THE MANTRA CHALLENGE: The 30 / 30 Squat Challenge.
GEAR NEEDED: None
While you’re reading this, you’re probably dealing with the worst danger your health has to face on a daily basis. It may seem like a harmless, comfortable thing, but the comfortable chair you’re sitting on is destroying your range of motion, sabotaging your posture and chipping away at your metabolism. Humans are sitting down more than ever (up to 9.3 hours on average per day) and that average has even trumped how long most people are sleeping. Granted, the level of danger involved is a little hyped-up by some of the media, but the research can’t be ignored.
While reading these facts you may want to stand up:
- People who sit for more than 11 hours a day have a 40% higher risk of dying in the next three years than people who sit less than four hours a day. Source here.
- Obese people sit for 2.5 more hours daily than thin people.
- People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease than people with standing jobs.
There’s more interesting research on this shown in a number of different news sources. Here are my picks so far: Time, Forbes, Wired, Runner’s World, and the most balanced in my opinion, this one from Outside. The bottom line – I am going to spend less time sitting at my desk. I’ll be looking into making a standing desk, I’ll stand while talking on the landline, and I’ll make sure to get up once for a walk for every hour I’m at my desk. I’m also going to skip the lift. Small changes daily that’ll hopefully make a big difference long term. Why am I doing this? For two reasons: I have old, surgery-riddled knees that don’t like squatting, and hopefully this will help. And secondly, I want motivation to spend more time out of my chair for all the above reasons.
Back to the challenge. The 30 / 30 Challenge is simply to sit in a deep squat for 30 minutes daily, for 30 consecutive days. No barbell or kettlebells needed, and barefoot if possible. If you’re at work, you may want to keep your shoes on – your colleagues will be a little happier. You can add it up, it doesn’t need to be done all in one go – just use the timer on your phone to keep track of the combined time spent in a squat. This challenge comes from movement specialist and supremely talented coach Ido Portal, and it’s not just for weightlifters and gymnasts, it can help anyone with hip, knee and ankle mobility. It’s a simple challenge that works on the most classic of lifting moves and even though he released it years ago, he has more recently released a squat routine (see clip below) which can help you pass the time while squatting. The 30 minutes can get boring without breaking it up and doing those mobility drills. His squat challenge has gained global fame, and he has also released a few bar hanging challenges too (which we’ll attack later this year), but first, we squat.