Benefits of the Deep Resting Squat and Form Tips


Squats are a standard exercise in most workout routines (especially on leg days), but a deep squat at rest? It’s not often a date, but it should be. “The deep rest squat, or as some call it, the deep bodyweight squat, is the position where your hips and glutes are below your knees with your feet flat resting in a natural resting position without a ton of load on muscle tissue” explains Joey ThurmannCPT, a certified personal trainer for well done, a fitness and wellness community. “It opens up the hips and the trunk.”

Children naturally adopt this buttocks-on-the-floor posture when playing and navigating the world. It’s also a very common daily movement among adults, because we squat down to pick up something heavy or sit on the floor, and it’s a birthing position this may result in fewer perineal tears. The problem is that as a society, our sedentary lives and heavy reliance on chairs have prevented many people from doing a deep rest squat and reaping the many health benefits it offers.

“The saying ‘if we don’t use it, we lose it’ is extremely true in the event that we can squat like a toddler again,” says Thurman. “As we age, move less and sit more, our soft tissues tighten, the spacing between our joints [decreases]and our nervous system gets used to not moving full ranges of motion.”

Benefits of the Deep Rest Squat

One of the benefits of holding deep squats at rest is improved mobility, especially ankle mobility, which Thurman says many people miss, as well as the natural movements we make throughout the day, minimizing pain and risk of injury. “If you’re more mobile and your joints move all over the place [like] they’re supposed to, the handkerchief doesn’t take as much of a load and can help you move without pain,” Thurman says. Even think about grocery shopping, your child, grandchild, and how nice it would be to do it with ease and not worry about hurting yourself.”

The benefits of deep rest squats also carry over to your workouts. For example, says Thurman, weightlifters would like to drop down and perform a full swing without pain, which deep-rest squats can help because they strengthen the back of the body. “The deep squats themselves have been shown [to be] even more effective at building that powerful back than regular squats,” says Thurman. And, he adds, they also support pelvic and back health. stronger pelvic floor and deep spinal muscles such as spinal erectors will help stabilize the hips and pelvis.”

How to Do a Deep Resting Squat

To properly perform a deep resting squat, Thurman instructs you to stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes slightly pointed. Then slowly lower your body, allowing your hips to sag as if you were about to sit in a very low chair. Try to go as low as possible, ideally with your buttocks below your knees. Go slowly and avoid overdoing it. This posture should in no case cause pain. If so, stop and adjust, and if necessary, hold on to something for support.

Thurman notes that if you’re just starting out with a deep resting squat, it may not be possible to go that low, and that’s okay. The key, he says, is to keep your feet flat on the ground, maintain a flat, neutral spine (i.e. don’t bend over), and make sure your shoulders stay in line with your hips.

Hold for 10 seconds, then rise and repeat six times throughout the day, Thurman says, especially after sitting for long periods. As you improve, he suggests increasing each session to 30 seconds or more as long as you feel comfortable. “Who knows, maybe you’ll start reading deep squat books,” he says.

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Richard V. Johnson