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  Pilates Exercise:   the illustrated full squat Pilates Information
Pilates Alexander Technique
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Read the contraindications before proceeding! Full Squat: Start Position

  1. Stand in the "position of mechanical advantage".
  2. Pelvic neutral and scapulas gently anchored.
  3. Let your neck and shoulders relax and arms hang loose.
Full Squat: Action
  1. Breathe in, zip and hollow and engage the Gluteus maximus.
  2. (Breathing out): Lower until knees are bent to 90 degrees, (less if you have pain) & pause.
  3. Reach the hips to the back wall
  4. Breathe in, and (breathing out): Lower as far as you comfortably can without your heelseet leaving the ground.
  5. If you can get all the way down, relax and imagine you are tying the shoe lace of a toddler!
  6. To rise, breathe in then exhale to stand.
Once you can confidently full squat, dispense with step 2,3 & lower in one continuous movement.
Stretching the gluteal and calf muscles: remain in the squat position for 1 to 5 minutes.
Exercise of back muscles, Quads, Gluteus & calves: 5 slow repeats without pausing. You may go down only as far as the half squat. (full squat exercise further instructions, benefits, contraindications, Scroll right>>...)
The Illustrated Full Squat:-
Start of Squat:-
the mid squat is a very safe exercise.

Mid Squat:-
Contraindications: Don't deep squat if you have damage of knee cartilage, knee cap, or posterior cruciate ligament(5).

Full Squat:-
Watch Points for the Full Squat:-
  • If you have a tight muscle on one side, you will find that your weight is tending to shift over to the less stiff side. Don't let this happen.
  • At no time during the descent or ascent should the knee drop inside your second toe.
  • Your head does not look upward, but rather remains in alignment with your spine. Only your eyes should look upward.
illustrated full squat© Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project (scroll up^^^^.....)
Benefits of Squatting:-

  • The full squat re-educates your body to do what you did naturally as a child: bend at the hips before bending at the lower back and neck(1,2,3).
  • The full squat uses almost all the muscles in your body and improves sport specific performance (jumping, sprinting and long distance running)(5).
  • Improves pumping of body fluids, movement of faeces through the colon, encourages parasympathetic nervous activity (relaxation and digestion as opposed to "fight and flight")(4).
  • Can be performed anywhere, anytime.

If they can full squat, you can full squat! -
(though it may take a few months of practice!)

Illustration of Muslims in Full Squat
  1. Wilfred Barlow: "The Alexander Principle" Arrow Books Ltd. Reprinted 1987 ISBN 0 09 910160 2
  2. Bruce Thomson: Engage Gluteus maximus!
  3. Wayne Milicich: "Move like a Child": Publ. Optimum Publishing Limited. Hamilton New Zealand.
  4. Paul Chek: 31/fear_the_squat.htm
  5. Peak performance Online: