Deep down we know we aren’t standing correctly, sitting ergonomically or moving well enough if we are really honest with ourselves…
In fact we have forgotten how to do simple movement patterns. There are patterns which are fundamental to our existence like the humble squat…
It has been part of our evolutionary biology.
And is still important today! Read the whole article
You need to be able to squat if you are
* an athlete looking to avoid injury
* an athlete looking optimise performance
* an older person struggling to pick up your mail from the floor
* a new parent picking up your baby from the floor
* an older person struggling to get out of the bath.
We begin the long decline into weakness, stiffness and poor movement patterns from kindergarten when we are thrust into chairs to sit for 6 hours a day.
Some people have parents who let them sit another 3-4 hrs in front of the i Pad or TV when they get home…
Over the next few years, hip flexors and anterior shoulders get tighter, gluts and abs get weaker, Achilles tighten up unless they actively do something to maintain their muscle length and maintain their joint range of motion.
Thankfully many kids do and for a while they may play football, do gymnastics, trampolining – whatever.
Many people sadly give up sport when they hit late teens or start to do less activity.
As an adult, the rot often continues and we often get sucked into less and less activity due to work and family commitments.
When we return to sport in our late 30s or early 40s.. It is not long before “twang!” And tweak! Slipped disc, torn Achilles, plantar fasciitis or knee pain.
If you are unlucky enough to consult someone not skilled in human movement, you will get some inadequate answer like ” it is your age… Better stop running, or stop gym, or stop weights….”
Oh my gosh…I get do frustrated when I hear these reports….
Most of these people can be completely pain free in 2-3 weeks once the problem is diagnosed correctly, treated and the person shown how to move their body better, strengthen up the weaknesses and lengthen the tight bits. They can return to running, lifting or whatever they want faster, stronger and pain free!
Unless you have have a traumatic accident- rugby tackle, car accident etc or a medical pathology you should NOT have mechanical pain in your body.
This is just a sign there is imbalance and misalignment.
The squat is a metaphor for your life- for most people- they have already begun losing range of motion in their knees, hips and ankles, some will not have the strength to do a full squat- backside to your ankles, some just cannot get into that position- and start to compensate by rounding their back or rotating their feet out.
The human body has been evolving for millions of years- we have certain fundamental movement patterns that our bodies are meant to do.
If you get things like the squat right- (and do it!)- everything will improve- all your spots- whether that is running, kick boxing, beach volleyball, or simply unloading the groceries.
You will feel better, look better and slow down the ageing process- massively!
This is so important.
Contrary to what some of these so called “experts” tell you”:
Squatting is not bad for your knees
Squatting is not bad for your hips
Squatting is not bad for your back
In fact quite the opposite, squatting is necessary to maintain the health of these areas.
Of course if you have not done this for decades- you may have a few protests in the joints at first, you may need to learn how to do this again.
Over the years if we sit in chairs most of the day- we will not have the range of motion necessary to do this.
You will need good technique and not load up the weights until you can do the basic movement with good technique and pain free.
If you do not squat you will age before your time….100%!
But I know someone who…..
Yes -some people are fit who have a rounded back
Yes -there are people with terrible posture who can squat hundreds of pounds..
Many of these people are an accident waiting to happen….
People who start squatting with too much weight, too soon are fighting a bigger problem…their ego.
Instead of learning the correct technique, and getting their muscles back in balance ( ie some flexibility work), any joint restrictions treated properly, they load up excessive weight, get injured and then blame the squat, the gym,the trainer- anyone else they can find except themselves.
It is the same with running. People do not do the stretches, they do not bother with core training, they have never consulted an expert on how to run correctly..
And even worse they persist in running through the pain day after day with the mistaken view that “oh well runners have pain…. This is normal”
There is overwhelming evidence that it is not normal to run in pain.
Running can and should be coached, educated, trained correctly just like a tennis serve or a golf swing…
People who simple say “oh well I just run how I run” or “oh well I have always run like this” are delusional.
