Squats for Pain and Fat Loss

I remember having a conversation with a client, and their doctor told them that they weren’t allowed to squat at all because it would place too much pressure on their back, which was bad for them. So, I asked what did the doctor recommend when they had to sit down to go to the toilet. 

Now, when most doctors think of squatting, they think loading up a barbell, placing it on your back, sitting down with your chest and eyes up. And yes, if you are not ready to take on any sort of load, then this movement can be harmful to you and your spine. However, squatting is more than just lifting weights and exercising. It’s one of the most common movements that we do: getting in and out of a chair, on and off a toilet, unless you’re expected to never sit in a chair or get out of the toilet ever again. That avoiding squatting is pretty much impossible. But this movement can be really scary, especially when you have back pain, and I assure you that you are able to do this without any sort of pain. So, here’s a step-by-step process to a pain-free squat. 

  • The first step is going to be setting up your feet about shoulder-width apart, with your feet slightly turned out, say about one and 11 o’clock. 
  • Two, if you need to move your feet out a little bit wider for more comfort, that’s totally okay as well.
  • The next thing is you have to bring your hands up and squeeze your abs like you’re resisting someone tickling you.
  • Number three, you have to keep that ribs top to end engaged and then you’re going to seek your hips back and down so that your sit bones are aimed at your sitting surface. 
  • The fourth step is as you’re sitting down, you have to lean the torso forward. Now, forget about looking up, that’s actually going to make your back arch and hurt more. So, you have to keep your abs engaged this entire time. 
  • The fifth step is actually having your sit bones touch whatever sitting surface you are going to be on. 
  • Number six is that you have to use the tension in your hips, not your legs, to stand up and then finish out that exercise or movement by squeezing your butt. You don’t have to worry about looking up and lifting with your legs, your core and your hips will do all the work. 

The great news about this exercise and movement is that it actually recruits more than just your legs, and this full-body exercise can build muscle quickly and more muscle means more strength, and fast metabolism, which means that you are going to be better at burning fat. But the ultimate goal, which is accomplished, is that your back is going to be really happy. So I usually recommend 5 to 10 repetitions for about three to five sets. 

Let me know how it goes.


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