Hi there! Are wondering what is the hell a Western squat? is this an exercise? Why is it called so? How it differs from other squats? So we got you covered plus we are going to discuss their benefits, muscles worked during the Western squat position and much more so stick around and keep on reading. But first, let’s quickly recall what a squat is.
The squat is basically any lower-body exercise whereby you bend your knees and lower your upper body to work on and strengthen your leg muscles. There’re many variations (see the image below) of squats with variad benefits for example bodyweight squats where you squat down and then you stand back up for a few reps (no equipment required) and weighted squats like dumbbell squat, barbell squat etc. So what is Western squat then?
What Is Western Squat? And Why It Is Called So?
To understand the Western squat we can take a reference to the Asian squat since both are resting squats, that’s because other squats are executed in sets and reps.
Asian squat is a ubiquitous sitting style in many Asian countries wherein one is required to keep their feet flat on the ground and their buttock very close to heels (thus also called deep squat).
On the other hand, when Westerners try to sit in the deep squatting position they usually can’t make their deep squat much deep due to many reasons, some are discussed later in this blog post
To give the simplest account of what is the Western squat position, we can say that western squat is a less deep form Asian squat.
Difference Between Western Squat and Asian Squat
Now let’s have a look at some of the main differences between Western squat and Asian deep squat, look the image below can you tell any difference in terms of sitting style?
Following table compare both of these deep squats
|When you do a western squat (or a shallow squat), your legs are placed farther apart.
In a Western squat, the feet are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with the toes pointing slightly outward.
Shallow or milder angles are made in the knee and hip bends.
A Western squat can also improve flexibility and balance but can also build strength and tone legs given that it enables the use of heavier weights, the Western squat is an excellent exercise for increasing strength and promoting muscular growth.
Usually only one foot is flat on the ground.
|The legs must be closer together for the Asian squat.
In an Asian squat, the feet should be slightly closer than shoulder width apart and pointing forward.
Sharper angles are made in the knee and hip bends.
An Asian squat is intended to improve flexibility and balance.
The Asian squat is also fantastic for improving the flexibility and mobility of the hips and ankles.
Both feet are flat on the ground.
We have a comprehensive comparison between Western squat and Asian squat you can check that out as well.
Why Can’t Westerners Do Asian Squat? Does Genetics Play a Role?
The question arises why Westerners just do Asian squat by going a little extra low? Why Asian squats are arduous for non-Asians? well, it can be difficult for Westerners to do an Asian squat because it requires a greater range of motion in the lower body, which most Westerners lack as they have adopted the habit of sitting in a chair rather than squatting down as in an Asian squat.
And some research also shows a genetic link between certain genes to increased mobility in people of Asian descent, but that doesn’t Westerners can’t learn to do Asian squats—Practice and gradual progression can improve flexibility and strength in the lower body to increase one’s ability to deep squat.
Muscles Worked in the Western Squat
When you do a Western squat, the muscles of your leg, such as your
Quadriceps—these are the muscle of your front thigh.
Hamstrings—these are the muscle of your back thigh.
Glutes—muscles of your buttocks.
and your lower back muscles are the muscles that are being targeted and the flexibility of these muscles is improved.
Benefits of Doing Western Squat
The Western squat position like the Asian squat is a resting squat, it has many benefits similar to the Asian squat.
Western Squat Improves Flexibility and Mobility
Doing Western Squat will improve flexibility and mobility in your lower body muscles and joints including hips, ankles, and knees, which can lead to improved performance and easy execution of other exercises and daily activities like running, jumping, and even walking and standing up.
Western Squat Improves Quality of Life
When flexibility and mobility are improved, the overall quality of life will also improve and the reason is similar to one mentioned above that the western squat position can help to increase strength, and functional movement, which leads to making it easier to do your daily chores, gardening, playing with kids, etc. which can lead to improved mental and physical health.
Western Squat Improves Balance
As said in the intro earlier, a Western squat like the Asian squat is a deep and resting squat(you have to stay in the position) that requires the body to maintain a stable and balanced position, which with time can help to improve overall balance and coordination.
The Western Squat Is a Great Stepping Stone for People Learning the Deep Squat
The Western squat can serve as a great stepping stone for achieving depth in their deep squat for those who are new to Asian squat, once you become comfortable with the Western squat you can progress to the Asian squat.
The western squat can help to improve technique and build strength and balance, allowing individuals to progress to deeper and more challenging squat variations over time.
The Western Squat Can Be Used as a Warm-up
Western squats can be a great Stretching exercise and can serve as a warm-up exercise for other intense lower-body workouts and yoga.
Western Squat Helps in Weightlifting
In weight lifting, you need to lower your body to lift weights, people who are good at squatting down deep can easily lift weights not only this the Western squat.
This exercise targets the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, which are all important muscle groups for weightlifting and other strength-based activities, and squatting deep will help lift weights
Wrapping things up the Western squat is not a separate form of squat its just a variation of the Asian squat, people (mostly Westerners) have difficulty doing the full Asian squat they just do a less deep version of it and with time this variation has been named as the Western squat.
Western squats are deeper than bodyweight squats but less deep than Asian squat.