Parents often tell me that their young child “sits” in a deep squat. I then tell them that we as adults should also sit in deep squats. They are amazed by this, often laugh and then tell me there is no way they would be able to do that. 

Deep squats are a great movement for all humans. We often give them to adults as a part of their rehab, but most adults are not going nearly as deep as what I am going to talk about here. 

American culture has moved us away from many of the positions humans used to use often. A deep squat is one of the positions that has almost completely disappeared. It is actually a really great resting posture but most of us will opt to use a chair instead. Once you are sitting in this deep squat, most of the large muscle groups turn off and it does’t require much effort to stay there. It does require a lot of mobility in the spine, hips, knees and ankles. This is why older infants and young toddlers are so great at it. The outside world hasn’t had a huge influence to take these movements away from them!

Let’s talk about the benefits of deep squats. Again, these are great for all humans but especially important for children:

1. Promoting muscle strength and coordination

Yes, I just told you that deep squats are a great resting posture, without taking much work, however, it does take some work to get into the position. It also requires a very controlled movement to get there without tipping over. It is a full body movement that taxes large muscle groups, including the core.

2. Improved stability and balance

Next time you are around a young child, watch them play. They sit in the deep squat and will reach for things all around them, come back up to a standing position and squat right back down without falling over. Now, as this skill is emerging, you might notice the child is a bit wobbly, but that is true of anyone learning a new skill. Because it is taxing your core, you are able to move your extremities easily, that’s how the body is designed to work!

3. Sensory and proprioceptive input

This means that you know where your body is in space. This is a huge part of development! If you didn’t know where you were in relation to other objects, you would have a lot more injuries. So many of the receptors that teach us this are on the bottom of our feet. This is why we often tell parents to keep shoes and socks off their children as long as it is safe to do so. 

4. Stimulating bone density and growth

Again, this is SO important. Wolff’s Law states that when bone is stressed, it grows more bone. In this case, this is a very good thing. Think about if your bones weren’t stressed when you were little and the size of the bone was the size it stayed forever! Now this is obviously exaggerated but you get the idea. We also want this to happen because low bone density has a higher risk of serious injury. Let’s keep these children strong so they don’t have to worry about being osteoperotic as they age!

Parents will tend to see this start to emerge as their child is learning to pull themselves into a standing position and then getting back to the ground. If you need more information about why this is also an important milestone, check out this blog I wrote a while back. If your child is not doing this, they could absolutely benefit from chiropractic care. I love to help children reach their milestones and educate the parents along the way too. If this sounds like something your child needs, you can schedule an appointment with me here. Let me know if you have any questions!