Are Squats Really That Important?
Have you ever been told squats are bad for you? Have you ever been told not to do squats they will hurt you? Have you ever been told not to squat deep.? As a physical therapist I hear this quite often from new patients. So the bad news for me is: I get/have to be the one to tell them they can never sit in a chair or on a toilet again. Why? That a squat. Getting up and down from chairs, toilets, bleachers is a squat. Calling it by another name doesn’t change the fact that it is a squat.
What’s my point?
Squats are a functional movement pattern. The elderly especially have difficulty getting in/out of chairs. If you don’t do it you lose it. It gets harder and harder for them to get up and down. Pretty soon they aren’t doing it at all and then they become chair bound which really isn’t good for their health. But too much sitting is a whole other set of problems. There are many ways to practice squats besides the traditional gym back squat. For instance putting a bar on your back and squatting. You can also put a chair in front of your kitchen sink and hold on to the counter and then sit back and just touch the chair with your rear end without actually sitting is a great way to start exercising the squat movement. Start off with five repetitions. Of course they have to be done correctly which is a whole other article.
A physical therapist can help.
Remember an exercise is only bad if it is done incorrectly. Practice makes permanent. Imperfect practice yields imperfect results. Therefore anytime a person sits it is an opportunity to do it correctly. Another benefit of the squat is the amount of muscles used in the body. Hips, knees ankles, and feet are involved in the movement while the back and abdominals are working to stabilize the body. Joints are moved through a full range which is good for joint health, and muscles are stretched under a load which means that they are able to control the movement. The best exercises are the ones that use the most muscles at once since they all work together anyway instead of in isolation, and using full range of motion. Squatting deeper than chair height is even better because the muscles are stretched more. The joints are taken through a greater range of their natural motion and the body will be stronger in a lower position. A full squat is important because it is a movement pattern we were born with. To get off the floor as an infant we squatted without being taught. Full range, butt to ankle. The only reason you lose it is if you stop doing it. So in the beginning we could all squat. Get back to it.
“Life goes on within you and without you” George Harrison. Make it a good life.
FYZICAL THERAPY AND BALANCE CENTER is unlike any therapy clinic you’ve been to before. At FYZICAL, our highly skilled, compassionate team of physical therapists are 100% focused on achieving optimal health and wellness for you so you can get back to living the life you enjoy. Unlike other therapy clinics, you will receive a specific program designed uniquely for you.