T Nation

Third World Squat question


Okay so I love this article. But there is something that I find strange

"Eventually you'll improve to the point that you can sit deeply in the third-world squat without holding onto anything with your arms and without any difficulty in balancing. Your spine will be nearly vertical, in a neutral position, and you'll be able to move freely."

So this is perfect for me as I can't third world squat without falling back. But does this actually work? Has anyone actually done this everyday and seen results? I wanna be able to sit in this squat position relaxed.


.... but why?


Yes i can squat if i have weightlifting shoes and some weight on the bar in a back squat. But i cant do a simple barefoot bodyweight squat without falling over. Even in weightlifting shoes i have to lean very far forward. I am not very tall either. I just wanna be able to sit in this position. I wanna know if holding onto a pole and sitting in a deep squat position will help.


foam rolling and stretching would help.


Mate, through the whole summer while I wernt able to lift at a gym I practiced full squatting daily. holding onto something doesnt really help IMO.

This is what helped me get a good full squat I can chillout in.
Do lots of hip, ankle and t-spine mobility work, not stretching but mobility.

The following tip I learned from a Dan John article.

instead of trying to stick your butt out and back. think more of squatting between your legs.

Bellow is a really good mobility drill and it will help you improve your balance and mobility in one.

Also do lots of goblet squats (doesnt need to be heavy) holding the wight in front of you counterbalances you and lets you hit grat depth.

this is an excellent video to teach you to goblet squat, oull find that after a couple of weeks doing normal full squats is easy.

And here is what I worked up to over the summer. I love overhead squats and always use them as a warm up now before I front squat (not that I can lift much weight)


I really don't think this is normal, but when I was doing the squat to stand i had my feet wider than shoulder width and the lowest I could get was just parallel. Only just, any deeper then I fall over.


I'm not an expert by any means.

The above video on goblet squatting helped me greatly. It takes practice to improve your mobility.

Do goblet squats everyday for a few minutes and progress to using no weights. It won't take too long.

Also for foot position, don't think about shoulder width, etc etc. do a few standing jumps and land naturaly. I find that where my feet land is usualy the most comfortable foot positin to squat. Again, just find a comfortable position that feels natural for you.


Without a link to the article I've got no idea what this thread is about or what the goal is.




Ah I see.... In my dress clothes since I just got home from work, I did it instantly. I don't get what the problem is.

I wasn't exactly sure what to do with my arms I put them on my head, behind me, rest them on my knees like that picture on the article. When the camera went off I just sorta put them up so they weren't touching anything. I was in the position for probably just under 2 minutes and could've held it longer if I had a reason to.

It's a little hard to get straight but its not exactly the hardest thing if you've done any front squatting. If you're leaning forward too much try taking a very slightly wider stance. If its too wide you'll know because you won't be able to go low enough. Find that balance and this really isn't that hard.


For some reason pointing my feet out more helps me keep my back straight in this position. I was doing this last night while watching my dad work on his car, and shuffling around in this position wasn't hard either. Like Ender said, this isn't exactly a killer.


...really?.........really?....how much thought needs to go into this??....just do it.


some people find it natural - others do not. there can be a bunch of reasons why not...

sometimes people have the wrong conception of what they are trying to do... and sometimes they have a mobility restriction that is preventing them.

with respect to what you are trying to do...

you want to sit your torso down between your legs rather than sitting your butt back. if you sit your butt back then you will fall on your ass because your center of gravity will have shifted back behind your midfoot. if you sit your butt back then one way you can prevent yourself falling on your ass is to hunch yourself forwards. it will depend on your lever lengths how much sitting back / forwards lean you need to remain balanced.

so if you think of it as sitting yourself down between your legs letting your knees drift forwards in front of your toes however much they need to in order to keep your balance over your midfoot (allowing your torso to remain more upright)... some people find they lack the ankle dorsiflexion for their knees to come forwards as much as they need to (more for longer femurs).

one fix is to adopt a wider stance so the knees can drift more out to the sides. another fix is to come up on the ball of your feet a little. another fix is to give yourself some heel raise which allows you to keep your weight on your heels without coming forwards on your toes.

some people find they lack the hip mobility to lower their torso between their legs. they sit their butt back because they can't open their hips enough to sit their ass down between them.

one point of difference between an asian squat and a weighted squat is that in a weighted squat you need to keep your spine in a neutral position to keep your back safe under load whereas the point of an asian squat is to relax so one is allowed to hunch forwards to keep ones balance.

the asian squat can be good for getting nice mobility in the ankles / hips that is helpful for loaded styles of squatting... but one will need to work on recruitment in order to maintain a properly tight position under a load - and one will need to hold ones back a little differently.


sat in it for a good five minutes between sets of clean and jerk today listening to my music. you just gotta get down there. loosen up your Achilles