Did you know the natural human resting position is a deep squat? That’s right! Feet flat, ass to grass, and into the bottom position of a squat? If you were concerned about your high school coach telling you to go to parallel that’s just because it’s been a standard in weight lifting competitions to go slightly below parallel. In reality, our bodies are made to move and you’re made to squat deep.
If you’ve ever noticed children have an innate ability to squat deep. Then we mess it up and give them chairs. Slowly they lose the ability to squat lower than the height of your typical office chair. Well why is this a problem? What happens when you drop that phone on the ground for the 5th time today? You bend over while rounding your low back and grab it. Okay so that was 5 times. What’s the big deal? Well 5 times for your phone, a couple times for shoes, the pizza slice that you’re still going to eat (you know it’s true), and all the little things. Now tack a couple years on top of that, and boom! You just pulled your back picking a straw up off the ground.
Now, how do we change that pattern? First off, we need to get comfortable in the bottom of a squat. Open a door and hold both handles of the door. Now, lean back and slowly make your way into a flat footed squat with your feet facing forward and knees over your toes. Next, start to add movement by tracing a figure 8 with your body in that squat. Continue to practice this until you don’t need the door anymore. Next time you drop that straw you don’t have to worry about it throwing out your back because you’ve patterned and hammered it into your brain (it’s called muscle memory).