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Why We Need To Squat

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Most of us understand the importance of regular exercise but not all exercises are created equally in terms of their benefit to the body.  If you exercise regularly or just getting started the squat is an absolute must for your exercise program.

What is the correct hinge and squat position?

The most important point to understand about the hinge position is that the hinge movement begins at the hip first and not the knees.  If you have never knowingly performed the hinge movement before consider the act of pushing your hips back to sit in a chair at the Movie Theater, concert or play. When you push your hips back to find the seat your shins (the bone between your knees and ankle will be nearly vertical or straight). The first thing you do after pushing your hips back over the chair is to slowly lower your butt (squat) until you make contact with the seat. To get a better sense of the hinge movement take a chair that is the correct height for you and push it up against the wall so that chair does not slide away. Next, slowly practice pushing your hips back until your butt hovers over the chair and then stand up straight.  This is the hinge.  If you get stuck performing the hinge contact us.

What does the correct hinge position tells us?

The ability to hinge the hips correctly and squat is a great indicator of back and spine health. Bending over at the waist should not be confused with a correct hip hinge position.

The inability to perform the correct hinge & squat position (placing your butt onto the back of your Achilles/calf area without your heels lifting off the floor) is an indication of poor flexibility along the upper and lower back, and typically results in back, hip and knee pain during exercise or other activities.

Correcting the imbalances in the body that will allow you to perform the hinge and squat produces several benefits for the body.

Seven Advantages of the Squatting position

Before we get to the advantages of the squatting position we need to start with a quick medical history. Prior to the 1800’s (and the invention of the modern toilet), appendicitis, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, urinary incontinence, uterine fibroids, hysterectomies, and cervical cancer were virtually non-existent.

The squat position helps…

Makes elimination faster, easier and more complete. This helps prevent “fecal stagnation,” a prime factor in colon cancer, appendicitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.

Securely seal the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine. In the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation, contaminating the small intestine.

Relax the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.

Uses the thighs to support the colon and prevent straining. Chronic straining on the toilet can cause hernias, diverticulosis, and pelvic organ prolapse.

The squat position is a highly effective, non-invasive treatment for hemorrhoids, as shown by published clinical research.

For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare one for a more natural delivery.

True health starts before we go to the gym. Coach G

Greg McNeil is a StrongFirst Instructor, Professional Strength & Conditioning coach, Licensed Clinical Counselor (LPCC), Life Coach, Author, and the owner of Gallup School of Strength (www.gallupschoolofstrength.com)

By Greg McNeil