Why relearn the Flat Footed Squat?
You will be amazed at your suppleness after re-learning this.
The Flat footed squat is often referred to as the ‘Asian Squat’. The indigenous cultures of Africa, Asia, Sth America and the Pacific Islands all use this position in their own cultures.
I would contend that it is the ‘Human-kind Squat’, as regardless of culture every under five year old learns this position as they learn to carry their centre of mass from close to the ground eventually to higher off the ground into standing with perfect balance and stability. They have to learn this as Gravity demands it. Our Western culture no longer uses this position, and as a result we have forgotten how to carry our centre of mass through this vertical range of motion and can no longer assume the position with ease and grace, or at all.
Children use a specific sequence of movement to assume this position. Adults of the above cultures still utilise the same movement sequence as children. Adults of Western culture no longer use this sequence of movement. This sequence of movement is the most important factor to improve balance and remove the strain that causes the pain. Reseach shows that by age 13yrs about 80% of people have LOST this sequence of movement. These are the 80% of people who strain and hurt their backs, hips and knees.
Nature provided this to you as one of the foundational priniciples of movement when you were a child.
Over 90 % of people can relearn this sequence of movement to assume the full flat footed squat position regardless of age and for most it only takes about 15 minutes, with specific guidance, to relearn.
Why relearn the Flat Footed Squat? Relearning the Flat footed squat is one component of Move Like a Child and you will learn:
- The sequence of movement to carry your centre of mass close to the ground maintaining 70/30 weight distribution (heel/forefoot) in your feet for perfect balance. This re-programmes the muscle memory in your brain for perfect balance when doing daily tasks. With this perfect balance you eliminate the strain that causes the pain.
- The whole body movement synergy, as demonstrated by children is re-established to achieve the FFSquat. This synergy can then be utilised for removing strain forces acting on the body as you undertake normal daily activity, as it will be re-established in your muscle memory. You will move LIKE a child again. This different muscle firing pattern will take the stiffness away from your back, hips and knees.
- Your hip joint range of movement improves even if you only achieve part of the Flat Footed Squat. Use it or loose it. (this saying is true) With this increased range, your hip joint will not wear out the same and can repair.
- Full NATURAL eccentric lengthening (stretching) of the back spine muscles (from base of the skull to the tail bone) and gluteal muscles (hip extensors). Your flexibility will improve.
- You remove the shearing forces on the knee. (you feel this as stiffness in your knees) The natural repair process of the body will
WINover the wear and tear forces, and your knee joint can repair when you stop straining your knees.
- Your hamstrings will NATURALLY and automatically lengthen without the need for stretching exercises. Your flexibility will improve.
- As the body becomes so compact in this position, the muscles and joints rebound so that you become taller without having to try to be tall. Your relaxed, neutral standing posture will improve by default.
- This position puts a traction effect on the discs of the spine helping the disc to re-hydrate and take any pressure off nerves. The position of the spine in a ‘C’ shape is spine neutral (the foetal position). The same shape that your spine formed in your mother’s womb. This is a rest and recovery position for the spine.
- The full flat-footed squat is a position that can be maintained for long periods of time with no stress or strain on any one point. It is a resting position and is not used for tasks. If unfamiliar with this position it takes practice and time to become more comfortable in the position.
Cultural conditioning would see this position ‘frowned upon’ in the West. It does not have to be something you do in a public place but in the privacy of your own home. But to utilise the movement sequence through ¾ of the movement for life and living, even in a public place, you will move with grace and balance and no longer feel stiff and strain yourself.