The couch creaks and slides every time she sits down. “I have no control once I start to bend my legs!”, she says.
Controlled squatting allows babies to get down to the mattress after pulling to stand in their crib. It allows children to sit down in a chair with control. It is the ready position, allowing a low basketball dribble or ease while moving wet clothes from the washing machine into the dryer. If we don’t have the required alignment, strength and endurance, falls and crashes start to happen. Squat with good alignment and build the strength and endurance to squat and recover over and over again in daily life.
Neuromuscular holding patterns, weakness, movement habits and muscle tightness can interfere with alignment of the feet, pelvis, low back and rib cage during a squat transition. Alignment is key – you’ll want to get good hip mobility while maintaining a neutral back position with deep core stabilizers . When you get this, the legs will do the work. Once you’re getting the form down then its time for quality repetition.
There are many games that incorporate squat transitions. My favorites are basketball (rolling the ball to the feet), treasure hunts, making a big mess with ball pit balls and having a race to clean them up, and making a car track on the floor but not allowing any kneeling or sitting. When the form falls apart, take a rest by using another muscle group. You may need to do some P.T. specific work to get the alignment before starting. Enjoy the changes and make sure you’re having fun.