What does any 16 month old have in common with a man smoking in the streets of Beijing? Hint: It’s not their lungs, It’s the deep squat. The deep squat describes a position in which one is resting in full flexion of the hips, knees ankles with the feet on the ground. The deep squat is a comfortable resting position which is much more stable than standing because of the low center of gravity. The deep squat serves as an alternative to sitting and is especially handy to avoid sitting on a sharp or dirty surface. Go ahead and give it a try.
Comfortable right? Or not? For some people the deep squat is very difficult and can only be accomplished with one or several compensations. Your squatting ability can be placed in one of three categories based on the following test.
Stand with your feet together and arms overhead. Squat down as low as you can without letting your heels come off the ground and keep your arms and trunk as upright as possible.
- Uncompensated deep squat: Able to squat all the way down to a resting position with the heels on the ground and arms behind toes.
- Compensated deep squat: Able to squat all the way down to a resting position but heels came off the ground or arms came forward.
- Unable to deep squat: Pain during movement or unable to reach resting position.
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I’m from the Netherlands and we have no squat toilets. Interesting though is that speedskaters – and skating is our best ability – can deep squat. If you cannot deep squat you’de Better play soccer.
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