/Restoring the squat

Restoring the squat

By Laurie Sweig

For the last 25 days I have been gettinginto and holding a squat position for one minute. I can understand ifsome of you are asking why I would want to do something like that. I dolike challenges. I look at them as experiments. At first it was anuncomfortable minute. Now it is much better. In fact I’m gainingsignificant benefits. The hip pain I was experiencing is gone and theother day I was taking photos and instead of kneeling down I could holdthe squat position to get the shot.

After years of sitting in chairs cars and on a bicycle my lower body is incredibly tight. I have toconfess here that I never liked stretching routines so I avoided themuntil I had a problem.  All of that sitting cemented my body into that“sitting” position. Over the last year I’ve been working on increasingmy range of motion to reduce the lower back hip and knee pain I wasexperiencing. My squat had improved but I have made more progress in the past three weeks than I have in months. One minute a day is all ittook.

The first challenge was to remember to do the squat. I had tofind an anchor something else I did every day that I could tack theminute of squatting on to. I discovered it takes a minute for mycomputer to boot up. Now I push the on button and get into the squat.

The second thing I tried was celebrating that I did the squat (heard aboutthis tactic in a podcast). This sounds a little out there but saying“yes” or “right on” when I finished left me with a good feeling and itdidn’t leave room for me to be judgmental. To add more positivereinforcement I write the accomplishment on a calendar that’s hanging on my wall. Every day I look at how many I’ve done and that adds to mymotivation.

The goal is to do the one minute squat for 30 days butthey are part of my routine now and I’m feeling great so there’s no wayI’m stopping. Being an enthusiastic person I am now encouragingeveryone to try this. Some clients are starting with 15 seconds andbuilding up as they get stronger. Some are holding onto a railing orsomething to keep from falling backward.

Our hips are such animportant and greatly overlooked part of our bodies. Squatting bringsthem back to life. This really is like a miracle cure for some of thepain that sitting has caused.
Something to think about.

LaurieSweig is a certified personal fitness trainer and spinning instructor.She owns and operates The Point for Fitness. She can be reached at laurie@thepointforfitness.com .