Doing a squat is difficult, especially if it is your first time. It is one of the most versatile exercises because it targets different muscles in the body including the leg, back, and core muscles. The squat is also good for strength training and pain relief. For many people, holding a squat for more than 20 seconds is very hard. But did you know, that there is an even harder variation of the squat where people go as low with their backend also touching the ground? That’s right, it’s called the deep squat or full squat, but more commonly known as the Asian Squat.

What is the Asian squat?

Asian squat
The Asian Squat

The Asian squat is a squat variation requiring the lowering of the buttocks to the floor and bending the knees until the butt touches the heels and the thighs the calves. So, instead of the usual squat where you imagine you’re sitting on an invisible chair, with the Asian squat, you need to imagine sitting down on a very small invisible chair.

This exercise, for many people in Asia, is not an exercise. For many of them, it is simply a position they do when they are waiting for someone, eating, taking a break, going to the bathroom, or just letting time pass by. What is more outstanding about it is that even little kids can do it for minutes and some older people can maintain the form for hours.

There isn’t much literature or research papers discussing the origin of the deep squat. There are a couple of articles suggesting it originated from India and then made its way to China. There are people who suggest that this squat is associated with how Asian ancestors pooped in the olden times, squatting. To this day, there are several bathrooms in Asian countries wherein the toilets are way down requiring people to squat. This is of course to reduce the toilet-seat contact.

The power and benefits of the Asian squat

Asian squat
The art of the Asian squat – Photo from YouTube via Upright Health

Executing a deep squat is difficult at first but once you know the key components, then you should be able to do it. According to an article by The Atlantic, the key factor to doing an Asian squat is “ankle flexibility.” That is true, but, it’s not just the ankle. In order to execute a deep squat and hold it for long, one must have strong glutes and hamstrings. There should also be good blood flow to ensure your muscles don’t tire out easily. Ankle mobility should be supported by a strong hip.

The power of the Asian squat covers all sorts of relief and strengthening throughout the body. Incorporating it into your daily workout or stretching routine will be beneficial for your lower body strength, posture, lower back problems, tight joints, and so much more.

The deep squat improves mobility and flexibility. It can also alleviate pain associated with prolonged sitting and during pregnancy. It is also good for losing weight and injury prevention. Overall, this exercise is something that can improve your lifestyle.

Just like for many Asians, you can make the Asian squat part of your everyday life. When you wake up, stretch, when you go to the gym, before you work out, relieve your muscles with the deep squat. When you’ve been sitting for hours at the office, go out a little bit and realign your circulation.

asian squat
man squatting with kettle bell – Photo from FatCamera – Getty Imanges Signature on Canva

Other than the Asian squat, there are other squat variations that can target different parts of the body. For example, the Sissy squat or the plies squat. You can do these squat exercises wherever you are and you don’t need expensive equipment.