Thursday, January 9, 2014

Squatting Really IS Like Sex

However manfully I resist nostalgia, Victorian silences appeal to me. Dr. Block, in an uncharacteristic fit of wisdom, observes, "The irony of creating a taboo is that, once something is forbidden, it often becomes very interesting." Sex in a time of ostensible repression at least had the benefit of carving out a space of privacy. Lovers defined themselves in opposition to the official culture, which had the effect of making every discovery personal. There's something profoundly boring about the vision that is promulgated, if only as an ideal, by today's experts: a long life of vigorous, nonstop, "fulfilling" sex, and the identical story in every household. Although it pains me to remember how innocent I was in my early twenties, I have no desire to rewrite my life. To do so would eliminate those moments of discovery when whole vistas of experience opened out of nowhere, moments when I thought, So this is what it's like. Just about every generation needs to feel that it has invented sex - "Sexual intercourse began / In nineteen sixty-three / (Which was rather late for me)" was Phillip Larkin's imperfectly ironic lament - we all deserve our own dry spells and our own revolutions. They're what make our lives good stories.
Unfortunately, stories like this are easily lost amid the slick certitudes of our media culture: that a heavy enough barrage of information produces enlightenment, and that incessant communication produces communities. Susie Bright and Susan Block and Dr. Ruth are loud and cable-ready. You can turn them on, but you can't turn them off. They yammer on about the frenulum, the perineum, the G-spot, the squeeze technique, bonobo chimpanzees and vibrators, teddies and garter belts, "eargasms" and "toegasms." Their work creates the bumbling amateur. Their discovery of sexual "technique" creates a population bereft of technique. The popular culture they belong to thus resembles an MTV beach party. From the outside, the party looks like fun, but for passive viewers its most salient feature is that they haven't been invited to it.
- Jonathan Franzen, "Books in Bed" (How To Be Alone, pp. 250-251) 

I know that, as someone who has created over 20 videos dedicated to squatting and squatting technique, it is probably hypocritical of me to say that the modern flood of "information", certifications, and guru-ism in the strength and fitness worlds have "created the bumbling amateur" and have "created a population bereft of technique", but that is exactly what has happened.

It's not that hard. (I'm talking about squatting people! I'm always talking about squatting, understand? Get your minds out of the gutter!) ...and if you can't do it, it's not the end of the world, just so that's clear...

Start from the floor in a push-up position. Walk your feet up near your hands. Keep your feet flat on the floor, take your hands off ground when you feel steady, and squat up.

If you did that, you're good!

There really isn't much more to it than that. You don't need an invitation. You don't need a guru. The moments of discovery are waiting.


Kevin said...

just wanna say thanks for all you do. I've learned a great deal from all your videos. if you could take a minute and give me a form check I would be greatly appreciative. thanks.

Boris said...

It looks like you're coming up onto your toes a little and that's probably not a big deal, but if you went heavier or if you did a lot of volume it could become a problem over time.

That said, it looks solid to me. How does it feel? What are your squatting goals?

Kevin said...

thanks for the response. that is a problem I am working on. I do a lot of body weight squats holding on the the squat rack to get used to that bottom position.

I've just discovered olympic weightlifting so id like to squat atg. I'm blown away watching how flexible some of those guys are and have really been taking more time warming up and stretching. I've also had some problems with the outside of my left knee swelling. it seems to go alway when I wear a neoprene wrap.

Boris said...

I've had more than a few people message me lately about developing a full squat. That's all good and well, but I see people really, really, REALLY overdoing the extreme arch and knees out to the point of causing more problems than it could possibly solve. What I'm trying to say to you is this: front squat and full squat to your heart's content, but don't get overzealous and allow positions and loads to hurt you.

Kevin said...

have you ever had to deal with a prepatellar bursa injury? seems like that's what I have. may need to take a couple weeks off.