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squatting and gardening

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squatting and gardening

Post  GWN on 3/30/2014, 9:43 am

Like many, after years of abuse, I have back pain, especially with gardening.
I was recently introduced to the concept of deep squatting, which most of the non western world apparently does, and does not have back pain

HOW TO SQUAT

I have been working on this position when I am in the garden, and as a stretch I sit like this for awhile in the evenings.  It takes a bit of work to build up to it, because there are muscles that need to get stronger and muscles that need, but I feel that it is a good thing.  ?any other "squatters out there?"

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  llama momma on 3/30/2014, 11:08 am

@GWN wrote:Like many, after years of abuse, I have back pain, especially with gardening.
I was recently introduced to the concept of deep squatting, which most of the non western world apparently does, and does not have back pain

HOW TO SQUAT

I have been working on this position when I am in the garden, and as a stretch I sit like this for awhile in the evenings.  It takes a bit of work to build up to it, because there are muscles that need to get stronger and muscles that need, but I feel that it is a good thing.  ?any other "squatters out there?"

Sitting on my one step foot stool is as low as I go while gardening.  I watched the video without the sound. The squat looks mighty painful to these wobbly knees, though it would be amazing to do what that woman comfortably does.

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  rabbithutch on 3/30/2014, 11:13 am

I avoided gardening for a long while because getting down is easy but getting back up is sometimes impossible without assistance.  When my interest in SFG was rekindled a few months back, I found this forum and discovered TTs.  I now have 4 TTs awaiting their MM. 

No squatting for this geezer.

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  jimmy cee on 3/30/2014, 11:35 am

Take a look at her age, let me see it when she's in her 70s, after knees wear out from working on roofs, jumping on and off machines, falling on ice, etc.
If I ever got down that far, I'd need to roll over to get up....LOL..
At least I can still pop a beer can

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  GWN on 3/30/2014, 11:46 am

I guess that is why I am doing this, is so I will still be flexible in 15 years.
I work as a doctor and believe me there are many people in their late 50s with back pain, and it just goes on and on....or even 30s....20s...

I guess I found it interesting that in cultures that squat, instead of sitting all the time, they do not have back pain.  Most back pain is because the curvature of the lower back becomes too great.
This squatting decreases that lower curvature of your back, which is ergonomically better.   It also helps with osteoporosis because most fractures of osteoporosis are related to  too great a curvature, which puts more pressure on already weak bones.

I find it has taken me a month to stretch the muscles out, and  after turning the compost etc I do have a sore back.
However if I sit in my kitchen and so this squatting stretch, the back pain is gone.  It just makes sense ergonomically, I guess I thought others might find it an interesting way to keep the back flexible, because it only becomes less and less flexible with age and with more pain.
I LOVE to garden but realize that I am going to need to do something to be able to keep doing it in the future.(and I cannot have a half an acre of TTs  Smile )

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  rabbithutch on 3/30/2014, 12:33 pm

@GWN wrote:I guess that is why I am doing this, is so I will still be flexible in 15 years.
I work as a doctor and believe me there are many people in their late 50s with back pain, and it just goes on and on....or even 30s....20s...

I guess I found it interesting that in cultures that squat, instead of sitting all the time, they do not have back pain.  Most back pain is because the curvature of the lower back becomes too great.
This squatting decreases that lower curvature of your back, which is ergonomically better.   It also helps with osteoporosis because most fractures of osteoporosis are related to  too great a curvature, which puts more pressure on already weak bones.

I find it has taken me a month to stretch the muscles out, and  after turning the compost etc I do have a sore back.
However if I sit in my kitchen and so this squatting stretch, the back pain is gone.  It just makes sense ergonomically, I guess I thought others might find it an interesting way to keep the back flexible, because it only becomes less and less flexible with age and with more pain.
I LOVE to garden but realize that I am going to need to do something to be able to keep doing it in the future.(and I cannot have a half an acre of TTs  Smile )

What you say makes a great deal of sense!

Some months back I saw a cooking program on Create TV.  The wife is a Korean orphan who was adopted in the US and the husband is an expatriate Frenchman.  They travel to Korea and film different types of food and how it is prepared.  In one show, they visited an older woman (70+, I'd guess) who cooked in the old Korean fashion over a utensil sitting at floor level over a fire.  She squatted during the entire episode.  I remember thinking at the time that it must have take a lifetime to acquire ease with that posture.

An artificial knee joint and artificial hip joint and advanced arthritis prevent me from rising from a squat using the power of my leg muscles  . . .    that and muscle weakness induced by statin intolerance.

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  quiltbea on 3/30/2014, 12:53 pm

What a great technique for those who can begin now and do it into their old age.  Unfortunately I'm already into old age with hip, knee and lower back probs.  I could never get myself standing up again.  The day I fell off a chair onto the floor it took me 15 mins to get myself up with the help of a nearby recliner strong enuf to not topple over.

I have noticed, tho, that when my lower back pains and I stretch forward over my legs as I once lay when I was in the womb, it eases up considerably.

There's something to be said for this squat position, I'm sure.  People all around the world have done it for centuries.  Thanks for the advice.

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/30/2014, 3:12 pm

Ha...I just came in from planting outside and I was squatted like that in the herb garden.  BUT, my heels were up and I had to use the trowel to push myself up afterward. 

During my travels in Asia I noticed that everyone everywhere was squatting like that.  There'd be a circle of men on a street corner playing dice, all squatted.  And you HAD to squat to use the bathroom since they were just holes in the floor.  Rolling Eyes   I forgot about it later, but continued to do 'squats' as part my weight lifting routine twice a week.  But those types of squats don't take me down all the way.

