Posted by: Stephen Rigby at 10:55, October 11 2016.
I cannot claim to be an athlete or have much skill at sport but I have over the years engaged in various athletic activities. I have been a member of various clubs and have been an active member of our local gym for years.
Consequently, I am no stranger to sit ups, lunges, star jumps, Russian twists, squats and press-ups (to mention a few). There are usually multiple ways of performing the same exercise and I can probably demonstrate over half a dozen different ways of performing a press-up alone.
Competing with a Superhero
A few months ago I watched a video on Youtube that was doing the rounds. It concerned a challenge that a young man (probably 15 or 16 years old) had made to a character at a theme park in America. The character was some superhero that I had never heard of but the man playing the part had a good body that filled out the costume without any need for padding. The young man challenged him to a press-up competition. The person filming focussed on the “superhero” who drew gasps from the assembled audience when the competition began – he had seemingly completed more than half a dozen press-ups in the time it took the young man to complete one. The “superhero” then switched to one armed press-ups at a similar speed – drawing yet another gasp from the audience. The only problem was that the “superhero” was not doing full press-ups whereas the young man was. There is a huge difference between doing a press-up and slightly bending one’s arms. The young man – with a straight body – was “kissing” the ground. The “superhero” was lowering his body no more than a few inches – even less when he switched to one arm press-ups.
Superhero Bow Your Head in Shame
The “superhero” had made the same mistake that many people make when they increase the speed of an exercise: they do it at the expense of performing it correctly. The problem with doing this is that one fails to actually work the muscles that the exercise is intended to target. Despite his condescending looks towards the youth which said, “this is how it’s done, kid!” and his muscular physique, that “superhero” would probably have failed miserably to complete even a couple of full press-ups.
How Does One Define a Squat
The young man who made the challenge made the mistake of not defining what constitutes a press-up before the competition commenced, which brings us to the topic of this blog. A squat starts when the thighs are parallel with the ground and is anywhere below that point. A crouch is any point above where a squat begins. Whether performing push-ups or squats, they both tend to become more shallow the more tired the performer becomes.
Crouch or Squat, Does it Really Matter?
In many exercise classes I have attended where squats have been required, I have seen people doing crouches. There may be many reasons for this. Crouches are easier to perform than squats (particularly if one has a loaded barbell across one’s shoulders) so the person may be being kind to their knees, they may have some physical limitation that prevents them performing squats, they may be new to the class and not developed sufficient strength in their legs to perform a proper squat, they may not know what constitutes a squat or they may just be fooling themselves (like the “superhero”). Whether one performs a full squat or a crouch is irrelevant if one is getting the exercise that one desires and it is generally better to be doing some regular exercise than to be doing nothing at all. The only time it becomes an issue is if those squats form part of a competition.
How is This Relevant to Hypnotherapy or Life Coaching?
As a Hypnotherapist and Life Coach . I use many different techniques to assist my clients to make change (the process is not scripted – unless the Hypnotherapy or Life Coaching is delivered by someone with incomplete training) . It is normal that my client may find some of the exercises more difficult than others. Sometimes I have a client who feels they are not performing an exercise as well as they should and they become discouraged. To use the analogy above – they feel they are doing a crouch and not a squat. The truth is that whether one is in an exercise class or in therapy the only requirement is that one does ones best. Unless one is in competition, one’s best is always good enough!