Let me tell you about the benefits of squatting in lockdown and in old age. If squatting seems impossible for you right now, that’s fine: start easy.
- You could start very small: stick out your bum and go down just two inches
- You could start by squatting only twice a day.
- You could start by doing your breathing exercises or tai chi with your torso just two inches lower than usual.
Any one of those options is not nothing: it’s something, and gradually you extend your range. Not to where you were as a baby, no, but at least a little better than you are now.
Gosh, listen to me—a fitness coach now? No no, I don’t claim that. But every day I myself feel the benefits of squatting and I am happy to share my thoughts, hoping that one of them hits the spot with you.
I believe that by squatting regularly:
- you can better appreciate little things like flowers and babies in close-up
- you can improve your balance by widening your stance and lowering your centre of gravity (any time, not just when exercising)
- you strengthen muscles in your legs and butt; this has a positive impact on the cardiovascular system and even brain function
- strong leg muscles will help you to get off the floor if you fall
- you feel proud of yourself and thus happier.
How I get the benefits of squatting in lockdown
Like you, I assume, I’ve had my regular exercise routine busted in lockdown. No more trips to the sociable community gym. No more dance classes in a studio. No sea swimming—though tht’s not quite so appealing in autumn anyway.
I can still do tai chi every morning, which keeps my hips and knees moving. I do Zoom-pilates with our gym instructors twice a week. Nearly every day I walk for an hour or more in the city-forest-park of Mt Victoria, which is at my back door. And I pick and mix exercise videos, often only 15-30 minutes long (plus warm-up and warm-down).
100 Rep Fitness Blender Squat Challenge is my current favourite video workout for squats. It’s from the no-nonsense, non-glitzy Fitness Blender team. In a mere 8 1/2 minutes they rip through 10 reps of 10 different squats, so you don’t get bored. It’s a bit too fast and I need a wall to do the squat with reverse leg lift. But I do my best and for me it doubles as a wee cardio workout.
My dream workout for squats alone would be this very workout, but running a wee bit slower. Hm, is there a way to do that on YouTube?
Update: yes, I can slow the squat video down nicely
Yes! (Thank you, Myra.) All I need to do is this.
When watching a video on YouTube, click the cogwheel below the video, select Playback speed, and change it from 100 to 75. Perfect. Below is a screenshot showing you how. Happy moving-your-body!