You may have heard this phrase but how often do you do it? Seriously when was the last time you popped a squat. Here comes another question at you, can you pop a squat? The other day whilst lifting with my brother who is a bit of a newbie back to the lifting world, we were speaking about squat depth and he was telling me about his numbers and he was proud and good on him. We began to squat and I noticed that he would just get to parallel. I come from the Olympic weightlifting school of arse to grass. Science is now backing that depth is not some knee destroying bogey man so we should do it for many reasons. As we got further into the session we were talking about depth and he tells me at the gym he trains at no body he has seen and he`s been there a few months now, nobody goes beyond parallel and trainers at the gym teach people and tell people parallel is the depth they should squat to. I said,”Well we do big boy squats”. We can, we are both fairly mobile (not perfect) and we can get below parallel so we should. This meant he had to take some weight of the bar and he did and we squatted and I cued him as he did to improve some things. He remarked several times the difference between the two depths.
It really does require more muscle activation to go deeper and get out and it requires better mobility and it requires better technique. You could make the argument against depth and for people that are restricted, injured or need to improve the technique/strength I get it and we have many tools to deal with that. Now this could become another article about what to do to fix your squat but there`re so many articles and videos on this subject. My argument though is more than lifting weight or working out. The statement “pop a squat”, is just that, get into the bottom position of the squat and sit there. Kelly Starret of Crossfit fame (mobility wod) talks about the 10mins in the pain cave. Popping a squat and sitting there for 10 mins working the odds and ends of position and mobility and listening to your body. That is great I think and we need to make it more a part of our lives. In Asia many people squat into old age, they use it and don`t lose it. They squat from children into old age. The benefits are many, less loss of ROM (range of motion), improved strength which in old age is linked to falls and many more that can be found here http://www.naturesplatform.com/health_benefits.html
I pose this to you why don`t you from time to time squat and sit in the bottom position and just hang out? Not just because it`s to improve the squat but to improve your health and life. I do it regularly in fact some people know me because I do it. I have been at work and just pop a squat and sit down. It turns out my grandfather who`s in his 70`s the one I wrote about here http://therandomandthefit.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/do-you-want-to-get-fitripped-and-in.html he regularly pops a squat and just sits. Before you say “oh that’s you” and make excuses, try it after all if you begin to use it you can often get it back.