Form AND Function… The 30/30 Squat Challenge
Poor posture and mobility can severely decrease your quality of life, from poor form and mediocre results in the gym due to not being able to work a full range of motion to nagging pains, aches and the inability to move properly throughout the day. If you’ve got poor mobility you’re not the master of your body.
Tight hip flexors, sore and immobile ankles as well as lower back pain are generally assumed to be the result of exercise, with rest and time being the cure.
Over the years I’ve found the truth to be quite the opposite…
Sore shoulders, tight hip flexors, poor ankle mobility, this all came to me due to a lack of movement! Thousands of years ago office jobs didn’t exist – humans were out hunting, gathering, foraging. We were active, constantly on the move… our bodies were free.
Think about it, what percentage of your waking day do you spend sitting down in a chair?
The average guy spends 80% of the day sitting or laying around immobile, although you may not be able to change the nature of your profession you can combat the poor lower body mobility induced as an effect of remaining stagnant…
This is where the 30/30 squat challenge comes into play.
What Is The 30/30 Squat Challenge?
Guidelines For The 30/30 Squat Challenge:
No REST days during the 30 days.
Relaxed spine – no need to try to remain erect or with neutral spine. It’s a RESTING position.
Width between the feet – around shoulder width apart but should be individualized and experimented with – aim for maximal depth and relaxation.
How much feet should be turned out or should they be facing forward? Don’t let anyone sell you the idea of ONE perfect position – aim for maximal depth and relaxation.
Knee pain? Hip pain? stand up and move around.
Footwear? Barefoot is best.
Keep your heels on the floor if possible. If impossible, try a small heel support until you gain the proper mobility to squat flat foot on the ground.
How deep should you squat? There is only one answer – DEEPER.
Why The Deep Squat?
The deep squat, which remains your position for 30 minutes per day for the next 30 days has many benefits including…
In simple turns you’ll be able to move better, your squats, running and lower body exercise will feel freer and your movements will become more fluid.
The power and drive through your legs when you’re correctly warmed up and mobile after performing drills such as the deep squat is a world of difference to that of the gym-goer who gets up off the couch and immediately attempts to train legs.
The 30/30 Squat Challenge Progression (For Beginners!)
Regardless of how flexible or inflexible you currently are I recommend giving Ido Portal’s 30/30 squat challenge a try! If you’re complete beginner there are a few adjustments I would make until you’re able to work yourself up to the full program… these include:
Hold onto a pole or wall with 1 hand if you’re unable to hold your position
If you’ve never performed deep squats before hold onto a pole or suitable object with 1 hand as required to prevent yourself from falling backwards. Try to rely on the pole less and less as time goes on.
If your feet are coming off the ground utilize a small lift for your heel
Feet coming off the ground is generally due to poor ankle mobility (ankle dorsiflexion in particular) perform some ankle mobility drills and opt to place a small raise (a small weight plate or board or wood will work fine) under your heels to assist with squat depth.
Over the course of a week work your way up to 30 minutes per day
30 minutes of holding a squat position per day can be tough, even when adding together multiple stints throughout the day.
I recommend starting small and working your way up.
For the first few days focus on holding your squat for 5 minutes in total, then 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes and finally working up to the full 30 minutes as prescribed by Ido Portal.