Is that song stuck in your head now? Or maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about. That wacky Flo Rida.
Let's talk about low squats. It was once thought to be bad for your knees, but research has shown that deep squats are not bad for you and have several benefits. A deeper squat will make you stronger, burn more calories, and make your booty look better. It's science.
The problems come when people drop it like it's hot while lowering themselves into the squat, bounce at the bottom, and then stand up. That bounce puts a lot of strain on your knees. If you are squatting fast, make sure you are under control.
If you are having trouble getting into a lower squat, here are a 4 ways to help you out.
1. Hang out like a Nicaraguan
I've been on a couple of mission trips to Nicaragua and I noticed some of the locals taking rest breaks in what looked an awful way to rest. They dropped all the way into a squat where their butt was about an inch off the ground. A few years ago I read an article that described it as The Third World Squat.
They are basically holding the bottom part of a perfect squat. Your mission is to get to where you can hold that position comfortably for one minute. Start working squatting down as low as you can and holding it without your heels popping up off the ground (more on that below) and without falling over. Feel free to hold onto something when you first start out.
2. Arms forward
Extend your arms out in front of you before you start your squat. Studies have proven that you can squat lower by adding this simple twist to your normal squat.
3. Loosen up your ankles
Do your heels come up off the ground when you try to squat low? You need to loosen those ankles up. In our boot camp classes we do ankle circles as part of our warm-up to get the ankles loose.
Put your toe on the ground, heel up in the air. Start circling your foot around, like you are mashing out a cigarette. Do 10 circles for each direction on both feet.
4. Defeat the desk job
Many of us sit way too much during our day. At work, in the car, watching TV or on the computer at home.
Sitting too much causes your hip flexors to tighten up. If you have trouble getting into a deep squat, the culprit can be tight hips. Try the 90/90 hip flexor stretch.
Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Keeping your back straight, push your hips forward, and think about sinking your hips into the ground. Hold that for 15-20 seconds and then do the same on the other side.
Start putting these to work and you will be looking good in your apple bottom jeans and your boots with the fur.