The squat is a functional exercise. You use this movement in your daily life whether you’re aware of it or not. Try sitting on a low couch or getting into or out of a low riding car without using your hands for leverage. You’re essentially performing a squat.
What would you do without this functional movement?
A large proportion of our population goes through life without using this functional movement. Examples of why we are losing this ability include: leaning weight on hands before sitting down or standing up, bending at the waist to pick things up, and rolling into beds that seem to get higher and higher off the ground each year.
Without regular use of your squatting ability, your body is at higher risk for low back pain and injury.
This exercise combines flexion and extension of several muscle groups and movement over several joints. It also facilitates the absorption of fluids by the discs between each vertebra, so not only are you exercising your muscles, but you’re also nourishing your spine.
This is great news for any fitness enthusiast who’s short on time and wants to get the most bang for their fitness efforts. But the benefits don’t stop there. This exercise aids in digestion and elimination. The rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the abdomen, the internal pressure changes, and the compression from the thighs on each side of the colon help the body by massaging the internal organs, increasing blood flow to the area, and stimulating motility of the gut.
Performing this exercise on a daily basis – preferably first thing in the morning, after breakfast – is one of your better choices to improve functionality.
Squats will provide you with:
- Increased flexibility across several joints
- A limber and rehydrated spine
- Improved motor skills
- Increased leg strength for daily living
- A free-flowing digestive tract
Try this squatting exercise each morning for the next month and see what a difference it makes in your daily life:
- Stand with feet hip width apart, toes slightly out, and hands by your sides (do not use weights)
- Breathe out as you lower your body bending at the hips and knees – go as low as you can comfortably go, trying to touch fingers to the floor
- Pause for one second at the bottom of the movement, then breathe in as you rise up to the standing position
- Perform each rep slow and steady, in rhythm with your breath
- Continue breathing in and out as you rise and lower your body for a total of 50 repetitions
- If you can’t perform 50 repetitions all at once, break it up into 2 sets of 25 reps or 5 sets of 10 reps
It will take less than three minutes out of your day…surely you can spare three minutes for your health.
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The contents of this site are the opinions of Michele Tse unless otherwise noted. The information on this site is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical or nutritional advice or treatment. Please consult your health care practitioner before beginning any fitness program.