In some ways people living in third world countries have it made. They don’t spend hour after hour, day after day sitting in front of the television or behind a computer screen. Their daily lives are filled with activities that put food on the table instead of money in the bank.
Instead of pulling up a chair to do their work; they squat, and boy do they squat deep.
You can retrain your body to squat exactly like them. You used to squat like this cute kid. And you can regain much of that flexibility in time. You’ll have to work at it and be patient, but you can do this.
What You’ll Need
The good news is you don’t need anything but the right shoes. If you wear your running shoes or cross trainers your going to have a hard time shifting your weight to your heels, and learning to shift your weight to you heels is paramount to your success.
Most sneakers are actually designed to help you transfer from the heel to the toe. And that’s the exact opposite of what you want them to do. Here’s a list of shoes that make all styles of squatting easier.
The Biggest Mistake I See At The Gym
Nearly every day at the gym I see someone that thinks they are physically incapable of squatting ass to grass because of this.
They set up for their set with their feet about shoulder width apart and with the toes pointed straight ahead or turned just slightly outward. Now there’s nothing wrong with that stance. Some of the most brilliant minds in body mechanics recommend it. But if you don’t have the flexibility you’ll never get you butt anywhere near your calves.
The Easiest Way To Gain That Flexibility
Other than to practice body weight (aka air squats) day in day out, the best thing you can do is adjust your foot and toe position. It’s how I learned to do impressively deep and effortless third world squats in 30 days.
Instead of going for the holy grail of feet at shoulder width and toes pointed slightly out, start wider. Much wider.
How wide you say?
Have you ever seen a sumo wrestler set up for a fight? When they lift one leg up real high and smack it down in a wide stance. Check out this video. They do it at the fifteen second mark as part of their warm ups.
That right there is where to start. Don’t try to control foot position at all. Just slap your thigh and let that leg come down. By doing that you’ll automatically end up in your natural squat stance. This is actually called a sumo squat.
Now squat as low as you can and hold it as long as you can. See how much easier that was than keeping your feet close together with your toes pointed forward? With just a little bit of daily practice you’re going to be getting low, really low. Ass to grass low!
Just remember to keep your weight on your heels as you work your way into it. No coming up on your toes. Got it? That’s why footwear is so important. You can even do these barefoot, like a real sumo wrestler if you like. But once you start putting a loaded barbell on your back, you should get yourself some decent weight lifting shoes.
The Next Step
From here you have to progress into a narrower stance. But don’t rush it. There’s absolutely no need to. Take your time feeling comfortable getting deep into the squat. There’s no limits on how long you do this for or how many times a day you do it. But the more regularly you practice, the faster you’ll be doing third world squats like a native.
Once you feel completely comfortable with the sumo squat, things are going to start progressing really fast for you. Slowly start to bring those feet closer together. Once every couple of days bring them in another inch, or even faster if it feels natural. But for now keep those toes pointed outward. That’s going to help you learn to keep those knees pushed outward and in the proper position.
The Final Step
Once you have your feet set at about shoulder width start to slowly rotate those feet toward the center while working on pushing those knees out.
Just like with the position of your feet, slowly change the position of you toes over the course of a week or two. For some people it’s going to happen quickly. For others, it’s going to take extra time. But you can do this, and if you made it this far, you want this.
So what are you waiting for? Get off your butt and start practicing. But first, sign up for the newsletter where I’ll share more easy ways to improve your form and your gains in the gym.