three men sitting in the Asian squat position featured image for blog post tittled Asian Squat A to Z Information in One Article

Unlocking the Asian Squat (Your Ultimate Guide)🤩

Asian squat sometimes referred to as the “third world squat” or “deep squat,” is a ubiquitous sitting style in many Asian nations, this activity is profoundly ingrained in cultural and societal norms, making it much more than just a workout. This article will discuss everything about the Asian squat.

But first, let’s see what exactly the Asian squat is?

What Is an Asian Squat?

The Asian squat is a common sitting style in many Asian countries, which can also serve as a lower body stretch exercise, (see the picture below to get an idea of what this sitting position looks like.)

However, in many Asian countries, people sit in this position to do their daily activities like playing with kids, reading, eating, or waiting for vehicles, but this style of sitting benefits many muscles of your lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and Asian squat also engages the back and core.

Quadriceps:

These are the muscles that are located on the front of the thigh, are more prominently responsible for extending the knee.

Hamstrings:

The hamstrings, a bundle of muscles on the back of the leg,  these muscles essentially control the bending of the knee.

Glutes:

These are the muscles  located in the buttocks, responsible for hip extension and rotation.

Calves:

These are the muscles that control plantar flexion (pointing the toes downward; see the image below). and are positioned on the back of the lower leg.

illustration of plantar flexion – Image from Wikimedia commons

Benefits of the Asian Squat

Despite the fact that it looks like just a sitting style when it comes to the benefits of the Asian squat, it has many benefits for not only physical health but also mental health. Let’s talk about it.

Physical Benefits of the Asian Squat

Asian Squat Improves Flexibility

The Asian squat offers several physical benefits, primarily focused on improving flexibility, mobility, and posture. By performing the Asian squat regularly, individuals can go up a notch in their range of motion in the hips, knees, and ankles, leading to improved flexibility overall. This increased flexibility can also help reduce the risk of injury during other exercises or daily activities that require bending or squatting.

Silhouettes of women doing gymnastic image represents Asian squat improves flexibility and mobility
Flexibility Vectors by Vecteezy

Asian Squat Improves Mobility:

The Asian squat can increase mobility in addition to flexibility by toning the lower body’s muscles. Everyday tasks like walking, running, and climbing stairs will become easier to do because of this improvement in balance, coordination, and mobility.

Asian Squat Also Improves Posture:

illustration of women one with bad psture and the other with good posture Image represents Asian squat improves posture
Good Posture Vectors by Vecteezy

Improved posture is another benefit of the Asian squat that ought to be mentioned. By performing this exercise often, people may build stronger lower back, hip, and leg muscles, which results in a more upright posture. In addition, the Asian squat can assist to release and stretch the muscles in the back and shoulders, which will lessen stress and discomfort in these areas.

The Asian squat has a variety of physical advantages that can promote general health and well-being.

Convenient To Do – No Equipment Required:

The Asian squat can be a useful and convenient place to start for people who are new to fitness. Asian squat can be adjusted to match the needs of people of varying fitness levels and may be used to progressively up the intensity of exercises.

three men sitting in the Asian squat position on a street2

The exercise’s emphasis on flexibility and mobility can also aid in improving form and technique during other exercises, making sessions as a whole more efficient.

The Asian squat can also be helpful for people who spend a lot of time sitting down, including office employees or drivers. In order to improve posture and lessen discomfort, the exercise stretches and strengthens the muscles that get tight and weak from extended sitting.

Mental Health Benefits of the Asian Squat:

Let’s bring up some mental health benefits.

two miniature men checking the health of a 3d brain Image representing Asian squat can be good for mental fitness
Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

Other than the physical benefits, the Asian squat exercise can also offer several potential mental health benefits. The reason is that the Asian squat requires a high level of concentration and focus  to maintain balance and correct posture, making it an excellent exercise for mindfulness and stress reduction.

During the Asian squat, individuals must focus on their breathing and balance, which creates a sense of presence in the moment that can eventually help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, thus working as meditation. Moreover, this deep squat position can also help with relaxation by releasing and extending tight muscles in the legs, hips, and lower back.

How to Do the Asian Squat

So, if you are impressed by the Asian Squat benefits by now and want to do it but haven’t done this before. so don’t rush.

The incorrect posture might cause more harm than good, so we’ll outline how to do it in this article.

Let’s discuss a step-by-step tutorial on how to perform the Asian squat for you, hope you find it easy.  

Infographics showing Steps to do an Asian squat
Infographics showing Steps to do an Asian squat by fitnessbevy.com

Step #1: Step #1 for doing an Asian squat is to stand in such a way that your feet are hip-width apart and your toes are pointing slightly outward. Easy, right?

Step #2: Now carefully descend your body into a deep squatting posture, keep in mind that you have to maintain a straight back and weight properly distributed on the balls and heels of your feet while you are lowering your body down for the Asian squat

Keep your balance and appropriate form while lowering your hips as near as you can to your ankles.

