Rest Day

Rest day presents an excellent opportunity to practice a skill, work on a weakness, learn a new sport, or have fun and play. Engage such activities with intensity above recreational levels but lower than typical training fare. Online, we use this day to share, discuss, debate, and exchange in rational, civil discourse; harvesting from any number of pertinent topics on physical fitness, but certainly not limited to such either. It is only fitting that we begin my first rest day post with that movement most foundational to all human movement: the squat.

 

The squat, when learned correctly, performed consistently and at high intensities, will do more to improve your quality of life than any other exercise. Here’s a primer from Coach.

Bad descent, left. Good descent, right.

It is a weak squat that descends solely with an eccentric contraction of the hip and leg extensors. Ideally, the hip and leg extensors should be engaged in a powerful isometric contraction which the hip flexors overcome with a concentric contraction that pulls the squat downward. Engaging the hip flexors in this manner sets up a stabilizing tug-of-war for the pelvis between the hip flexors and extensors, creates an anterior tilt of the pelvis that supports the isometric contraction of the erector spinae, allows for a deeper squat without surrendering the lumbar curve, and additionally stretches the hamstrings for a more powerful return from the bottom.

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