maintains its natural curve and doesn’t go into a rounded back position.
My knees are in much better shape since I have been doing deep squats and heavy lifting in Crossfit and Pilates. I will definitely not be adding the handicap bars in my bathroom as I age. I will keep my glute and knee strength so I can do a comfortable squat my entire life.
Back at the family gathering, we ended up having a little ‘squat fest’ to practice. The pics are not great but it was a lot of fun.