How deep should you squat

The deep squat and its health benefits

last updated on December 20, 2020 by the editorial team

Just squat down again. Yes, if only it were that easy…. On your first attempt to crouch down again after a long period of time, you may find that this will not be so easy for you.
This is all the more astonishing because the deep squat is a basic skill that you mastered as a small child without having to laboriously train it first.

The following article is about why these efforts will prove to be a worthwhile undertaking for you.

Our oh-so-civilized world is particularly characterized by the fact that we all, with very few exceptions, spend most of the day sitting. However, this is not a natural resting position, as many therefore wrongly suspect.

It is the deep squat! Even if that may feel completely different to you at first. Incidentally, that's the same for me.

Under certain circumstances, you are even no longer able to take or hold the deep squat for even a few seconds.

Relearning to crouch deeply, or exercising it regularly, has a whole host of valuable advantages that I have put together for you below.


Why the deep squat is so valuable

- Improvement of flexibility and mobility in the back, pelvis, ankles, knees and feet
- Stretching of the sole fasciae and toe flexors, calf muscles, Achilles tendons, thigh and gluteal muscles, your pelvic floor
- By swinging back and forth also the neck and lumbar fascia
- Ideal preparation for real, natural running (barefoot running)
- Speeding up digestion and easing bowel movements
- Prevention or alleviation of hemorrhoids
- Protection of the bladder, uterus and prostate
- Incontinence prevention
- Preparation and facilitation of a natural birth

Relearning the deep squat or squat is ideally suited to make your ankles, knees and hips flexible and resilient again. This allows you to ensure your mobility into old age. As an elderly person, it serves as a perfect fall prophylaxis for you.

Squatting is healthier than sitting

If you watch small children carefully, you will quickly notice that the deep squat position is (still) a completely natural position for them.

As a child, you too, intuitively and effortlessly, crouched down to play. In kindergarten at the latest, however, you have started to get used to sitting (quietly) on chairs. This was not only continued in school, but increased further.

With this, you were gradually deprived of the mobility in your hips. But that's exactly what you need in connection with strong glutes, which in many cases are completely slack. Doctors also call something like this gluteal amnesia.

A stomach, legs and buttocks program or regular visits to the gym are not enough. Because you won't get your shortened hip flexors stretched again through strength training alone.

In addition, by sitting for (too) long periods of time, like many other people, you may have already developed a hollow back or a hunched back.

In the worst case, even both. Your much sitting in connection with the wrong shoes has caused postural damage and back pain in you. These were and will be through everyone shape still promoted by stress in professional and private life.

But now the good news: This condition is reversible. One also speaks of reversibility. It is a phenomenon of the human body that it adapts to new stimuli. The magic word to set these adaptation processes in motion is training.

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Before you start training

The deep squat is a relaxation exercise. As a warning, however, I would like to give you on the way: You will not experience a feeling of relaxation - especially at the beginning of your training!

Because you will clamp off your leg and blood vessels at the beginning. This can range from a slight tingling sensation to an uncomfortable burning sensation to real pain.

Do not let yourself be irritated or unsettled by this. I have to endure this pain.

The entry-level training for the deep squat

First things first, it is essential to keep your heels fully on the ground. If this is not possible for you at the beginning despite all your efforts, then you can slightly raise your heels until the necessary mobility and flexibility is restored in your ankles.

At the beginning you can use books of different thicknesses and slowly approach the free deep squat. As a returnee, you can also support yourself on a chair or table. Or ask a partner to help you.

With every exercise you will make progress in your training (even if it is sometimes only very small). This further development may not be noticeable at first.

Definitely stay tuned! The proven motto also applies here: Practice makes perfect. And as is well known, none of them has fallen from the sky.

First of all, you have to learn (again) to keep your center of gravity above the ball of your foot. Your feet can point straight ahead, but they can also be turned up to 15 degrees outwards. The heels are completely on the ground. Make sure that your legs are about shoulder width apart. The knees are fully bent and not turned inward.

The back can be completely round. Your arms or elbows rest on your knees. The deep squat is a resting position that is also used for relaxation. You like that especially at the beginning. As your training progresses, you can try to straighten your back.

Take a relaxed approach to deep crouching

When you squat, you should be absolutely relaxed and take the time you need to train. The medium-term goal is that at some point you can really relax and spend half an hour squatting down without pain.

At first glance, this may seem like a hopeless endeavor. Because, as already mentioned at the beginning, you may not be able to crouch at all without help.

If so, don't get discouraged and stick with it. There are a variety of reasons why you may not succeed in the deep squat at first.

One possible reason is that your ankles don't have adequate mobility. (through a mostly protruding talus). Another lies in an overly tense shin muscle. (due to the stretching stimulus) it may be difficult or impossible for you to get into a deep crouch.

If it gets too strenuous or even painful, just get up again. For me at the beginning it was an almost impossible task to squat for 30 minutes at a time.

Even spread over several exercise units over the day, my body did not play along at first.

Learn more about the deep squat

I would particularly like to recommend you the YouTube videos of the two personal trainers Strong & Flex on the deep squat.

In 2014 they made their first Exercise video for the deep squat online and since then we have been sharing new inspiring and motivating insights with you for free.