I think K-Star is onto something here. My back problems started when I was a full time UBC student, diminished during my 3-year stint as an elementary school teacher and flared up again in a big way when I spent 6 years in an office job. Since I began coaching CrossFit full time my back has gradually improved. Can sitting on the floor help? Maybe. I see a lot of immobile hips in folks with desk jobs. Spending time on the floor might help you develop the hip strength and mobility required to move better.
This immediately made me think of the Turkish Get Up and how difficult it is to do if you lack hip mobility. And what’s even harder? The double kettle bell Turkish Get Up. Use this as a hip assessment tool. If you can perform this movement you’re probably doing okay. If not, then we’ve work to do!
How deep is deep enough? Here’s a clue from Greg Everett:
Aside from spending more time on the ground, how do you develop the hip mobility to get into that sort of squat? Here’s an idea from Z-Health:
The above drill is much harder than it looks! Based on my early attempts I still have work to do. Zack Telander shares an approach to developing a great squat that worked for me. I didn’t do a full 5 minutes as he recommends but frequently held deep squats up to 3 minutes with good posture. Whenever I feel tight I’ll do a bit of this:
Of course, hip mobility is not the only factor in determining squatting ability. Lack of ankle mobility can also impede your squat. I’ve seen lots of banded ankle mobility drills but I far prefer the simplicity of Greg Everett’s ankle mobility suggestions:
The squat is an essential functional movement. Strength and mobility through a squatting range of motion will keep you healthy, support an active lifestyle, reduce incidence of injury and improve your athletic performance. Combining Zack’s and Greg’s quick, simple drills for hips and ankles which can be practiced anywhere, will help you master the squat. The trick is you need to squeeze in 5-8 minutes consistent practice each day until it becomes easy.
These are perfect drills for a warm up, cool down or when SLIPS are programmed. Practice them often then come back and retest your double kettle bell Turkish Get Up!