Have you ever seen someone start to sit down, maybe an easy chair or sofa, something kind of “cushy”, and about half way through the process of sitting down, the person sort “falls” or collapses onto the seat all at once?
This movement pattern is often associated with “older” people but, when you know to look for this, you might see it more often than you expect and not just in “older” people either. I’ve seen this pattern in 30 and 40 year olds.
Losing control of the sitting down motion is a sign of muscle weakness in the hips and legs. And weakness in these areas can turn into a lot of problems later in life.
Get the proper movement down before you try adding much weight to the movement. The extra weight will showcase your deficits in form and can lead to injury. Master the “air” squat first.
Before you start though, there’s a preliminary procedure – bracing.
Bracing is tightening the core muscles just a little bit. An easy way to learn how to brace is to light a candle, hold it out in front of you and then try to blow the flame out. The muscle action in your abdomen, what you use to blow out the flame, is the same as bracing. You just tighten up the abdominal muscles – like you’re about to get punched in the stomach.
If you can’t control the motion all the way down and back up, place a couple of pillows in the chair to decrease the range of motion.
You must be able to withstand at least gravity level forces – your body weight – through your trunk and lower extremities. If you hurt doing this movement, it’s not for you. And, if you increase the speed of motion, you’ll quickly exceed body weight (gravity) force.
You may be tempted to skip over the basics above because they seem to simple or, well, basic. But, try the sequence first and see how many proper squats you can perform in a minute. If you hit 30 squats, great. Time to move on. If not, spend some time getting this foundation in place first before you move on to adding weight or increasing speed.