The term third world squat has become a layman’s term for a certain resting position so we apologize if anyone takes offense to it, but it is the best way to describe this movement (the alternate term for this is called a full squat). For most people who don’t live in a third world country we have the luxury of fancy chairs and most of us even spend the majority of our days working in these comfy chairs. However, over time this has hindered our ability to be fully functional and flexible. This is partially the cause of so many people squatting with bad form and ultimately injuring themselves. To counter act this, the third world squat seems to do a great job at stretching out all the muscles and tendons that we need to do a better squat and have more flexibility.
Most people would use this to benefit in the gym, however it can be used to increase flexibility and range of motion as people get older. The benefits from doing Third World Squats can help with hamstrings, hip flexors, ankles, lower back and more. Here are some more details on how:
Ankles-The ankles can lose mobility over all the years of not using them and can hurt your squat performance and over all agility. People who have DorsiFlexion/Calf Tightness when squatting may find help in doing this. Tip: Once in the third world squat position lean to the left and right to increase the stretch to the Soleus Muscle.
Hips-Stabilizing your hips is also crucial when squatting and this will help. You will need to increase your hip muscles to hold this position along the way. Tip: Hold on to a table at first if your hip muscles aren’t strong enough and work your way to just having your arms in front of you.
Hip flexors/Spinal Erectors-The hip flexors will be engaged to ensure that you get the appropriate pelvic rotation necessary. Your Spinal erectors also will gain strength during this to keep your back straight. Tip: Use your elbows to push your knees out to keep them from caving in and keeping everything open.
As you’ll see most people cannot just drop down and stay in this position for very long, but the key is to work your way up to sitting comfortably in this position for about 10 minutes or longer. Try to start small but just getting in this position when bending down to pick up something. It will feel weird at first and you’ll probably get some weird looks, but over time it will get easier and easier. You’ll really like the differences you’ll feel when you begin to squat with weight and you find it more natural. This will only help you to increase the amount of weight you squat as well!
We hope you are able to incorporate the Third World Squat into your daily life and get to enjoy the benefits from it! Don’t let your age determine how old you feel, let your body! Leave a comment if you’ve ever tried the Third World Squat.