The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

More Fun Squatting

The previous post, Achilles Stretch in the Bathroom, explains how and why the squat is a functional lifestyle exercise, good to stretch the Achilles tendon and get strong, shapely leg muscles. By keeping both heels down and your weight off the front of your foot, it can be safe for the knees. The large amount of built-in leg exercise you get from routinely sitting and rising from sitting this way strengthens the hip, thigh, and knees.

At the left is a photo of a sign that is common here in Asia. The sign instructs people who are accustomed to squatting how to use the strange seat. The drawing marked with an X shows someone standing with both feet on the seat and squatting over the bowl. That is marked as incorrect use. The user is instructed to sit touching the seat. I asked some of the locals what they thought of the "sit and touch the seat" method. They shuddered, pointing out how silly that was.

Beside strengthening and stretching the legs, squatting is a cleaner way to sit, since only your feet touch the surface. It is common to see people waiting for a bus at the street curb, sitting, not with their behind on the curb, but sitting in a squat so that only their feet touch.

Squat toilets vary, but are often clean. You leave your shoes outside and wear bath shoes. Even some public toilets have public rubber shoes thoughtfully provided.

Western sit-down fixtures are becomming more common, as more wealthy tourists demand them and locals adopt less physical lifestyles. Our friends living here told us the story of a family who decided to convert their shining clean indoor squat facility to Western plumbing. They purchased a standard raised bowl and seat. They left on a short tip while a workman installed it. When they returned, the man was proud of his installation. He excitedly told the people it had been strange at first, but he did a fine job. He led the people to his finished work and said that at first he was puzzled by the height of it, but figured out to dig a deep hole. He buried the new, shiny toilet exactly up to the seat to become the familiar floor level.

 Related posts on full squats:
Save Knees When Squatting
Achilles Stretch in the Bathroom

Related posts on half squats:
Free Exercise and Free Back and Knee Pain Prevention - Healthy Bending.

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Photo by leeroy09481
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.