A new trend that took over the internet a couple of months back was the ASIAN SQUAT. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's being able to squat all the way down to where your butt is almost touching the ground while simultaneously being able to keep your feet completely flat on the ground.
It's a phenomenon that has many flabbergasted when they attempt it. It seems so easy in theory and maybe not so much in practice. Many notice as they get deeper in the squat, they have to start lifting their heels and start feeling some discomfort at the knees.
Now the internet may lead you to believe that only those of Asian descent can perform this squat, but that's simply not the case. Today, I'll be showing you one very simple exercise that could be the difference between you being able to perform an "Asian Squat" and not.
The exercise I have up my sleeve is actually a knee gapping exercise. This exercise increases the knee range of motion to allow you to get deep into that squat. To do the exercise, all you'll need is an open space, a chair and a towel! Keep in mind that those of you who have a history of knee pain or ACL tears, surgeries, etc, should be wary of this exercise. Let pain be your guide. This exercise is meant only as a simple stretch, so if you feel any pain, definitely discontinue.
In this exercise, you'll be using a rolled-up bath towel to wedge behind your knee. As you lean into this towel, it will force a stretch in your knee creating a gap, hence the name knee gapping.
Put one of your feet up on your chair like you're doing a Captain Morgan pose. Wedge the rolled bath towel behind your knee and weight shift forward, creating a smaller angle. The more you lean into it, the more you will feel the stretch. You can play around with this by changing the size of the towel and slowly weight shifting at different angles to deepen the stretch. Do this exercise on both legs! With enough practice, you'll be getting into the Asian Squat in no time!
For more information, check out the video with more detailed exercise instructions.
Give knee gapping a try and let us know how it worked for you! This is still a stretch so it might take some time to become flexible enough at the knee to get into the Asian Squat. We'd love to know if this exercise made a difference so let us know in the comments if you were successful!
Dr. Justin C. Lin