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Why do we bend over instead of squatting?

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  • Why do we bend over instead of squatting?

    Hello everyone,

    I have just put together a make shift standing desk in my room (that is a fancy way to say I stuck a stool sideways on my desk to put my laptop on) and am alternating between standing and sitting on the floor. It is great actually. This is part of my effort to improve my posture. I was having some thoughts today and wanted to run them by everyone here.

    Do you think people have a tendency to bend at the waist to pick things up because our hip flexors and legs are weak from sitting combined with the fact most people don't spend enough time Grok squatting? I'm trying to overcome this habit and sort out my posture when I pick stuff up, etc. I'd like to think that once I've been doing it for a while my hips and legs will have recovered from chronic sitting and it'll become quite natural.

    Cheers,

    Liam

  • #2
    So cool that you did this. My trainer had me squat for a meal length of time. I hated it but it helped me to build strength.

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    • #3
      Babies (Well toddlers I suppose) naturally squat to pick things up

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      • #4
        Babies and toddlers also have a lower leg to torso ratio. For them to pick something off the ground is a lot less distance to cover then for us.

        I'd say unless the object is really heavy, a natural health way is to hinge at the hips. Where basically you bend down, but without rounding your spine, but instead, using your hips.

        This is an exercise drill but you get the idea.

        Hip Hinge with Instructions.wmv - YouTube

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        • #5
          Yeah Lockstock that makes a lot of sense and is actually what I've been doing recently. Thanks for the video. Oceangrl, yeah I'm not a big fan of squats but I'm working on one leg progressions now and I'm hoping to make up for a few decades of sitting. I'm finding in exercises where I have to balance my torso (like one armed push ups) my weak spot is actually my hip flexers which is why I've decided to cut down on the sitting at home.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lockstock View Post
            Babies and toddlers also have a lower leg to torso ratio. For them to pick something off the ground is a lot less distance to cover then for us.

            I'd say unless the object is really heavy, a natural health way is to hinge at the hips. Where basically you bend down, but without rounding your spine, but instead, using your hips.

            This is an exercise drill but you get the idea.

            Hip Hinge with Instructions.wmv - YouTube
            I think that hip hinge becomes more important when the object is heavy. It's basically deadlift.

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            • #7
              I dont know about other chicks, but I have always bent down at the knees in a sort of squat (with knees together) to pick things up because its a habbit from wearing skirts/dresses. I've always found its more comfortable anyway. At least in my family I notice all the ladys do this...maybe the guys just dont think about it and so they bend straight over?
              "...You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve. -Ginny

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              • #8
                I've noticed most of the women I know have better posture than the guys, maybe an extension of trying a bit harder to look good or be elegant... I don't know. I'm definitely going back to basics and spending a bit more time trying to be elegant (don't know if the word works so well for guys haha?) now.

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                • #9
                  I think people have been replacing "bending" over with a just as disadvantageous "squat" for ages now. People need to learn to hip hinge. No matter if you bend at the knees or not. The hip hinge is how all forward bending should be started and done safely.

                  Ah, see lock above already mentioned it. Cool. Nope not just for heavy items. Its how traditional societies tend to pick things from the ground as well (work the fields ect....). Here is some more stuff:

                  Reprogramming Movement Efficiency: The Dowel-Assisted Hip Hinge for LBP
                  The Hip Hinge | Everyday Paleo
                  Last edited by Neckhammer; 08-18-2013, 04:56 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lockstock View Post
                    Babies and toddlers also have a lower leg to torso ratio. For them to pick something off the ground is a lot less distance to cover then for us.

                    I'd say unless the object is really heavy, a natural health way is to hinge at the hips. Where basically you bend down, but without rounding your spine, but instead, using your hips.

                    This is an exercise drill but you get the idea.

                    Hip Hinge with Instructions.wmv - YouTube
                    I used to squat down to move lighter objects. Then, I split a good pair of pants doing that. For picking up stuff, a hip hinge is the way to go!
                    In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

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                    • #11
                      The hip hinge also has the added benefit of building up the back muscles. I dead lifted today, and about 40 seconds worth of hip hinging (I was bending down to clean a pair of shoes) and my low back was getting a great pump.

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                      • #12
                        I tend to either squat or do a one legged bend, where it ends up looking like a single legged romanian deadlift. The single leg is a holdover from hurting my ankle a lot while I was a kid.
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                        • #13
                          I do the single legged bend as well, sometimes

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                          • #14
                            In parts of the world (in fact most populous parts) squatting or sitting cross legged is the norm for eating, studying and lounging around in general.

                            Perhaps people who grew up with chairs around bend over!
                            Few but ripe.

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