Why Squatting Is So Important

Just as we should eat the foods our bodies were designed to eat, we should move our bodies the way they were meant to move and impose the stressors they were meant to bear. That means squatting, and squatting often. Our hips flex, knees bend, and ankles dorsiflex so that we can rest comfortably in a squat position. Okay, but isn’t the squat a bit outdated? Why not just use a chair? Benefits of Squatting You’ve probably heard how modern processed foods use refined sugar, salt, and seed oils to hijack our natural desires for fruits, animal fat, and animal meat. They exploit our wiring and provide hyper-stimulation to our senses, prompting massive overconsumption; some refer to this as “Food Reward.” In a similar vein, chairs hijack our anthropometry, which was designed for squatting. Just look at yourself in a chair: Your knees are flexed – same as in a squat. Your hip is in flexion – same as in a squat. Your spine is neutral (unless you’re slumping, which many of us do) – same as in a squat. Chair sitting is attractive and easy because it doesn’t challenge the way our joints work. It doesn’t place us in unnatural positions. It’s easy to slip into. It hews to our anthropometry. It provides support, so we don’t even have to do or lift anything or worry about engaging our glutes. I call it “Repose Reward,” and it’s obviously a concerted effort by the chair industry to keep us dependent on their evil, addictive products! (Please understand I’m mostly kidding.) The good side of all this is that if you can sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, you can (with some work) squat. It might be hard, because your muscles will actually have to work to maintain the load, and it might take some finagling since some of your joints will feel a little tight, but the position is possible. You just have to learn to support the load. That’s one big reason to squat – it helps counteract all that sitting we do and lets us tap into a very Primal, very essential mode of repose. But there are many other reasons to squat, too. Let’s explore. Squatting makes you stronger Pound for pound, squatting is the best bang for your buck with strength exercise as it hits many different muscle groups along the way. The obvious ones targeted are the prime movers – the quads, hamstrings, and glutes – but the trunk musculature must stabilize the torso and maintain a neutral spine, all while supporting the load and acting as a fleshy lever. All in all, the squat is a complicated movement that forces the body’s parts to work and grow stronger together as a single unit. Squatting makes you faster Tons of studies confirm that the stronger your squat, the faster you can run. It’s probably not just a “people who are strong and can squat a lot tend to also be faster” kind of … Continue reading Why Squatting Is So Important