Step #3: Hold this position for a few seconds to a few minutes, as per your fitness or flexibility level. You can hold an Asian squat for 30 seconds to up to 15 minutes.

Step #4: Lastly, slowly return to a standing position, Utilize your leg muscles to assist in bringing yourself back up to a standing posture as you slowly stand back up.

Congrats! You’ve just completed your very first Asian squat.

Although the Asian squat appears to be a mare sitting style, people still make some mistakes during their Asian squat, which we will discuss now.

There are some cons of the Asian squat especially you it in wrong way.

Common Mistakes to Avoid During an Asian Squat:

Rounding Back:

The first mistake people make during their Asian squat is rounding their back. Rounding your back places unnecessary stress on the lower back and increases the risk of bad posture.

Collapsing Knees Inward:

Another mistake people make is that they allow their knees to collapse inward, which can place undue stress on the joints. Instead, focus on keeping your knees in line with your toes.

Leaning Too Forward or Backward:

Leaning too forward or backward is also a common mistake that people make during their Asian squat, which can place strain on the lower back. Instead, focus on maintaining a neutral spine throughout the exercise.

Rushing Through the Exercise:

Rushing through the exercise can compromise the form and increase the risk of injury. Instead, focus on performing slowly and correctly, especially if you are a beginner, and gradually increase the depth of the deep squat as your flexibility increases.

That doesn’t mean that you should avoid squatting down deep. Mistake number four can sometimes lead to mistake number five, which is not going low enough.

Not Going Low Enough:

two line men illustration doing an Asian squat one going deep and other does not Image representing go as low as your anklets during Asian squat

While you don’t have to be hard on yourself, you still need to push yourself a little bit to make the Asian squat as low as possible for you, Since the full range of motion for the Asian squat is to get your hips below your knee level, not going low enough will not fully engage the muscle groups.

Tips if You’ve Trouble Doing the Asian Squat:

Use a block or book

If you have limited flexibility, try placing a block or book under your heels to make the deep squatting position more comfortable for you, but keep in mind to avoid leaning forward.

Use a Support

For folks suffering with knee pain or a knee injury, it may be helpful to perform the exercise with a chair or wall for support. Note that though If your injury/pain is severe, avoid doing the Asian squat or seek guidance from your healthcare provider.

Stand With a Wider Stance

Turning  your feet outward is going to be comfortable for a beginner, and if you stand with your feet in a wider stance, it will be easy for you to maintain balance.

Incorporating the Asian Squat Into Your Fitness Routine

Asian squat plus your workout Routine

The Asian squat is  one of the versatile exercises that you can easily include in a range of various routines, including yoga, Pilates, weightlifting, and other activities. Let’s see, one by one, some examples of how the Asian squat can be incorporated in each of these fitness disciplines. We’re also going to share some example workouts, so keep reading!

Incorporating the Asian Squat Into Your Yoga Routine

The Asian squat is frequently used in yoga as a stepping stone to more challenging poses like the crow position or the handstand. Maintaining this squatting position can assist in improving balance and flexibility while also strengthening the hips, core, and legs.

Asian squat plus Yoga

Sample Yoga Routine:

Asian Squat (hold the Asian squat for 30-60 seconds)

Then hold Crescent Lunge for 30-60 seconds, and afterward, do the Warrior II pose for one minute.

Next hold the Tree Pose for 30-60 seconds per side.

Lastly, you can do the downward-facing dog pose for 30-60 seconds.

Repeat the sequence 2-3 times, gradually increasing the duration of the Asian Squat hold and the number of repetitions for each pose.

Incorporating the Asian Squat Into Your Pilates Routine

Pilates: You may improve your posture and balance while also strengthening and gaining flexibility in your lower body if you combine the Asian squats with a variety of other exercises.

Asian squat plus Pilates

Sample Pilates Routine:

Hold an Asian squat for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Do Roll-Up 2 to 3 sets of 8-10 reps 

Do 10 to 15 reps. Single-Leg Circle on each side 

Do one or two sets of 5 to 10 reps of Rollovers (It is advanced exercise)

Incorporating the Asian Squat Into Your Weightlifting Routine

Weightlifting: Here’s the thing, if you incorporate the Asian squat into a weightlifting routine, you can target the muscles in your lower body in a more targeted and effective way and will also improve your  overall mobility and flexibility.

Asian squat plus Weight lifting

Sample Weightlifting Routine:

Do 4 to 5 sets of 6 to 8 reps of Romanian Deadlift with moderately heavy weights If you’re aiming to build muscles, you can use heavy but manageable weights if you want to gain strength. 

Do 3 sets of deadlifts of 8-12 reps

Perform three sets of 10–12 reps of leg presses

Asian Squat with dumbbells for 1 to 2 minutes.

