There’s a position that some people master at their very first class, yet is so frustratingly difficult for others even after many years…I’m talking about a Flat Foot Squat.
It’s a frequently utilised position in our bodyweight classes, either sitting in a flat foot squat or using it to transition between exercises. However, even once you finally get your heels down to the floor, you might still feel uncomfortably hunched over in the bottom position, while others squat smugly next to you in their perfect flat foot squats. So annoying!
Just remember there’s no overnight or quick fix, yet committing to freeing up your joints will eventually provide many benefits such as stretching your lower back; decompressing the spine and releasing the hips. It’s also great for the digestive system.
Here are some stretches you can do before you get into your flat foot squat:
Holding a Downward Dog to stretch calves and Achilles tendons, working heels down to ground
- Hip Hurdler (circles) – each leg, forwards and backwards
- Pigeon Stretch
- Low Lunge – pressing back leg forwards
- Knee Circles
- Point and flex each foot, side to side stretch (big toe, little toe); ankle circles
The challenge to you guys is to sit in a flat foot squat for 21 minutes a day, for 21 days – I mean, how better to spend your time during lockdown?!
The idea is to build up gradually, so set a timer on your phone, get comfortable and sit for as long as you can, even if for only 2 minute increments, aiming for 21 minutes during a 12 hour period. Stand up when you need to, making sure you only ever feel some discomfort. Stop straight away should you experience any sharp pains.
Once you have built up to 21 minutes, make sure you don’t stand up immediately, rather sit down and stretch your legs out in front of you, shake them out as you will most probably experience some pins and needles.
Post pictures and share your stories, unusual squatting locations around the house and garden and have fun with the challenge in these challenging times!