Teachers, even if they don’t train on a regular basis, squat all day, every day.
It’s critical to teaching and working one on one with a student. One thing I was taught and most teachers are taught early on, standing tall over a young child can be incredibly intimidating, even it that child doesn’t know the word, “intimidating.”
Instead, it’s more effective to squat or kneel next to the child to get at the same eye height as them.
If a teacher is working with elementary and even middle school age kids, that means they are probably squatting several dozen, possibly hundreds of times a day.
However, while most teachers understand getting on eye level with a child, they don’t understand how to squat well. Oftentimes the last time someone coached them on a squat, it was their high school gym teacher!
So, here’s three simple tips for effective squatting to protect the knees and keep teachers strong for the whole school year!
- Knees can and should come forward: this is critical if your knees typically hurt during a squat. Doing this will accomplish two things:
- Help determine where a immobility or instability is causing a poor squat pattern
- Mobilize and stabilize properly during frequent squatting (in this case, bodyweight but it works the same for loaded squats)
- Stay flat footed, if you can: flat footed squats demonstrate quality mobility throughout the body and provide the individual with a solid platform to stand on and push back to standing from
- Push through the floor to stand: by pushing through the floor with the legs, a teacher squatting will do less wincing with knee or back pain but might feel a little sore in the quads, glutes or hamstrings the next day, similar to a workout. The best way to protect our precious joints, like the knees and back, is to surround them with high functioning, strong muscle tissue. So a little soreness can go a long way for a teaching career!
Keep these cues in mind when squatting during class or crushing PRs in the gym!
We are FIT Strong!