Friday Five: Why Squats are Necessary

Primal toad?

This isn’t going to be a regular thing, but a lot of people write a “Friday Five.”  I thought I’d give five ways in which a particular exercise has made my life easier.

This week, I’ve thought a lot about squatting. First, I shared my favorite quickie workout, which involves squats. Then, I went climbing. I started to think about all the ways in which the squatting movement is essential to human life, or should be. Beyond the squats that are used as a part of a workout, there is also the resting squat, which can be a remarkable tool, if you have the flexibility to perform it correctly. Here are just a few ways in which squatting has improved my life:

1.) While standing around: If my legs get tired, a squat is an effective way to rest without bringing your clothing or person in contact with dubious surfaces. Be sure to consider your choice of wardrobe when resting thusly. Short skirts may result in inappropriate display.

2.) While climbing: I definitely noticed a difference on Tuesday evening.  It’s one thing to be able to put your foot on a hold that’s just below your armpit, but it’s quite another to then be able to lift your body weight on said leg while it’s bent so extremely.  I would say that climbing is just one big squat with a little bit of pulling up.  Learn to squat through the full range of motion and you’ll be scrambling up the walls like some sort of double-jointed lizard in no time.

3.) While playing capoeira: Yeah, this is a bit specific to me, but it’s my blog and I can do what I want.  The fact is, though, that when playing capoeira, people will be throwing kicks at you.  Possibly your head.  And the best way to dodge a kick is to get under it.  But if you bend over, you risk losing sight of your partner.  So most of the dodges and blocks seem to be squat-based.  Anyway, a full squat is on its way to being an upright kind of fetal position, which can be very effective at protecting vulnerable bits.

4.) While baking or broiling: If you are fortunate enough to have a window and a light in your oven, squatting down to view your food’s progress is much kinder on your back than bending (hunching) over to look.  And if you have a broiler under the oven, squatting is the most effective way to access your food while remaining stable.  Losing balance and falling into the broiler is bad.  Keep your center of gravity low and over your feet.

5.) While providing attention to a lovable beagle: Beagles are short, but terribly adorable and they love to play and be given attention.  Having lived with one for two years, I’m certain in this statement.  And who wants to play with someone looming over them like a big tsunami of affectionate human?  Squatting down gets you on the dog’s level, and gives you a stable base for games such as fetch and tug.  Those little guys can tug with the best of them, and you don’t want to be caught off your balance.

So those are my five reasons that I need to be able to do a full range of motion squat comfortably.  Remember, exercise is not just about looking hot, but about improving your life.  So how do squats improve your life?

This post is part of Primal Cave Friday at Primal Toad.

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About Kyniska

In ancient Sparta, women were encouraged to train their bodies and minds as warriors did, in preparation for an adult life of strength and intellect. They strove to win a husband through strength as well as beauty. I try to live my life by this philosophy, that athletic ability and accented beauty can co-exist, yielding a richer whole. View all posts by Kyniska

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