Monday, July 16, 2012

Squat for lengthening the Achilles, PF, and calf muscles, for better barefoot running

   This is a movement that can be done any time of day.  Its how you see people hanging out waiting for a bus or eating a bowl of something yummy in another country.  Here in the US we don't ever squat.  We sit and get all tight and shortened up.  The squat will lengthen the Achilles, Plantar Fascia, and calf muscles.

 My spawn can sit like this all day.  When they are doing something they are often found squatting atop a chair instead of sitting.  We should take notes from the way they move!

Summer time is the perfect time to kick off those high heels, running shoes included, and experience the ground barefoot and lengthen and strengthen.

Some tips for the squat-
~Its fine to bounce at the bottom.
~A 7-10 degree turnout is fine.
~Keep legs about shoulder width apart.
~The key is to keep your weight over the ball of your foot towards your big toe and first metatarsal and not   lean back on your heels.
~It's not as easy as it looks and took some time to get to this, so be patient and keep at it.  It is really common to not be able to get your heel down so don't get discouraged.  I couldn't do it at first either.
~ Booty shorts not required but appreciated by the husband.

Check out some of the other moves I learned from Lee Saxby in my Coaching course!
Here is a post with some photos from a coaching session I did.  We did lots of squats to look this good!


The Green Girl said...

Thank you so much for this. I should probably try and sleep in this pose, if possible.

Tina said...

That is a GORGEOUS squat! I always feel it in my calves, especially after running. :)

Johann said...

That is a very common squat here in Africa. Not as some stretching or training routine but just the way people "sit around". I battle with that as I have very very short muscles.

Michael said...

I wish I learned about this squat earlier in life. It's going to be so uncomfortable to try now.

Charlene Jaszewski said...

I can get my heels down, but will start to tip backwards unless i hold something! Is that a muscular problem or am i just butt heavy? :)

Jesse James said...

Great post. Squatting is one of our first functional movement patterns. Well before running. I often tell clients that if you cannot functionally squat or lunge, your body is not prepared for pain and injury free running.

Jesse James Retherford

TracyAnne said...

Holy Cow! I gave it a try! How long did it take to master this?

misszippy said...

You look so natural there! I still suck at that squat, although I haven't worked as hard as I should on it!

zapmamak said...

Haha! "Booty shorts not required." I also found it helpful to be able to hold on to something when I first started doing these. A chair leg or table or whatever, just to keep yourself from falling over. Maybe that's just me though. heehee.

Jessie said...

I have been working so hard on trying to relax and stretch more then to avoid injury! It is so relaxing! Great post~

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

You forgot to mention that in most countries this is how woman give birth!
I'll keep working on this squat, it usually bothers me after awhile!

Janice said...

With my injured achilles, I can't get into that position right now. My goal is to get there before I get back to running. I've always noted that men get into this position a bit easier than women. My dad believes it's a centre of gravity difference. Any thoughts on that?

Tobias H said...

I remember arguing with a drama student about the merits of this position. Being the know-it-all that I was, I swore that she was damaging her back. (Clearly, I knew very little in my twenties) But, she insisted that this was an exercise they did in one of her drama classes to loosen up. And, she felt totally comfortable like that. I should have tried it before denouncing it back then. ;-)

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I simply love how simple you make things! I'm off to see how loose my squat is after my (soon to be gone. fingers crossed) weight gain!

Sabrina Hayes said...

I'm at the office right now, but I just *had* to try this!!!

All I can say is Thank You Thank You THANK YOU!!!! I have been dealing with some sciatic issues and haven't found a stretch that really gets to the (literal) bottom of it but I felt it with this squat immediately. Sure I look silly and doing it in the office in a dress may have me standing before the HR director in a few minutes, but they'll have to deal with it. Feels too good!!

I couldn't touch my heels down either but I'll get there. Thanks again. Love it!!! I'll be posting this to my "Black Girls Run" facebook page. Everyone should know about this one!

Iris said...

You know, it never, ever occurred to me that a person wouldn't be able squat like that until Josh demonstrated his lack of squattability a few weeks ago. Blew my mind! Here I've had a talent for squatting all this time and never knew it!

Anasta Gianni said...

Well, this is exactly the exercise I was looking for. There is a widespread view that normal squats don't work the calves area, so this will do the job!
I would like to recommend another variation, called "the duck walk", which is one of the animal workout exercises

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