First Move principles teach us how to use our bodies safely and effectively to avoid physical strain and injury.
These principles apply in all aspects of our lives be it work, home, sport and recreation. This month’s article is about the importance of the Flat Foot Squat.
The loss of the flat foot squat in western cultures is an unfortunate consequence of the ‘modern era’.
In other cultures, such as Asia, India, Africa and many islands it remains a common day-to-day activity.
The removal of it from our lives creates unwanted physical consequences.
The flat foot squat is a natural and important movement for the human body - the benefits are many – here are some of the main ones:
Regular squatting keeps the hip joint healthy and mobile and avoids hip joint arthritis - resulting hip joint replacements
Improves lumbar disc health and ‘undoes the damage’ of modern society activities such as:
Sitting for long periods
Repetitive standing, bending and twisting activities
Relieves low back muscle pain and tension
The modern-day toilet has been linked to bowel cancers, irritable bowel and other bowel related issues.
Using squat toilets is the natural and ideal way to go to the bathroom
Why do we no longer squat in our western society?
The introduction of chairs and modern toilets means we no longer squat as a regular part of our day.
As children we squat naturally – but once we go to school it reduces from our lives.
Many other cultures of the world continue to squat down throughout their life. Research has shown these cultures don’t get the hip joint arthritis we do and their bowel health is superior.
What to do about it
We teach the flat foot squat as part of our training and find that with the correct instruction about 80% of people can still do the flat foot squat.
If you can still do the flat foot squat easily - make sure you squat at least once a day. This will maintain your mobility and your hips and back will thank you for it.
If you can’t do the flat-footed squat - look online – there are many people giving instructions on how to do the flat foot squat safely and effectively. It may take a bit of time and practice but it will be worth the effort.
If you decide to try the flat foot squat - take care if you have any knee pain – and avoid the activity if there is any discomfort