The humble squat. The king (or queen) of many a fitness class and for good reason. It’s functional and it packs a punch when toning those big leg muscles.
Are you noticing knee pain or back pain recently?
Maybe your workout technique is to blame and in particular, your squat technique.
I have been working with a number of clients on a 1:1 basis recently who have really embraced lockdown fitness getting into more upbeat workouts such as Les Mills, HiiT and running. But all were now experiencing pain in their body.
Two had knee pain.
One had planter fasciitis.
And one had lower back pain.
Working online with them meant I could see them in their home environment, with their home equipment and really see their form. And each was showcasing the same faulty pattern in their squat.
Because while a squat is a fantastic functional exercise, it’s also a movement that most western adults have lost the form of.
Because 80% of those in the east can do a full squat. Whereas 80% of us in the west cannot. WHY? Because we literally don’t squat in life, only possibly in an exercise class.
Just look at any child under 7 and they squat beautifully all the time. While watching TV, while playing a game, while eating a snack. But then, around the time we go to school and get put in a chair, we lose the ability to squat fully.
Then many years pass and we feel the need to get fit (which is great) and we’re back to squatting, often with weights to load our system. But what happens when you load a system which is faulty? Or simply not efficient?
Pain is what happens.
Maybe it’s a niggle, maybe it’s just an awareness or maybe it’s shouty pain. Your body is telling you something is not quite right. So maybe you think you need to battle on? Push through pain. This is part of the process.
You will simply end up having to give up the exercise you love. You need to listen to your body and address the imbalances. And that’s what Pilates is all about.
If this is you, then spend some time working on the basics for a functional squat. In particular working on maintaining your naturally spinal curves when squatting (in particular your lumber curves). This is a little video I did as part of one of our movement plans for those of you, like me, who struggle with the squat, especially a full squat.
Because while Pilates is a fanatic way to tone your body. I believe that its real power lies in how Pilates keeps your body strong, balance and with increased mobility so you can continue to do all the things you love to do. Running, hiking, climbing, surfing, hit, weight lifting, squash, golf, tennis. They all put demands on your body. They all ask for your body to be efficient.
So begin to add efficiency training into your routine and your body will seriously thank you.