There's a Chinese woman working at the office where I started 8 yrs ago. One day she brought it up to all of us that squatting like this would be good for us.  It was a good reminder.  I started practicing when I got out of bed by putting both hands on the floor, then straightening and squatting my legs a couple times.  Now I can do that a lot of times.  But outside I can't stay in the squat to do things without lifting my heels up off the ground or I would fall over backward.  And I can't get up without a push, but now that you posted about it I will start the practice again. Who knows...maybe I'll get those heels down yet.  Use it or lose it.

Thanks for the reminder, GWN!
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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  boffer on 3/30/2014, 3:21 pm

And, as a bonus, that position is recommended for easing constipation and childbirth.  Shocked 

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  sanderson on 3/30/2014, 3:22 pm

It is a good way to stretch out the lower back , until my legs fall asleep!  Embarassed  I have a knee pad and short step stool for most of the gardening. Looking into my crystal ball, I see TT's in my next decade.  Very Happy 

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  yolos on 3/30/2014, 4:08 pm

@sanderson wrote:It is a good way to stretch out the lower back , until my legs fall asleep!  Embarassed  I have a knee pad and short step stool for most of the gardening.  Looking into my crystal ball, I see TT's in my next decade.  Very Happy 

+1 TT's

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  jimmy cee on 3/30/2014, 4:19 pm

Whut's a TT ? pleaseeeeee...I may need one or two, maybe a dozen

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/30/2014, 4:34 pm

Table top.  I had the same question the first time I saw it, too.  Very Happy 

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/30/2014, 7:36 pm

Growing up in the tropics, I saw many people fresh from Asia, or who maintained many of the Asian ways. These folks would sometimes wait outside a shop for someone, or just chat with friends and have a cigarette, all squatting to pants-splitting depth. No matter how old they were, either. And without it looking in the least stressful; they sat down into their haunches just like someone would sit down onto a chair, totally relaxed.

When I used to take jiu-jitsu classes, I had to sit in "seiza," I think they called it. You get down on your knees and then sit back on (or really, between) your heels, with your feet crossed together in back. I did this for years, as a teenager, and also had a rigorous daily stretching regime. Still, I never could do this without my feet falling asleep. My instructor got frustrated sometimes that he'd tell me to get up, and the best I could do was flop onto my side because I was numb from the knees down. Yet the whole Japanese nation used to do this. Some of this sort of squatting and Asian-style sitting you probably have to not so much acquire but never lose. As babies, we can do all sorts of things we start to lose one by one.

It helps that so many Asians have toilets that you have to squat down to rather than sit on, and that some still sit on the ground at very low tables to eat. If we did that every day of our lives, we westerners could easily squat low without back or knee pain too.

You know who is sometimes very flexible, though? Weight-lifters. Those muscle-bound guys, if they do low squats like powerlifters and olympic lifters do, squat properly, they say, when they're getting their "ass to the grass." Modern sports science, to my understanding, recommends increasing flexibility through that kind of strength work rather than the "static stretching" we usually think of, in which we hold a position while relaxed.

This is an outstanding guide from Steve Cotter, a martial artist and one of the earliest American kettlebell promotors, on doing "pistols," the one-legged squat. They're great to do or even to work up to doing slowly, and he tells you how to deal with various problems with form sticking points regarding flexibility. This guy's legs are absurdly strong; he can do pistols carrying multiple kettlebells, and jump onto tables using only one leg. I own a couple of his DVD's, and really like pistols, myself.

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  Kelejan on 3/30/2014, 9:40 pm

@boffer wrote:And, as a bonus, that position is recommended for easing constipation and childbirth.  Shocked 

I was waiting for someone to mention that, boffer, and so you did. If you use the squatting position, you are almost assured of no constipation as the contents do not have to negotiate the bend in the colon exit. Our Western style toilets are not really much good for straightening that bend.

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  jimmy cee on 3/30/2014, 10:19 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Table top.  I had the same question the first time I saw it, too.  Very Happy 

CC
Ok CC thanks, I'd never have guessed that one.
I won't need a TT, just gonna bring my beds up to where I am, did it with 4 already, added 8 inches to an already made 8 inch bed, and I'm so glad I did.
I can sit on the edge, work the other side, sing to my plants, and just snooze then get up very easily

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  quiltbea on 3/30/2014, 11:06 pm

What a great set up Jimmy Cee.

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  jimmy cee on 3/31/2014, 8:05 am

@quiltbea wrote:What a great set up Jimmy Cee.

Thanks Quilt
I had these beds for 10 years and was relatively happy with their out put, however since I found SFG, I became ecstatic...One bed I removed all the soil and thought after..why ?
I decided to save work, had a little extra cash so I top the beds with another layer of wood.
That extra work was a godsend, very happy I did it.

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  GWN on 3/31/2014, 9:10 am

great  jimmie... you already have TT

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  rabbithutch on 3/31/2014, 10:29 am

@jimmy cee wrote:Whut's a TT ? pleaseeeeee...I may need one or two, maybe a dozen

Sorry about that, jimmycee! 

There are three abbreviations here that I thought everyone knew:  SFG=Square Foot Garden (or Gardener); TT=Table Top; MM=Mel's Mix.

I apologize.  My high school English teacher taught me (60+ years ago) to always use the full term on the first reference with initials or abbreviations following in parentheses.  Thereafter it is OK to use just the shortened form.  Once again Miss Penney was right.

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Re: squatting and gardening

Post  martha on 3/31/2014, 12:19 pm

GWN, thank you for this thread! I am going to try it. It makes so much sense.

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