Is it important to squat ATG?
I think so, however, many coaches would disagree.
A lot of coaches even say it’s not possible for most people to squat to full depth.
This is yet another point of my philosophy on movement and health that is in opposition to conventional thinking.
I believe anyone who is a healthy human being living on this planet, has the ability to squat to full depth (i.e all the way down).
Why do I feel so strongly about this?
Well, in over 15 years in gyms and over 10 years training people, I’m yet to see a normal healthy human who lacked the structural capacity to squat ass to grass.
When I say structural capacity I mean someone who was legitimately born without the ability to squat. This means they were unable to squat as a toddler.
Maybe I have just had the most unbelievable coincidental run of clients in the history of gyms, but probably not.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some people who have done so much damage over their lives that the cost/benefit ratio of spending time to correct their dysfunction is too much for them.
That’s fair enough, not everyone has weightlifting aspirations, but really this isn’t about weightlifting.
Before the allied health professionals call for me to be burned at the stake, let me clarify.
I’m not saying everyone should squat ass to grass with heavy weights on their back (or front).
What I’m saying is that if you are a human being on this planet, you are designed to squat. Every. Day.
The modern sitting toilet has only been around for 500 years, but let’s be generous and say that people have been sitting down to go number 2 for the last 5000 years. Is that really enough time for and evolutionary change to have occurred through the majority of the western world?
*Note I say the ‘western world’ because most of the 3rd world still have squat toilets available (which many locals prefer over the sitting toilet)*
The answer is of course no, which is a point that seems to go unspoken among these professionals who claim “most people lack the bone structure” to get this kind of depth, which was a REQUIREMENT of proper fecal evacuation no less than 5000 years ago.
So let’s stop thinking of the squat as some arbitrary exercise that people do in the gym to get ‘jacked quads’ or ‘booty gains’ and start thinking of it as an archetypal movement pattern that 99% of people were able to do as a toddler and child, which some people then mysteriously lost (almost exclusively in western countries), as they grew older and less poor...
I have all my clients perform some variety of full range squat pattern (goblet squat/split squat etc) at least twice per week. This is a large reduction from our natural frequency of ‘every time you need to poo’ but it’s better than nothing and certainly helps to keep our lower bodies in a much healthier state.