If you have tight hips and lower back pain, give sitting in a deep squat a try.
Sitting in a deep squat has become one of my absolute favorite moves over the last few years. It’s a move every human being should do (short of having a medical reason not to), but it’s especially important for those of us north of 35.
Spending time in a deep squat helps counteract the harmful effects of sitting in chairs. It loosens up your hips, your spine and ankles, and should allow you to move freer, better and with less (or hopefully no) lower body aches and pains. It’s my go-to move whenever I have lower back tightness or pain.
To do it, simply place your feet flat on the floor, squat down, pressing your butt down toward the floor, and relax your spine.
(Here is a video with a good demonstration. The video has other modifications after the 30-second mark that you can ignore if you wish.)
You don’t need to do it for very long. If you’re just beginning, maybe a few seconds at a time. Try to increase your time to 30 seconds, even a minute. Try to do it several times a day, adding up to a total of at least 5 minutes a day. (Not all at once; throughout the day.) If that’s too easy, try to increase your overall time throughout the day. (If you’re more advanced, shoot for up to 30 minutes over the course of the day.)
TIPS & MODIFICATIONS
- Barefoot is best. Not mandatory, but preferable.
- Don’t obsess about small details like what’s the exact ideal position, should your feet be turned out or facing forward, etc. There’s no perfect position. Drop your butt down, try to keep your feet flat, do the best you can with what your body will allow right now.
- If you can’t keep your feet flat on the floor, use a small heel support until your mobility improves.
- If you struggle to balance in the deep squat, hold a pole, wall or chair. Try to rely on it less as time goes on.