No running is not bad for you… But if you heel strike, or you run with your centre of gravity in front of you or you do not fire up your gluts or you have a weak dysfunctional core…
Then yes you will get injured…
But the problem is facing you in the mirror. It is not running that is at fault, it is you!
Right now reading this, please consider your posture for a moment.
Lengthen your spine a bit, pull your chin back a fraction and pull your shoulders down and back.
Do not pretend for a minute that you were not slouching
What can I do about this?
Decide today whether you wish to address these issues or not.
The squat is an example- there are many poor movement patterns we tend to adopt over time.
It is hard to be objective about your own posture and movement patterns.
If you wish to maintain a body that moves properly and delay the ageing the process- minimize the risk of hip and knee replacement, spinal surgery and other mechanical faults- get it assessed properly.
Book a Body MOT where we will look at a series of basic movement patterns that in 15 minutes will identify most of weakness and areas that simply are not fit for purpose.
We will also look at joint range, mobility, ability to use your body, take photos or video to show you what is going on and how to improve it.
Whatever is appropriate for your goals.
And most importantly we will guide you how to fix it, address problems, strengthen weak bits and lengthen the tight bits.
You will get a simple maintenance program you can do in less than 10 minutes a day to correct these problems that might be causing you a stiff neck at work, an aching back in bed, knee pain when you run.
It will improve your athletic performance and remove pain.
Body mot will optimize your performance and reduce injury whether you are changing nappies, lifting shopping out of the car, fighting MMA or playing football.
Be honest: most people do absolutely no maintenance on their body.
Nil, nada, didly squat!
And to be honest those poor excuses for warm ups/ warm downs that have been drifting around some sports since 1970s do more harm than good…..
Not many people consider their connective tissue, fascia, ligaments, discs etc
They just get annoyed when they have loaded the tissues abnormally for years then one day they complain!
Squeeze your gluts( buttock muscles) before you do anything…. Brushing your teeth. Standing in a queue, about to do a squat or a deadlift…
Do hip opening exercises- groin stretches. Most people never do this-unless you do gymnastics or martial arts.
Some sports make a token effort but most of them pay lip service only.
To improve your squat- get better ankle range, improve your thoracic extension, work on your core, get better calf length, improve your breathing patterns, see a physio and get these restrictions loosened up fast.
As I mentioned earlier- doing regular squats -correctly – will change almost every aspect of your life.
And ladies…. Do not think that you are off the hook… Squats and deadlifts are the most important exercises for achieving and maintaining a feminine figure!
Results in a better butt, firmer thighs, less cellulite, flatter stomach. They will keep you looking younger, fitter and more vibrant.
Do air squats at home with no weights if you hate the gym but just do some!
And men… squats with weights improve testosterone production, improve growth hormone production.
They will help you grow and maintain muscle mass in all areas of your body.
Squat tips: Maintain your lumbar arch
Heels must remain on the floor.
Must get your bum down low, so it sits on your ankles….
No matter where you in your squat journey..
Start today.. Get up and do a self test now.
Can do get down to a full squat with your bum sitting on your ankles, heels on the floor and thighs below the horizontal?
Start improving this at home. Do not load up weights until you can do the basic movement correctly.
If you do weights with incorrect posture- you WILL get injured.
Ideally get a trainer or sports Physio to check it and identify quickly where you are going wrong.
They will be able to fix the restriction saving you loads of time. They will check your technique to make sure you understand how to do it correctly.
Later on you can add load if you wish to.
Get a body MOT by a Chartered physio, restore your basic movements-you will feel So much better, you will have LESS injury, your performance at work, home and play will improve dramatically!
Do not be deluded…. 3 x 10 leg extensions at the gym- does not cut it! a 20 min walk around the park does not cut it…! all these extras are good- but sorry everyone- you must squat.
Call 01202 720 300