The Humble Squat
The simple squat has been known to mankind for thousands of years as an exercise used for Physiotherapy programmes and gym workouts. However, the squat is hardly thought of as also a functional, postural position and the benefits are rarely spoken about. A few of these benefits include:
1. Decreased chances of heart disease - The main muscles used when squatting pull fats called triglycerides out of the bloodstream. These fats contain high links to heart disease and therefore, increased amounts of squatting can increase longevity of the heart and decrease chances of heart disease.
2. Decreased risk of falls - squats aim to strengthen the lower limb muscles which stabilise us when walking, running and sitting to stand. If these muscles remain strong, they are better able to engage and stabilise if there were a falls risk
3. Decreased mortality rates - a study in 2014 concluded that people, aged 51 to 80, who could get up from a squat-like position without using their hands, were less likely to die within the next six years than those who couldn't pull themselves up.
Squats use the quadriceps (thigh), and gluteal (buttock) muscles to enable safely bending to lower levels and back up again. Incorrect squatting techniques are thought to contribute to lower back injuries when people bend from the spine instead of the hip and knee. Here are four tips to enable a perfect squat technique!
1. Make sure your feet are hip distance apart
2. When squatting, ensure your knees do not go over the toes
3. Bend from the hip by sticking the buttock out (don't be shy with this one!)
4. Firmly plant feet on ground throughout squat
5. Put equal weight through both legs! So there you have it! The humble squat can be much more beneficial to your health than you may have realised! Try doing 30 reps per day and start seeing the benefits to your strength, balance and lower limb endurance!
The Mobile Physio is based in North Auckland serving the suburbs of the North Shore including Browns Bay, Albany, Torbay, Takapuna, Glenfield, Milford, Birkenhead and surrounding areas.
Central Auckland suburbs include: Ponsonby, Pt Chevalier, Remuera, Epsom, Mission Bay and surrounding areas.