The ‚Resting Squat‘ – Mobility with Franziska Lancaster
Hi, I am Franziska Lancaster and I’m a movement and mobility coach.
In the coming period I will be showing you some basic movements and stretches that everyone should be doing on a regular basis to maintain and improve mobility and flexibility. This is important in doing sports but also for the majority of people who are sitting behind their desks and computers for multiple hours a day.
The first movement we’re going to discuss is the ‚Resting Squat‘.
The resting squat is one of the most basic movements. Basically you squat down until your legs are completely bent while at the same time keeping a straight back. Practicing and spending time in this position on a daily basis can have many health benefits for everyone.
You may ask yourself why that is since we have become so used to sitting on chairs and sofas. Actually the human body was never made to sit in this way. Sitting in chairs makes us neglect many muscles that actually keep our body in the right form. In the prehistoric and middle ages people used to squat all the time, to pick something up, to relax, to go to the toilet etc. In may parts of Asia it is still quite common to sit in this position. And did you ever notice small kids when they want to examine something on the floor? They instinctively squat down. Well enough for the history lesson. What will this movement actually bring you?
Sitting in chairs causes our metabolic functions and calorie consumption to drop immediately. As a consequence you can become insulin resistant and more susceptible for diabetes. Next to this sitting in chairs is terrible for our posture and our spine.
The results are stiffness in the hips, knees and ankles, tight muscles, joint soreness and a lack of general mobility and flexibility in the lower part of the body. As our body will try to compensate for all these effects it will change our walking pattern to cope with the immobility.
Practicing squats on a daily basis will make sure you improve your posture, flexibility, mobility, metabolism and calorie burning. Next to that your lower body and core will become stronger and you will be less susceptible to injuries and diseases.
Benefits in sports
For any sport or exercise the squat should be part of standard routine. Make it part of you warming up or cooling down. The legs, hips and core are the center of your body. Without them you will not have stability or the strength to do anything. So practice, practice, practice. If you have a lack of ankle or hip mobility, go work on it on a daily basis until you can do a normal resting squat.
The squat is also one of the basic movements when doing Crossfit, olympic weightlifting or general fitness. Make sure you master this movement if you want to make steady progress and reach your goals. Don’t skip legday 😉
So how to do a ‚Resting squat‘?
As shown in the video the most comfortable way is to do it while wearing comfortable clothing and no shoes.
- 1. stand straight up and place your feet at shoulder width
- 2. squat down until you cannot go any lower
- 3. make sure you keep a straight spine
- 4. place both arms at the inside of your legs
- 5. hold the position for at least 30 seconds
- 6. repeat 3 times
If you have mastered all the steps above you can follow the same routine but this time place your elbows against the inside of your knees and press your knees out. This helps to create extra hip flexibility. (see video)
As an additional step, while you are in the resting squat position you can turn around your torso and point your arm to the sky to create extra spine and hip flexibility. Switch between arms and torso positioning.
If all of the above is working well for you try to increase the time of each round with an extra 30 seconds until you have mastered it. Then add another 30 seconds, and so on.
After a week you should already clearly feel the difference in terms of mobility and flexibility improvement as well as a general ease in walking and movement in general. Keep it up and reap the benefits of this low hanging fruit for your overall mobility.
Next time we will be doing the ‘Stride Stance Good Morning’. So keep a close eye.
By the way for any questions just post them below!