Restoring the squat
By Laurie Sweig
For the last 25 days I have been getting into and holding a squat position for one minute. I can understand if some of you are asking why I would want to do something like that. I do like challenges. I look at them as experiments. At first, it was an uncomfortable minute. Now it is much better. In fact, I’m gaining significant benefits. The hip pain I was experiencing is gone and the other day I was taking photos and instead of kneeling down I could hold the squat position to get the shot.
After years of sitting in chairs, cars, and on a bicycle my lower body is incredibly tight. I have to confess here that I never liked stretching routines so I avoided them until I had a problem. All of that sitting cemented my body into that “sitting” position. Over the last year I’ve been working on increasing my range of motion to reduce the lower back, hip and knee pain I was experiencing. My squat had improved but I have made more progress in the past three weeks than I have in months. One minute a day is all it took.
The first challenge was to remember to do the squat. I had to find an anchor, something else I did every day that I could tack the minute of squatting on to. I discovered it takes a minute for my computer to boot up. Now, I push the on button, and get into the squat.
The second thing I tried was celebrating that I did the squat (heard about this tactic in a podcast). This sounds a little out there, but saying “yes” or “right on” when I finished left me with a good feeling and it didn’t leave room for me to be judgmental. To add more positive reinforcement I write the accomplishment on a calendar that’s hanging on my wall. Every day I look at how many I’ve done and that adds to my motivation.
The goal is to do the one minute squat for 30 days but they are part of my routine now and I’m feeling great so there’s no way I’m stopping. Being an enthusiastic person, I am now encouraging everyone to try this. Some clients are starting with 15 seconds and building up as they get stronger. Some are holding onto a railing or something to keep from falling backward.
Our hips are such an
important and greatly overlooked part of our bodies. Squatting brings
them back to life. This really is like a miracle cure for some of the
pain that sitting has caused.
Something to think about.
Laurie Sweig is a certified personal fitness trainer and spinning instructor. She owns and operates The Point for Fitness. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.