Monday, November 28, 2011

Everybody Squats

Everybody squats. Well, except in this country. We forget how to squat as we move into adolescence. Then we hurt our knee, hip or back and the therapist teaches us to do wall slides with a Swiss ball against the wall.

Who is responsible for starting and perpetuating this worthless facade of leg and core strengthening? I'd like to have a word with you, whoever you are.

To preserve and maintain back health, we must learn to use our legs; triple flexion then triple extension. We must be aware of our body in space and how our spine is positioned in relation to our hips.

It's not about static core strength for me. It's about awareness, alignment, mobility and dynamic strength of the lower extremities.

This guy is learning how to use his legs to support his bodyweight in space. He is learning to be confident with his legs after herniating two discs over the summer. He can now pick up stuff from the ground without assistance. He now has freedom and mobility. And in his particular situation, the squatting movement helps relieve long-standing radicular pain that once dominated his day.

This is the type of functional strength a physical therapist should teach a patient. This is how we need to use our legs. The ability to squat is a physical competency everyone should master.

No we don't need to squat a house, but we do need to learn how to lower & raise our bodies, within the context of gravity, in an effective manner. Start with a sit to stand from a chair, then progress to a med ball squat. Learn to hold the bottom position and feel it. Feel the floor; learn to push it away. Then if appropriate, use a Hexlite bar, weighted vest or barbell to increase the resistance. Teach the basics and then give the patient movement problems to lift and solve.


Mike Bahn said...

GREAT post, Tracy. Every one of my athletes squats...some with a barbell, some with DBs, some with the hexlite, some with sandbags or medballs. Some are healthy, some have prior back surgeries. They MUST develop leg movement using the ground in an upright position, and you don't do that on a machine or on your back.


massagenightmare said...

Your post is very impressive.
Thanks for sharing..

"Michael muskat"

Joe Przytula said...

Great thoughts on core T-you are right on. You cannot have a strong core with a hypo mobile F-A complex.