Finally you can do Dumbbell presses (3 sets of 12-15 reps)

Well, it’s vital to keep in mind that employing proper warm-up and cool-down techniques are essential while conducting any workout program, as this may help you avoid injury and will promote healthy recovery. Before starting your exercises, we advise that you get engaged in five minutes of light cardiovascular exercise, such as running, jumping jacks, or skipping. furthermore, stretch your muscles dynamically to warm them up. After working out, it’s important to spend 5–10 minutes doing static stretching exercises to help your body cool down and promote recovery.

How Asian Squat Differ From Other Forms of Squats

The divergence between the conventional squat and the Asian squat, which usually omits weights such as barbells and dumbbells or body weight, this difference may be seen in the posture and method used. While the traditional squat often has a wider stance and emphasizes the quadriceps, the Asian squat uses a more subtle method to emphasize the hips and glutes. This emphasis on the lower body muscles creates a special physical effort that distinguishes the Asian squat from other squats. 

Western squat versus Asian squat - Featured image showing two men one doing an Asian squat the other doing western squat.
Checkout the full Comparision of Western squat versus Asian squat

Let’s move on to some substitutes for Asian squat. Although, for some people, the Asian squat is very natural and a piece of cake to sit in this posture, others might find doing an Asian squat taxing, especially if they have a lack of flexibility and mobility in their lower body. If you are one of them and are unable to do the Asian squat, no worries; we’re about to discuss some great alternative exercises you may do or mix up with other exercises to increase your mobility, strength, and balance if you are one of them and are unable to perform the Asian squat.

Do you know what’s difference between Asian squat and Slave squat?

Asian Squat Alternatives

Hindu Squats:

Hindu squats also called a “baithak” or deep knee bend. Hindu squats are a great alternative to Asian squats (see the illustrative demonstration below) as they require more hip flexion and as a result, help improve the range of motion in your hips.

Glute Bridges:

Glute bridges can also  serve as another great alternative to the Asian squat because they can help target and strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles, similar to Asian squats.

Wall Squats:

Up next are wall squats, which are also called wall sits and are a great way to build strength in the lower body. Here’s how you can do the wall sit/wall squats; first stand near a wall, your back should touch the wall and your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Next, lower yourself to make a squatting position (as if you were sitting in a chair). After a little period of holding the position, you can return to the beginning position.

Hip Flexor Stretches:

Hip Flexor Stretches
Hip Flexor Stretches

Hip flexor stretches (that include the kneeling hip flexor stretch, lunge twist, seated forward bend, etc.) are awesome substitutes for the Asian squat since they improve flexibility in areas such as the pelvic area, hips, and upper thighs. Hip flexor stretches can help alleviate back and hip pain.

FAQ’s

Q: Is the Asian squat genetic?

A: The Asian squat is not a genetic trait, but it can be easier for some people to do than others.  Read complete information here.

Q: Can you do the Asian squat after knee replacement?

A: It is not recommended to do the Asian squat immediately after knee replacement surgery. It  will be best for you to wait until the knee has healed completely before attempting the exercise or you can talk about it with your health practitioner.

Q: How long should you sit in an Asian squat?

A: The length of time you can hold the Asian squat may vary depending on your fitness level. You can stay in the Asian squat position for around 30 seconds to 1 minute, or even less, if you are just beginning with Asian squats, and gradually increase the  length of time until you can stay in the position for up to 15 minutes. Fun fact people in Asian countries often sit in an Asian squat posture for hours when they are hanging out.

Q: What muscles does an Asian squat work?

A: The Asian squat benefits many of your lower-body muscles, namely the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, as well as the  core muscles, the Asian squat works on these muscles by increasing their strength and flexibility.

Q: Do squats help hip mobility?

A: Yes, squats can improve hip mobility by strengthening and stretching the muscles around the hip joint.

Q: Does the Asian squat burn calories?

A: No, the Asian squat doesn’t burn calories but helps improve lower body flexibility. Read complete information here.

Q: Is the Asian squat a workout?

A: No, the Asian squat is not a workout on its own. Read complete information here.

Q: Is Asian squatting better than sitting?

A: Yes, the Asian squat can be a better option than sitting in many ways, in a nutshell, it can help to improve posture, balance, and  flexibility, and it can also help to strengthen the lower body muscles.  Mind you, sitting (in a chair or on a bench) for long periods of time can be detrimental to the body,  so Asian squatting can be a great alternative. We have a separate article on this topic you can check that as well.

TL;DR

So far we’ve learned that, though the Asian squat is a common sitting position or style in many Asian countries, it can work as a great exercise for your lower body and can provide many  physical benefits, including but not limited to improving strength, mobility, and flexibility in your lower body muscles. Not only that, Asian squat can also improve your balance and focus. All this might sound fascinating, but Asian squats can be difficult for some people, but they can be practiced. Some conditions like pain, arthritis, injury, or surgery can limit your ability to execute an Asian squat, so we’d urge you to take advice from your healthcare provider prior to starting an Asian squat or any other exercise, in general.