I have always been a fan of “challenges” – eating clean, working out or otherwise. Besides appealing to the competitor in all of us, they are a way of incorporating positive changes into your life for the long term. One of my idols, Ido Portal, posed this challenge:
Sit in a relaxed squat position for 30 minutes a day, for 30 days.
Why should you accept this challenge? We should all know by now the benefits of the squat position: improved ankle, knee, hip flexibility, digestion, spinal decompression…the list goes on! In many countries around the world, this is a basic human resting position. Watch a two year old for a little while; kids will often use this position as rest without ever being shown to do it by their parents. This position is in our DNA. Unfortunately, in most of the western world, it is socially unacceptable to “pop a squat” in public and therefore many people lose the ability to sit in the squat comfortably or at all.
Back to the Challenge! Here’s how it works.
Minute 1: 30 minutes, no problem. I’ve got this.
Minute 2: Look, one minute in! No big deal. Only 28 minutes and 38 seconds left. Go me!!!
Minute 3-30 (Broken Up into 1-2 Minute Intervals): This is hell. Are we there yet? When is it over? I can’t feel my feet.
When I first started the challenge I could sit in the squat position for about 1-2 minutes before it became very uncomfortable.
By Day 30:
I was able to hold a squat comfortably for 8-10 minutes at a time and my squat position had improved quite a bit. I was able to keep my chest much more upright, allowing me to focus on my knees tracking out. I can feel the changes in the bottom position of my Olympic lifts and have noticed significantly improved range of motion in my ankles.
More importantly, squatting has become a part of my normal routine. Post challenge, squatting for rest is natural. When I get tired of standing, I just plop down into a squat!